How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

An Expert Spills the Definitive Answer

Originally Published by Byrdie
By Alina Gonzalez

There's been a lot of discussions lately about how often you should shower (and at what temperature), and now we're turning the focus to the topic of your hair. How often you currently shampoo your strands probably depends on your hair type and lifestyle (i.e., how often you work out); but do you know how often you should wash your hair? It turns out there's a right and a wrong answer, and the frequency with which you shampoo can majorly affect the quality and health of your hair.

So to answer your question "How often should I wash my hair?" we reached out to Justin Anderson, creative director of salon and haircare line dpHUE and celebrity stylist at The Chris McMillan Salon (where stars like Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts are regulars). Keep reading for the definitive answer. 

If you're a daily shampooer, you're in for a reality check. Anderson categorizes "overwashing" hair as washing every single day or more. "We hear the debate on how often you should wash your hair all the time, " he says. "Simply put, washing your hair is like washing your fine clothes. The more often you do it, the more it will lose its shape and texture. Overwashing your hair—which means every day or more—will dry out your hair, not only because you are stripping the hair of its natural oils, but also because you will probably end up using heat on the hair more often as well (such as blow-drying, straightening, and curling," he says.

So what's the magic frequency? Anderson says the ideal amount to shampoo your hair is two to three times per week. If you work out regularly or feel like you "need" to wash your hair every day, you may be thinking that sounds impossible. But there's a simple solution for getting clean hair without stripping it. Keep scrolling to learn more and to find the best way to shampoo your hair.

“If your hair has been colored or chemically treated, avoid shampoos with sulfates and parabens," he advises. "I recommend gentle products, free of harsh ingredients."

Additionally, like with skin, hot water is a hair no. "Avoid hot water if you color your hair," says Anderson. "It opens the cuticle and can strip the color. I recommend washing and rinsing hair in lukewarm to cool water."

And finally, Anderson says to ease up on the conditioner. "Most people don't realize that while shampoo goes on the scalp, conditioner should be applied on the mid-ends. Shampoo cleanses the scalp, while conditioner on the scalp can make the hair have less volume."

ACV Hair Rinse

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