How often you should wash your hair: ‘Rule of thumb’ to follow for a ‘healthy scalp’


There’s nothing worse than having greasy hair, especially for those who take pride in their appearance and style their hair regularly.

While increasing the frequency of your hair-washing routine may seem like a good idea, it could do more harm than good.

For those looking to restore their hair or try a new routine, several hair experts have shared their tips on how often to wash your hair, the ingredients you should be watching out for and whether you should be washing your hair every day.

How often should you wash your hair?

Trichologist Fabian Martinez at The London Hair Clinic told shared the “ideal” amount Britons should be washing their hair.

Fabian said: “Ideally you should wash your hair every two to three days, and leave it longer if you can. Because shampoo traps oils, it can actually make your hair more dry which can lead to breakage.

“However, it also does depend on styling and heat etc which should be done as little as possible to avoid further damage.”

Ruby Jo Lomax, founder of hair, beauty and aesthetics education centre RJL Education, said how often someone washes their hair depends on their lifestyle and their hair type.

She said someone with a “naturally greasy scalp” will likely feel more comfortable washing their hair every day.

Those with greasy scalps should also avoid using conditioner and extra products to stop scalps from becoming too greasy.

“But usually when the scalp and skin is oily the person would still feel better and their hair looks cleaner after washing it,” she said.

Hayley Walker, Justmylook’s qualified beauty expert with over 20 years of industry experience, agreed with Fabian and Ruby that it will depend on a person’s hair type, however, she also shared a “good rule of thumb” to follow.

She told “The number of times we should be washing our hair will depend on your hair type, but a good rule of thumb is to wash every two to three days to ensure you have a clean and healthy scalp.”

Hayley said those with fine hair will likely need to wash their hair daily as this hair type is more prone to being greasy.

People with fine hair have more hairs on their heads and each hair follicle has an oil gland attached. Because the hair strands are so thin, they then get weighed down leading to greasy hair.

Those with thicker hair usually have to wash their hair less because their hair strands have a wider diameter. If the strand is wider then the moisture is prone to evaporating which can lead to dryer hair.

However, Hayley said that doesn’t mean you should be shampooing your hair less than every two to three days as “a clean scalp results in healthy hair”. The hair expert also revealed how often those with curly hair should wash their locks. She said: “Those with curly hair should aim to wash their hair every four days.

“Similarly to thick hair, curly hair doesn’t become greasy frequently due to the hair strands’ delicate texture that absorbs.”

Is it bad to wash your hair every day?

Some people choose to wash their hair every day because of their hair type and lifestyle. Those who exercise daily or work in a profession where their hair gets more dirty will likely wash their hair daily.

Jonathan Andrew, Fudge Professional Global Hair Ambassador and celebrity hairdresser said whether you wash your hair daily will also depend on your hair type and texture.

He said: “It’s not necessarily bad for you but it may leave your hair dull and lifeless if you’re not using the right products.

“Over-cleansing can strip your hair and make the colour fade quicker, so always use shampoos and conditioners for your needs i.e. blonde hair, think about the purple shampoos you can use daily so they’re keeping your colour bright but without drying your hair out.

“Textured curly or coily hair will not need daily washing, so again you’d be looking to treat your hair to once or twice a week washes, ideally. If you’re someone who goes to the gym daily and sweats it out, then again, you’re more likely to want/need to wash it. But you can just do a single wash and use a leave-in spray conditioner and avoid daily heat styling and go for more air drying if you can.”

What if I have a greasy scalp?

Those prone to greasy scalps can use several remedies and methods to cut down on how often they wash their hair.

Fausta Urte Geigaite, fashion expert and hair stylist from Glow Bar London said an oily scalp can be the result of genetics, hormonal changes, or even environmental factors.

One of Fausta’s “vital” tips is to choose the right products. She said: “Lightweight, balancing shampoos with ingredients like salicylic acid can help regulate sebum.”

She also suggested rinsing hair with lukewarm or cooler water as hot water can stimulate your hair’s oil glands. Another tip from Fausta is to limit how often you touch your hair. She added: “Constantly touching your hair can transfer oils from your hands to your hair.”

Ruby Jo said those with greasy hair should use a purifying shampoo that will cleanse the scalp.

She explained: “It needs to be a shampoo that works on deep cleansing the scalp and hair, it acts like a detox, deep cleaning and removing any build-up leaving the hair looking and smelling fresh.”

What ingredients should I watch out for in shampoos and hair products?

Bellissima ambassador and celebrity hairstylist Alicia Dobson revealed there are three ingredients we should watch out for in our hair products.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS is a surfactant used in shampoos to create lather and remove dirt and oil. However, Alicia warned, it can be “excessively drying and damaging to hair” and can even cause hair loss in some cases.


Alicia said: “Alcohols like propanol and isopropyl alcohol can make your hair excessively dry and brittle. Avoid products containing these alcohols.”


Parabens are cheap preservatives used in cosmetics and hair care which can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance. Parabens have been associated with potential health risks, including breast cancer and early puberty in girls.


Alicia explained that this chemical can be released from certain preservatives in shampoos. She said: It’s a known carcinogen and can irritate the skin. Avoid shampoos containing formaldehyde. Taking these factors and ingredient considerations into account will help you maintain healthy, well-balanced hair and a clean, comfortable scalp.”


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