Over-washing your hair with shampoo can indeed cause lasting damage to your hair and scalp. This doesn’t just apply to women, but men also. Whether you’re a young man or a mature silver fox, rocking a buzz cut or long, luscious locks, you might be wondering what the ideal frequency to wash is for a healthy head of hair. Well, you’re in the right place.
While you should find a washing routine that works best for your own specific circumstances (which we’ll go into below), the general rule of thumb is every 2-3 days. Not washing your hair every single day should give your body time to replenish the natural oils that keep your head, hair, and scalp healthy.
What do hair professionals have to say?
How often should guys wash their hair? Despite what you might think, the advice is the same for men as it is for women: around three times per week or every 2-3 days is the best routine to keep your hair healthy on average.
Dermatologists seem to agree too, with specialist Dr. Lucy Chen stating that “the average individual can typically go 2 to 3 days without shampooing their hair”. She goes on to say that those with fine hair who exercise daily or live somewhere particularly humid will notice a faster build-up of ‘sebum’ (natural oils) on their hair and may want to shampoo more regularly — even once per day.
Why is it bad to use shampoos excessively?
If you shampoo too often, your hair is likely to get dry and damaged. Your scalp loses its natural protection introducing a higher risk of skin problems like dandruff. Using a gentler shampoo like this 2-in-1 sandalwood shampoo can reduce the effect of excessive washing.
Does age matter?
Older hair is drier and more fragile, so you might want to wash your hair less as you get older. 3-4 times per week is acceptable for most younger adults, but you may want to reduce this to three or even two times per week as you age. The very elderly only need to wash their hair once a week to reduce the breakdown of skin and loss of oils over time which gets harder for the body to replenish as we age.
Does length of hair and type of hair matter?
Length should be a consideration when considering how often to wash men’s hair. The natural oils that protect your hair are excreted near the roots of your hair. The longer your hair, the longer it takes for these oils to make their way down the full length. It can be a good idea to wait longer between washes to give long hair a chance to remain strong and healthy.
Facial and pubic hair is a different animal altogether. For pubic hair, we would recommend not using any typical shampoo products as this can offset the PH balance of the pubic region leading to issues like yeast infections. Facial hair also requires less intensive cleaning, but heavier beards can benefit from a specially-formulated beard shampoo once or twice a week.
Is rinsing without shampoo a good idea?
The main purpose of shampoo is to remove stubborn oils, dirt, and odours from the hair strands more easily. With that said, it’s not entirely necessary. A water rinse alone is often enough to remove most of the unwanted debris from your hair – especially if it’s quite short.
If you want to know how often to wash hair for healthier locks but prefer to wash it daily, consider only using shampoo once every two or three days.
Impact of balding or thinning?
Washing your hair more regularly doesn’t appear to directly impact balding or hair loss, which might be comforting if you’re wondering how often to wash thinning hair. That being said, the products you use to wash your hair can potentially speed up the balding process. It’s important to read through the ingredients used in your shampoo and make sure it’s the right fit for your hair and skin type. Products with mostly natural ingredients like this lemon and tea tree shampoo are likely to do the least damage. Learn more about the best soaps for men here.
There are also studies suggesting long-term use of shampoos with specific ingredients like ketoconazole and even caffeine may be useful in the treatment of hair loss conditions like Alopecia, though the scientific community is somewhat split on the efficacy of these types of treatment. Regardless, strong hair is less prone to fall out through the hair loss process, so it can be a good idea to invest in a strengthening shampoo like this one for the best results.