Thursday, 15 September 2011

How often should you wash your hair?

I remember hearing of competitions way back in secondary (high) school (not my school by the way, other schools :-/) , where people would see how long they could go without washing their hair.

3 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks?? It was kudos to the person who had the longest run. I always remember thinking ' that is way gross!!', but for some reason, it was just acceptable for black women to not wash their hair that often. If you washed your hair more than once a week, folks would give you the side eye like 'whhaat? do you think you're white or something?'

So ladies, how often do YOU wash your hair? How often should we wash our hair?

Honestly, I'm not sure...I once met this girl in a hair shop when I was around 10 years old, who had the longest, thickest, lushest hair imaginable. It looked clean and healthy and shiny,  and I couldn't smell it from where I was standing. Her Mum swore she only washed it twice year. I was in shock. I think my Mum tried that tip for like 2 and a half weeks, and then gave up.

See, your scalp is skin. We wash our skin every day at least (I hope so...I'll say that again for some of you..I hope so..), so shouldn't we wash our scalp fairly frequently as well?? Also, presuming you're doing the healthy thing and exercising regularly, you sweat from your scalp - some more than others, and all that stale sweat can't be good lingering there for weeks. It is possible to cleanse your scalp without cleansing your hair, but it's a lllooottt more tricky.

The sebaceous glands on our scalp are a lot more than on any other section of skin. This means they produce more sebum (an oily fluid). Sebum keeps our hair nourished and soft, but dirt that finds our hair also clings to the sebum. So, our scalp needs regular cleansing...
Scalp Section
BUT, natural hair is very fragile and prone to dryness, so there needs to be a fine balance between keeping the scalp and hair clean, and not removing moisture. The tight curls of natural hair mean that sebum finds it harder to moisturise the entire hair shaft.

So how often should we ash our hair?

I think it's entirely up to the individual. I think any longer than 3 weeks or so is getting a bit yuck, in my opinion, but everyone needs to find what works for them.

Hair should't be smelling, or tacky and greasy before you decide to wash it. Also, your hair shouldn't look dull and lifeless, that's a definite sign that it's in for a wash.

 I generally wash my hair once every 2 weeks when it's loose in winter, and once a week in sumer. I use a mild natural shampoo, or co-wash with a  cheapie conditioner.

Tips for maintaining moisture - cleanliness balance:

1) Try co-washing. Washing with conditioner can help maintain  a clean scalp while not removing moisture.

2) Use a non-sulfate, all natural shampoo. E.g. Dr Bronners Castille Soap, Anita Grant Babassu shampoo bar....there are loads of others.

3) When washing, focus on shampooing the scalp and let the remaining suds fall down the hair, instead of lathering shampoo into the hair strands,

4) Wash your hair gently, don't scrub and rub, as this will make the hair more prone to breakage and damage.

6) Do water only rinses between washes.

Love, Peace, and Hair Grease folks x


  1. Have you ever used 'motions' products? If so, what do you think about them?

  2. what about when your hair is in extensions or weaves? Most people like to keep their hair in for like a month because of the time and effect it took getting it done and also the cost....

  3. Hey afrofy...I've never used motions products, just because they have mineral oil and petroleum in some of them, as well as silicones, and my hair just doesn't get along with those ingredients. One of my really good friends has tried motions though, and LOVES theiir product, she used them more when she was relaxed though. I personally use all natural ingredients stuff cos I'm a bit of a hippy, but let me knw how you get on...

    Anonymous - it depends on what style of extension you have in. I've never had a weave before, so I'm not au fait on how to take care of them. With extensions, when I had kinky twists and yarn braids in, I would wash my hair every 2 weeks or so, because it didn't matter if they got a bit fluffy because of the texture of the hair. With 'straight' hair extensions, such as my long box braids, I clease the scalp using Organic Root stimulator Dry shampoo, every 2 weeks, to keep my scalp clean, and don't wash the actual hair as it get's really messy.