Twice a week.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

Haha!

Don’t we all wish it was this easy? That someone would finally give us a definitive answer to this eternal question?

Unfortunately it’s not that simple, and lots of factors go into determining what the right washing rhythm is for you. But don’t worry, we’ll make it easy in this article.

At the end of this, you’ll know how often your own hair needs to be washed. I’ll even give you a handy flowchart. But first we need to understand what goes into this decision.

Let’s look at the factors in detail!

Image of a woman taking a bath, getting her hair wet, presumably causing hygral fatigue

Why worry about how often we wash our hair?

Wait a second! Why are we even discussing how often we should wash our hair in a week?

Well, because in recent years, we’ve been told countless times to not wash our hair too often. No one says what too often is, but we’ve all heard or read it.

But is it really healthy for you hair to wash less often?

We can’t answer this question, fully. Generally, yes, washing your hair too much can lead to issues like hygral fatigue. It can also just be a lot of mechanical stress for your hair and lead to more breakage, dry out your hair and so on.

But there’s also such a thing as scalp health. If the skin of your scalp is prone to develop fungal issues you really might have to wash more often.

Related: How to get rid of dandruff

These scalp issues are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s a very common issue.

There’s this yeast that can “overgrow” on your scalp. And it makes your scalp super itchy and flaky.

To combat that fungus, you have to wash regularly and make sure that your scalp is free of styling products and oils. Untreated this can even lead to hair loss, so please be careful about this!

Image of a woman looking at her scalp in the mirror

Hairstyling

This leads me to the first factor that influences how often you should wash your hair: your hairstyling habits.

If you don’t put anything in your hair, other than some few drops of oil in the tips to protect it from breakage, you won’t need to wash it as often as someone who puts lots of styling products like hairspray and gels into their hair on the daily.

Using lots of styling products simply doesn’t keep your hair “fresh” as long. And just to keep your scalp healthy you will have to wash more often.

So, the type and amount of hair styling products strongly influences how often you have to wash.

Hair type

Ah, the infamous hair type. The thing that everyone wanted to change at least once in their life. Curlies try to straighten their hair, people with straight hair want to curl it.

You probably know, at least roughly, what your hair type is. (If not you can find more detailed guide to the hair types here.)

Your hair type has a very very strong influence on how often you should wash your hair. If you have really fine, straight hair you will have to wash more often than someone with really kinky curly hair.

Curly hair is generally drier than straight hair. This means, it needs as much moisturising as it can get to look healthy and shiny. And guess what? The sebum from our scalp actually helps with that!

On the other end, we have people with really fine, often straight hair. For them, just having normal daily activity can be enough to end up with a greasy scalp at the end of the day. Of course, they want to wash it off then!

While there are some things that you can do to help with a constantly greasy scalp, this is limited. And for some people, unfortunately, none of this works.

Lifestyle choices

Woman feeling powerful after creating a morning routine including exercises

Then we have your lifestyle choices.

Do you like to garden a lot or climb, or do other things that get you actually dirty? Well, safe to say that you don’t want to run around with sand in your hair for a few days!

Same goes for working out. If you do heavy workouts regularly where you sweat a lot, you’ll want to get that sweat off your scalp eventually. Especially if you have to be around people.

Going a week without washing your hair while working out every day…Well let’s just say you could get a little more “aromatic” than anyone could enjoy.

There are so many jokes about people putting their hair washing schedule around social appointments for a reason. (Especially from folks who follow the curly hair method.) Because the more involved your washing process is, the more you actually need to plan for it to fit it into your schedule.

So yeah, your lifestyle, both in terms of social life and in terms of hobbies, will affect your hair washing schedule a lot!

Personal preference

Healthy hair tip number 2: Don't wash your hair too often

Then there’s the super important factor of personal preference.

Some people just cannot stand the feeling of greasy hair. Just as some people don’t like the feeling of lotion on their hands. (So weird to me, but I actually know lots of people like that!)

And honestly, like I said, it’ might be for your hair to not wash as often. But you have to feel good about it!

So, if you don’t have to go out much, you know the sebum your scalp produces is actually really good for your hair, and you’re fine with just spreading it throughout the length: totally go for a few days without washing.

Your hair will love it!

At the same time, if you really just cannot stand the thought of having unwashed hair for a whole week: Just wash it. It’s not that deep!

And you can make sure to follow other haircare tips to keep your hair healthy and shiny!

How often to wash your hair: a flowchart

I hope you feel a little better informed on this topic now, and also empowered to take your own decisions on the matter. No matter what anyone else tells you.

To make the decision process even easier, I’ve combined the factors into a handy flowchart. No more worrying about how often to wash your hair. Just go through it and you’ll find your decision!

A flowchart to answer the question "Should you wash your hair today?", asking the questions "Do you need to clean away hairstyling products?, Does your hair type and/or scalp health ask for a wash?, Can you, your scalp & your social life deal with unwashed hair for another day?"

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