How Often Should You Wash Your Hair

how often should you wash your hair
how often should you wash your hair


Are you constantly pondering over how often you should wash your hair? You’re not alone! Many people struggle with finding the right balance between maintaining scalp cleanliness and avoiding dry, dull hair. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it largely depends on several factors. In this article, we will discuss the various considerations that can help you determine the ideal frequency for washing your hair.

When to wash

According to Dr. Anthony Rossi, an assistant attending dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, most individuals should aim to wash their hair once or twice per week. However, if you have undergone chemical treatments like bleaching, perms, or relaxers, it’s advisable to wash your hair less frequently to prevent damage such as brittleness or split ends.

If your scalp tends to be oily, you may need to wash it as often as once a day. The American Academy of Dermatology Association’s website suggests that during puberty, hormonal surges can cause enlarged oil glands, leading to oily scalps. Therefore, adolescents may benefit from washing their hair more frequently.

It’s worth noting that as we age, our scalps produce less oil. Additionally, individuals with thick, curly hair typically do not need to wash their hair as frequently as those with other hair types. While daily or weekly washing is unnecessary, it is recommended to wash thick, curly hair at least every two to three weeks to maintain scalp and hair hygiene.

What to do in between washes

Hair and scalp care should not be limited to shower time. There are several steps you can take between washes to keep your hair clean, healthy, and protected. Here are some suggestions:

  • Scalp hygiene: Take care of your scalp by combing your hair regularly to loosen dead skin cells and debris. Massaging your scalp can also help in removing debris effectively. While you don’t necessarily need to wash your hair with shampoo every time, keeping it clean is essential. You can use leave-in conditioner or scalp oils to nourish and moisturize your scalp.

  • Sweating: If you exercise regularly and sweat, there’s no need to shampoo your hair every time unless there’s an overgrowth of bacteria or an unpleasant smell. Rinsing with water can be sufficient in such cases.

  • Dry shampoos: Although most dry shampoos are considered safe for hair, it’s advisable not to rely on them too often. They can be useful in emergencies, but it’s important to wash them out to prevent product buildup on the scalp.

  • Excess oil: If you notice excess oil around your hairline, you can use cosmetic blotting papers to absorb the oil.

  • Swimming: Chlorine in pools can make your hair dry and brittle. To protect your hair, wet and condition it before swimming, wear a snug swim cap, and immediately after swimming, use a shampoo and deep conditioner specially formulated for swimmers to replenish lost moisture.

If you experience persistent issues with your scalp or hair, such as dandruff, hair loss, or brittle hair, it’s advisable to consult a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in these areas.


How often should I wash my hair if I have dry hair?

If you have dry hair, it generally doesn’t need to be washed daily or even weekly. Washing it every two to three weeks is typically sufficient to maintain scalp and hair cleanliness without exacerbating dryness.

Can I use dry shampoo instead of washing my hair?

Dry shampoos can be a convenient option in certain situations, but they should not replace regular hair washing. It’s important to wash out dry shampoo to prevent buildup on the scalp.

How does age affect how frequently I should wash my hair?

As we age, our scalps produce less oil. Therefore, older individuals may not need to wash their hair as frequently as younger individuals. It’s important to find the right balance based on your scalp’s natural oil production and personal preference.

For more information about hair care and other frequently asked questions, visit Top Q&A.


Determining how often to wash your hair is a personal endeavor, influenced by factors such as hair type, scalp oiliness, and activity levels. While there are general guidelines, it’s essential to experiment and find a routine that works best for you. Remember to prioritize scalp hygiene, protect your hair in between washes, and consult a dermatologist for persistent issues.

Article by Top Q&A

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