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November 12, 2022 by Edna K. Martin – Hairstylist, Certified Skin Care Coach
How often should you shampoo your hair? For the average person, every 2 to 3 days would be better. But, This is a question that is often on the minds of women. Shampooing your hair helps you maintain a clean and healthy mane. On the other hand, overdoing it can cause chronic dryness and even hair breakage. In this article, we will take you through how often you should shampoo your hair as well as alternatives to shampooing.
In This Article
Factors that determine how often you should shampoo your hair
Here are some factors that determine how often you should shampoo your hair:
How oily is your hair?
One major factor contributing to dirty hair is your scalp’s oil (sebum). Oil can weigh your hair down and make it look limp. The amount of oil your mane produces depends on age, environment, genetics, and sex. You might notice that you struggle with oil in your 20s, but as time goes on, your mane becomes drier. That is the effect of age on oil production on your scalp. Some people’s scalps produce so much oil that they need to shampoo their hair every day. On the other hand, some do not need to shampoo their hair every day because their scalp only produces a little oil.
Your hair type
Another factor determining how often you should shampoo your mane is your hair type. There are straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair types. With straight hair, the scalp’s oil travels easily through the strands. So, wash it more often to get rid of the greasy feel. The strands tend to get dry when it comes to wavy, curly, and coily hair. This is because it is difficult for the sebum to travel down the tresses. So, you need to wash it less often to retain the scalp’s natural oil. Overwashing these hair types could lead to chronic dryness and eventually hair breakage.
It should not come as a surprise that sweat is one of the factors that determine how often you should wash your mane. If you sweat too much, the sweat helps you spread your scalp’s oil to your strands, thus making your hair feel and look dirty. Sometimes, sweat makes your hair smelly. If you are the active type or the type that wears a cap or head cover for a long time, you will find yourself sweating often. And if you sweat often, you have to wash your hair frequently.
When you stay outside for a long time without covering your hair, there is the possibility that dirt will gather on your mane. Dirt and dust make your hair dirty and lifeless. It could also bring about allergies, such as itching, dandruff, etc. So, shampoo your hair often if you are always around dirt or dust.
Frequent use of styling products
How often you use styling products is also an essential factor. If you use styling products frequently, you will notice that your hair gets dirty easily. Some people even use heavyweight products that weigh down their hair. Those in these categories must shampoo their hair frequently to keep it clean and healthy.
How often should you shampoo your hair?
Finding the right schedule for when to shampoo your mane could be tricky. But don’t worry, we got you. Below is a guide on how often you should shampoo your hair based on your hair texture:
If you have fine hair, you should ensure you wash your hair every other day. This is because fine hair struggles with oiliness. Besides, it is prone to flatness if you use too many styling products.
Medium-coarse hair means that your mane is neither fine nor coarse. If your hair texture falls into this category, you can shampoo sparingly. You only need to wash your mane twice or thrice a week.
If you have coarse hair, it means your hair is constantly battling with chronic dryness and frizz. For this reason, it needs all the sebum it can get to keep it nourished. If you shampoo too often, you might expose your locks to more dryness, which could lead to hair breakage. This is because shampoos contain some drying agents that strip your mane of its natural oil. So, only shampoo once or twice a week to retain moisture in your hair.
Alternatives to shampooing your hair
Are there other ways to clean your hair if you do not wish to shampoo regularly? Here are some of the alternatives to shampooing your hair:
Using dry shampoo
If you want to skip wash days, you should consider using dry shampoo. Dry shampoo does not cleanse your hair; it only absorbs the oil on your scalp, thus preventing oiliness.
Opt for co-washing
Co-washing is another alternative to shampooing your hair. Co-washing means using conditioner to wash your locks. This is especially useful for those with coarse hair. They get to clean their scalp and moisturize their mane at the same time. When co-washing, you apply the conditioner to your scalp the same way you apply shampoo.
Scrub your scalp gently and let the conditioner sit on your hair for a while. Then rinse it off and let it dry. While co-washing, you should avoid sulfate-based or silicone-based conditioners. These products will build up on your strands, thus leaving your hair looking lifeless and limp.
Wash with only water
You can also rinse your hair with only water, especially if it has dust or dirt. But, you should only do this in between wash days. Besides, if your scalp is oily, you should not try this method as it will make your hair appear lifeless.
As you can see, there is no “one size fits all” for how often you should shampoo your hair. How dirty your mane is depended on your scalp’s sebum, lifestyle, hair type, etc. But, you should not overwash or under wash your mane. If you overwash, you expose your locks to chronic dryness. On the other hand, if you under wash, your hair is prone to product build-up. This guide lets you know the shampoo schedule for your hair texture.