Exactly how often should you wash your hair?

Featured Image: iStock.

It’s a question I’ve struggled with for years; exactly how often should you wash your hair? Every day seems excessive (and time consuming) and any longer makes me start to feel like a slimy grease ball.

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Luckily science has come to the rescue with a definitive answer: none of us need to be washing our hair daily. Anyone else rejoicing at the amount of snooze time they’ll gain by not washing and blow-drying your hair every day?

“It’s paradoxical, but people who wash their hair a lot to get rid of oil are drying out their scalp and producing more oil,” Boston Medical Centre’s hair clinic Lynne Goldberg told Business Insider.

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But experts add that how much you need to wash your hair comes down to two important factors.

Number one: Your individual oil production.

Just like with your face, some people produce far more oil (sebum) than others. The glands in the skin which produce oil are located right next to the hair follicle which can make your hair feel greasy and weighed down. Your scalp produces the sebum and the oil then travels down the shaft of the hair. Tres sexy.

Hormonal changes such as puberty or pregnancy can also have an impact on the amount of oil your scalp produces so you may find that you require more frequent shampoo action during these times. (Post continues after gallery.)

Number two: hair type

Your hair type also contributes to the hair washing debate, with fine-haired women often feeling the oil slick a lot worse than those with thicker hair. This is because the oil itself takes longer to travel on heavier hair so if you're blessed with Rapunzel-like locks, you could get away with a once-every-few-days wash.

Related: 7 problems every curly-haired woman has ever had: solved.

So it's simple, excess oil producers just need to wash their hair more often, right? Well, just hold up there a second.

Frequent washing could actually be your problem. Image via istock


Frequent washing could actually be doing more harm than good when it comes to eliminating oily hair. You see, stripping the hair of the natural oils encourages further oil production which means that the more you wash your hair, the more oil your body thinks it needs to produce in order to replace what's missing. Therefore every second day should be more than sufficient when it comes to a good shampoo.

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If you're looking for a low maintenance hairstyle, consider having the chop like these celebs. Low maintenance guaranteed - hello extra sleeping time.

How often do you shampoo your hair?

Related: Hit snooze one more time: we know how to style unwashed hair.