How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

by Pooja Karkala

Did you ever ask your friends how often they wash their hair? And were you surprised by their answers? Some might have said every day, some might have said twice or thrice a week, and some might have even said once in a fortnight. Washing your hair is tricky. Do it less, and you end up looking like you have spilled oil all over your hair. Do it more, and you look like you’ve got an electric shock. Finding out how often should you wash your hair is a strenuous task.

How many times a week should you wash your hair? Preparing a schedule for washing your hair is almost as challenging as sticking to it. But there are no unbreakable rules that dictate how often should you wash your hair and at what intervals. It all depends on your hair type, lifestyle, and physical activity. Let’s look at the reasons you need to wash your hair.

What Influences You To Wash Your Hair?

What Influences You To Wash Your Hair? - How Often Should You Wash Your Hair


  • Secretion Of Sebum

Just like your face, your hair too becomes greasy due to the flow of sebum that acts as a natural moisturizer. Sebum released from the sebaceous glands located next to the hair roots in the dermis layer of your skin. It makes your scalp oily. However, the amount of sebum released differs from person to person due to genetic variations and functioning of the hormones.

  • Hair Oiliness

As sebum is the primary cause of oiliness in your hair, different hair types require different levels of attention. Excess secretion of sebum can make you want to wash your hair regularly, while underflow can allow you to go without a hair rinse for quite some time. Thin and straight hair needs to be cleaned more frequently. This is because the scalp becomes dirty and oily very quickly due to the natural spreading of the sebum. Thick and kinky hair, on the other hand, remains dry for a longer time.

  • Unwashed Dirt And Sweat

Are you a fitness freak? Do you engage in physical activities that cause a lot of sweat? Do you live in a desert? If yes, you should be washing your hair often. There is a direct relationship between physical activity and hair wash – the more you sweat, the more often you should wash your hair. This is because sweat clogs your pores and leaves your scalp dirty.

  • Dandruff

It is a skin condition in which dead skin cells fall off your scalp as white flakes and cause itchiness. Sebum and sweat add to the misery of dandruff. How often you wash your hair depends on the severity of dandruff.

[ Read: How To Take Care Of Rebonded Hair? ]

  • Styling Products

If you are a styling enthusiast who experiments with your hair frequently, you don’t need to wash your tresses often as excessive washing may result in brittleness and hair breakage.

So, the big question remains…

How Much Is Washing Right For You?

How Much Washing Is Right For You? - How Often Should You Wash Your Hair


How many times should you wash your hair in a week? Well, the answer is it differs from person to person – because everyone’s hair is different and has unique needs. In general, people with an oily scalp need to wash their hair daily, the ones with a dry scalp need to remove it once or twice a week, and the ones with a healthy scalp may do it whenever they feel like it. Ultimately, it depends on the hair type, lifestyle, and preferences.

  • Hair Type And Hair Texture: Your hair texture is one of the essential determinants in finding an answer to the above question. The hair type impacts the spread of sebum throughout the length of one’s hair. Thick, coarse, and curly hair restricts the quick and even distribution of sebum, while thin and straight hair enables its smooth flow from the roots till the ends. So, the latter type of hair needs to be washed more often.
  • Scalp Type: An oily scalp needs to be washed more frequently than a dry scalp. Washing dry scalp too often increases the chances of dandruff and brittle hair. One should understand their hair and scalp type to extract the benefits of the oils naturally produced by the body, besides developing and following a hair wash regimen of their own.
  • Lifestyle And Activity: If your physical activity generates excess sebum and sweat in your body, your hair requires a more regular wash. The kind of lifestyle you lead also influences the hair wash and hair care formula. If you heat style your hair regularly, you should limit the number of times you wash your hair to prevent your hair from drying out.

It may surprise you to know that washing your hair and shampooing it are two different things. Washing your hair could involve merely rinsing your hair with water. So, how often should you wash your hair using shampoo? Keep scrolling to find out!

  • How Often Do You Need To Shampoo Your Hair?

When you wash your hair less, you are training your scalp to produce less oil, thereby cutting down on the number of times you need to clean it. Though there is no specific answer to this question as it depends on your personal preference, one thing is for sure – using shampoo too often may lessen the chances of you having luscious hair. First, let us understand the use of shampoo.

  • How Does Shampoo Work?

The shampoo acts as an emulsifier and washes away the build-up of excess oil, residue, and dirt on the scalp. Excessive shampooing removes the essential natural oils from the scalp, turning it dry and flaky and making your hair turn brittle. So, what can you do when you want to wash your hair without using too much shampoo? The best option is dry shampoo. However, one has to keep in mind that dry shampoo is only used as a way to extend the intervals between hair washes by only absorbing the excess oils. It can save you time on busy days.

[ Read: Best 2-In-1 Shampoos And Conditioners ]

  • Who Should Shampoo Daily?

Not everyone needs to shampoo their hair daily. Experts say that only people who have thin hair, oily scalp, and dandruff, those who engage in a lot of physical activity (that results in excessive sweating), and those who live in hot and humid environments require daily shampooing.

  • Who Can Go A Few Days Without Washing Their Hair?

People who have thick hair or a dry scalp can go a few days with washing their hair as their hair does not get greasy quickly. On the other hand, frequent shampooing is suggested for people who have an oily scalp or thin hair.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

There is no hard and fast rule about this. A person with a healthy scalp and hair type can go 2-3 days without a hair wash. Itchy scalp, visibly oily hair and flaky surface are signs that remind you to wash your hair. For some people, limiting how often they shampoo their hair helped in improving the quality of their hair.

Besides using shampoo, one can also use spray cleaning, co-washing, and water as alternative methods to wash hair. Find out more about these methods in the next section.

Alternative Ways To Wash Your Hair

Alternative Ways To Wash Your Hair - How Often Should You Wash Your Hair


  • Dry Shampoos

Did you know that you can clean your hair without using water? Dry shampoos are a blessing for people who don’t want to get their hair often. Usually available in the form of powders or aerosol sprays, dry shampoos mainly contain conditioning elements, aerosol propellants, fragrance, and absorbing agents that soak up excess sebum and make your hair smell fresh. They are an advantageous combination of cleansing, conditioning, and styling. Organic dry shampoos are recommended over chemical-filled commercial dry shampoos.

  • Co-washing

Co-washing, conditioner-washing, or no-poo is a method in which you replace shampoo with a conditioner for washing your hair. After wetting your hair, you apply the conditioner all over your tresses, leave it on for a few minutes, and rinse it off with water. This not only cleanses your hair but also helps in retaining moisture.

  • Water Only:

Sometimes, plain water works like an elixir when it comes to washing your hair. Having a bad hair day? Drove a bike in a cloud of dust without protecting your hair? Just got back home from a day in the sweltering sun? Treat yourself to a cold water shower.

“Invest in your hair; it is the crown you can never take off.”

With these fantastic tips and techniques, you can conquer the world with your healthy and gorgeous hair. Have you tried any of these methods? Do you have any more questions about washing your hair? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pooja Karkala

Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.