How Often Should Women Wash Their Hair?

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Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Curejoy Expert Dr.Janardhana Hebbar Explains:

Even medical professionals who specialize in skin, hair and scalp, have divided opinions about the usefulness of shampooing and how frequently one should use shampoo. Some advice against frequent shampooing, pointing out it leads to overproduction of sebum to compensate for its constant removal. Others say shampooing is necessary to prevent sebum from collecting in the pores and hair follicles and leading to skin problems like acne.

Hair can be best compared to a fiber. The more you wash it, the worse it’s going to look. So, there’s no need to wash your hair every day. The frequency with which you need to wash your hair depends on your hair type and length along with many other factors.

The longer, thicker, curlier, and more processed your hair is, the longer it can go between washes. This is because the oils from the scalp do not travel down the hair shaft as quickly, so the hair tends to be dry and requires less frequent shampooing.  However, even the most unprocessed, short, thin, straight hair can skip a day without being washed.

Daily shampooing is only necessary if oil production on the scalp is high. Also, if you choose to shampoo daily, use a lightweight shampoo. Switching to non-foaming, sulphate-free cleansers will also go a long way in keeping your hair healthy. Natural ingredients produce less suds, but they still have plenty of cleaning power with the added benefit of less residue.

Excessive shampooing can actually require more styling. Hair washed every day with shampoo tends to need more styling product, because it’s so clean, soft and loose. All these products eventually lead to more shampooing as they build up and make hair look dull. Cleansing the scalp 3 times a week is recommended, but this depends on the individual. If you tend to have an oilier scalp, you may need to cleanse only once a week.

How you cleanse your hair is more important than how frequently you wash it. In general, roots get greasier than ends do and shampooing can dry them out. So cleansing the scalp, where the sebum is most concentrated, is very important.

The key is to use the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair. If you feel the need to wash every day or nearly every day pick a shampoo that is mild. If it’s looking flat and limp the second day after washing you may be using a shampoo and conditioner that is too rich and thick for your hair.

It’s possible to freshen up your hair, between washes, without resorting to water and the subsequent heat styling. You can try using dry shampoo or a little baby powder to absorb the grease in between washes and reduce shampooing to 1-2 times a week.



Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

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Tina Best
Tina Best 5pts

I recommend people try washing their hair with water. When I switched to water only, my hair grew thicker and is no longer oily.

Susan Burch
Susan Burch 5pts

I use a non sulfate shampoo and pariben. But my hair by the end of the day my hair is greasy looking. I do try dry shampoo. And one day a week I don't wash it.

Melissa Jones
Melissa Jones 5pts

Also, if you use shampoos with sulfates, you'll need to wash more often. Which exposes you to more sulfates, which causes you to need to wash more often which... I just use natural shampoo bars or baking soda, about twice a week.

Janine Oliver
Janine Oliver 5pts

I agree. My hair is now the longest it's ever been in my life and I wash it about 2 to 3 x per week.

Janine Oliver
Janine Oliver 5pts

Over washing hair is not good for my hair and scalp. I put my hair in a braid and leave it sometimes for 2 days. Then I take it out of the braid and leave it for another day or 2. My hair is a "less is best" motto in that the less I do to it, the more it grows!

Stella Aslani
Stella Aslani 5pts

My hair is naturally so dry that washing it once (max twice if I work out or during the summer) a week is the only way to keep it healthy, and no it does not smell and it look better than hair of most people who wash it everyday. But people with oily or normal and thin hair do not get that. Having dry, thick long hair looks amazing but you have to know how to treat it.

Stella Aslani
Stella Aslani 5pts

Not if your hair is so dry that washing it everday makes it even worse.

Rozi Khan
Rozi Khan 5pts

How can we use natural herbs to wash our hair? Plz tell me easy herbal wash shampoo? Witch is available in UK

Annie John
Annie John 5pts

No I live in UK from India... My hair length was till my knees and gradually over the past few years I have gradually brought it up to my hip level

Hilda Cardenas
Hilda Cardenas 5pts

Hi Annie John do yo live on India ? and by the way you have a beautiful hair.

harinisrinivas 5pts

Hi I m from Bangalore I was my hair weekly ones r twice after washing my hair it I'll b smooth nd shiny oly for two days after that I'll b ruf

Wat shd I do for it pls tell

U can send m t reply to [email protected]

Kgaitsewe Mofolo
Kgaitsewe Mofolo 5pts

Women only and men they are human like us they also sweat. How many times should a human being wash their hair is more relevant

Annie John
Annie John 5pts

I haven't been to Mexico yet and I don't know about their life style \U0001f61c when I don't know something ... I don't know

Ana M. Guzman-Quiroga
Ana M. Guzman-Quiroga 5pts

Tania, i take public transportaion and believe me that some peoples hair smells rancid. It has nothing to do with researching. You have your opinion and I have mine. Maybe if they rinse it everyday with water and shampoo once or twice a week would probably work. If people sweat at night and workout the combination of both is gross. Don't go and attack me for my opinion. I respect yours so please respect mine.

Dawn Hayes Shrinarine-Forney
Dawn Hayes Shrinarine-Forney 5pts

Your reaction is certainly not unbelievable!! I too get nauseous from the smell of unwashed hair. I have gone the no shampoo route and the every other day or 3 X a week route and my hair never adjusted and the oil on my scalp made me sick. I wash my hair daily and I challenge anyone to find a split end. I don't use products on it or color it and it is super healthy. I don't have to get a trim but a few times a year. Some peoples natural oils do not smell good and it's gross.

Annie John
Annie John 5pts

You might be having short hair.... I come from a state where almost every girl / woman has hip or knee length hair... Today's youngsters not included though ....xxxx

Tania Salender
Tania Salender 5pts

Unbelievable your reaction. Hair does not to be washed everyday and if it gets wet, because you take a shower that's fine but it doesn't need shampoo everyday because you strip all the natural oils! I am very sorry to say so Ana! You should look up it up. It's very interesting!

Kelly Eskobar
Kelly Eskobar 5pts

I have long hair and i wash it everyday. How can people wash it once a week ? its just nasty.

Jeanna Sargent
Jeanna Sargent 5pts

I'd love to wash my hair every two or three days but my hair is too thin and oily. And no, certain scalps cannot be "trained" to "even out" oil production.

Matthew Potter
Matthew Potter 5pts

Nothing worse than smelling somebodys hair oils! Clean your hair everyday unless your staying home.

Lydia Durig
Lydia Durig 5pts

I've found my hair is healthier the less I wash it and strip it of its natural oils. Once a week now is all i do. It's not gross or stinky & if it is then I wash it more.

Annie John
Annie John 5pts

Women from certain states of India washes their hair everyday and let it dry naturally.

Ana M. Guzman-Quiroga
Ana M. Guzman-Quiroga 5pts

If you workout, you sweat. Hair should be washed daily. It is nasty to smell unwashed hair. It smells rancid. I actually have to cover my nose as smelly hair makes noceous.

Farhat Dar
Farhat Dar 5pts

Women cannot wash long hair everyday . I wash two to three times depending on condition weather and look , in a week. My hair is healthy.

Salona Ramburn
Salona Ramburn 5pts

no hard and fast rule can be laid down about the frequency of washing , as far as natural herbs are used to cleanse the hair.

Tarek Hattar
Tarek Hattar 5pts

all those girls i met who didnt washed daily had smelly heads! yuk!!!

Lynda Frigard
Lynda Frigard 5pts

I wash every 3-4 days. It depends on my oil build-up. I would and have gone longer if it's not that bad and I where a cap. My hair looks good because of this