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How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

There's nothing more popular - it seems - than both the haircare and the skincare routines. It's an incredibly popular topic in my group chats - fooor suuuuuure. How often is a constant topic - not intensely, but just side talk/wondering (am I gross, am I being nutty and wasting gallons and gallons of water?).

How often you wash your hair is going to vary by hair type, first. But its also going to be based on how you're stying and manipulating your hair. 

You want to wash based on how your hair and scalp feel and what you're doing. Using a lot of hardcore gel for intense styles, piling on the hairspray, working outside in the dirt all day or in a smoky bar? You're going to want to wash more. But if you're air drying with perhaps a moisturizer, conditioner, and maybe a styling agent or two (especially if you're doing bare warm rinses here and there) then you may only need to wash every week, or even every other week or so. 

Same goes for the strength of the products you're using. Swimming a lot this summer? You might want to pair a gentle cleanser each time you swim with a clarifying shampoo here and there while non-swimmers may be clarifying more often based on hair strength.

The point is here is no one routine for all - or even many! Great! Wasn't that helpful! (lol) Still! There are some go-bys based on your hair type. Here are a few:


1. Straight Hair

Because of its fine and silky texture, oils travel faster from the scalp and through finer strands than in coilier hair which means that it is left feeling greasy, heavy, and limp much sooner than other hair types. If you have this hair type and don't like that weighed down feel (Although, I know some who absolutely love it. It's basically a natural slick back that some of us just cannot get enough of.)

2. Wavy Hair

Those with wavy to curly hair have type 2 or type 3 strands, which are bendable "S" shape curls and buoyant loop curl patterns. This hair type requires more oil on the scalp to keep strands hydrated, so we recommend washing about once a week, possibly twice, at most.

3. Coily Hair

Coily textures have type 4 hair classification, which includes 4A, 4B, and 4C. 4A has an "S" or ringlet pattern, 4B is a tighter coil with a less defined curl, and 4C is a zig-zag pattern. If you have a coily texture sticking to weekly washes is best. Washing too frequently can strip this more fragile hair type of oils needed to keep the strands hydrated. 

Shampooing once a week with the right products can allow the nutrients used on hair to absorb into the scalp. "If your curls are dry, you will need to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner - which, honestly - you're probably doing anyway.

Are you Over-washing? 

Um, if you're washing more than every other day then yes, girl. That's too much! Your hair needs the oils you naturally product to stay hydrated and if you keep stripping them you'll definitely start experiencing loss of shine and a certain ... ugh, dullness? It's definitely not a good thing. You can also cause irritation to your scalp as the oils that you naturally produce help your scalp maintain a certain balance. 

The solution: You've just got to find balance, girl. But also try things like washing your brush, switching your pillow cases out more often, using less intense hair manipulation products and styles to eliminate the actual need for those super regular washes. And if its more of a mental thing - start learning to be OK with less than squeaky clean. It's pretty unrealistic and unsustainable considering the side effects. Easier said than done, of course. But definitely doable.

Are you Under-washing?

Possibly? Anything less than every two weeks (with consideration for hair type and style as protective hair styles can allow you to go for months without washing) may be too little. Underwashing is going to give you intense buildup or oil, dirt, and even broken hair. This means ... limp and possibly even, smelly hair. Another thing that most of us don't think about is that under-washed hair can also cause acne breakouts and hair loss. 

The solution: Either one of two ways we can think to go here (possibly, 3). 

1. Have standing appointments with your stylist: (My favorite!!!) Also, a ... kiiiind of expensive option? If you can afford it, girl - what are you waiting for. Get in there and let someone massage and love on your scalp and coils and tresses for you! If not, mmmm go ahead and keep reading (lol!). 

2. Come up with a ... dare we say it - ROUTINE!: At least for starters this is likely the easiest way. Identify your products, the line up for their use, have a day and possibly a time and knock it out. It'll definitely keep you on a better schedule. The only thing we don't like about this is that we have the tendency to get caught up in the perfection of the routine and the routine's application which can actually be a huge turn off when you're facing getting it done - which leads to No. 3 in this list. 

3. Forget about doing it perfectly: Nothing makes a routine worse than having to get it perfect every time. FORGET - perfect. Get in that freaking shower and just wash that hair. Don't have your favorite shampoo - forget it. Used two of your products out of order - forget it. Don't have time to perfectly style or blow dry before passing out - for, get, it. The point is to make sure you're doing it! Everything else will follow and your hair will love you either way.