Knowing how often you should wash your natural hair might seem insignificant at first but I can assure you that it is not.
We all know that natural hair is naturally dry because of its kinks, coils and curls but does mean that we should be washing our hair every day or every other day?
There are a few reasons why this is not a good idea even though it would appear to make sense in theory.
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Why is it not a good idea to wash your natural hair every day?
In simple terms washing your hair every day is not a good idea because you would be stripping your hair of its natural oils and making it feel dry all over again.
I don’t know if you have noticed but I certainly know with my own hair that once I wash it although it does feel clean my hair does not quite feel “right”.
Adding your oils and butter can help with that feeling but it’s only after a few days that my hair really begins to feel normal again.
For the longest time, I could not understand why that was until much more recently.
There is no oil out there on the market that can replicate the exact sebum that your scalp excretes. Jojoba oil is quite good but still a far cry from your own natural sebum.
When this oil is released from your scalp it travels down your hair strands and can be the perfect moisture and protection for your hair.
Because natural hair is kinky it is harder for the oil to travel smoothly down the strands easily. This is why natural hair is naturally dry and why we always have to find ways to lock in moisture using methods such as LOC.
Sometimes it can take a few days for the sebum to really feel as though it is moisturising your hair because of how hard it is for it to travel.
If you decide to wash your hair too often you will never get the benefit of those essential oils from your scalp.
How often should you wash your hair?
It can be fairly hit or miss with this question because the answer will always vary from person to person.
If you are the type that likes to use a lot of products in your hair then the chances are that you will get a lot of build-up and need to wash your hair more often for it to feel clean.
The type of hair you have can also affect this. If you are more in the type 3 range of hair its easier for your hair to feel weighed down by products so again your washing frequency will be different.
As a rough marker, it’s a good idea to start with every 2 weeks and see how your hair responds. You might find that this works perfectly for you and others may feel the need to wash a little more or a little less than this.
It’s pretty much about experimenting and seeing what works for you.
Different ways to wash your hair
When we talk about washing your hair it’s always a good idea to break down what that constitutes as being because us naturals have a bunch of different ways that we can wash our hair.
Shampooing our hair is the first way that most people think of when it comes to washing hair.
This includes no-poo and low-poo washing too.
Shampooing your hair is the best way to get rid of product build-up and to refresh your hair but as already discussed it can be a fast track way to dry out your hair too.
Personally speaking, I only like to wash my hair with shampoo once a month but I am very low maintenance with my hair and don’t use a ton of products for it.
I love to co-wash, not only because the process is typically faster than shampooing my hair but because it is just enough to keep my hair feeling refreshed.
I choose to co-wash my hair roughly every 2 weeks. as this leaves my hair clean enough to feel light and for my hair to be easily manageable.
When your hair is too bogged down with products styling is much more difficult.
Co-washing is a great way to keep hair fresh without drying it out too much.
If you are going to shampoo your hair then I would definitely add deep conditioning as part of your process.
This will help to add back some of the moisture lost from shampooing. This is particularly important if you have type 4c hair.
Water only washing
If you haven’t already heard of the water only washing craze, then where have you been?
Washing your hair with water only has now become a thing because there is not much stripping of natural oils happening as you are only using water to wash it.
This is actually a great way to get the oils from your scalp to move around better in order to keep moisture levels up.
Not only that but for those that suffer from an overproduction of sebum, this can be a great way to manage your sebum levels.
Just note that while others have found success with this method some have not.
What happens if I don’t wash my hair enough?
If you fail to wash your hair enough then you will be susceptible to lots of product build-up and clogged follicles meaning that your hair will not be able to grow as well as it should.
You may also discover that if you have certain scalp conditions such as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis going too long between washing could cause your condition to flare up more. This is why its good to experiment with what works for you.
Final thoughts on how often you should wash natural hair
There is no one particular golden answer for this unfortunately but somewhere between 1-2 times a month is a good place to start,
How often do you wash your hair?