Written by Tenley Haraldson.
How often should you wash your hair? It'd be amazing if there was a single answer, everyone has different requirements.
However, the dermatologists and hair stylists we spoke to agreed on one thing: Most people shampoo way too often.
Should You Shampoo Everyday?
When we see oily hair, our instinct is to hop in the shower ASAP. But sebum is produced by the scalp for a reason: It naturally distributes healthy oils down the hair shaft and adds necessary moisture.
If your hair washing schedule is a little too overzealous, you might be stripping these important oils away, leaving dry, lifeless hair that’s more prone to breakage. And that's definitely true if your shampoo contains ingredients like sulfates (which can cause irritation while stripping hair of its natural oils.
Get a Natural Shampoo That Controls Sebum Production
When we challenged our team of PhD scientists and salon owners to create the best plant-based hair care duo anywhere, our goal went far beyond shine and manageability: We wanted to extend the time between washes.
For most hair types, you can count on 3+ days between shampooing. But if your hair needs to be washed more, this is a gentle, clarifying shampoo you can use everyday.
Okay, So How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
The optimal frequency of hair washing largely depends on five factors:
1. Chemical Treatments
If you're someone with chemically-colored, straightened, curled, or a hairstyle that pulls unnaturally at the roots, try to avoid washing your hair every day.
Pro Tip: For dyed hair, make sure your hair products don't use sulfates (which can cleanse too aggressively).
2. Hair Type
People with thick, wavy, coarse, and/or curly hair have a slight advantage here since they normally need to wash less frequently. That's because sebum has a harder time reaching the ends, making these hair types a bit drier. In fact, some people with dry, coarse, and/or curly hair may only need to shampoo their hair every 7 to 10 days!
When it comes to straight, thin hair, oil is going to be more noticeable. You might need to shampoo every other day (or even every day) to keep oil under control.
3. Sebum Production
Scalp sebum production differs based on factors like age, gender, and genetics. Teenagers and young adults tend to produce more sebum than older adults. If you had excessively oily hair during puberty, that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same issue later.
Most people with normal oil production can probably get away with washing every few days.If your hair gets greasy after one day, however, try scrubbing your scalp with just water in the morning or evening.
4. How Much You Sweat
If you're a "Sweaty Betty" (like yours truly) or live in a hot, humid climate, sweat pushes sebum down the follicles faster. And that can make hair look dirty faster. Add a hat or bike helmet and that can produce even more sweat and oil.
After substantial workouts or heat waves, we recommend shampooing. If your hair isn’t overly sweaty, a simple water rinse should be good enough.
5. Your Styling Products
If you use chemical-based products in your hair – like mousse, gel, and hairspray – you probably need to shampoo more frequently. These products can cause buildup over time and may cause scalp irritation. Consider avoiding products that use extra-waxy silicones.
Pro Tip: Before shampooing, a Natural Scalp Scrub will gently remove buildup and stimulate hair follicles.
How to Develop a Healthier Hair Washing Schedule
Switch up your hair washing routine by cutting out 1-2 washes per week. For the next month, keep notes about how your hair looks and feels. During the second month, start tweaking your hair washing routine to determine how often you need to shampoo, rinse, or co-wash.
Pro Tip: It can take 2-4 weeks for your hair to adapt to a silicone-free hair regime.
9 Ways to Extend Your ‘Do Without Shampoo
No one wants greasy-looking hair, so here are a few extra ways to make your hair look its best between washes:
1. Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is the #1 way. Puracy created its hypoallergenic, 99.3% Natural Dry Shampoo to extend the time between washes by sebum production, nourish the scalp, and fight breakouts and flaking with anti-inflammatory plant extracts.
A dry shampoo that actually improves your scalp health and gives you incredible "oomph"? Seeing is believing.
2. Blot, Blot, Blot
Blotting paper (the kind used on your face) is a great space-saving way to soak up excess oil along your scalp and brow.
3. Break out the Blow Dryer
Excessive blow-dryer use can damage hair. However, the heat can help dry up some oil while adding volume. Flip your head over, turn on the lowest setting, and get to styling.
4. Cover Up
Hats and headscarves are excellent ways to disguise your hair if you’re running errands. Who knows? You might discover a new signature look in the process!
5. Hands Off
Our fingertips are covered in oils (and traces of everything else we touch). Because our hair is great at absorbing things, try to avoid touching your hair during the day.
6. Consider "Co-Washing"
We know that using conditioner (after every shampoo) helps seal split ends, but it also combats static electricity and free radical damage. But what should you do between washes?
“Co-washing” means using a rinse-out conditioner without shampoo (you can also stick to rinsing with plain water). While it might weigh down oily and fine hair, it might be a great way to infuse curly, dry, and/or coarse hair with extra moisture. To avoid waxy buildup, we recommend sticking to a silicone-free conditioner.
Pro Tip: Conditioner is only meant for the fragile tips of hair. Applying it to the scalp can make it look limp, lifeless, and greasy.
7. Pull It Up
Some of us are sweaty sleepers, and that's okay! But before going to bed – if your hair is long enough – consider tying it into a loose bun on the top of your head.
8. Turn It Down
If you are a self-professed "sweaty sleeper", try cranking the thermostat down or cracking a window. While some sleep experts say that 65º-68ºF is the optimal sleep temperature, everyone has a different preference. Find something that works for you.
9. Speak to a Professional
If changing your shampooing routine doesn’t change things – and you’re still frustrated about oily hair – consider booking an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.
Healthy Hair Starts at the Source
Just like the rest of our haircare lineup, our hypoallergenic Scalp Scrub is free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, and synthetic fragrances.
Loaded with good-for-you ingredients like amino acids (to boost strength and shine), peppermint oil (to stimulate the follicles), and sea salt (to control sebum production), this natural scalp scrub gets to the root of matters. No more flaking, no more buildup: Just stronger, healthier hair.