How Often Should You Wash Your Hair to Make it Look and Feel Amazing

Black woman washing hair in shower

A question that often get is “how often should I wash my hair?” This is an important question because washing your hair is an important part to a healthy hair care routine. Besides, when you do it right, after you wash your hair it can look and feel absolutely amazing. In this article, I am going to discuss the question how often should you wash your hair to make it look and feel amazing.

Before I start, I know that at times, you can dread washing your hair. In the future, I will share some tips with you about how to make your wash day a fun day. But if you’re anything like me, you’ve had those days when you know you need to wash your hair, but you’re like, “nope, not today!” If you can relate, then you’re in the right place.

A Few Quick Tips

Now that we are all on the same page, let’s talk about washing your hair. Let me give you the short and quick answer to the question about how often you should wash your hair. Here’s the answer: it depends. That’s right. It depends because everyone’s scalp is different. But it is time to wash your hair when you have product build up, your hair starts to smell, your hair is itching or flaking, and your have greasy strands. But a good rule of thumb is to wash your hair at least once every week or two weeks.

In addition, the amount of time that you can go without washing your hair depends on a number of things such as your hair type and how you’re wearing your hair. In other words, based on how you wear your hair will have something to do with how often you should wash your hair. I will discuss three popular ways that women wear their hair and what it means for how often you should wash your hair.

Natural Hair

For all of you rocking your natural hair, it is still important to wash your hair. On natural hair types, due to the curly state of the hair strand, sebum (which is the natural oil that your scalp creates to keep in moisturized) has difficulty working its way down the curl. Therefore, many people will recommend that you wash your natural hair once every two weeks, unless you feel your hair is in desperate need of a wash. If this is the case, it’s better to wash your hair with a cleansing shampoo that is known to provide a gentle cleanse.

Chemically Treated Hair

If your hair is currently chemically treated, then your hair washing regiment will be slightly different. Black women often hear that they should wash their hair infrequently to prevent it from drying out. If you have naturally dry hair or use a chemical relaxer, which can make hair dry and brittle, you may want to refresh your hair with water or leave in spray a few times a week. Then, you want to seal it in with a light oil. But you’d probably only wash it about once a week to once every 10 days. When you wash your hair, do so with warm water. Hot water can ruin your curls and strip your hair of oils that help keep it moisturized and looking amazing.

Protective Styled Hair

Protectives styles are a great style option for kinky hair, but it’s easy to get a little lazy and leave them in without giving your strands a bit of moisture. If you’re wondering how often to wash natural hair with braids, you should be prepared to wash your hair every 2 to 3 weeks. During your hair wash routine, your focus should be on lifting build up off your scalp. If you have super dry natural hair and a dry scalp, opt for using a moisturizing wash and care system.

Bottom Line

Although black women have similar hair, we do not all have the same hair types and hair care needs. Therefore, it is important to wash and condition your hair based on how greasy or dry your hair feels, not based on how often another woman washes her hair. Using an effective hair care system for your wash day that includes a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in cream, and hair oil is essential. So the key takeaway is that how often you should wash your hair will depend in how you are currently wearing your hair.

This article was first published in August of 2020 and updated on July 29, 2021.

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Brandelyn Green is the Founder of VoiceOfHair, a platform to help women of color find the best hair care products, regimens and hairstyles! Since starting VoiceOfHair in 2014 she has grown the social media platform to over 1MM+ on Instagram and Facebook. As a natural who is also a salon goer, she wanted to create a platform where people could find the best products, hairstylists, advice and trends.
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