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  • Elleven Salon

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair

Finding the perfect hair washing schedule could seem impossible, but it's a project that's well worth it once you find that groove! We've all heard different things about how often you should wash your hair, but there's no simple answer. Honestly, who wouldn't want to spend a little time finding the best routine to get healthy hair that may even cut down on your shampoo days? There are just a couple of things about your hair that you need to determine first, just to give you a better idea of what's right for you. You'll need to find your hair type, texture, damage, and situational factors like pollution or workouts.

Strength Test

Make sure to grab just one hair to take the strength test to determine thickness. If you can't feel the strand in between your fingers, you have fine hair. If it feels thick or coarse, you have thick hair.

This should give you a really good starting point on your journey to the perfect hair washing schedule!

Stretch Test

Stretch out one strand of hair. If it breaks when you stretch it, it has low elasticity. If the hair extends to more than its normal length, it has higher elasticity, which also means healthier hair. You can go longer between washes with higher elasticity since it can take more than unhealthy hair. Keep in mind that brushing while wet can also cause a bit of damage and lower elasticity. If you have low elasticity, look into a strengthening treatment like Kerastase Resistance Masque. This masque does wonders for brittle or dry hair. It's a total miracle worker!

Fine Hair

Fine Hair

You can expect to wash your fine hair every 1-2 days. Many fine-haired people have more oil glands on the scalp, which makes it become greasy a little more quickly. If it doesn't produce a lot of oil, you can get away with every other day. You could also consider applying a dry shampoo for a pop of volume if you don't need a wash quite yet, but find your hair falling a little flat.

Use high quality shampoos geared towards your hair goals to avoid damage from washing it often. A good choice would be something sulfate free so it won't strip the good oils that make your hair a little healthier. When you find the right shampoo, you may even be able to extend the time between hair washing days. Another good idea may be to alternate between using hot tools and air drying your hair. Use them every other time you wash your hair to avoid heat damage.

Thick, Curly, or Coarse Hair

As little as twice a week could be the key for you. According to dermatologists, twice a week is recommended to avoid product buildup on your scalp. Buildup without cleaning can result in a flaky scalp, which isn't so glamorous.

You can get away with washing less since it doesn't show as quickly, and the hair can become dry if washed too often. It can also depend on the amount of hair product you use. Consider adding a third time each week if you use a lot of product on your hair. Just like your face, oil and product buildup occur on your scalp, and you want to keep that clean and healthy for happy hair!

Washing Tips

Hair Washing
  • Make sure the hair is completely wet when applying shampoo

  • Use a little shampoo to lather into the roots, rinse, then do an all-over shampoo

  • One of the largest risks to your hair is damage while wet, as the hair is weakest when it isn't dry. Be kind to your hair and try to avoid brushing while wet

  • If you over-wash your hair, be aware it could result in dry scalp, straw-like hair, and irritation, according to professionals

  • Massage shampoo with pads of fingers into scalp for around 30 seconds at least - NO NAILS!

  • Use fingers to comb through and don't rub ends in circular motion unless you want those locks to tangle

  • If you notice itching, flaking, product buildup, greasy strands (not just the roots), or unpleasant smells, it's time for a good shampoo

  • If you feel like you want to go longer without washing but you see a bit of greasy roots, give some dry shampoo a shot! It can really make a difference and save the day! We love Invisible Dry Shampoo by Redken. It's a lifesaver!

  • If you color your hair, the more often you wash it, the more quickly it fades

  • Consider applying dry shampoo before blow drying for an added layer of protection. It'll protect against those irritating spots that get a little oily while you sleep

  • If you feel like you need a wash, consider a shampoo substitute like a co-wash or cleansing conditioner that could give you the same result

This guide can help you develop that schedule that your hair will love! You may have to change it up with physical activity or environmental factors, but you can at least have a good idea of what your hair needs to look and feel its best. No schedule is the same for two people, given all the factors that affect our hair like working out, pollution, sweating, using heat on our hair, thickness, elasticity, and so many more. Trial and error is the only way to get your schedule down. Once you finally find that sweet spot, you'll be glad you did!

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