How Often Do I Really Need to Wash My Hair?

Am I the only one that plans to wash their hair around a schedule?  I mean…why have super clean hair when you are just going to make it a sweaty mess the very next day? Tell me I am not the only one.

Is it possible to go an entire week without washing my hair while exercising? 

Did that gross you out? 

I cannot even tell you know much dry shampoo I have going on but I am convinced that slowing down the washing of my hair has been the number one thing to change how it looks and how it grows. 

I frequently get asked, “what products are you using?”  More than happy to share this info but…I really do think the magic sauce is more about the frequency of shampooing my hair vs. the actual project. 

So…It’s time to research this a little bit and I am bring you with me.

Washing your hair is important to the growth of hair and to eliminate the build-up of hair products that could adversely affect your scalp.  As long as your hair and scalp are healthy, your hair will grow but the frequency of washing is specific to the hair type and projects that are being used. 

how often to wash hair

How often should you wash your hair?

Well…it depends.  It’s different for each person and their hair type. There, unfortunately, isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to washing our hair. 

A daily wash could cause dryness and breakage but could also be the very thing that someone with super oily hair could benefit from.

Finding the right balance can be tricky.

For many, the general rule of thumb is…if your hair isn’t greasy or dry, clean it every 2-3 days. 

Hair tends to be put into a few categories and those categories have generalized recommendations

Check out this chart from Good Housekeeping for hair types.

What is driving the reason why my hair needs to be washed?

There are many reasons in which our hair needs to be washed but the top factors are:


Oil is the biggest contributor to one saying my hair is dirty.  It can leave our hair limp and even clumpy.  The amount of oil we produce is very individualized and depends on many factors (i.e. our age, sex, environment, and even what mom and dad gave us in our genes).  Most only produce enough oil to wash every couple of days. 

Type of hair

First steps, what type of hair do you have?  Is it straight, thin, curly, wavy? 

Straight and thin hair may need to be wash more frequently than curly as the oil is more easily coated to the hair. 


A good sweaty workout can really wreck a hairdo!  The sweat factor is a big factor in how often we need to wash our hair (or at least rinse out).  The sweat can escalate the feel of “dirty hair” and can sometimes lead to a less than pleasant smell. 

Outside stuff

Talking dirt, dust, and even pollen that can get trapped in our hair. 

Styling products

Depending on what you use, a build-up of products on our scalp and hair can cause a dirty feeling or even an irritation to the scalp. 

How do you know if you are washing your hair too much?

Let’s start with what shampoo does.  Its sole purpose is to clean the scalp and remove any excessive oil.  If too much shampoo is used, it can damage the hair as it strips the oil leaving us dry. 

A quick tip with shampoo is to only use it on our scalp and roots.  Don’t worry about the rest of the hair as they will be cleaned when you rinse the shampoo out.  Leave the scrubbing to the roots only.

What can I use in place of a daily wash?

Dry shampoo, like the name says, is not “cleaning” your hair.  Instead, it is absorbing the oil and helps hair to not clump.  Spray the dry shampoo close to the scalp and gently rub in.  Let it sit for a bit and then brush it out.   Good gracious, I love dry shampoo. 

Co-washing is all about washing your hair with water and a conditioner only. 

Water only.  This is a good option to get out the dirt, pollen, and sweat.

Is it possible to train our hair to be less greasy?

Have you ever heard the term “hair training”?  Yep…this is all about decreasing the grease in our hair over time and cutting back on using shampoos.

The goal for many with hair training is to get to a point where the hair is only washed once a week or even longer with the training part being all about the decrease in how much oil is produced.

Want to try it?  This is a good starting point:

  • Cut out all ingredients in your hair products that can be drying or harsh to the hair (look for words like alcohols and sulfates and this can be in any product)
  • Go longer between washes.  Start slow.  If you typically wash your hair 5 times per week, go down to 4, wait a couple weeks, and go down again.
  • Find and use products that give a more gentle and moistening approach (look for products that say sulfate-free or cleansing)

Products I am currently using & recommend

These are my current products that I love and recommend.  My goal is to wash my hair once a week but may ae more depending on the extra sweaty workouts.  Dry shampoo is my absolute best friend!

hair product recommendations

Shampoo and Conditioner: I use the Monat Hair products that are specific to the volumizing line.  This includes the revive shampoo and revitalize conditioner.  .

Root Lifter:  I have that hair that just lays completely FLAT.  So envious of my curly hair friends!  Spray this super close to the scalp on the top and use my fingers to rub in.

I order shampoo/condition/root lifter as a kit online.  Check out their hair quiz HERE to see what products they would recommend.

Dry Shampoo.  THIS IS THE MECCA OF ALL HAIR PRODUCTS.  I have tried several but keep coming back to this brand.  It comes in several flavors and can get it anywhere.  Amazon link HERE for more info.

L’Oreal Magic Root Cover-up.  As long as this stuff is made, it will be in my cabinet.  Do you remember that infomercial for spray paint stuff for bald men?  Yeah…..this is totally the same.  I am so thin on top and this is perfect for filling in the spots.  Tip: A little goes a long way.  Add a little bit at a time.  Check it out HERE.

Texture Hair Spray.  I have flat (like seriously FLAT) hair and texture hairspray is my best friend.  I use this on the hair (not the scalp) to add just a little oomph.  The one I am currently using is with Moroccanoil. Check it out HERE.


The best method?  What works best for you.

I hate to say this but….research is telling us that there is no one-size fits all approach with our hair.  How often we are under the shower with our shampoo in hand depends on our specific body, preferences, and our daily activities.  One rule of thumb…the dirtier you get (and the more oil you produce), the more often you may want to wash your hair.  

Wrapping this one up

A takeaway about shampoo…it is only meant to clean the scalp.  Keep the focus on scrubbing the bubbles right at the roots and scalp and let the rest of the hair just rinse out with the water.  

Conditioner?  Now this is perfect for the ends of the hair. 

I was able to successful scalp train and get down to a weekly wash and believe that this is what has help tremendously with the healthiness of my hair. 

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Jaime Warren is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

DISCLAIMER: Affiliate links may be used in posts. I only recommend products/services that I absolutely LOVE. Full disclosure policy is located HERE.

how often to wash hair

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