How Often Should You Really Be Washing Your Hair?
Many of us have the belief that the less you wash your hair, the better. But this isn’t necessarily true. For some people, not washing your hair regularly can be doing more harm than good.
So why do we think washing your hair often is such a terrible thing? In the past few decades, we saw consumers and brands jump on research that suggested that some hair care ingredients may cause cancer or can severely damage the hair. This lead to movements where women washed their hair less and less or even gave up shampoo entirely to devastating results.
Times Are Changing
So How Often Should You Be Washing Your Hair?
The answer to how often is no longer based on avoiding harmful ingredients in shampoo but more to do with your personal circumstances and preferences. We must be aware that washing your hair is a critical part of a hair care routine. Although sebum is a great natural conditioner, leaving it on the scalp for too long can clog the hair follicle and cause hair loss. Even worse, bacteria can thrive in the build up of grease, producing odour, dandruff and even more hair loss. It's important that we find the right balance between washing too often and not washing enough.
Sweat and Humidity
If you regularly head to the gym or live in a humid climate, it'd be best to wash every day to remove the buildup of sweat in your hair. Although sweat has some moisturising properties, it also contains sodium, and when left unwashed, dehydrates your hair and scalp.
Fine or Thin HairFine or thin hair spreads oil along the strands quicker than other hair types. If you have this hair type, you can opt to wash your hair as regularly as every day, so long as you use a gentle shampoo with mild detergents. If you prefer not to wash daily, a dry shampoo is a great alternative in between washes. You must, however, make sure to wash your hair within a day or two of dry shampooing to remove the chemicals laying on your scalp that can lead to irritation.
Normal, Unprocessed Hair
If you have this hair type, lucky you! It's the most low-maintenance of all hair types! It doesn't get oily too quickly and holds moisture well. You'll find that you only need to wash every other day or less.
Thick, Curly or Processed Hair
My Shampoo Recommendations
I've tried over a hundred different shampoos over the years (I've been battling a haircare shopping addiction since I got my first job back in high school) and I've compiled a list of my favourite shampoos for daily, every other day and once weekly washing. I tend to gravitate towards mid to high-end hair care products as the quality makes a huge difference to my hair. Sulphate-free/Paraben-free products will also tend to cost more as they require more complex formulations and it is almost always well worth the higher price tag.
YAROK Feed Your Moisture Shampoo - It’s so gentle that you can use it daily and it contains a bunch of botanicals, vitamins and minerals to improve your hair as you wash. I brought this with me when I travelled through Thailand and China and needed to wash my hair every single day.
John Masters Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo - This shampoo is another great gentle option. They even left out fragrance altogether as synthetic fragrance is slightly drying to the hair. It also contains 14 plant extracts and oils which are always necessary for a daily shampoo!
Every Other Day
Once or Twice a Week
Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo - This one is very powerful and removes the build-up of sebum and product residue that tends to occur when you don’t wash your hair often enough. I love how my hair feels after this but I'd only use it if I haven't washed my hair in at least 4 or 5 days, or if I'm trying to wash silicones out of my hair. The shampoo is part of the invati™ system that claims to reduce reduce hair fall by unclogging and stimulating your hair follicles. I haven't committed to these products long enough in order to see an effect. I absolutely love this shampoo though!
Ouidad Waterworks Clarifying Shampoo - My favourite for summer. The shampoo is designed for curly hair but I find it to be the best one I've tried for washing out all the gunk left behind by sea water, chlorine and any product buildup. It's super gentle, works well for coloured hair and won't dry your hair out either.