Having shiny, healthy hair is everyone’s goal, but there’s a lot of debate about how often to wash your hair. Should it be done every day? Every other day? Or maybe even less often?
To clear up the confusion, we asked some experts to weigh in on the debate and provide their recommendations on how often you should wash your hair.
How often you should wash your hair depends on what type of hair it is, whether you have an oily scalp, and depending on what activities you do.
What do dermatologists say about how often to wash your hair?
Dr. Anthony Rossi, a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), recommended washing your hair two to four times a week.
If you have undergone chemical treatments such as bleaching or perming, Rossi recommends not washing your hair more than once a week, because these actions dry out your hair. Doing so will keep it radiant, prevent breakage and prevent split ends.
Is it important to thoroughly wash the scalp? Know your hair care
Scalps slow down natural oil production with age, the AAD said, so many people may have more or less scalp oil depending on age.
“During puberty there is an increase in hormones, so sebaceous glands can increase in size. It’s one of the reasons why people get acne in adolescence,” Rossi explained.
The dermatologist said that young people’s scalps contain a higher level of sebum during puberty, so daily washing can alleviate the skin condition.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a person with an oily fine hair and scalp may need to wash it once a day.
People with coarse or curly hair do not need to wash their hair daily, sometimes not even weekly. Their research showed that people with curly or coarse hair are very likely to experience dryness or breakage, while continuing to wash it frequently could worsen the condition of the hair.
How can I maintain my hair when it’s not a wash day?
There are a number of things you can do to clean and care for your hair on non-wash days to keep it clean, protected from damage and looking great.
“At the very least, massaging the skin on your scalp will also help you loosen residue. So you don’t necessarily have to shampoo it per se, but keeping it clean is very helpful,” Rossi expressed.
“You can also use leave-in conditioner or scalp oils to help nourish and moisturize the scalp,” the dermatologist added.
Does exercising also affect the frequency of hair washing?
Rossi suggested that if you sweat a lot because of physical exercise, you don’t have to shampoo your hair every day, only when there is an overgrowth of bacteria, or you start to notice a bad scalp odor. The expert recommended cleaning it with water.
On the other hand, if you practice swimming without wearing a protective cap, the chlorine can dry out your hair and make it brittle.
So what can you do if you swim and want to take care of your hair? The AAD recommends protecting your hair by conditioning and moisturizing it before swimming, wearing a matching swim cap, and adding a little extra protection by using a special shampoo and conditioner for swimmers.
How to take better care of your hair after washing it?
“If you have very oily hair, it’s good in a pinch. But you have to wash it out. You don’t want it to build up on the scalp,” Rossi said, adding that you shouldn’t overuse dry shampoo.
If, on the other hand, you notice excess bait in the contours of the hair, you can use a cosmetic paper according to your skin to remove the excess oil.
Rossi advised that if you suspect problems with dandruff, hair loss or brittle hair, you should consult a professional dermatologist.