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How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Our hair is one of the most important parts of our body. It plays a big role in our self-esteem, our confidence and our overall appearance. Having healthy hair that not only looks good but also feels good could make the world of difference when it comes to exuding confidence and style. One of the biggest impacts on your hair’s health is your washing regime. How often you wash your hair can have a direct impact on its appearance and strength, which is why we’ve taken an extensive look into finding the perfect balance when it comes to washing your hair.

If you’re interested in making your hair as healthy and shiny as you can and want insight into the right hair-washing frequency for you, then this is the article for you. Read on for our complete guide to understanding how often you should wash your hair.

What influences how often you have to wash your hair?

When it comes to how often should you wash your hair, there is no one answer. How often you should wash your hair is entirely dependent on numerous factors. Different aspects of your hair play a role in how often you should wash your hair. These factors are:

Type of hair

Hair types are generally categorized as straight, wavy, curly and coily. Your hair type can also be influenced by whether or not you have chemically treated your hair, e.g. whether you have virgin hair or dyed/bleached hair. Generally, individuals with chemically treated hair should wash their hair less frequently as it's prone to dryness. Curly and coily hair should also be washed less frequently as the natural oils from the scalp take longer to reach the hair shaft.

Use of styling products

If you use styling products regularly, e.g. daily, you will likely need to wash your hair more frequently. This is due to the fact products can build up around the scalp and make your hair appear greasy.

Hair length

As a general rule, people with shorter hair tend to need to wash their hair more often than individuals with long hair. This is because oil can disperse more easily through short hair, making short hair appear oilier quicker.

Hair thickness

Similarly to the above, if you have thin hair, you may need to wash your hair more frequently, e.g. 3 times a week, as oil can spread more easily in thin hair compared to thick hair.

Activity level

Your daily activities can impact how often should you wash your hair. For example, if you regularly work out or engage in physical activities such as running, you may need to wash the sweat from your hair more frequently. Also, if you work in an environment with a lot of oil, such as a commercial kitchen, you may need to wash your hair more frequently than someone who, for example, works in a slow-paced office.

How to find out your hair type

If you’re now wondering what type of hair you have so you can correctly know how often to wash your hair, then there are ways you can check this for yourself. Assessing your hair type is essential for cultivating the appropriate routine and hair products necessary for encouraging healthy hair. The tests you can do at home are listed below:

1. The Strand Test

This test is designed to determine how thick your hair is. You start by taking one singular strand of hair between your two fingers and rubbing them together. If you can:

- NOT feel it: You have thin hair.

- CAN feel it: You have medium hair.

- It feels THICK/COARSE: You have thick hair.

It's important to examine the strands individually as you can have thin hair but still have lots of it so it appears thick and full but when you look at it individually each strand is fine.

2. The Stretch Test

This test is to check the condition of your hair. You take a strand of hair in your hands and stretch it out. If it:

- BREAKS immediately: You have low elasticity which means your hair isn’t as healthy as it could be.

- STRETCHES to 50% of its original length: You have high elasticity and healthier hair.

If your hair is weak you may want to look into strengthening products as well as find out if it is because you wash or brush it too much.

Hair washing frequency

Your hair-washing routine can have a direct impact on not only your hair’s health but also your scalp. Healthy hair and scalp are important for many reasons and should be prioritised whenever possible. A healthy head of hair can improve your confidence and self-esteem which may have a positive effect on your overall mental health.

Is it unhealthy to wash your hair every day?

You may be wondering, is it bad to wash your hair every day? It is unlikely you need to wash your hair every day, even if you have short, thin hair, washing your hair once every 2-3 days is advisable. Washing your hair too often can cause the natural oils in your scalp to under or overproduce, leaving you with either overly oily or dry hair.

Is it better to not wash your hair?

Although washing your hair too often isn't healthy, it is still important to regularly wash your hair to ensure good hair and scalp health. Unhealthy hair and scalp cause hair fibres to be weaker and this loss in strength and hold can cause increased hair loss even prematurely. By taking care of your hair you’re ensuring it lasts longer and reduces the likeliness of unwanted thinning and bald patches.

Signs you could look for that suggest your hair needs washing are:

  • A matted, oily look
  • Hair appears dirty
  • A dull appearance
  • The scalp has a noticeable build-up of products

How many times are you supposed to wash your hair a week?

Experts generally advise washing your hair 2-3 times a week. However, as we've explored above, some factors can influence this.

Below is a breakdown of how often you should be washing your hair based on your hair type, product use and lifestyle:

  • If you regularly use hair product – 2-3 times a week
  • If you use heating tools a lot or experience a lot of dryness – once a week
  • If you have damaged hair caused by heat – every 5-7 days
  • If you sweat a lot – 2-3 times a week
  • If your style your hair daily – 1-2 times a week
  • Suffer from dandruff – twice a week (or daily if necessary)
  • Signs you’re washing too often

Fortunately, there are signs you may look for that let you know you are washing your hair too often and it’s time to change your hair wash schedule. These are:

  • Increase in split-ends
  • Appears less shiny
  • Increase in dandruff
  • An itchy/dry scalp
  • Appears frizzier

How to go longer between washes

If you’ve now realised your hair would be better suited to waiting for longer between hair washes, then there are ways that you can do this. These simple adjustments can help train your hair to last longer between needing its next wash. Some of these are:

  • Pick the right shampoo – find a shampoo that is suited to your hairstyle
  • Don’t condition your roots – use as little product on your scalp as possible
  • Spend more time on your blow-dry – a classic bouncy look will set it in place for longer
  • Prep your hair for bed – prep it right, for example twisting it to create curls or pinning it up to keep a blow dry in place, to avoid the need to style it in the morning
  • Don’t touch it – messing with it too much makes it greasier because of the oils from your fingertips
  • Dry shampoo in the evening – do it at night so it has time to sink in
  • Brush it – brushing it distributes the oils to the length of your hair not just your scalp

These should all help you to keep your hair looking fresher for longer and make it appear less greasy to need washing more frequently. Try implementing these and see how long you can go between washes.

How do I shampoo my hair for the best results?

If you're trying to reduce how often you wash your hair, it may be beneficial to shampoo your hair twice on the days you do wash your hair. The first wash will remove product build-up and sweat and then the second wash will cleanse your hair shaft. This may not be necessary, however, if you have thin, dry hair or do not use hair products.

With this helpful guide, we hope that you can apply our advice to your hair regime and understand know how often you should wash your hair as well as any adjustments you need to make for a healthier head of hair and scalp. If you want to invest in better hair care products with your new secrets to gorgeous, shiny hair then visit our goodies at OZ Hair and Beauty.