How Often Should You Wash Your Hair

You’ve probably spent your life hearing wildly conflicting haircare advice about how often to wash your hair, what to wash it with, how to prevent build-up, what’s best for your hair type, horror stories about what happens if you don’t wash it every day – the advice flying around is endless.

The short answer to how often you should wash your hair is that it should be every two to three days. It’s entirely up to you and your hair what’s best for your shower routine though. But it is best to get the shampoo and conditioner out at least twice a week. Focus on finding a routine that works best for you, as opposed to trying to tick every box. Let us break down all the hair-washing frequency advice you need, below.

What Impacts How Often You Should Wash Your Hair?

The frequency you need to wash your hair depends on a whole host of factors – including your exercise routine (you’re going to wash your hair more if you exercise frequently), how much oil your hair naturally produces, and what hair styling products you use on it. 

How much oil your hair produces depends on your age, genetics, and environment – but most people don’t produce enough oil to warrant washing their hair every day. Many find their scalps getting drier as they age, so you might find you need to wash it less as you get older. 

It’s worth noting that the sebum your scalp naturally produces is key to keeping your hair naturally shiny – so too much washing will decrease its shininess, making it appear duller and often harder to style. Typically, once your hair feels dirty – greasy or unclean to touch – it’s time to wash it.

What Hair Washing Frequency is Right For Your Hair Type?

The type of hair you have will determine how often you need to wash it… 

Straight hair looks greasier quicker than curly hair as it’s more easily coated in the sebum produced at the root, leading most straight-haired people to need to wash their hair at least three times a week. 

Thick, wavy, and curly hair tends to stay fresher between washes because it takes longer for the sebum to travel down and coat the hair, meaning you can go longer without it looking greasy. 

Curls need to be moisturised to retain definition, stay soft to the touch and reduce frizzing – so it’s recommended to wash curly and coily hair less frequently. As overwashing will dry them out! Washing with conditioner (also known as co-washing) has also seen a rise in popularity for those with curly, wavy or particularly dry hair. Simply replace your shampoo with a conditioner, apply to the scalp as usual, letting it sit for a couple of minutes before a rinse. 

Whatever your hair type though, wash it when it feels like it needs washing, rather than sticking to a strict schedule. 

The Effects of Overwashing or Underwashing Hair

The purpose of shampoo is to cleanse the scalp and remove excess oil, allowing the skin to breathe and encouraging healthy hair growth. But overusing shampoo – especially towards the ends of your hair – will only dry it out, making it brittle and dull.  To avoid overly drying your ends, if you prefer to wash your hair frequently, concentrate your shampoo lathering on the scalp.

However, as you might have guessed if you’re underwashing your hair this can lead to issues too. Leaving your hair unwashed when it’s visibly greasy can lead to damaging build-up on your scalp. As a result, you might find yourself with dandruff, spots, and more hair shedding than usual as it becomes more prone to breakage the more buildup that occurs. 

How to Manage Your Hair in Between Washes

Dry shampoo can get a bad rap – usually thanks to its association with the chalky finish typical of early formulas. Dry shampoo has (thankfully) undergone an incredible transformation since its original conception, and can now be used in your hair wash routine without fear of that dreaded patchy, powdery effect. It works by absorbing some of the oil your hair has produced – which is great when the ends of your hair don’t require washing, but the scalp area is looking a little worse for wear. 

Refresh your hair and scalp between washes, without fear of itchiness or white residue, with Umberto Giannini’s Scalp Restore Scalp Soothing Dry Shampoo. It’s the perfect way to keep your hair looking fresh between washes. 

Looking after your hair after washes should also include lots of hydration. You can use hair masks, leave-in conditioners, and hair oils to add some extra moisture to your hair when needed.

We love Coco & Eve’s Like a Virgin Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque for dry hair, it’s great for taming frizz and split ends. Plus, it smells of summer – what’s not to love? 

Or opt for Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Joia Milky Leave-In Conditioner, it provides lightweight hydration for dry hair, while detangling, fighting frizz, repairing split ends , and protecting against heat damage. It’s a great way to add lasting moisture to your hair without leading to excess oil.

Some of Our Favourite Hair Washing Products

We love the By BEAUTY BAY Strengthen + Hydrate Shampoo, enriched with rice protein, biotin, and amino acids, to soften and moisturise your hair as it deeply cleanses, to protect from damage and breakage. Pair with the By BEAUTY BAY Strengthen + Hydrate Conditioner to ensure shiny, hydrated hair and a softer-than-soft finish.

To refresh and clarify your roots, apply the Coco & Eve Clarifying Detox Shampoo. A combination of moisturising lemon peel extract, shine-boosting hibiscus cider vinegar, and hydrating coconut water to deeply cleanse and remove excess oils, dirt, and product build-up, this shampoo leaves hair revitalised, balanced, and free from impurities. 

If you want to boost your hair’s volume and thickness, try the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Volume Shampoo. Its lightweight formula won’t weigh your hair down or lead to you having to wash it more often.

Give dry, weak, or brittle hair a pick-me-up with the Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo. Gorgeous fragrance aside, it’s infused with biotin to encourage growth, and gently cleanses and protects your hair, whilst providing an intensely moisturising treatment. You don’t need much to see a big difference – and your scalp will certainly thank you for this tingly treatment.

Those with skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema might need to reconsider their wash routine, too – as some shampoos will contain abrasive chemicals unsuitable for sensitive skin types. Choosing a shampoo that’s been designed especially for sensitive skin, like Philip Kingsley’s No Scent No Colour Gentle Shampoo, will alleviate some of your symptoms and ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. 

If you’re experiencing dandruff, do bear in mind that overwashing might be the cause of it – as flaking, tightness and itchiness occur when a scalp is overly dry. You might also want to give a scalp treatment a go – the By BEAUTY BAY Exfoliate + Cleanse Scalp Serum contains salicylic acid and a pineapple enzyme to cleanse and exfoliate, clearing dead skin cells, and helping to reduce the appearance of dandruff.

Whatever your hair, you’ll be able to master your hair wash routine with a handful of our products. Explore our haircare range today to find the best solution for your hair type.