This Is How Often You Should Wash Your Hair (& No, Dry Shampoo Doesn't Count)
You've likely heard several opinions on how often should you wash your hair. Some people can't start their day without a vigorous wash, while others live and die by their dry shampoo. The good news is: They're all right.
"Unfortunately, there’s no universal answer for this," Joesph Maine, a celebrity hairstylist who works with Sophia Bush and Ashley Benson, tells TZR. "Different hair textures and lifestyles can require different regimens." To be clear, shampoo is a non-negotiable in most routines. "If you don't wash enough, you may have a buildup of oil. This is more of a concern if your hair is naturally oily, which can also lead to dandruff and itching," Dr. Peterson Pierre, M.D. of the Pierre Skin Care Institute tells TZR. Dandruff is usually a reflection of inflammation and irritation occurring in the scalp that leads to dryness, itching, and flaking. "It's important to moisturize and condition the scalp to decrease the chances of developing dandruff," the dermatologist says.
Shampooing is also necessary to rid your hair of excess grease and oil. Not doing so can exacerbate sebum buildup and cause a medical condition called seborrheic dermatitis caused by oil build up and yeast overgrowth, Hope Mitchell, M.D., FAAD, the founder and CEO of Mitchell Dermatology in Perrysburg, Ohio, tells TZR.
But overwashing your hair comes with its problems, too. "It can definitely strip the hair and scalp of beneficial oils, and lead to dry hair and scalp, even itching and irritation," Pierre explains. So how can you know how many times a week you should be washing your hair? Below, TZR asked celebrity hairstylists on how often to cleanse depending on hair type.
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How Often To Wash Thin Hair
Thin hair should be washed daily or every other day, depending on the individual's lifestyle and location, according to Caile Noble, a celeb hairstylist who works with Lili Reinhart and Suki Waterhouse. "If you work out daily or live in a humid climate, then daily may be best for you to prevent it from looking oily and flat. If you live in a dry climate or [are] not as active, then you may be able to go every other day or maybe two days if you don’t feel too greasy." The exception to this rule would be if your hair is bleached and toned, or you have a high lift tint. In this case, you'll want to try and extend your wash to every two to three days, or even four if feasible. "The more days you can get in between washes will help the natural oils strengthen your hair and prevent it from getting too dry and breaking," Noble explains.
Kiyah Wright, a celebrity hairstylist who works with Ciara and Jennifer Hudson, recommends using a volumizing shampoo for thin hair. And she says to try to stay away from shampoos that are highly hydrating or have too much moisture, as she finds they tend to really weigh the hair down.
How Often To Wash Wavy Hair
Mark DeBolt, a co-founder and owner of Mark Ryan Salon in New York City, recommends women with wavy, loose curls to wash less frequently, as it will produce a prettier natural curl. Plus, wavy curls benefit from the natural oils produced from day two or three hair. Co-washing with a conditioner or low-detergent shampoo can reduce dirt and oil without the drying or stripping effects of harsh detergents in traditional shampoos, he says.
Maine says to also take into consideration the hair's thickness. "I typically gear the washing regime toward density more than wave pattern," he notes. "People can have very thin curly hair that will need to be washed more frequently than someone with very thick wavy hair. In general, wavy-curly can handle two to three days between washes."
How Often To Wash Thick Hair
Since thick hair is usually a tad drier and can handle a bit of natural oils, Maine suggests washing it every two to three days, while also taking into account lifestyle. "I personally don’t recommend the several days most thick-haired girls go, because with the additional oils they accumulate over the course of several days, it becomes very difficult to wash properly," he notes. Maine says the shampoo he recommends for everyone is Color Wow's Color Security Shampoo. And the hair care brand also carries its Color Security Conditioner Normal to Thick Hair, a conditioner specifically for normal to thick hair.
How Often To Wash Natural Hair
"Natural hair can be fine or thick. However, with more texture, sebum is less active and hair can be more drier," Ciara Costenoble, a celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Kim Kardashian and Taraji P. Henson, tells TZR. "Once a week or even once every week and a half is perfect to ensure the hair is not being dried out by too much cleansing." Her tip for natural hair is to use a light conditioner, applied only to mid-shaft and ends in between wash days to refresh texture. And Wright says when choosing a product for textured hair, look to moisturizing and hydrating ingredients to restore those natural oils.
How Often To Wash Damaged Hair
Damaged hair should be washed less often, DeBolt notes. He emphasizes the importance of being careful when combing the hair out. "When hair is wet it has increased elasticity and is more prone to breakage," the salon owner says. "Use a leave in spray like R+Co's One Prep Spray before detangling."
How Often To Wash Oily Hair
Costenoble tells TZR the only type that requires more frequent washing is oily hair. "However, beware that the ends and mid-shafts do not dry out during frequent wash days during the week," the hairstylist explains. "I highly recommend washing the hair every other day and using dry shampoo to push wash days further apart."