You’ve probably heard people go on and on about how long they can procrastinate on washing their hair. But it isn’t the Victorian Era anymore, and we have easier access to fantastic hair products and showers in general. So how long should we be going between washes?
Unsurprisingly, the answer to that question will depend on your hair type, the condition of your locks, your activity level, and more. In short, your hair-washing routine will be unique to you, which is infinitely more frustrating than getting a quick answer.
But we’re here to help you strike your haircare balance, so let’s dive into some of the factors that affect your wash cycle.
Your hair type is one of the key factors in how often you should wash your hair. The finer your hair is, the more often you’ll need to clean it. The coarser your hair is, the less often you’ll need to reach for the shampoo.
While curl pattern plays a role, it’s not the end-all-be-all indicator of thickness. Take a single strand in your hair and press it between your thumb and pointer finger. If you can’t feel anything between your fingers, you have ultra-fine hair. If you can kinda-sorta feel it, you have fine hair. If you can feel it with ease, you have medium hair. And if it feels thick or coarse, you have—you guessed it—thick hair.
If you’re just now discovering that you have thin hair, don’t panic. Just because your hair is fine doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of it on your head.
The condition of your hair will also indicate how often you should be washing or treating your hair. An easy way to test your hair’s condition is through a stretch test.
Pull out a strand of your hair (sorry), and wrap both ends around your fingers as if you’re going to floss. Don’t actually floss with your hair, though; this is just so the strand doesn’t slip through your fingers. Once you have the strand situated, stretch it out between your fingers. If it breaks immediately, you have low elasticity, and your hair isn’t as healthy as it could be. If it stretches to about 50% of its original length, your hair has high elasticity and is super healthy.
Before you let in the doom and gloom about your unhealthy hair, remember that your hair is constantly changing, and it’s easy to get your hair back to a healthy state. Employing a keratin treatment is an easy way to improve the health and elasticity of your hair.
If your hair has low elasticity, you need to wash less and consider switching to a strengthening shampoo for the days you do wash.
If you’re a fitness buff, you should be washing your hair after every sweat session. Sweat spreads sebum, which can make your hair look and feel dirty.
Type of Activities
If you wear hats a lot or work a job that requires you to be outside or get dirty, you’ll want to wash your hair more often. Dirt, dust, sweat, and pollen that get trapped in your hair can lead to an itchy scalp or make your allergies worse.
If you’re partial to heavy-duty sprays or creams to keep your ‘do in place, you’ll need to wash your hair more frequently. Product build-up can lead to an itchy scalp or dandruff. If you do use a lot of products, you may want to consider using a scalp massager when you shampoo to make sure you remove all the gunk.
Where You Live
If you live in an area with high humidity levels, you’ll want to wash your hair more often. If you’re in a dryer climate, you can take more time in between washes.
Knowing When It’s Time
Most dermatologists agree that it’s a good rule of thumb to wash your hair when it starts to look dirty or after you’ve sweat a lot. Like most things in hair care, it’s a balancing act that you get to walk the tightrope of again and again.
Outside of washing, the best thing you can do for your hair is to make sure you’re using products with quality ingredients that benefit your hair’s condition.
The five-star choice? ANSWR’s Smoothing Kit to make your hair healthy, light and silky.