How often should you wash and condition your hair? It seems like an obvious question with an obvious answer: every day. Washing and conditioning your hair everyday, however, may actually do more harm than good. Knowing what type of hair you have will tell you how often you should wash and condition. When it comes to purchasing shampoo and conditioner there are typically five hair “types” from which you can choose: normal, curly, dry/damaged/chemically treated, oily, and combination hair.
Normal hair is typically hair that does not have any noticeable problems. People with normal hair usually don’t deal with dryness or oiliness on a regular basis. If you have normal hair then your hair already has the proper balance of natural oils (also known as sebum) within it. Normal hair should be washed and conditioned at the least once or twice a week. If you lead an active lifestyle you should wash it more often to prevent the buildup up sweat, dirt, and chemicals. It is important with normal hair that you do not wash it too much as that can potentially dry your hair out. The same goes for conditioning as too much conditioning can make your hair limp and oily. Washing your hair once or twice a week will insure you do not over dry or over-moisturize your hair. Any further washing and conditioning should be on an as-needed basis.
Curly hair should be washed and conditioned every other day with products tailored specifically for this hair type. Overwashing curly hair can lead to frizzy, non-defined curls because it will strip the hair of its natural oils before it can produce more. If you wash curly hair every other day, however, the proper balance of natural oils will be distributed along the strands of hair.
Dry, damaged, or chemically treated hair requires the most care when it comes to washing and conditioning. There are many product lines specifically tailored towards this category of hair type. If you fall into this category be sure to use the shampoo and conditioner made for your hair. You should wash and condition this type of hair every few days. This type of hair is often weak or brittle and too much washing can actually do more damage by stripping the hair even further of sebum. The hair is also very fragile when it is wet and actions such as brushing or combing the wet hair can cause breakage. Overwashing colored hair can lead to the color being stripped from the strands causing a faded look. Washing and conditioning dry, damaged, or chemically treated hair every few days can minimize this damage. There are also deep conditioners available which are excellent for those with this type of hair. Deep conditioners should be typically used no more than once a week or, for the heavy-duty conditioners, once every two weeks. These deep conditioners help to seal in moisture. After using a deep conditioner, do not wash your hair for at least one day, possibly even two. This will help the moisture to stay on the strands as long as possible and allow the distribution of the hair’s natural oils.
Oily hair should be washed every day. Unlike dry hair, oily hair has no problem distributing the sebum throughout the strands. Depending on the level of oiliness within the hair, it might be necessary to wash the oily hair every day. It is not necessary for those with oily hair to condition every day. If you do want to condition oily hair everyday it is best to use a daily or clarifying shampoo and conditioner. The daily or clarifying conditioners are lightweight and won’t saturate hair quite as much as the heavier duty conditioners.
The final hair type is combination. This is where the hair around the scalp is oily but the ends are dry or brittle. Just like it’s a combination of hair type, it is also a combination of care. The oily part should be washed every day to prevent buildup. The ends should be washed less frequently. The best way to tackle this is to condition the ends while you are washing the oily scalp area. Because the scalp is oilier it does not need to be conditioned as often as the ends. In doing this combination of care you can help even out your hair type.
Knowing what type of hair you have will help you pick out your specific line of hair care products. These shampoos and conditioners will help you maintain your hair’s healthy sheen. Also knowing how often to wash and condition is an important step in establishing a healthy head of hair.
How often do you wash your hair?