How Often Should You Wash Your Hair for Your Hair Type 2020


Abby Silverman

Hokay, I’m gonna drop some ~hot~ knowledge on you: There’s no universally correct answer for “how often should I wash my hair?” because every single scalp and hair type is a unique little gumdrop with unique little needs. So even though you’ve probably heard that it’s best to wash your hair as infrequently as possible, that’s kinda bullsh*t—your ultra-fine, grease-prone hair won’t follow the same rules as my combination curls.

And, yes, that distinction matters. Because depending on your hair type, not washing your hair enough can cause hardcore dandruff, irritation, clogged pores, and even hair loss (YUP), while washing too frequently can lead to stripped, straw-like hair, an increase in oil production, and scalp inflammation. Fun! So although it’ll still require some testing to figure out how often to wash your hair, I chatted with the experts to get a basic starting frequency—and the best shampoo—for every hair type, whether that’s fine and flat, or thick and coily. You may now wash your hair with zero stress.

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If You Have Flat, Fine Hair

Pantene Nutrient Blends Volume With Bamboo Shampoo

💧WASH YOUR HAIR: Every other day

The one slightly annoying thing about fine hair? It shows grease and oil than with other hair types, which means even if your hair isn’t that greasy, it’ll sure show it. It may be temping to shampoo every day, but you’ll just end up stripping the hell out of your hair and potentially leading to even more oil. Instead, wash your hair every other day with a gentle, volumizing formula and blast your roots with dry shampoo to curb day-two grease.


If You Have Thick Hair

Hask Tea Tree & Rosemary Shampoo

💧WASH YOUR HAIR: 1-2 times a week

Fun fact: Denser hair follicles tend to disguise oil better than thinner hair, which means “if your hair isn’t very oily, try to wash it only once or twice a week,” says celebrity hairstylist Miles Jeffries. If you’re prone to build-up or itchiness, try a shampoo filled with the pore-clearing and inflammation-zapping tea tree oil (hi, Hask) to will your roots clean, without feeling stripped.


If You Have Wavy Hair or Loose Curls

Not Your Mother’s Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Shampoo

💧WASH YOUR HAIR: 2-3 times a week

Waves and looser curls can get weighed down by the butters and oils in curl-specific shampoos, especially if your hair is fine. To keep them voluminous and defined—without the straw-like dryness—wash every other day (for oil-prone scalps) or every two days (for “normal” scalps) with a sulfate-free cleanser that’s formulated with lightweight moisturizers.


If You Have Coily Hair

Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing Cowash

💧WASH YOUR HAIR: 1-2 times a week

If you’ve got type-4 hair, you’re either dealing with greasy roots and dry ends, or just dryness all over. And it makes sense: “Scalp oils can’t make their way down curly hair shafts as easily as they can with straight hair shafts, which is why coils are drier than other textures,” says Jeffries. He suggests co-washing every three days for moisture, then using a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo, like Pureology Purify Shampoo, every 2-3 weeks to remove build up.


If You Have Damaged Hair

Virtue Recovery Shampoo

💧WASH YOUR HAIR: Every 2-3 days

When you damage your hair (thanks to heat styling, coloring, chemical treatments, etc.), it roughs up the cuticle, leaving your strands dry, dull, and brittle. To help counteract the damage, try this sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo that uses plant-based proteins and lightweight oils to gently cleanse and hydrate. Then, once a week, douse your hair in Olapex, a holy-grail treatment that uses keratin to repair the broken bonds in your fried hair. 


If You Have Oily Hair

Amika Reset Clarifying Gel Shampoo

💧WASH YOUR HAIR: Every other day

I know, I know—it’s super tempting to wash your hair every single day if you have naturally oily hair (trust me: I tried training my scalp to be less greasy, so, like, I get it), drying out your scalp can actually lead it to produce even more oil to compensate. Yup. Instead, keep your washing to every other day max, and suds up with a gentle, sulfate-free clarifying shampoo that’ll break down oils with stripping your hair.


If You Have “Normal” Hair

Maui Moisture Shine + Awapuhi Moisturizing Shampoo

💧WASH YOUR HAIR: Every 2-3 days

K, so let’s get something straight: There’s no such thing as “normal” or “abnormal” hair, but if your hair isn’t fine, thick, curly, or oily, you’re somewhere in the middle—which means you can use a shampoo somewhere in the middle. Try a hydrating, sulfate-free shampoo, like this one from Maui Moisture, which uses lightweight oils (not silicone!) for added shine and softness, then wash your hair with it every other day or every three days.

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