Deciding How Often to Wash Your Hair: Tips and Best Practices

Things that can make your hair dirty include sweat from heat, seasonal shifts, and exercise. This means you need to wash your hair, but how frequently? This article teaches you tips and practices to keep your hair healthy and clean.

Why Is It Important to Wash Your Hair?
Washing your hair allows you to cleanse your scalp and hair strands. Cleansing your scalp is similar to cleansing the skin on your face, as it removes oil, dirt, and debris.

However, over washing your hair can result in itching, dryness, and loss. This is because over washing removes sebum, which is a naturally nourishing oil secreted from the hair follicle root on the scalp. Removing this oil too frequently can irritate the scalp and damage the hair.

How Often Experts Recommend Washing Your Hair?
Your hair-washing frequency depends on your hair type and scalp condition. For example, doctors recommend that people with oily or scalp wash their hair more frequently than those with drier hair. Daily washing might also be beneficial if you have fine hair.

Other lifestyle factors can also affect your hair-washing frequency, such as:

  • Your exercise frequency
  • Working a job where you’re exposed to chemicals and dust
  • Swimming in a chlorinated pool
  • If you chemically treat your hair
  • Using hair products that can cause buildup

Your hair-washing practices may also differ depending on your ethnicity. For example, people of African descent have asymmetrical elliptical-shaped hair follicles, which prevent sebum from traveling from the scalp to the hair, resulting in more dryness and breakage. As such, daily washing should be avoided.

Furthermore, a 2021 study examining people of Asian descent discovered that the most satisfaction with hair and scalp condition happened after washing five to six times weekly.

What Is The Right Way to Wash Your Hair?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you should focus on massaging the shampoo into your scalp while sudsing up. This allows the shampoo to clean your scalp as it runs through your hair while rinsing. It also promotes blood flow that nourishes your scalp and hair follicles.

You must also leave the massaged-in shampoo on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing to let the active ingredients work efficiently. This should be followed up with conditioner at the ends of your hair.

Your hair-washing frequency depends on multiple factors, such as hair type, scalp condition, and ethnicity. Please consult your doctor on how often it should be and the best shampoo type to use.