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How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

To shampoo or not to shampoo?

When it comes to washing your hair, everyone has a different idea of what the perfect routine is, and so they should, because no two heads of hair are alike.

We can’t tell you what’s right for you—that’s up to you to decide—but we can give you some tips and tricks on how to care for your hair. Play around with our suggestions to discover what works for you and you’ll end up with a routine that makes your hair look and feel its best.

Why we shampoo

Your scalp creates a natural oil called sebum that protects hair and keeps it moisturized and soft. Sebum eventually builds up along with styling products and dirt, weighing hair down. Shampooing removes this buildup, makes us look and smell fresh again, and prepares hair for styling—clean hair will hang onto a heat-styled look or blowout longer than dirty hair.

Ground rules

Try not to shampoo every day, as washing too frequently can strip the hair, leaving it brittle and prone to breakage. Aim to wash every other day at the most, or wait a few days between shampoos if you’re able. How long you wait is up to you, but if your scalp begins to itch or if your hair becomes visibly oily, it’s time to lather up. If your hair feels too oily between washes, sprinkle some No Drought Dry Shampoo onto your roots and then comb or shake it through to absorb some excess oil and give your hair a boost of volume.

How to care for your hair if…

You exercise and sweat regularly:

After a workout, hop in the shower to rinse out your hair, but we still don’t recommend washing it daily, even if you’re working up a sweat. On your day(s) between washes, simply rinse with water or conditioner, which can counteract the drying effects salty sweat can have on hair.

If you don’t have time for a shower, Sea Spray Hair Mist can add a light hold, body, shine, and texture to your locks—it also offers a lovely citrusy-floral scent.

You’ve got fine, straight hair:

Fine and straight hair gives sebum an easy path from the scalp down each strand, so it gets oily more quickly and needs to be washed more often.

When it comes to conditioner, use a lightweight one like Happy Happy Joy Joy or Veganese on your ends only. You naturally produce enough oil to keep your roots moisturized and don’t need heavy conditioners weighing them down.

You have chemically processed hair (bleached, permed, relaxed, colored, etc.):

Processed hair is porous, so it absorbs oils and doesn’t get greasy as quickly. This means that you can wait a few days between washes, which is great if you’ve got a dye job. Porous, colored hair can lose its pigment every time you shampoo. Use a gentler option like Fairly Traded Honey made with—you guessed it—fairly traded honey, which naturally draws moisture into the hair.

You have curly or coarse hair:

Sebum has a harder time traveling down the hair shaft in curly or course hair, so it takes longer to look and feel oily, letting you go several days between washes. This also means that the ends of your hair can get dry. If you’re looking for something to add to your existing routine, you can also try a leave-in hair moisturizer like Revive. Scoop out a small amount with your hands, rub it into your ends when you get out of the shower and you’re ready to go.

If your hair is afro, mixed-textured, very curly or extremely dry, consider avoiding shampoo entirely and try co-washing. Using conditioner in place of shampoo can still remove excess oil, dirt and styling products from the scalp without stripping your hair. If you’re not ready to get rid of shampoo altogether, Avocado Co-wash offers the best of both worlds, caring for dry curls and textured hair with hydrating ingredients that cleanse and add moisture without stripping away natural oils. Learn more about co-washing here.

Nourish, cleanse and condition with Avocado Co-wash.

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Have more questions about how to care for your hair? Visit your nearest Lush store.

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