I love to wash my hair on a daily basis because I want my mane to smell great. But I noticed that my strands are looking a bit dull and dry. I changed my shampoo but the results were the same. That is until my friend asked me how often do I wash my hair? I was taken aback, to be honest, but it was a good question. How often should you wash your hair?
How Does Shampoo Work?
Most shampoos wash your hair using detergents that are designed specifically for the job. What these detergents do is to remove the oils, dirt, sweat, and residues from the hair products that you have been using. Since the sebum that our scalp produces cannot be removed with water alone, you will need to wash with the right hair shampoo. The detergent molecules work like a surfactant which makes it easier to remove the oil buildup. These molecules will bind to dirt and oil so that, when you rinse your hair, they will be removed as well.
What’s Making Your Hair Dirty?
Our hair needs washing from time to time, but what exactly is causing our mane to become dirty?
Our scalp produces sebum naturally. But there are instances when there an excess production of oils happening. Among these are combing your hair several times a day with a dirty brush, you touch your strands often, or you are using the wrong shampoo for your hair type. Unfortunately, too much oil can make your hair appear greasy and flat. Add to this the fact that sometimes go for days without cleaning your mane and you are bound to leave your scalp dehydrated and in need of much-needed hydration.
Sweat can also contribute to making your hair appear dirty because it is a mixture of water and salt. When you don’t wash your hair after you work out, you are running the risk of drying your hair, which can lead to your scalp and strands smelling funky. If you are living an active lifestyle, it is best that you follow a good hair care routine.
Physical Dirt or Pollen
If you have been spending some time outdoors or have been cleaning your space, pollen and dirt will most likely attach themselves to your hair. Mix them with sweat and oils and you will find that you have dirty strands demanding to be washed.
Yes, styling products can be considered as culprits to making your hair in need of a good washing. This is because of the ingredients that they contain that can leave you with oily hair. Waxes, serums, and creams act like emollient which can weigh your mane down and clog your pores even, thus leading to more sebum being produced.
How Often Should You Actually Wash Your Hair?
How often should you wash your mane will depend mostly on the type of hair that you have. Not everyone has the same hair type hence there are specific products used for a specific hair type. It is better that you are able to identify what kind of hair you have so you will know how often you need to wash it. Just to give you an idea, here’s what experts are saying with regards to hair care.
Thin Hair: Every Other Day
If you have thin or oily hair, experts recommend that you wash your strands every other day. This is because the oils that your scalp produces tend to reach the tips quickly, giving them that greasy appearance. Even those with straight hair are more likely to have greasy hair hence they need proper cleaning. You can use an anti-dandruff shampoo if you don’t want to wash your hair often as the formula will help tone down the amount of sebum being produced by your scalp.
Perfect Shampoos for Thin Hair
- Davines Volu Shampoo.
A paraben free shampoo that makes use of turnip extract to lift hair from the roots to add volume. It is gentle enough to be used on a daily basis too. Experts do recommend using dry shampoo in between washing, but with this one? You don’t even need to use a conditioner after since your hair will be smooth and easy to detangle. If you have long hair though you can a small amount of conditioner on the ends of your strands to make it more manageable.
- NatureLab Tokyo Volume Shampoo.
If you are looking for a cheap shampoo for thin hair this one is for you. It is made from rice protein to add volume as well as soy protein to add make your fine hair appear thicker. The shampoo’s lightweight feature is important since you don’t want your thin hair to lose whatever volume it has. The moisturizing elements that are also included in this shampoo will not weigh your hair down.
- Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo.
Another option to consider for washing your fine strands is this volumizing shampoo fro Sachajuan. What it does is add more structure to your strands while strengthening them too so they won’t be prone to breakage. If you want to give your fine strands added texture use a sea-salt mist spray. This is non-drying because there is sugar mixed into it to prevent the moisture from being sucked out.
Thick Hair: Every Couple of Days
How often you should wash your hair when it is dry or medium-thick? Every two to three days will suffice. Washing your hair frequently can actually strip your strands of its oils, leaving them to become dull, dry, and prone to breakage. If you are not comfortable with the idea that you won’t be washing your hair regularly, try a sulfate-free shampoo instead.
Perfect Shampoos for Thick Hair
- Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Shampoo.
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This shampoo is made from protein that makes your strands stronger and less prone to frizz. The combination of citrus protein, plant and fruit extracts, and vitamins B3 and B6 all contribute to making your mane look gorgeous. It has a nice and soothing scent to it that lasts for a while. The key ingredient in this product is the Moroccan argan oil because its fatty acids help moisturize the strands, prevents frizz, and brings back the natural shine too.
- Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo.
Maple Holistics Argan Oil shampoo is designed to bring back the natural oils to your hair and scalp to rejuvenate and strengthen your strands. It is a sulfate-free shampoo that packs quite the holistic set of oils such as avocado, argan, almond, jojoba, and peach kernel just to name a few. This works perfectly if you have dry or damaged hair since the oils will nourish the damaged strands until they become strong and healthy once more.
- Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Shampoo.
If your thick hair becomes frizzy because of split ends, it is high time that you hydrate it. Pureology moisturizing shampoo gently cleans your mane from within. Each strand will be receiving its much-needed nourishment so that your mane will be softer and smoother to the touch. It makes use of Hydrating-Emulsion technology that revitalizes and enhances your mane so that it will appear healthier and stronger too. The combination of aloe vera extract and jojoba oil helps seal in the moisture on your strands so there will be less frizz to deal with.
Textured Hair: Once a Week
Textured or curly hair will need to be washed once a week. This is because the oils coming from your scalp will take some time before it reaches the tips of your mane. This is why those with textured hair don’t have to worry about greasy mane unlike those whose hair are just super fine. Although you don’t technically need to wet your hair every day, you shouldn’t go beyond a week without giving your mane a good cleaning. This is because your scalp will produce more sebum which can leave your strands looking a bit greasy.
Perfect Shampoos for Textured Hair
- Mizani True Textures Moisture Replenish Shampoo.
Curly or textured hair may be sorely lackng in the moisture department which is why you should grab this product. It is a co washing product that helps clean your scalp from any buildup while delivering plenty of moisture at the same time. The cleansing agents do their job very well of removing any excess oils, dirt, and sweat.
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo.
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This sulfate-free formula helps in keeping your textured hair soft and manageable. The shea butter helps soften your hair strands while the neem oil is the one responsible for keeping frizz at bay. The coconut oil, on the other hand, can protect your mane from UV rays, dust, dirt, and pollutants.
- Innersense Hydrating Creme Hairbath.
If you prefer using a hair product that contains organic ingredients, try Innersense. It is a sulfate-free and gentle hair product that makes use of tamanu oil to hydrate, strengthen, and regenerate your strands. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals like parabens and sulfates.
Should anyone shampoo daily?
Hair experts agree that those who need to shampoo their mane every day are those who follow an active lifestyle, are living in humid countries, and those who have super fine strands. Even those who have oily scalp can benefit from shampooing their hair on a daily basis to regulate sebum production.
What happens if you:
Under-wash your hair
So, you have decided that you will skip washing your hair because you don’t want to end up with a too oily scalp, or you are just way too busy to take a bath every few days. Yes, dry shampoo is your best friend, but using it too much can have a negative effect on your strands. The same goes true if you skip cleaning your mane thoroughly. Hair washing is necessary to get rid of the gunk and excess oils, but if you have been underwashing, you can expect th following:
- Grime will start to buildup on your scalp.
- Prevent hair from growing normally since the scalp is hampered by the residues of your styling products, sweat, oil, and dirt.
- Hair can get damaged because it is not getting nutrients.
- Your mane will smell bad especially if you are an active individual.
Over-wash your hair
What about overwashing your hair? Well, the usual problem with hair washing five times a week or every day even can actually do your strands more harm than good. This is because you are removing the natural oils that are coating them leaving to become dry and prone to breakage. When your scalp becomes dry, you will be dealing with dandruff and itching too. Other side effects will include:
- Imbalanced microbiome on the scalp
- Fungi and other bacteria will thrive
- Cause inflammation and acne on the scalp
- Dull and limp strands
- Scalp issues can occur
How often should I wash my mane? Who would have thought that this would generate quite a buzz! I wasn’t really aware that there is a specific frequency for each hair type and that there were side effects to underwashing and even over washing one’s mane. Add to that the fact that there are different types of shampoos, conditioners, and cleansers out there that can play a part in caring for my hair. Yes, dry shampoos are included in my hair care routine, but to think that I have been taking care of my mane the wrong way is surprising.
Now that I understand how beneficial shampooing my hair is and how many times it needs to be done in a week helped me have a better looking mane. I think it pays to be more careful with what products you are using on your hair as well as the frequency in which you clean it. Hopefully, you can use this as a guide to determining what washing method will work for your own mane so you will be able to care for yours in the long run.
About the AuthorLeah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.
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