How Often Do You Wash Your Hair?

Published in: Hair

Back when my hair was dark and my layers were long and I was having a good hair day! (P.S. Um, I'm wearing clothes in the pic, I swear!)

Back when my hair was dark and my layers were long and I was having a good hair day. Incidentally, I am wearing clothes in this pic (I swear!).

About three times a week…or four if I’m feeling EXTRA ambitious.

I can’t remember the last time I went through an entire week washing my hair daily. It may have been…maybe 10 years ago?


Whenever it was, it’s been a while.

But once upon a time, long, long ago, I used to blow dry my hair straight every day, and coupled with daily shampooing, my hair became really, REALLY dry and over-processed. I’m not sure what prompted me to stop washing it with shampoo all the time (and easing up on the heat styling), but somewhere along the way, something did, and it really helped my hair. It also saves time.


If I wash my hair one evening, let it air dry overnight, and then style it the next morning, I can get at least three days out of it before my roots start to feel “janky” and smell funky. Sometimes, I can make it four days if I douse the roots with dry shampoo (no, seriously), then put my hair up in a pony or half pony, although EEK! — that’s so gross, but so true. 🙂

About half the time, I’ll wash it with conditioner alone, and the other half the time with conditioner and shampoo.

I don’t know why this topic fascinates me, but it does, and weirdly enough, it comes up in conversation all the time. I was chatting with a friend a while back, and she said that she washes her hair daily. Another friend said she does it only once a week (!). How about you? How often do you wash your hair?

How often do you wash your hair?

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Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Jessica says:

    I can go 5-6 days between washes without my roots getting “janky” lol.
    But my skin is dry and aside from a little argon oil, I don’t really use hair styling products unless I iron my hair.

    Hair washing frequency really depends on skin/hair type and products used (or not used).
    Jessica recently posted … Pastel Bath (PRT)

  2. For me it depends on the circumstances. Throughout the work week I wear my hair up anyway, so I can go three days without washing, maybe four. If I want to let my hair down I wash it every other day, but my roots are light and look greasy easily.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Taking out the trash – Part 2

  3. Chelsea says:

    Most days! I have fine hair, and I don’t do well with skipping days, especially with my scalp..

  4. Anne says:

    I wash my hair every morning, because I always feel that otherwise it would feel and look greasy and gross. I don’t know how people manage to wake up with perfect hair – ans I envy them! Do you put your hair up in a bun at night or how do you prevent it from getting all messed up from tossing and turning in bed? I tried that last night because we spent the night at my brother in law’s place and I didn’t want to wash my hair in the morning. It was ok and not as messy as usual, but I wouldn’t have gone to work with my hair looking like that. I also disliked the feeling of not having squeaky clean hair. When we got home in the afternoon, I jumped straight into the shower.

    • Ruta says:

      If your hair gets crazy messy after sleeping, put it in a braid before you go to bed? Helps me a bit if I try to keep the poofy down but mostly, use a damp brush to brush it out in the morning, it brings life back into your hair and it tidies up well. However it usually only works for people with naturally curly or straight hair. If you use hair styling water will undo a chunk of that work.

    • Maggie says:

      I’ve heard of using a silk pillowcase or braiding your hair and then encasing it in silk–my friend swears by it.

      Living Proof also makes a hair product called night cap I think. I’ve never used it.

      People who wake up with perfect hair have perfect hair genes.

  5. Tulipthecat says:

    I wash my hair twice a week and I noticed my hair color definitely lasts longer and my hair isn’t as dry. I do have a ritual. For the first 2 days it’s down, then a bun, then a ponytail.

  6. aeris444 says:

    Everyday! I have very short hair and I use styling wax so if I don’t wash it every morning they’re sticky and untamable!

  7. Isis the Cat says:

    I wash my hair thoroughly about 12-14 times a day. Anything less is unacceptable.

    Completely, totally, unacceptable.
    Isis the Cat recently posted … Pastel Bath (PRT)

  8. Mariam says:

    In the winter, I wash my hair once a week. In warmer months, I usually tend to wash it twice a week, but three if I wake up with it smelling not so fresh. I have curly fine hair but tons of it and it can get really dry. I also blow dry it straight every time I wash it (vs. a flat iron) to avoid nasty greasy roots! I use minimal products–usually I’ll go for a finishing light oil that I only apply from mid-shaft to ends and will only use a tiny amount!

    PS. I also love this topic 🙂

  9. Lulle says:

    2 to 3 times a week, depending on the weather and the intensity of my workouts. Hot weather and intense exercise make my hair greasy faster. If I’m really desperate I can go 5 days between washes as long as I use dry shampoo and keep my hair up in a pony or bun.
    Lulle recently posted … Sunscreen for medium to dark skintones: OZ Naturals Age Defying Solar Shield SPF30 review

  10. RM says:

    I scrub my scalp with non silicone conditioner about 3/week. It only gets shampoo when I get a haircut, 7 or 8 times a year. My red color stays vibrant and my waves look great.

  11. Iris says:

    It’s everyday for me. I have thick hair which feels oily to me if I don’t wash it daily. I do skip days during the winter when it’s less humid out.

  12. Tatiana says:

    I have super fine hair that I keep short because it gets wispy/stringy if it goes past my jawline. Since I sweat profusely under my helmet, my hair gets washed when I get home from the barn, 5 to 6 days a week. The other two days the DH drags me out for a run and I end up sweating beneath my baseball cap that wear to keep the sun off my scalp. I usually conditioner wash it every other day and use conditioner/shampoo on alternate days.

  13. Lisa says:

    once a week or less! i’m super lucky to have dry skin and hair, and i barely sweat (and not head/face) with workouts, so it’s hardly even dirty looking by day 7 – i usually wash just because it’s gotten a little flat, and i like that clean head feel. if i use a lot of product, i usually end up washing every 3-4 days, because there’s no way to really revive a beach spray after it’s been in a while…

    but between washings, i never get it wet. i have friends who wash with just conditioner sometimes like you mentioned… but i’ve found it makes my hair feel heavy and gross. maybe i am using the wrong thing. do you use a lighter conditioner those days?

  14. Christine says:

    I’m a 2x/week washer — I try to time it to coincide with days I have dance classes (that way it’s dirty enough to hold a bun and then I can wash the sweat out afterwards!). I started to go longer between shampoos when I started dying my hair (purple, then red, now I’ve got magenta) to help the color last longer. I only need dry shampoo on wash day (which is usually indicated by me wearing my hair up and bangs pinned back! ha!). I also don’t use much in the way of styling products and I let my hair air-dry at night.

  15. I typically wash my hair every 2-3 days, unless it’s really hot out and my head gets super sweaty haha. I’ve gone 4-5 days without washing, but even with dry shampoo, by the end my scalp feels very grimy and I start to see dandruff in my dark hair! Also, my scalp starts to ache if I don’t wash my hair for too many days. I’m not sure how to describe it or if anyone else has that issue, but it’s almost like my scalp is sore from my hair being in the same position for too long lol

  16. lola says:

    Karen, please, what is you lipstick here ?…

  17. Lisa says:

    I used to be an everyday shampoo girl, but last year dyed my hair deep burgundy, so I had to learn some survival skills 😉 If I use product in my hair after I wash, I can get 3 days out of a shampoos, using dry shampoo the last morning if needed. I work from home, so if i can get 4 days, I go with it. I have gone back to highlighted brunette, but am keeping the minimal washing since it makes my hair happy.

    However If I am traveling – for vacation or for work, I end up switching back to every day shampooing, since I have no patience for bad hair days on a business trip. When I get home I deep condition the heck out of my hair for a week or two to get it back to shape.

    • Christine says:

      I also work from home and totally roll with day 4 hair! Top knot with the bangs pinned up and BAM. Ready to start my day.

  18. Vanessa says:

    Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday.

    I can stretch it to 3 or even 4 days but I don’t like the itchy feeling and miss the fluffy hair. Also, my hair needs the conditioner for moisture.

    I tired cowashing. My hair loved it, but my scalp didn’t. So a regular, but mild, shampoo for me!

  19. Amanda says:

    It all depends on hair texture. Super fine hair simply does not last more than 2 days without cleansing. Last month, I started using the Aveda Be Curly Co-Wash, and it’s been an absolute game changer. It’s the best thing I’ve done for my hair in years. I’d love to trade places with someone with thick, coarse hair so I could go 3-4 days without washing. It goes to show that everyone’s hair requires some kind of maintenance.

    Also, does anyone else easily get scalp buildup or residue? It’s kind of a TMI topic, but on my second-day hair, I can feel a lot of grimy buildup on my scalp. I don’t have dandruff. My scalp feels really clean after an apple cider vinegar rinse, but after another day/another shampoo, it’s back to the same buildup.

    • Claudia says:

      I hear you Amanda!! I started using that apple cider vinegar every couple of weeks as well. Especially during the summer with added heat- I have to at least rinse my hair without the shampoo.

    • Ruta says:

      That’s a really interesting ! I never really thought that fine hair would get greasy quicker.
      Must look into the Aveda product, I’m forever on the hunt for that HG shampoo. Does it stretch how long you can go between washes or does it mostly just make hair behave better for you?

  20. Trude says:

    I started training my hair to go longer once I grew out my bangs and super short cut. Now I’m like you, I can go about 3 days, although I’ve been washing and air drying a bit more often this summer since I don’t have a/c anymore! 🙂
    Trude recently posted … New Skincare Rituals

  21. Erin says:

    For me, if I’m not working out too strenuously or it’s not so hot I’m pouring buckets of sweat, I wash 3 times a week. My scalp and hair are minorly dry and can get oily depending on diet and hydration levels. Here is how I do my hair.

    1. The first day is down! My hair is wavy and bouncy looking nice. I usually put oil or serum in when it’s towel dry.
    2. Second-day hair is a bit of salt spray in a loose bun or top knot.
    3. If I’m on day 3, I use oiliness to my advantage. I put a little serum in my hair and make a sleek bun or pony taming fly aways with the teeniest amount of hairspray.

    This rotation for me means I can get 3 days of hair without dry shampoo. My hair is super fine, wavy, and easily tangles. As long as you aren’t married to having stick straight hair or shampoo commercial hair daily, this is workable for anyone who isn’t super oily or a major gym bunny.
    Erin recently posted … Three Wishes Wines

  22. Stephanie says:

    Once a week! Okay, two if something happened and my hair is sweaty and greasy. I hate how much time it takes to wash and dry my hair, so I try as hard as I can to limit how often I do it. Took me a while to get my hair used to not being washed daily but it makes my life a lot easier to not deal with it.

  23. JackieC says:

    I wash mines once every 2 to 3 weeks. My hair is extremely coily and does not produce any oil. I typically get it washed and styled in a twisted updo, and then my hair stays in that style for 2 weeks before I take it down. Sometimes I’ll wear it out for a few days and then start over. Doing this really helps with keeping the tangles and breakage at bay.

  24. Pamela Haddad says:

    20 years ago, I used to wash my hair daily. Now with phosphate free shampoos and dry shampoo, I usually wash it every 3 days. But I brush it before I go to bed at night and use dry shampoo in the morning. But after the 2nd day, I either wear it in a pony or bun. It doesn’t smell, though. I think the Suave and Dove dry shampoos really help.

  25. Stephanie says:

    I wash daily. I have thick hair and if I don’t wash it daily it looks gross. My hair isn’t terribly greasy but it looks flat and dirty if I don’t wash it everyday. I color my hair and I dry it and flat iron it and I don’t have any problems with it being badly damaged or dry. But I use a good shampoo and conditioner, I think that’s the key. Cheap shampoo is hard on hair.

    I’m also super paranoid about smelling like my hair isn’t clean.

  26. Trisha says:

    Before I got my new haircut, I would wash it every other day to every three days. Mostly because it was super long and would look bad by then.

    Now, my hair is shorter and I style it a little differently, so it can handle less washing. Now, I’m doing it around two to three times a week.

    And I like it WAY better.
    Trisha recently posted … Pink is the New Black: My Pink Hair Journey

  27. Weirdly my skin and scalp produce less oil quite drastically when pregnant, so with Colin I could go two days between but beforehand it had to be daily or I’d have a flair of sebborheic dermatitis (adult cradle cap, sexy!) and ultra oily roots. After he was born, it was every other day. With this baby, I’m washing every 3 to 4 days, it’s crazy!! Sometimes I wash it even though the roots are still fine because it just seems like I should, haha. I’ll enjoy it while I can!
    Nicole – Beyond the Pale and Freckled recently posted … Quick Daytime Smoky Gray Eye on Fair Skin

  28. Ruta says:

    Used to be every second day but I’ve been trying to ‘train’ my hair to last three days without going funny. I don’t really use styling products on my hair so it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is but it’s a process 😀
    However I’ve really noticed the difference, my hair is way fuller now when i wash it less and it’s been a great help as I’m trying to grow them out. Less fall out too although once I’m back to the office I’ll probably need to resort to dry shampoo to keep this up.
    The idea of having all that product around my roots kind of freaks me out. Surely that can’t be good!

  29. Kalli says:

    As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten lazier about washing my hair. I have some natural, beachy type waves like Taylor Swift, so whenever I do curly hair (like 99% of the time because it’s easy) I wash it every other day. My curls/waves lose definition and my roots get really greasy, so I can’t really go longer than that. But when I straighten or blow it out, I can go 3 to 4 days without washing and IT’S AMAZING. I’ve pushed it to 5 a couple times, but by then it’s up in a bun and pretty gross.
    Kalli recently posted … Strobing! Or Extreme Highlighting or The Opposite of Contouring

  30. Ann says:

    I am an every day woman. Last year I went about 6 months washing every other day, but as I do have oily roots while my ends are a bit dry, I found I just didn’t feel good without washing. I do use Wen – a cleansing conditioner instead of regular shampoo though, so I feel like my hair still feels as good as when I was washing every other day.

  31. Michele DiCola says:

    Hi Karen,
    You have asked this question before !
    If it were up to me I would be washing my hair in the shower everyday.
    My niece who is also my hairdresser put the “Kaboosh ” on that because she said you are only making your curly hair frizzier ! Leading you to drier hair making MORE frizz!
    So I cut back .To three times per week . And I never looked back !
    I use moose with Living Proof ! It’s a good mix for curly wavy hair . I shampoo with Kersatase for color preserve .

  32. Rachel R. says:

    Every 2-3 days for me. My hair has never been terribly oily, and I color it. I condition it about once a week and right after I color.

  33. MonicaP says:

    I “try” to wash my hair every other day, but if I wake up and my hair is a mess or super flat .. then I’ll wash my hair and just shampoo my scalp and condition the ends.

    I have discovered Oribe texturizing spray and this stuff is the bomb (so is the price, but turns out .. it’s worth it!).

    MonicaP recently posted … Anthropology crop pants for Fall

  34. Heloisa says:

    Hi, Karen! I don’t know how you can handle 4 days straight without washing your hair. But maybe the dryer Californian climate allows it? I once went 5 days without a shower (and obviously, no hair wash) because I was camping in the wild (Buffalo River in Arkansas, when I was an exchange student in the US). It was OK due to the cold, dry weather, but by the end of the week I was reeking of smoke and grease. I wash my hair on alternating days, but sometimes I go 2 days straight and (at least here in Brazil) it’s already so disgusting, I have very oily roots. In the height of summer I can wash it every day, as a matter of fact… =/

  35. Jennifer says:

    I wash my hair every day, even if I’m sick with pneumonia. The only times I recall skipping were when I was in the hospital and had a C-section and an appendectomy(NOT at the same time). My hair is superfine and straight and I can’t stand it not being clean. At least I have very little gray!!!

  36. Jodi says:

    I wash my hair every two days, 3 if I can get away with it, especially if I’m on early shift getting up at 04.15!

    I have long, naturally curly/wavy hair, but greasy roots, so use dry shampoo on the 2nd day or just wash my fringe if its my 3rd day. I’m always searching for the perfect shampoo! I’m currently loving Living Proof frizz shampoo, I find it helps keep my hair freshner and no need for lots of conditioner 🙂

  37. Tracy says:

    I used to wash my hair everyday then every other day and over the past few years it’s between 1-2x a week. I’ve noticed that my hair is healthier and I use less styling products. Plus I’ve saved a ton of money on shampoo because a bottle lasts me over 6 months now.
    Tracy recently posted … Beauty | Sonia Kashuk Micro Exfoliating Toner Review

  38. E.D. says:

    I “wash” my hair with something every other day, but half of those are conditioner washes (Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Condition is great for this), so I only use a sulfate-free shampoo every four days. My hair is curly and my scalp is dry so this is no problem.

  39. Anastassia says:

    I wash them every second day or after 3 days some times.

  40. Jane says:

    Twice a day, I have very fine hair and I’m also perimenopausal. The back of my head sweats at the slightest provocation and feels icky. I do use sulphate free shampoo and I always condition it every time. I just like to feel ultra fresh.

  41. ame says:

    3-4. Usually every other day. I can’t skip more than a day.

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