Determining how often you should wash your hair is no easy task. There is no “one-size-fit-all answer. Certain hair types and textures only require washing once a week, where others work well washing 2 to 3 times a week. Different factors, from your schedule, to your lifestyle should be considered when determining how often to wash your hair.
Your daily activities should be factored in when considering your wash schedule. For example, if you work out, you will need to wash your hair more often than a natural that doesn’t. Because sweat buildup on the scalp can cause a boat load of unnecessary problems with the scalp, it’s better to be safe by washing your hair more frequently than not. For some naturals, a wash once every 8-9 days may be sufficient. However, the gym head might find it necessary to wash her hair every 5 days. Of course with washing her hair so much, she would definitely have to be on her moisturizing game. Otherwise, she poses the risk of drying her hair out and causing breakage.
If you are like me and you are a product junkie (I can’t help it), and you frequently use products, you also might find that a more frequent wash is necessary. Product buildup on the scalp can have very similar consequences as sweat buildup on the scalp. I have to use styling gel for my bun. I know that after removing my bun, I have to wash my hair.
Finding the time to wash is a completely separate issue, in and of itself. With so many of us and our busy work schedules, class schedules, having to take the kids to daycare, or the husband to work, it is very difficult to find 2-3 hours to wash. Yes, 2-3 hours—wash, moisturize, seal, twist, braid, etc. You know the routine. I suggest waking up extra early on a Saturday or Sunday to get a head start on the day, or even to handle your wash routine. Either way, it has to be done, and finding time can be an arduous task.
Whenever you decide is your wash day, keep in mind that your hair picks up soil from the environment as well as the products you put on it. Even if your routine is minimal and you don’t use a lot of product, it still gets dirty. Natural hair needs moisture, including moisture from water that you take into your body as well as water that you put on it.
Also remember that when you shampoo, your scalp should be your main focus, with your hair following coming in at a close second. Buildup, oils, products and dirt buildup should be washed and rinsed away.
What I love the most about being natural is the versatility and freedom that comes along with it. My choices in styles, colors, are almost limitless – many choices. However, don’t feel pressured to choose a wash routine that doesn’t fit your life because someone “told” you that you should wash your hair once a week. Remember to consider all factors listed about and then make a sound decision.