Here's How Often You Should Be Washing Your Natural Hair, According to a Pro

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: how often you wash your hair really boils down to personal preference, but that especially rings true for people with textured hair. For natural hair types, there are so many factors to consider when deciding how often you should shampoo, like product buildup and level of damage, to name a few. Washing your hair also requires manipulation, and one of the keys to healthy natural hair growth is keeping manipulation and stress on the hair to a minimum.

The rules can get confusing, which is why we spoke to hairstylist Whitney Eaddy for more info on how often you should wash your natural hair. Here’s what you need to know.

According to Eaddy, there are three major things you should consider when determining when it’s time for a wash: the health of your scalp, how active you are, and your hair’s porosity. “If you’re someone who suffers from psoriasis, dermatitis, or excessive dandruff, you’ll want to cleanse your scalp more frequently,” she said. “If you’re someone who works out multiple times a week and has the tendency to sweat in their scalp, you should wash more frequently — I would say probably once a week.”

Additionally, you’ll want to consider the environmental conditions around you when preparing yourself for a wash. Exposure to toxins and pollutants can impact the health of your hair, and if you don’t take the right steps to protect it, these things can end up doing damage in the long run. “If you live in an area that has higher pollution or gets super humid and rainy, you might need to do a weekly cleanse to clarify [your scalp of] those environmental factors,” Eaddy said.

Hard water may also be a product of your environment, and giving yourself a deep cleanse once a week on top of rinsing with hard water will have a harsher effect on your hair and strip it of moisture.

For that reason, Eaddy recommends that if you do choose to wash once a week, consider alternating with a cowash and only using a traditional shampoo once a month. “A deep cleanse would be [using] a shampoo, and a gentle cleanse would be [using] a cowash,” she said. “Shampoo is more to clarify your scalp and hair, and a cowash is to add hydration back to the hair by refreshing it.”

Again, this all comes down to what works best for you, so while keeping these things in mind, use your own discretion the next time you pick up your shampoo bottle.

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