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How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Sep. 5th, 2023

There is much debate on how often you should wash your hair. Some people claim that washing your hair a few times a week is sufficient, while others believe that hair should be washed sparingly.

Usually, how often you should wash your hair will depend on your hair type, texture, and lifestyle. For example, someone who exercises regularly may need to wash their hair more often than someone who does not.

General advice is to wash your hair when it feels oily and unclean to the touch. Here are the things to think about when considering whether or not to wash your hair:

  • Oil. The oils in your hair are generally what gives you the “unclean” feeling. How much oil your glands produce will be determined by your age, genetics, environment, and gender. Most people will have enough oils in their hair to wash every few days.1
  • Hair type. Hair that is thin or straight will need to be washed more often than curly or wavy hair. This is because straight hair will become covered in oils faster than curly or wavy hair.2
  • Sweat. If you enjoy working out or exercising, you may need to wash your hair more often than someone who does not. Sweat can spread oils throughout your hair and make it feel dirty.
  • Hair products. If you enjoy using styling products such as gel or hair spray, then you might need to wash your hair more often than someone who does not use hair products. Allowing these products to stay in your hair can cause buildup and damage.
  • Dirt, pollen, or other pollutants. If your hair is exposed to dust, pollen, chlorine, or other pollutants, you will want to wash your hair more often. Dust and pollen can easily get trapped in the hair. Chlorine that is not rinsed out of your hair can cause dryness, leading to damage such as split ends.
  • Season. In the winter time, your scalp may be drier and produce more dandruff. That means you might need to wash your hair more in the winter season.

How often should I wash my hair based on hair type?

Based on your hair type, here is how often you should wash your hair:3

  • Oily hair: every day
  • Fine or thin hair: every other day
  • Dry or damaged hair: five to seven days
  • Wavy/curly hair: four to five days
  • Coily hair: once per week
  • Thick hair: once a week

Should I wash my hair every day?

Experts generally do not advise washing your hair every single day because shampoo can strip your hair of its natural oils. Shampoo is designed to trap the oils in your hair and can dry it out, leaving it prone to breakage if it is washed every day.4

If you get an oily feeling in your hair after a day or two without washing, you can try to use dry shampoo. Dry shampoo can help give your hair a clean feeling, and it is designed to pick up dirt, grease, and oil in your hair without washing it.

Are there any cases when someone should wash their hair every day?

If you have a truly oily scalp or your doctor instructs you to wash your hair every day, then do so. However, it is very rare for someone to need to wash their hair every day.

What about not washing my hair at all?

It is generally not advised to skip washing your hair. Washing your hair will clean your scalp of debris and oils that build up over time.

There are some people who choose to go without washing their hair. Many people who do this will use apple cider vinegar, baking soda, or other alternatives to wash their hair. However, many of these alternative methods to shampoo are harsher on the hair and scalp than typical shampoo.

How to Properly Wash Your Hair

  1. Wet the scalp. It should take at least a minute or two for your hair to get wet.
  2. Apply shampoo to your roots. You should apply the right amount of shampoo to your hair. A good rule of thumb is to apply a dollop the size of a nickel if you have short hair or a quarter-sized to hair that goes down to the shoulders. Cover your palm with shampoo if you have very long hair.2
  3. Scrub your scalp and not your hair. You want to be gentle with your hair because you may unintentionally cause split ends and breakage if you are not.
  4. Repeat if necessary. If it’s been a while since you’ve properly washed your hair, you may want to shampoo it a second time if it still feels oily.
  5. Rinse out the shampoo. Make sure to properly rinse out all of the shampoo in your hair. This might take two to three minutes depending on how long your hair is and how much shampoo you used.
  6. Apply conditioner to your hair. You should always apply conditioner to your hair, especially the ends of your hair. Conditioner protects your hair while also softening and protecting it from damage. Conditioner usually will stay in your hair for about a minute, but there will usually be directions on the bottle that tell you how long it should be in before rinsing.
  7. Rinse out the conditioner. Thoroughly rinse the conditioner out of your hair.

About Saber Healthcare Group

Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides services to more than 115 buildings across the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, and Delaware. To learn more about our company and services, click here.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.


  1. Marie, Simone. Cobb, Cynthia, ed. “How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 19 June 2018. Accessed 13 June 2023. Link:
  2. Norr, Serena. “How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?” Allthingshair. 7 May 2020. Accessed 13 June 2023. Link:,to%20a%20bad%20hair%20day.
  3. Price, Dori. “How Often You Should Wash Your Hair, Based on Your Hair Type.” GoodHousekeeping. 17 August 2022. Accessed 13 June 2023. Link:
  4. Birch, Jenna. “How Often Do I Need to Shampoo?” WebMD. 27 March 2022. Accessed 13 June 2023. Link: