Yep, This Is Actually How Often You Should Be Washing Your Hair

Most men do it every day. Selena Gomez does it twice a week. Kim Kardashian goes five days without it. Then, there are people on TikTok who swear by skipping it for a full seven days. (And we don't even want to know Sansa Stark's number.) How often you should wash your hair, it seems, really boils down to personal preference. Right?

Not so fast. The answer to that question is murky, but can be summed up in four words: for the most part — but there are a few factors to keep in mind. (Fine, that's 14 words.) First, there's the matter of stripping your scalp of its natural oils when you overwash, or wash your hair every day when you don't need to, which is something you want to avoid. "Then, you must consider your hair type, hair texture, scalp condition, damage, and the style you wear," Kevin Mancuso, a hairstylist and global creative director for Nexxus, tells PS. Oh, and don't forget your environment. ("If you live in a polluted city, you're going to want to wash your hair more frequently than you probably do," he says.)

So, how often should you "do" it? We asked a handful of experts — from a hairstylist to a dermatologist to a colorist — for their opinion on how many times you should be washing your hair a week. That way you can consider the search, well, done.

How Often You Should Wash Your Hair, According to a Hairstylist

Generally speaking, and from a professional hairstylist's perspective, how often to suds up depends on your individual hair type as well as how oily your roots get. For example: "If you have an oily scalp, washing your hair every day or every other day can be good for it, especially if you have fine, straight, wavy, or curly hair and you are seeking volume and lift at the root," says Mancuso. "If your hair is very curly to 4c, daily washing may not be practical if your styling requirements are laborious. In this case, I suggest washing as frequently as you can (every two weeks should do). If you have a dry scalp, this doesn't necessarily mean you get a free pass to a filthy scalp, but I have many clients whose hair looks amazing after three days and beyond."

TLDR; It depends on your hair type. Wash your hair every day or every other day if you have an oily scalp and fine, straight, wavy, or looser curls. For dryer scalps, or thicker hair, every three to four days is best. If you have kinky coils or 4c curls, suds up every other week.

How Often You Should Wash Your Hair, According to a Dermatologist

Dermatologists are concerned about one thing: your skin — and that extends to your scalp. Still, when it comes to your scalp health, dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, says there is no "golden rule" for the amount of times you should wash your hair a week — and it's not necessarily "bad" for your skin to shampoo every day.

"If a person is oily, it's fine to wash it every day. If they are dry, it's fine to wash it once a week, but once a week at least for hygienic purposes," Dr. Fusco says. (She clarifies that this is because product can build up on the scalp, potentially leading to clogged pores, irritation, or flakes.) "Individuals with dandruff should shampoo at least twice a week using an antidandruff shampoo."

TLDR; Wash your hair once a week at minimum, unless you have dandruff, in which case twice a week with treatment shampoo is recommended.

How Often You Should Wash Your Hair, According to a Colorist

Anyone who frequently dyes their hair knows that washing it too much can dull your color. That's why as a general rule, colorist Stephanie Brown says people with color-treated hair shouldn't suds up more than every other day.

"If you have drier hair, try waiting a little longer," she says. "You want your hair to absorb some of your natural oils so it's strong and shiny. If you feel like you need to wash your hair more often, use a substitute, like a co-wash or cleansing conditioner like the Unwash Biocleansing Conditioner ($49). These don't strip the oils out and add moisture to the hair."

TLDR; If you have color-treated hair, don't wash your hair more than every other day. Try to go at least three to four days without shampooing if you can to preserve the color.

Kelsey Castañon is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and content strategist with more than 13 years of experience in publishing. She is currently the senior content director at PS, where you can find her stockpiling (and reporting on) everything from skin care to wine.