How often should I wash my hair?
8 April 2023 By Lex Off

How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

How often is too often when it comes to washing your hair? 
Can washing your hair too much or too little lead to hair loss? 
And is it really necessary to wash our locks daily?

The fact is we might be over washing our hair and causing damage to it without even realising. Most people do not need to shampoo their hair and scalp daily or every other day. Shampoo can strip the hair of necessary and beneficial natural oils. The general consensus is that you should wash your hair once it feels unclean and it’s oily.

Does washing your hair often cause hair loss?

Washing your hair with a harsh shampoo too often you might strip too much oil (or sebum) from your scalp. Your hair needs this oil to stay moisturised, otherwise it can become dry, brittle and more prone to breakage. If left untreated, the hair can start to fall out extensively. Washing more often can also mean increased use of heat styling tools, which can also damage the hair.

Keep hair healthy by choosing gentler shampoos that maintain the scalp and keep the hair moisturised. Like a Cleanser Shampoo for Thinning Hair. These refresh the scalp whilst strengthening the hair against breakage and hair loss.

What are the signs that I might be washing my hair too much?

If you’re not sure if you’re over washing. Your hair might give you a sign or two to tell you it needs a bit of a break. As we mentioned previously, dry hair is one of the consequences of washing too often – this is easy to spot because your hair will become frizzy and coarse to touch.  Split ends appear quicker. Hair loses shine and become dull due to the lack of oils.

You might also get dandruff. This occurs when your scalp is dry and itchy, so by scratching you start shedding skin cells. Dandruff is best addressed by using haircare products like Nioxin Scalp Night Density Rescue. This product will cleanse your scalp and restore its natural balance.   

If your hair is coloured you might notice that your hair colour is fading quicker than expected. It’s important to use a special shampoo and conditioner for colored hair, like Nioxin System Kit 3, which cleanses sebum residue and moisturizes while also keeping your hair colour vibrant.

What factors influence how often hair needs to be washed?

Even though the general advice is that you don’t really need to wash your hair daily, there are certain factors that may cause the hair to get greasier more quickly.   

1. Oil production

When we think of dirty hair we mostly think of greasy, oily hair.  Our scalp produces sebum that moisturizes and protects the skin2. Sebum production depends on various factors like age, gender, genetics and your environment. Oil levels increase from our teenager years into our 20s and 30s, then start to decline as we age. So people who have reached middle age might think that they need to carry on washing their hair as often as before but this might be more damaging to their scalp and hair.

2. Type of hair

How often you need to wash your hair also depends on the texture of your hair.

  • Hair that is straight and fine needs to be washed more often because the oil can coat the hairs more easily and it ‘slides down’.
  • Curly, wavy or thicker hair is generally drier because the sebum cannot coat the whole hair, therefore it does not need to be washed that often.
  • Afro hair should be washed the least often. Ideally between 7-10 days to make sure the scalp and hair are clean of build-up, but also to avoid stripping it from all the natural oils.

3. Sweat

Sweating profusely can also make the hair feel dirty and oily, as the sweat can spread the sebum on the hair strands more easily. For example, those who exercise more would feel more inclined to wash their hair more often.

4. Environment

Working in highly polluted environments or doing tasks like gardening or cleaning might leave your hair in need of a wash. Dust, dirt and pollen get trapped in the hair leaving it dull, dirty and with an unpleasant smell.

5. Using hair styling products

Using hair styling products like creams, gels, sprays can often lead to build up on the scalp and therefore leave the hair feeling dirtier. So, if you want to break the over washing cycle, try using less product when styling your hair.

How can I go longer between washes?

Falling into a cycle of over washing can easily happen – the more you wash your hair, the more your sebum production can increase to keep the skin moisturized, making you want to wash it again. So in order to break the cycle you just have to start taking a break. If you wash your hair daily, try washing it every other day. If you wash every 2 days, go one extra day.

One of the best ways to resist the urge to wash the hair and still keep a fresh look is by using a dry shampoo. Once you start noticing the oil increase, spray some dry shampoo on the roots and you’re good to go.

Dry shampoo that not only absorbs the sebum, but also gives the hair a much needed boost of volume. Your hair feels like it’s newly washed and fuller looking. Its formula doesn’t leave any residue and it’s easy to brush out, leaving the scalp and hair refreshed.

Our hair is healthy when our scalp is healthy, so maintaining a good scalp environment means practicing good hygiene and using gentle, moisturizing products that not only cleanse but also address specific needs. Nioxin System Kits contain a cleansing shampoo, a conditioner and a scalp treatment, designed to not only cleanse the scalp but also address thinning and hair loss for various types of hair.