How Many Times a Week Should I Wash My Hair?

ALTERNA ‘Bamboo Style’ Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo
Free Your Mane
Free Your Mane Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo

The answer is... that there's no right answer. Everyone's hair and scalp are different. In general, you should wash it whenever you start to feel uncomfortable with it—that simple. Some people are happy going a week or two between shampoos, some people do it every day, some people are completely anti-washing and just use natural rinses instead. If you have fine, oily hair, you're probably going to be washing a few times a week—or using dry shampoo pretty liberally, which is not at all a bad thing (Alterna Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo is a good one for any hair color or type).

If your hair is naturally dry or coarse, shampooing too much will only cause frizz and lead to breakage, so instead of thinking about "needing" to shampoo just because, try viewing you hair in terms of its overall health and happiness, and when you do wash, use something gentle like Free Your Mane Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo.

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  • Tucker

    For me every day is a necessity, otherwise I feel gross. The annoying part is if I ever do skip a day I get a lot of hair compliments haha, that second day look. But for me it's just not worth it.

    • Crystal

      One of the best parts of cutting my hair really short is that I get to wash it every day. It just makes me feel super fresh.

  • giselle

    The ideal for me is every other day. My hair is chin-length, so that used to be a problem because product made my hair stringy or heavy on the second day. That is, until I discovered Kiehl's Heat-Prtotectice Silk-Straightening Cream. Perfecto! If anything, my hair looks better on the second day.

    • Giselle

      Oops, I mean Heat-Protective

  • Pardis

    I wash my hair once a week. It works great for me!

  • Jasmine

    I think I am the exception to the rule that second day hair looks better. My hair is thick and shiny and healthy on the first day (and my normally oily skin is pretty chill and normal), but by the second day the roots are totally oily. Not washing my hair at least every second day (sometimes daily if I have long days at work or uni) is not an option. I end up feeling like a greasy seal.

  • Nae

    My hair is fine, frizzy, and curly, but it's been much healthier and more voluminous ever since I started washing it every other day. It was tough for the first two weeks or so, because I was really used to the every-day-washing routine, so my head would get really greasy on day 2. But now my scalp is used to it. I can even go without using dry shampoo on my "days off," if I want.

    More than every other day, though, is a no-go for me.

  • Hannah Rupp

    I agree that it's totally about your own comfort level. For me, my curly, pixie cut gets washed 2-3 times a week. My scalp is oddly really balanced and I don't deal much with the battle of oil/dryness. So basically I'm the worst person to take hair advice from! ;)


  • haley

    I'm a hair stylist and this is a question that comes up very frequently and most people have some weird, unnecessary emotional baggage tied up to it. People with fine hair wash it every day and feel guilty about washing too much, and people with coarse hair don't wash it very often and feel like they're gross or something. But both are completely reasonable territory to be in, provided the shampoo you're using is quality and not stripping your hair or causing buildup, and you're shampooing just the roots and conditioning just the ends. I feel like not shampooing as much can help solve a lot of problems for people with non-babyfine hair who don't like to use a lot of product, as a little natural oil can help provide you with some good separation and defrizzing and make your hair look cooler. A little bumble and bumble All-Style at the roots can work as a preventative dry shampoo, absorbing excess oil off the scalp and extend your style if you'd like to try to stretch it out a little longer (or even just through a whole day if you're really oil-prone). If you don't wash it often, scrubbing your scalp in the shower with your fingers as if you're shampooing sans shampoo is important, it will make your hair look better and less dirty and can help you abstain from shampooing for a longer period by breaking up oil buildup at your roots and distributing it through thirstier regions of hair. It also provides exfoliation. A lot of "dandruff" in people with dry hair and dry scalps comes from not washing their hair or touching their scalp in the shower at all.

    • Jasmine

      Thank you! This was helpful.

  • Alyssa Thomas

    I have to wash it at least every other day. My hair just gets too nasty. I know people that can go over a week, but that's just not me!

  • June

    My hair is long, layered, and thick. It's wavy, yet puffy, texture has always required a bit of maintenance and product for it to be presentable. Typically, I wash it about twice a week and I'm a huge fan of dry shampoo on those days in between. I recently started using Wen cleansing conditioner, and so far I'm very impressed. The product itself is quite thick, so it requires a thorough rinsing or else you risk a greasy mane. My hair is bouncy and light, yet shiny and tame. Those pesky frizzy fly-aways that inevitably pop out when I wear my hair up have slowly vanished. Added bonus, the soothing lavender scent works wonders for the mind after a long day.

  • Sharon Macklin

    I can see possibly once a week - although not for me - I wash every other day, occasionally sneak another day in there. My hair is dry, so oily hair is not a problem, but I like it to be fresh. Using dry shampoo doesn't make it fresh. However, going beyond a week doesn't make sense to me...really? Or never using shampoo? Those who wash with conditioner only are still washing their hair...but using only water?

  • Jasmine

    I'm religious with my hygiene (I've been known to come home at 3am and hop in the shower still drunk) so every day is a necessity for me. I generally shower in the morning and put a little bit of pomade in while its still wet so it doesn't get puffy. My hair is ridiculously thick so I allow my it to air dry because blow drying it leads to poufy volume that makes me look like a coconut head (I have a bob).

    • Tucker

      haha I'm always amazed at the drunk version of myself for being committed enough to stick with my extensive night skin care regime, it might be a little bit sloppy but it still gets done, bless you drunk version

  • Dylan Propst

    I wash once a week. I have really curly hair that's bleached white blonde, but in really good shape (very rarely use heat, never blow dry, use lots of masks, etc.). I use the AG Color Care Sterling Silver shampoo/conditioner, and mix in pure argan oil with the conditioner. It helps smooth my hair and keep it healthy. I like to use a good dry shampoo (I like Drybar's 3-in-1) with a hair oil so my hair doesn't look too matte (Bumble + Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil). It keeps my hair healthy looking!

  • Wills

    My hair is straight and fine but I've got a lot of it. I started washing every other day instead of everyday about 2 years ago. I thought my scalp/hair would eventually get used to that routine and then I would try to go every 2 days but, guess what? My scalp has never gotten used to it so I'm still suffering that 2nd day oiliness. I've tried every kind of shampoo/conditioner, cleansing conditioner, I've tried just apple cider vinegar, I've tried just wetting it. I can't seem to not wash less often. That's just my body chemistry, I guess.

  • Cam

    Yep, however often you need to. I wash mine every day because I work out every day - sorry, but the idea of doing SoulCycle and then just rinsing my hair out is really just nasty.

  • Jessica du Plessis

    I have oily roots and dry lengths, my hair is baby fine and suffering from years of continuously colouring it dark. It would turn to dreads in the shower and require an hour of pain trying to comb it out, only for it to knot up again within a few hours. I was almost at the point of considering shaving my head. After trying SO MANY products I've found love using Kiehl's Magic Elixir as a pre-wash treatment and follow up with Bumble & Bumble Gentle shampoo. My hair now combs out easily, is smooth and SOFT. Never going back.

  • space girl

    I went without washing my hair for over a month once (thanks, depression!) and it looked... fine? Not like fiiiiiine but, you know, OK. Acceptable. These days I shampoo (with a brick of pure sulfate, give or take an ingredient) once a week, slather everything in conditioner from root to tip, let that sit for a few minutes while I do the rest of my shower stuff, rinse out, and have pretty good hair between washes thanks to the magic of cheap-o Batiste.

  • Letty

    I have long hair and am wayyy too lazy to wash more than a couple of times a week. Talcum powder is my absolute savior!!! Its so cheap and I feel a lot better putting talc in my hair than chemical-y dry shampoo. Just sprinkle through roots, leave for a bit and then shake/brush out (I often leave in - extra volume!). This is probs just one for the blondes though as the white just looks like dandruff in dark hair - although I actually find it makes my darker roots a little lighter which I really like!!

  • melissa

    I'm on the Kim K program!

  • Camille

    For about 5 years I tried washing my hair every two to three days, using dry shampoo when needed. My hair never got less greasy than at the beginning, and I've been much happier about my general appearance since I started washing it every day again. I have fine, straight hair and loads of it, and a daily wash, no brushing after towel drying gives me that Caroline de Maigret hair I like so :)

  • Maja

    i have oily roots and dry ends which is the worse kind of hair imo because you're dealing with both ends of the spectrum so whatever is cleansing enough for scalp is too drying on the ends. the trick is to protect your ends from the shampoo... i use a waxy mask on my ends while cleaning my scalp. works like a charm...

  • Everydaymelissa

    I have thick, frizzy curly hair... I wash once a week whether I straighten it or leave it curly. I really do love using Deva Curl (all about that co-wash), especially during the summer.

  • xoxsamira

    I usually wash my hair every 3-5 days since it's so curly and dry at times. If anything, I just use conditioner to add more moisture to my hair.