Before you ditch your shampoo or ditch shampoos with certain chemicals, it's important to figure out what your mane needs.
There is no blanket rule that fits all hair types. People with different kinds of hair need to follow a different hair care routine that works for them. Before you ditch your shampoo to join the "no 'poo'" movement or are ditching shampoos with certain chemicals, it's important to figure out what your mane needs. We also need to look at scalp health when we decide the frequency of hair wash. For instance, even though it's said that it's best not to wash our hair often, the same advice can't be applied to ultra-fine, grease-prone hair.
The wrong hair care routine can cause multiple issues like dandruff, irritation, clogged pores, and hair loss. However, washing too much can strip our hair of natural oils making it look like straw. It can also increase oil production and cause scalp inflammation, according to Cosmopolitan. So, given how complicated this can be even though it shouldn't really, figuring out your hair type is crucial.
"Washing your hair is important for hair growth," Erinn Courtney, a hairstylist and natural hair expert in Los Angeles, told Good Housekeeping. "It relieves your hair of product buildup and dermatitis that can negatively affect your scalp."
Here are the six types of hair and what that means for your hair care routine:
If you have dense hair follicles and the texture of your hair is thick, then washing once a week will be enough as your hair will hold on to moisture. It can also hide the oil better than thin hair. "If your hair isn’t very oily, try to wash it only once or twice a week," celebrity hairstylist Miles Jeffries told Cosmopolitan. However, if you tend to have buildup or itchiness, it's best to use a shampoo with tea tree oil as it can clear pores and reduce inflammation.
Those with wavy or curly hair can get away with washing their hair every four to five days, Shannon King, partnering artist with KMS Hair, told Good Housekeeping. "It will depend on the density of the hair, but this is a good estimate for this hair type," she added. If that seems too long without washing your hair, you can do it every 3-4 days instead. Some amount of trial and error will have to be done to figure out what your hair and scalp need.
"Typically you would want to wash your hair every day to prevent build-up, unless you have very long hair or it's very coarse or curly," King told Good Housekeeping. When you have naturally oily hair, you might want to wash it every day but drying out your scalp can cause more oil production, writes Cosmopolitan. A gentle, sulfate-free clarifying shampoo will work best for you.
The level of damage and dryness will determine how long you should go without washing your hair. However, every five to seven days might be ideal as the hair and scalp will need to allow the "natural oils to get in the mix until that time," says King. Courtney added that "if hair is dry and damaged, it could be that you're shampooing too often." She recommended not using a clarifying shampoo too often since it can remove the nutrients from our hair.
Those with coily hair can wash their hair once a week for hair growth. "Don't forget to follow with conditioner," King said. "It's equally as important to condition as much as it is to cleanse," she added. "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.
"Fine hair will need to be shampooed as often as every other day to provide it with the moisture it needs to flourish and grow," Courtney says. Fine hair can look flat and more oily even if it's not. The right product for it is a shampoo with a gentle and volumizing formula. You can use a dry shampoo on your roots to prevent the day-two grease.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Peter Cade