Hair expert reveals how often you should actually wash your hair and it may surprise you
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Skynesher/bymuratdeniz/Getty Images
Could this be the ultimate universal women’s experience: you feel like you should probably wash your hair, but then you distinctly remember being told that the less you wash it the better?
Something about how your scalp needs to create natural oils in order for your hair to shine?
You feel relieved… and throw your hair up in a messy bun for another day.
Well, it turns out that advice may have been wrong and it is probably, in fact, time to pick up your shampoo bottle once again.
Sorry to be the bearer of such news, but we want to share the intel. Apparently, you should brace yourself for more wash days.
Trichologist (total hair expert and scalp expert) Anabel Kingsley, of haircare brand Philip Kingsley, gave her expert advice to Glamour about the truth of washing and conditioning your hair.
Essentially, how long to go between shampooing depends on if you have fine, coarse, combination or curly hair.
“I would not go for more than three days between washes,” Kingsley began, explaining that going any longer can be damaging for our scalps.
“Your scalp is skin and needs similar care to the skin on your face - and for scalp health, daily cleansing is best,” she clarified.
For a lot of us, this will be a shock to the system, but the expert advice makes total sense.
“You take your hair and scalp to the same places you take your face and they get just as dirty. You wouldn’t go for days on end without washing your face (especially if you live in a city) – so why would you do that to your scalp?” Kingsley reasoned.
So let’s get down to business. How often should we actually wash our hair? “Daily washing doesn’t strip oils from your hair if you are using the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair texture,” Kingsley says.
In true expert style, Kingsley breaks it down further, explaining which hair types need what in order to thrive.
If you have fine hair, it’s recommended to wash daily, as you’ll have more oily glands on your scalp – so your hair is likely to get greasy quickly.
People with combination hair are likely to find that their hair gets oily at the roots and dryer towards the ends, so to combat this effectively, washing daily to every other day is encouraged.
As for thick hair, it gets oily a lot less frequently. Kingsley explains this is due to the 'strand diameter, which means that it is prone to moisture evaporation and dry ends'.
This means the thicker-haired among us will find they can go much longer without looking ‘greasy’, but Kingsley stresses that frequent washing is still important to look after the scalp.
“Ideally coarser hair textures should leave no more than three days between shampoos,” she says.
For the coiled and curly-haired gals, it turns out this can often be the most fragile hair type prone to breakage.
If you have this hair type, Kingsley encourages deeply nourishing products and to wash your hair every two to three days.
Finally, for women of colour with hair in protective styles such as braids or cornrows, it’s imperative to make sure your hair is thoroughly washed before your hair is put into one of these styles.
Once the style has been installed, a thorough scalp wash every two weeks is advised, dependent on the specific style.
Here’s to living your best shiny-haired life!