ASK-A-OUAI: How often should I really shampoo my hair?

You’d be surprised at how often we get asked –mostly from OUAI daily care users– how often to shampoo. It’s seems like the answer would be straightforward and as a general rule we say every second or third day, but there’s just no way we could give that answer to everyone without a knowing a little bit more about the person asking. After all, how often you shampoo depends greatly on the texture and length of your hair, how oily or dry your scalp is and what your lifestyle is like. Below is our general guide to how frequently you should shampoo but know this; there’s no rules!  Do you, girl.

If you have straight and/or thin hair

Naturally straight hair is often fairly thin, too and the last thing you want is for your thin hair to look stringy, flat and/or greasy. Dry Shampoo can help with this, of course, but don’t be afraid to shampoo every day if you prefer the way it looks. As long as you choose a mild shampoo formula (and nothing that will weigh you down) shampooing everyday won’t do you any harm, promise! You could even try alternating formulas depending on the day. For example, if you plan to shampoo anywhere four or five times a week and your hair is thin/straight, try our Volume Shampoo for three of those days and Repair Shampoo on the other two days. The most important thing to know about frequent washing is that your hair can get dry, fast. To prevent this, be gentle when you massage-in the shampoo and focus on your scalp, not your hair. Also, don’t stand with your hair under hot water for too long and when drying, consider switching from terry cloth towel to a cotton t-shirt.

If you have wavy and/or thick hair

You can definitely get away with a few more days between washes if your hair is thicker, especially if you have waves you want to accentuate. On the days you don’t wash, brush through your hair at night with a boar bristle brush to distribute products and oils. When you notice your waves starting to straighten out from excess oil (every third day or so), you know it’s time to wash. The thing to remember when you don’t shampoo as often is that your hair will have more product buildup. To get rid of this buildup, use something like our Clean Shampoo. Also, just because you wash three or four times a week doesn’t mean you need to condition that often. You can always use a little conditioner on your ends, but for bouncy curls that last for three or more days, you really only need to condition only once or twice weekly.

If you have curly/kinky hair

Over-washing is the worst thing you can do to curly or kinky hair because it dries it out and makes your curls look poofy and frizzy instead of smooth and defined. Curly hair, as a general rule, needs lots of oils and moisture at all times! This is why no-poo (or co-washing) is super popular among curly girls - it’s basically conditioning the hair without shampooing first and can be done anytime between washes as a refresher. The looser your hair texture is, the more often you need to shampoo it. When you finally do shampoo, which could be anywhere from once or twice a week to once or twice a month depending on your curl type, choose something that’ll care for and enhance your curl shape like our Curl Shampoo.

If you workout a lot

A lot of girls think that if they workout a lot they need to wash their hair more but that’s not always the case. Sweat and oil are two different things (oil is worse) and sweat from a workout can be soaked up easily with dry shampoo. It won’t weigh your hair down or look as greasy as scalp oils do. Read this for our tips on how to refresh your hair after working out without washing.