What Happens To Your Hair If You Wash It Every Day

Showering every day may be a completely normal routine for many people but others swear on going several days (or even a week) between washing their hair. At first glance, using shampoo daily seems normal, right? Depending on how much product you use in your hair and how sweaty your head gets, you may feel oily and gross by the end of the day. So what exactly does happen when you wash your hair every day?

While there's no universal answer for optimal hair health, most people will benefit from waiting a few days between washing. Washing every day will leave your scalp and hair strands dried out and more prone to damage. Your scalp also contains good bacteria that can't perform their function when they're constantly being washed away by shampoo.

"The population of microbes help maintain the skin pH and actually prevent bad microbes from colonizing the skin by competing for nutrients and also producing molecules that bad bacteria don't like," Dominic Burg, chief scientist at √Čvolis Professional and director of operations at Cellmid Limited, told Byrdie. "Too frequent washing of the scalp with harsh cleansers can upset that microbiome, and an imbalance in the microbiome can lead to scalp problems."

Most people should wash their hair two to three times per week

So what's the ideal amount of time to go between washes? It depends on your hair type, lifestyle, and personal preference. However, it's a good idea to start with washing every few days unless you feel like you can go longer. "I have always said, 'It's fine to go a few days without shampooing,'" Alli Webb, professional hair stylist and founder of Drybar, told WebMD. "For hair that's normal in terms of oiliness and medium weight, I sometimes tell my clients to go as long as they can without shampooing."

People who exercise every day, live in a humid environment, or have thin hair that gets oily easily may benefit from washing every day. If you don't fall into one of those categories, your hair will see more benefits from waiting. When your hair starts to smell, itch, or feel uncomfortable, it's time for a wash. "Regardless of how your hair feels, though, don't go longer than 14 days, ever," Angela Lamb, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told WebMD. There really aren't any benefits for waiting that long.