How Many Times a Week Should You Wash Your Hair?

Medically Reviewed on 7/8/2021
how often to wash your hair
How often should you wash your hair? It depends on your hair type, lifestyle, and other factors

When it comes to how often to wash your hair, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the type of hair you have, your lifestyle, and other factors.

Just as you may use different products for different hair types, your shampooing habits should be guided by your hair type. General guidelines for hair washing frequency are as follows:

  • Oily hair: Every day to prevent the buildup of dirt
  • Dry/damaged hair: Every 5-7 days to allow some of your hair’s natural oils to be retained on the scalp
  • Fine/thin hair: Every other day to provide your hair with enough moisture
  • Wavy/curly hair: Every 4-5 days, depending on the density of your hair
  • Coiled hair: Once a week for optimal hair growth

As you get older, your scalp produces less oil, so you may not need to shampoo as often.

What factors affect how often you should wash your hair?

  • Oil: You should wash your hair depending on how oily your scalp is. If you have super oily hair, you should consider washing it every day. However, dry and damaged hair should be washed less frequently.
  • Sweat: People living in a humid area or who frequently do heavy workouts may need to wash more frequently or at least rinse. Sweat can spread sebum, causing your hair to look and feel dirty.
  • Dirt or pollen: If your work involves dirt, dust, and pollen, these can get trapped in your hair, making it look dull. It can even aggravate your allergies. Frequent washing may be necessary.
  • Styling products: Styling products can build up in your scalp and lead to irritation and damage. If you use styling products every day, you may need to wash your hair more often.

Shampoo more often if you notice that your:

  • Hair is oily.
  • Scalp is oily.
  • Continue to add one shampoo day a week until you no longer see oiliness.

Shampoo less often if you notice that your:

  • Hair is dull and shedding.
  • Hair feels dry.
  • Continue to remove one shampoo slot per week until you no longer see dullness, shedding, or dryness.

How should you wash your hair?

When washing your hair, follow these simple tips to maintain healthy hair:

  • Concentrate shampoo on the scalp rather than washing the entire length of the hair. Shampooing the whole hair shaft can cause it to become dull and coarse.
  • Dilute shampoo before applying it to the scalp. Too much shampoo can damage the hair shaft.
  • Thoroughly rinse shampoo with cold water to prevent product buildup on the scalp.
  • Use conditioner after every shampoo to improve texture and strength and offer some protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • Apply conditioner on the tips of the hair and avoid the roots, as this can weigh down fine hair and make it look limp.
  • Choose a shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for your hair type. For example, if you have colored hair, use a shampoo designed for color-treated hair.
  • Protect your hair when swimming, as chlorine can have damaging effects. Wetting and conditioning your hair before and after swimming can help replace lost moisture.


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Medically Reviewed on 7/8/2021