Washing Hair

Is It Safe to Wash Hair Everyday?

Curated By
Eunice Lucero

Don’t get lost in the sea of fake news.

We’ve all heard the cautionary tale or two about hair washing, that not only is it not recommended, but that it is actually downright risky to wash hair everyday. Admittedly, there are days that we’ve also been on the alt-right side of this spectrum—that is, ultra-conservative, opting rather to squeeze a good hair day in via some dry shampoo instead.

But is it really, honest-to-goodness harmful to wash hair everyday? We tap Unilever resident expert, North America Senior Manager for Hair in Research & Development, Leon-van Gorkom, to shed light on this FAQ:

Ask an Expert: Is it Safe to Wash Hair Everyday?

He puts it in black and white: “Washing with a good shampoo and conditioner is not harmful to hair,”van Gorkom says, clearing up the debate once and for all. “It is really up to the consumer [to determine] what fits within their daily routine.”

1. Facts, facts and more hair facts

“On average, women in the U.S. wash (and condition) their hair four to five times per week. Sometimes, women may choose not to wash and [instead] use dry shampoo—it’s quicker. Also, the oilier your hair, the more frequently you tend to wash,” van Gorkom noted.

It is therefore safe—and as it turns out, pretty normal—to wash hair everyday, provided you use the correct system for your hair type. Clarifying systems, such as TRESemmé Purify & Replenish Shampoo and TRESemmé Purify & Replenish Conditioner, and Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo and Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Conditioner, cleanse without stripping strands of moisture.

And although quite gentle, non-oily hair types might find it beneficial to rotate a clarifying system with a regular moisturizing duo as part of their full regimen, just for balance. Hair needs, as well as the product buildup and sebum levels, can vary depending on certain factors (the weather, hormones, etc.), so it’s best to keep attuned to how your strands feel for the day, and wash accordingly.

wash hair everyday protective hairstyles
Those with protective hairstyles, such as twists and box braids, might find dry shampoo super helpful.

2. The case for dry shampoo

That said, you might also find yourself in situations where you don’t feel like you need to wash hair everyday, or anytime that week, for that matter. Curly and natural hair types can go weeks without a full wash—even more if hair is done in a protective hairstyle, such as a rope twist or box braid. This is where dry shampoo becomes a crucial agent for that must-needed scalp refresh, as it helps sop up oil and grease without disturbing your ’do.

3. The last word

“Hair gets damaged from daily styling when it isn’t in good condition, especially when wet,”van Gorkom cautions. “Therefore, you need to make sure that your hair is well-conditioned during the wash by using a good shampoo or conditioner.” It all circles back to knowing which products are best suited for your hair type, and to being mindful of what your hair has been through prior.

For instance, colored hair is more fragile and vulnerable a few days after processing, so maybe hold off on a complete and thorough washing till the end of the week (plus your new hue will thank you too!). Fine or thinning hair might need more frequent shower time than coarse or curly hair as well. It always pays to work with your hair type and listen to your needs of the day, and knowing whether to wash hair everyday or not will soon be like second nature. After all, what can be more therapeutic or satisfying than a clean slate?

Want more hair care tips from the editors? Check out our take on co-washing.

Eunice Lucero
Peace and hair grease, Eunice
25 January 2017