How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

(c) 2016
(c) 2016

Some of us wash our hair every day, and some of us don’t. We want to keep our hair smelling nice and looking oil-free all the time but is there such a thing as shampooing too much? Well, the amount of times that hair should be washed really depends on personal preference.

Jenna Birch from WebMD spoke with professional hair stylist and founder of Drybar, Alli Webb, about how often hair should be shampooed. Webb informs that it is OK to go a few days without shampooing hair and suggests that people with normal amounts of hair oil and with medium weight hair should wait as long as they can before washing their hair.

So how could shampooing too often hurt your hair? Angela Lamb, MD, states that “shampoo traps oils, so if you do it too frequently, you may dry your hair out, leaving it prone to breakage.” The soap from the shampoo picks up the oils and dirt and therefore cleans the hair when it is rinsed. If shampoo is applied too often on the hair, then the hair will eventually become dry because oils and dirt are constantly being picked up and washed out and if there are not enough oils, then the shampoo will start stripping away moisture from the hair.

The roots of our hair naturally produce oil called sebum, which are actually good for our hair. Carolyn Goh, MD mentions that our natural hair oils “”provide moisturizing and a protection barrier to skin and hair.’” The sebum gives hair moisture and shine and at the same time, protects the outer layers of hair and makes the hair less prone to damage.

Goh adds that people with certain hair types should wash their hair daily. People with very thin, fine hair, exercise often, or live in a humid area should consider washing their hair more. Even though natural hair oils are good for the hair, people with very fine hair produce more oils than others. Too much oil can cause discomfort and itchiness so hair should be washed when too much oil is sitting on the hair. People who exercise a lot or live in a humid place should wash their hair more often because sweat builds up on their scalp causing discomfort and dirt accumulation.