Curly hair, straight hair, fine hair, thick hair – every hair type has its own natural beauty and personality. Whatever tops your head, we can all agree that beautiful hair is healthy hair. And it all starts with the shower. Over washing hair and under washing are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to damaged hair – So just how often should you wash hair?
What You Need to Consider
All hair types are different and have different needs. Let’s check out some of the main characteristics that different types of hair have.
Your Hair Type and Texture
Curly Hair – From tight corkscrews to beachy ringlets, curly hair can be hard to maintain and requires fewer washing sessions to activate those curls!
Straight Hair – Naturally, straight hair is gorgeous but tends to get greasy from time to time, and may require more frequent washes.
Thick Hair – Thick hair requires more effort, but the results are well worth it. Thick hair should be washed normally, but don’t ever forget to rinse with cold water!
Fine Hair – The best accessory for fine hair is a healthy scalp! Fine hair should be washed only when necessary to lock in the moisture.
Color Treated Hair – Whether natural shades or big bright hues, colored hair is gorgeous but does have a tendency to dry out quite quickly and should be washed as infrequently as possible.
Natural Hair – Natural hair needs to be washed less frequently than straight types to keep it healthy and clean. This can range from every 7 – 10 days, depending on your hair’s needs!
How Often You Sweat
Regardless of your hair type and texture, one factor all kinds need to take into consideration is how often you sweat. While sweat itself doesn’t smell, sweat can dry, leaving particles and residue that require cleaning. If you work out frequently, always try to keep your hair up in a bun or ponytail.
Remember, after exercise; you don’t need to rewash your hair with shampoo, conditioner, and the whole shebang. Try using dry shampoo or just simply rinsing your hair with cold water.
Use of Styling Products
The more styling product you use, the more build-up you’ll get in your hair which can give an appearance of greasy hair. Try to use as little hair product as you can and only apply to the end of the hair strand to avoid excess oil buildup. Rather than hair washing, again, a rinse with warm water or hot water may be enough to remove the styling product without the need for shampoo.
Did you know your age also affects how often you need to wash your hair? Like many other parts of the body, the hair follicle actually changes as our bodies age!
As we age the sebaceous gland located in the hair cuticle produces less sebum than when you were younger! That means that as you age, your hair care needs change, and you actually need to be washing hair less often than when you were younger.
Signs It’s Time to Shampoo
Okay, so how do I know when it’s time to shampoo? One of the most evident signs is oily hair. An oily scalp may still have clean hair and just require a dry shampoo treatment.
On the other hand, greasy or oily hair is a sure sign that it’s time to crack out the clarifying shampoo.
Now the exact time depends on many of the variables mentioned above. Someone with fine, naturally oily hair may need to wash their hair every 4- 5 days, whereas those with thick, coarse hair can last as long as ten days without a hair wash. Everyone has a different head of hair which requires different needs. The trick, therefore, is to get to know your locks.
Most people’s problems tend to stem from the fact that they think they already know how to wash hair, specifically how often they need to be doing so. They continue washing it every second day, just because that’s the way they’ve always done it! There could be nothing more terrible for your scalp than too-frequent hair washing. Let’s check out why.
Signs You’re Over-Washing
So are you one of the many women damaging their healthy hair by too much washing? If you’ve noticed any of these signs it might be time to put down the shampoo!
Hair requires a certain amount of natural oil, called sebum, to keep it healthy and shiny. Stripping your hair of sebum entirely by overwashing is a quick way to end with dry, damaged hair.
Dryness can further lead to frizzy, unmanageable hair as all the natural moisture has been lost.
Overwashing can even go as far as hair loss, as damaged hair thins and falls out and may even stunt hair growth.
It might sound counterintuitive, but it’s true, too much washing can strip your hair from all its moisture and natural oils. To fight against this, your hair follicle sometimes just ends up working in overdrive – producing more and more sebum to compensate. Doing so can lead to the appearance of greasy hair.
How Can You Safely Extend Time Between Washes?
The question now is how to wash hair to keep your locks healthy gorgeous, and maintain ultimate hair health?
- We recommend avoiding shampooing your hair for as long as possible. If you are used to shampooing every second day, try every third or fourth and see how your hair reacts. Chances are it’s not going to end up as greasy as you fear.
- Keep your hair tied back while doing sport and exercise.
- Rinse, rinse, rinse! Rather than a full hair wash, try rinsing your hair with clean water.
- Dry shampoo is a quick way to deal with an oily scalp without touching the rest of your hair.
- Avoid the use of hair product wherever possible.
- Always rinse your hair with cold water at the end of your hair wash. Doing so tightens the proteins in the hair strand, keeping your hair healthy, shiny, and strong.
Getting beautiful, healthy hair isn’t as difficult as you might think – sometimes all your hair needs is to be left alone! Try giving your hair a couple more days between hair washes and see how your hair shines, naturally.
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Rosily Ryan is an experienced health and fitness writer, editor, and health activist in Sydney, Australia. She’s written for several publications like Pure Green Magazine.