At last: the answer to the question you’ve always wondered.
If you find yourself Googling ‘how to wash your hair‘ or ‘how often should you wash your hair?’, don’t feel silly: these are perfectly acceptable questions that most of us have dwelled upon at least once in our lifetime. But are there actually set rules that we should be following with regards to our hair care routine? The short answer: no.
Although on average in the UK people wash their hair every 2-3 days, there is no hard and fast rule as to how regularly you should wash your tresses. Ultimately, you should wash you hair as much as you need or want to: it’s completely down to personal preference.
But why do we actually need to wash our hair? Well, hair becomes greasy due to the build up of sebum, a natural oil which emanates from the sebaceous glands on your body and scalp. This accumulation of sebum is what enables dirt to cling to the strands of your hair, and we use shampoo to wash this build up away.
Still looking for more expert advice on the frequency of hair washing? You’re in luck, because we’ve put together a set of flexible guidelines (dependent on different hair types) which will provide you with information on how long you should leave between washes. Just read on to find your recommended routine!
How often should you wash your hair?
Afro or curly hair types
Afro or very curly hair is generally washed on average once a week, as it’s very dry. This is because the natural hair oils produced by the scalp are not able to easily travel all the way down the hair shaft because of the twists and turns of the curls. Washing afro or curly hair too often (like every day, for instance) could actually dry out your tresses further, making your hair more prone to breakage.
Plus, if you prefer to straighten your curly hair, then less frequent washing could work in your favour – it’ll save you a considerable amount of time that you would have otherwise lost to heated styling!
Try: the Dove Advanced Hair Series Absolute Quench Shampoo (£5.99*) and Conditioner (£5.99*), it targets dry, coarse and curly locks and its buriti oil infused formula helps with curl manageability and smoothness.
Thick or heavy hair types
If you have thick hair – or simply lots of it – you can hang on a few more days in between washes. Similarly to curly hair, your natural oils will travel down the hair shaft more slowly than those with fine hair, meaning too much washing can cause lengths and ends to look dry. A good frequency, according to our global chief editor (who has a particularly heavy head of hair!) is twice a week – but up it to three if you feel you need it.
Fine or straight hair types
Fine hair is normally washed every day to remove sebum that can weigh the hair down. Unlike afro or curly hair, fine, straight hair allows oil and sebum to spread quicker, due to the shape of the strands. Although some natural hair oils are good for your scalp, a big build up of sebum can make fine hair look greasy, flat, and limp, so you can opt to wash your hair more frequently if you wish to. Don’t want to wash every day? Try a good dry shampoo in between washes to keep hair looking and feeling fresh.
Regular gym users
If you’re a fitness fanatic and regularly attend exercise classes or go to the gym, you’ll probably find that you sweat a lot during your workouts. If this is the case, you should wash your hair relatively frequently to help remove any residues of sweat, which is salty and damaging to your delicate tresses.
Editor’s tip: spraying some VO5 Refresh Me Quick Dry Shampoo (£2.99*) on your scalp before you go to the gym can help to absorb some excess oil.
So now you know that you can cleanse your tresses as often (or as little) as you like, next time you wonder ‘how often should you wash your hair?’ you’ll be well equipped with the answer. Need ideas for those in between days? Check out our updo ideas for endless inspiration!
*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.