How often should you wash your hair? It depends, experts say

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Washing hair can be a simple and straightforward process but knowing how often to wash can be a challenge.

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According to experts, the texture of a person’s hair and the level of oil production are a factor in the overall health and hygiene of the hair.

Tiffany Young, certified trichologist and CEO of Thin Hair Thick, a hair topper company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, says determining how often to wash hair is by examining the skin.


“The sebaceous glands often determine how often you should wash your scalp,” Young told Fox News Digital.

“If you’re unsure of your skin type, your face is a good indicator of how your scalp behaves,” she continued.

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According to Young, people with oily skin will need to wash their hair more often than people with dry skin.

“If you wash your face daily because of oil production, your scalp will need the same treatment,” Young said.

According to Young, curly hair and textured hair are dry and can go a few days (up to five) without washing, although this also depends on a person’s physical activity and hormone levels.

The texture of a person’s hair and the level of oil production are factors in the overall health and hygiene of the hair.
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“However, this is not true for thin and fine hair textures,” Young said. “People who have thin or thin hair will notice an oily scalp every day or two. This is due to the hair follicles having fewer hair follicles to absorb the oil production and because the hair texture does not absorb oil like their curly-haired counterparts. In this case it’s fine to wash your hair every other day.”

Young notes that when washing hair, it’s important to concentrate the shampoo on the “scalp area” and avoid distributing the product throughout the hair shaft, which can dry out the hair texture more.

Dr. Nadir Kazi, a cosmetic dermatologist, surgeon and founder of Kazi Cosmetic Clinic, a dermatology and plastic surgery clinic in Irvine, Calif., said washing hair is an important step in a hair care routine because it “promotes good scalp health.” and cleans the hair.

Kazi told Fox News Digital that unwashed hair can lead to a build-up of dirt, dandruff, oil, styling products and other debris.

Woman washing hair
People who have oily skin will need to wash their hair more often.
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“Buildup can trap fungus and bacteria on the scalp and lead to fungal acne, clogged pores and blocked sebaceous glands,” Kazi said. “It can also contribute to tangling, broken hair and hair loss.”

According to Kazi, hair left unwashed for long periods of time can cause odor, appear greasy and attract insects.

Here’s a guide to hair wash based on different hair textures:

Straight hair

According to Kazi, straight hair textures can be washed every two to three days because it tends to get oily faster.

“Using a volumizing shampoo will help add body to straight hair,” Kazi said.

After shampoo, Kazi recommends following up with a mild conditioner, so hair won’t straighten or weigh down or feel greasy.

wavy hair

According to Kazi, wavy hair textures can be washed every two or three days.

“Moisture is still essential for wavy hair, so be sure to condition the hair without weighing it down by applying conditioner to the ends of the hair,” Kazi said.

If frizz is a concern, Kazee recommends using sulfate-free shampoos and avoiding heat drying.

Curly hair

According to Qazi, curly hair has some variation in texture and can be washed every one to five days.

“Avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals and strong fragrances, so that hair doesn’t become dry and brittle,” Kazi said. “Avoid heat and brush and use a wide-toothed comb to prevent damage to curls.”

For frizzy hair, Kazi recommends co-washing rather than traditional shampoos—specially formulated cream cleansers—because they “condition the hair more as it cleanses.”

However, he notes that not all curly hair can tolerate co-washing and that he only recommends switching cleaning products “if possible.”

kinky-cooly hair

According to Kazi, kinky or tightly coiled hair textures can last the longest between washes because stiff hair requires more moisture to keep it healthy.

Qazi recommends washing kinky hair every five to seven days if a person leads an active lifestyle or “every seven to 10 days or more”.

“To maintain adequate moisture levels, use a mild cleanser, such as a co-wash, followed by a conditioner to restore moisture lost in cleaning,” Kazi said.

“Co-washing often doesn’t contain ingredients that dry out hair, like sulfates and parabens,” he explained. “Instead, they clean hair while moisturizing it without stripping it of its natural oils.”

“People and their hair are different,” Kazi told Fox News Digital. “What works for one person may not work for another. Try different approaches to see what works and what doesn’t.”

Kazi said that excessive washing of hair is also not beneficial for hair health.

“Shampoo is a mild detergent that contains ingredients called surfactants that break down the surface tension in the water,” Kazi said. “They attract and trap dirt and debris, which makes them easy to rinse off.”

“These surfactants and cleansers work well on the hair,” he continued. “Still, overuse leads to a dry and irritated scalp with an increase in dandruff and itchy skin. In addition, hair can become dull and frizzy as it loses essential moisture and protection when it is stripped of sebum. “

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