How Often Should You Wash Your Hair? [Answered]

how often one should wash their hair

Hair the most beautifying crown gifted to human. It enhances and amplifies the beauty of the face to infinity. This tender body part needs to be taken good care of. In the hustle of our everyday schedule we are left with very less or no time to take care of our hair. Also, the pollution level in the air makes the situation worse.

The human hair is made up of a tough protein called Keratin. Each strand is anchored by hair follicle into the skin and the base of the hair follicle is formed by the hair bulb. The blood vessels nourish the cells inside the hair bulb and also deliver hormones that play the major role in modification of hair growth and also structure at times.

Why does hair gets oily?

The glands in the skin produce an oily substance called the sebum. The sebum helps provide moisture to the hair and keeps it from drying out. The glands producing sebum are located next to the hair follicle. So, through the hair follicle the sebum channels out to the skin and then to the scalp. The amount of sebum production depends on every individual’s hormones.

What factors influence how often one should wash their hair?

Every individual has different factors which determines how often one need to wash their hair. Below mentioned are the key factors which helps one determine how often it is required for them to wash off their hair:


The major reason why one washes off their hair is excess of oil onto the scalp. Oil onto the scalp can leave the hair limp and clumpy. The amount of oil onto the scalp differs for every individual. The age group that is most affected by this is the teenagers and the adults till their 30’s. The content of sebum is higher in this age group. With age, the scalp eventually starts becoming dry.

Some people have very fragile and thin hair, so with every washing their hair tend to become weaker and gets damaged easily. These people might wash their hair every alternate week as well. On the other hand there are people who produce enough oil that they might need to wash it off on daily basis. However, the majority washes their hair every couple of days.

Hair Type

People who have straight and thin hair needs to wash them off frequently, while those who have curly or wavy hair can wash it at a longer interval. The straight hair gets easily coated by sebum, which tends to make the hair look greasy much faster. On the other hand the sebum doesn’t coat easily onto thick, curly or wavy hair, leaving the hair dry. As curly hair needs more moisture to stay soft and frizz free so sebum plays an important role to moisten them up and provide with beautiful and well defined curls.

Over washing of hair should be avoided especially with harsh shampoos as it can damage the hair and lead to major hair loss as well. The situation gets worse when the harsh shampoo gets combined with chemical treatments or hair styles which tug at the root. Those who are blessed with tight curls or textured hair should wash their hair just for once a week or even every other week.

Physical Dirt or Pollen

Activities like dusting, gardening, cleaning and other messy activities tend to make the hair dirty and require a wash. As, while performing such activities the dirt, pollen, dust all gets trapped onto the hair. And these foreign particles tend to make the hair look dull and also it sometime becomes the root cause of many allergies.


Sweat is undoubtedly one of the major factors. The amount of sweat produced by the body is a big factor to determine how often one needs to wash or rinse off their hair. Sweat acts as a medium of travel for the sebum which eventually makes the hair look and feel dirty. It takes away the freshness of the hair and even at times makes the hair smell. It is advisable to shampoo after rigorous and sweaty workouts and after those times when you wear a hat or helmet for longer duration.

Styling Products

The usage of styling products eventually builds up on the scalp which leads to irritation and damage of the scalp. Heavy and frequent usage of such products is harmful and one needs to wash their hair more frequently.

How Does Shampoo Works?

Shampoo traps all the oil produced by sebum and hence leaving the scalp and skin dry i.e. oil free. Shampoo consists of surfactants which are basically soaps that helps remove scalp. Shampoo also contains sulfates which produce rich lather which helps remove all the oil from the hair. If done too frequently there is a higher chance that one might dry their hair out and leaving it prone to damage and breakage.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair

How many times should one wash their hair every week?

For those who have dry hair, it is advisable to wash off their hair to a maximum of two times a week and that too with a shampoo which has sulphate free surfactants and also higher concentration of moisturizers like glycerin and sodium PCA; which will all help to mitigate and reduce dehydration.

  • Extremely oily hair should be washed off every day with the help of extra mild surface shampoo which has sulphate free surfactants and no extra conditioning agents added to it like silicones, oils or any other pearlising agents.
  • People with normal hair should wash off their hair as often as needed with a shampoo based out on the formula which has extra mild sulphate free surfactant along with moderate levels of some moisturizing ingredients like sodium PCA and glycerin.
  • For Brunettes, the extra dosage of shampoo makes their hair dehydrated which draws the pigment out.
  • People with curly hair can manage a non – greasy look for a little longer than the people with normal hair; so they can go a little longer without washing.
  • Also, those with shorter hair length can afford to wash their hair even on a daily basis as they don’t suffer the wear and tear of the styling.

Who can shampoo on a daily basis?

There is a marginal group of people who have excess content of sebum production in their body, which eventually leads to extremely oily scalp. Also, as it is known that oil attracts dirt and sweat very instantly; so it is advisable for them to wash off their hair daily with shampoo.

Also, those who do rigorous workout sessions; for them too it is advisable to shampoo on a daily basis.

Also, there are people who think that they have extremely dry scalp, because they have developed dandruff; even for them it is required to shampoo on a daily basis to get rid of the dandruff.

Also check: Natural Heat Protectant | How to use a Diffuser

Who all can manage a few days without washing?

The people, who have really thick hair, have lesser amount of sebum production, which leads to lesser oily scalp. And, it is pretty evident that the less the oil, the less one needs to shampoo.

Also, people with dry hair or curly hair can also go for days without washing frequently and without problems as well.

How much should one wash?

For the majority of class; the sebum production is on an average basis; and therefore they can manage two to three oil free days.

For them they need to wash off their hair every two to three days.

Moreover, there is no hard and fast schedule which one needs to follow for washing of their hair.

If one feels like the hair is visibly oily or the scalp is itching and troubling or even if there is any flaking due to dirt. Under such circumstances, it is always advisable to shampoo up the hair.

How long is too long to not shampoo?

Whenever one get the hair styled, they can get away for a longer time without lathering up.

Before going under any blow out or heated styling tool, it is always advisable to keep the hair crisp clean; as it will make the hair last a little longer, make it look much better and one will need the stressors less often.

If one gets the hair styled with keratin treatment or one have a blow out; the individual might not need to wash the hair more than once a week.

Most importantly; no matter how good you feel about your hair; never ever go any longer than a span of 14 days.

As long as one doesn’t have any scalp problem or any itchiness; it is totally fine to wash off hair once a week.

It is never advisable to wash off hair too frequently unless required.

How can one go longer between washes?

The market today is filled with tons and thousands of products which definitely help one to extend the interval between washes.

And, people are definitely coming up with numerous methods to keep hair good. There are times when people use powder onto the scalp so that it absorbs the oil and don’t let he oil set on the scalp. Everyone has a different threshold regarding to how oily or how texturized they want their hair to feel.

Sweat is definitely the salt composition emitted out of the body; so it is definitely required to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Usage of dry shampoo provides freshness to the hair; it also provides a boom of volume at the roots.

It is also advisable to spray dry shampoo onto the roots as root is accumulation centre for all the oil and dirt. It is preferred to spray at the hair line and the nape of the neck.

Dry shampoo is definitely a gift. It is used by stylist to achieve a fresh blowout for lift. Also by spraying of dry shampoo just before going to bed helps absorb all the excess oil over the night.

So the number or frequency of every individual’s hair wash routine depends largely onto hair type, lifestyle and personal preferences as well.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding the number of times one needs to wash hair. If one is a regular gym freak, goes to swimming, resides in extremely polluted environment, gets hair colored often; for such people it is advisable to wash off their hair a little too frequently as compared to the rest.

Also have a look: Shampoos for Gray Hair

Is shampooing really inevitable?

There is no medical need to shampoo in general as one can easily e=rinse off the dirt and dandruff with water itself. However, there are quite a few health conditions which get sorted by the use of shampoo.

People who have developed parasitic infections onto the scalp- they are supposed to use special shampoos to get rid f the bugs.

Scalp psoriasis also improves with the usage of special shampoo particularly with the one’s containing tar product or medicated shampoo. On the other hand, too much of shampoo usage may also lead to eczema, extremely dry skin and even dandruff.

How many times one should wash hair to let it grows faster?

The frequency of using a shampoo totally depends on the scalp type. If the scalp is oily, one needs to wash it once a day, but if one doesn’t have oily hair one can consider washing off their hair every alternative day or in every three days.  If the scalp is dry then instead of avoiding using  shampoo it is advisable to change the shampoo type to the one’s which consists of a good amount of moisturizer which also helps in removal of all the residue from the hair.

Also, shampoo some shampoo consists of great amount of amino acids to help the hair rejuvenate of the proteins which might have got lost because of the extreme damage. A conditioner that’s heavy on the hair leaves the hair with a greasy feel.

Brushing up the hair at night using a natural boar bristled brush, will help the hair style for prolonged duration. Also, the bristles of the brush will help move the natural oil from the roots to other areas and that will definitely add on to good hair health.

Moreover, it is a common myth that the hair growth is directly dependent on the frequency of shampooing. But, this myth holds totally wrong, as no matter how many times a week one washes off their hair, it doesn’t grow on a faster rate with the usage of the shampoo. As, the capacity of the hair is just between ½ to 1 ½ inches every month.

How often one needs to wash off their hair to reduce dandruff?

Dandruff is the most common problem faced by the majority of clan. Anxiety and stress are also key promoters of dandruff onto the scalp.  And to get rid of the dandruff it is very hard to pin that how often should one wash off their hair. Some believes in washing them off daily while there are others who say that there’s no harm in going for a few days without washing. Depending solely on the scalp and hair type one have; at times over washing and under washing might cause issues like dandruff, dryness or greasy scalp. Here’s a small list regarding how to get hair washing right.

Washing of curly hair to reduce dandruff:

With a curly hair type, the sebum travels along the hair shaft at a slower rate, which certainly means that the individual can go for up to five days or even a week without washing.  If over washed, it might help strip the scalp of the natural oil and hence providing it its shape and much definition.  Curls look drier than straight hair; also, the production of sebum might lead to visibility of dandruff symptoms. This issue can certainly be resolved by using oil balance shampoo to keep the natural oil of the scalp intact and on a balanced scale. Check out: Body Wash for Sensitive Skin

-Washing of fine hair to reduce dandruff:

On straight and fine hair the sebum is pretty noticeable and even it develops at a quicker pace compared to other hair types. So, it is advisable to wash the scalp and hair in every two to three days. One should opt for a shampoo that adds body to the hair instead of just cleansing the scalp.

-Washing of thick hair to reduce dandruff:

Thicker hair quality means presence of abundant protein and also a strong internal structure, which let one go off for a few days without shampoo. Also, thick hair is good absorber of moisture, which leads to frizzy hair in humid weather and also the hair tend to fray when heavily brushed. It is very easy to manage thick hair without much of a hassle.

So, as a whole there is no ground rule on to how frequently one should wash their hair, it all depends on the different hair types, the area one resides in and all on the lifestyle. Apart from shampoo it is advisable to nourish the hair on a regular basis to strengthen the roots as well to have happy and healthy hair.

Magda Du Plessis

I am a writer for more than 6 years. A mother of three, and full time writer. I love writing and making sure that everyone has all the beauty tips to be as beautiful as can be.

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