This Is How Often You Should Really Be Washing Your Hair

The answer might surprise you

Real talk: most of us aren’t born with Blake Lively levels of hair volume.

When it comes to faking it, we might try blow-drying tresses with a round brush, applying a volumising spray or even, clip-in extensions. If your hair is still looking limp, the problem might be in the way you’re looking after it. Or, more specifically, you could be washing your hair incorrectly.

Here, we investigate, how often should you really be washing your hair?

Generally speaking, daily hair care involves shampoo, conditioner and de-tangling any knots with a fine-tooth comb. But when it comes to flat hair, conditioner is often the culprit. While it can be great for detangling knots, it can also weigh your tresses down if you’re not using the right type of nourishing formula. In fact, most hair types should only use it on the tips and ends.

How often should you wash your hair?

Shampoo schedules are very serious and getting the timing right is vital if you want your hair to look fresh on a particular day. Experts are divided on how often we should be washing our hair, but a general rule to follow is every two to three days. However, this can quickly change depending on your hair type, lifestyle and even where you live. 

Essentially, the less you wash your hair, the less you’ll need to wash your hair. If you gradually reduce the number of times you wash each week, you’ll find over time your hair will need to be cleaned less frequently but will still continue to look and feel healthy. 

To achieve this, it’s important to minimise how often you use styling tools such as curlers or straighteners and limit the amount of hair products going on your head.

If your hair is prone to oiliness, consider using some dry shampoo on your roots to soak up excess oil instead of needing a full wash every time.

Hair washing tips
(Credit: @meccabeauty)

Is it bad to wash your hair every day?

While some may need to wash their hair more regularly than others, washing your hair every day is considered a bad thing. Over-washing on any hair type will remove important natural oils, known as sebum, stripping it of moisture and leaving your hair feeling dry and brittle.

Other signs of over-washing include the colour of your hair beginning to fade (especially after an in-salon colour treatment), an increase in frizz and a flaky scalp. 

hair washing tips
(Credit: @bellathomas)

How often you should wash your hair also depends on your hair type

Our hair type is a big indicator of the hair washing schedule that will work best for you (and give you your best hair days yet).

Those with curly hair should be washing no more than three times a week because those curls really depend upon natural oils produced by your scalp to keep in perfect, bouncy shape. However, if you have fine or straight hair, an oily scalp will show more easily, meaning that you might need to wash every second day. 

According to recent research, brunettes should wash their no more than twice a week. This is because over-washing brown hair makes it dehydrated, drawing it’s pigment out and leaving it colourless and dry. If you have short hair, washing it frequently is allowed as it generally is not subjected to the rigours of styling. Naturally dry hair types may require more washing, but with a smaller quantity of shampoo with a formula that nourishes and boosts moisture.

When it comes to looking after stressed-out hair, the right shampoo can make a world of difference.

“Definitely avoid sulphates, as they dry out your hair and cause frizz,” explains Lauren McCowan, Evo and Cloud Nine Creative Director.

“They can also strip the natural oils from hair which keep it moisturised and luscious.”

Look for a shampoo that can deeply clean and remove product build-up without stripping your natural oils, then, opt for a conditioner that will seal your strands with moisture.

The Pantene Nutrient Blends Miracle Moisture Boost Shampoo and Conditioner with Rosewater strike the perfect balance between nourishing and moisturising hair, without weighing down strands or leaving them oily.

Pantene Nutrient Blends Miracle Moisture Boost Shampoowith Rosewater
Pantene Nutrient Blends Miracle Moisture Boost Shampoo with Rosewater, $18. (Credit: Supplied)
Pantene Nutrient Blends Miracle Moisture Boost Conditioner with Rosewater
Pantene Nutrient Blends Miracle Moisture Boost Conditioner with Rosewater, $18. (Credit: Supplied)

Formulated with Pro-V Formula and Rosewater (a miracle ingredient for sealing in moisture), the shampoo helps repair up to two times the damage* for smoother, more manageable salon-quality hair, while the conditioner delivers intense hydration to restore silky smoothness.

The duo leaves hair with a relaxing, floral fragrance (thanks to the rosewater), and both formulas are sulphate-free** so they’re gentle enough to use on colour-treated or permed hair.

Can shampoo and conditioner damage your hair?

Some shampoos and conditioners themselves can also contribute to hair damage. Using large quantities of shampoo while washing dry hair can remove the moisture you desperately need, making your hair even more susceptible to damage.

This issue can be made worse by accidentally using harsher shampoos, such as clarifying or volumizing products, when you don’t need to. Conditioner is the key to keeping your hair healthy and nourished, but similarly over-conditioning can prevent natural serums and oils from working effectively. The best practice is to only use a small quantity, leave conditioner in for three to five minutes and to rinse thoroughly. 

Alternately, you can skip conditioner all together and opt for a nutrient-rich hair serum (look for something with argan or macadamia nut oil in it). Remember: your next good hair day isn’t reliant on whether you use conditioner but, how you use it! 

Brought to you by Pantene.

* with system use vs P&G non conditioning shampoo.

** Sulphate Free Surfactants

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