How Frequently to Wash Your Curly Hair

The most frequent query on how frequently and when to wash curly hair concerns how to determine whether one is either under or overdoing it. The worry is justified because curly hair is more prone to dryness and is frequently stripped of its natural oils by washing.

It can be difficult to avoid washing your hair every day if you have fine hair and a highly oily scalp because your hair might be greasy and heavy. But some guidelines specify when to wash.

Rule 1: Attend to your Scalp’s needs: There is no better warning sign than this! Pay notice to how greasy, flaky, and itchy your scalp is. Perhaps a cleansing is necessary. For healthier hair to result, the scalp—which is the skin—needs to be properly taken care of. And what better way to take care of it than to pay attention to what it has to say?

Rule 2: Only wash your hair when it needs it. This is especially true for hair types that are denser and finer. Use a sulfate-free shampoo or a cleansing conditioner if you are concerned about over-washing your hair.

When curlies switch to a sulfate-free shampoo, the conventional shampoo’s harsh surfactants, which excessively strip the hair of its natural oils, are no longer present.

You could try a co-wash, which is simply a conditioner-only cleansing with the ability to both clean and condition your hair simultaneously, or you could use a sulfate shampoo, which contains a milder surfactant that is kinder to the hair as it cleanses.

Basic Tips for How Often to Wash Curly Hair

Curly hair
Instagram / @all_aboutcurls

Your hair type, texture, lifestyle, how many products your hair absorbs, where you live, and other factors will all affect how frequently you wash your hair.

As a result of the shape of the hair follicle, the oils and sebum have a difficult time traveling down the hair shaft, a process that can be compared to climbing down a mountain, leaving the hair dry and frizzy-looking, which makes moisture essential for the curls! Curlies are frequently afraid of washing their hair, and they should be! A lot of washing would remove the hair’s natural oil, making it drier.

You can have greasy roots and still have dry ends if you don’t wash your curls regularly. Additionally, the more oil you remove from the scalp while washing with harsher surfactants, the more oil your scalp naturally creates. Therefore, washing your hair too frequently or using harsh shampoo may make it greasy.

The general happening among those with curly hair is to wash every few days to once or twice a week. However, using curly-friendly products is more crucial than how frequently you wash.

This might be a co-wash, an SLS-free shampoo for curly hair, a dry shampoo, or even a mix of all three. Co-washing every other day and washing once or twice a week are options you could try. 

You can safely wash your hair every day with curly girl-approved products and do a reset in between the washes. A reset shampoo is a clarifying treatment that removes buildup, minerals, dirt, and excess oils.

How to Properly Wash Curly Hair

Washing curly hair
Instagram / @enlightenaz

A good wash routine is key to healthy and beautiful curls, and it is essential to find the right products suited for your hair type and porosity. Hair’s porosity is how well it holds and retains moisture.

1. A  Pre Wash Treatment

Give your hair some sort of a protection layer before washing, and this is often referred to as a pre-poo. Hot oil treatment is a commonly known pre-poo method, also great for repairing damaged curly hair. For this process, heat various oils in a bowl or coconut oil when it is warm.

Apply to hair in a section, coconut oil would provide a slip for dry detangling, after which you should let it sit for 30 minutes to two hours.

2. Wash with a Moisturising Shampoo

Now in the shower, saturate your pre-pooped hair in water to get it wet, pour in a golf ball-sized shampoo in your palms, rub them together and massage into the scalp, moving your hands gently back and forth. After doing that for a couple of seconds, give the hair a good rinse. 

During the shampooing process, avoid aggressively scrubbing at your hair; it’s going to get the curls tangled up and cause hair breakage; likewise, refrain from piling on the top of your head. 

If you’re using a co-wash, massage it into your scalp and hair as vigorously as you would a shampoo. Then, as you rinse, keep rubbing and scrub to remove the product buildup completely.

3. Follow up with a Conditioner

A conditioner is an integral step in the hair wash routine; it balances out the negative charges from the shampooing process and helps to moisture the curls, preventing split ends and eliminating tangles and hair breakage.

Apply conditioner from your mid-lengths to the tips working in sections to ensure the strands are thoroughly coated. The shampoo should be focused on the roots and the conditioner on the lengths.

4. Detangling Process

Detangle already conditioned hair, add more gobs of conditioner for more slip and work through the knots starting at the ends using your fingers, wide tooth comb, and brush. 

For brushes, ensure you use the right one suited for your hair type and texture. The hair is fragile when wet, and using a brush can add more tension resulting in hair breakage and using stiff bristle brushes would disrupt the curl pattern and create the dreaded frizz halo. When detangling, work in sections for a more pleasant result. Give your hair a good rinse afterward.

5. Dry with a Microfiber Towel

Microfiber towels aren’t to be compromised on; they have a larger absorption capacity and are completely lint-free! Most importantly, gentler on the strands, so when drying, more tension is not placed on the hair, minimizing frizz. A light old t-shirt can be used in place of a microfiber towel.

When to Wash Curly Hair

It is a decision you make for yourself. You can wash every day or 2-3 days and for some, every 4-5 days. Washing here can refer to plain water, co-wash, low poo, or standard shampoo.

After working out regularly, you might need to rinse your hair and co-wash it on those days. Several folks only wash and condition once a week and “refresh” in between washes as needed, and some learned to keep their hair from drying out too much; they must apply conditioner every time it gets wet.

If you’ve adopted the curly hair technique but are confused about how frequently to wash your hair. Start with the same schedule you previously used and make any necessary adjustments. So whether you wash your hair daily or twice a week, it will take some time to adjust to a new regimen. Before switching any products, at least two weeks should have passed.


In the end, it takes a little bit of trial and error to determine the number of washes your hair like, but if you establish a suitable pattern, your hair will feel and look a lot healthier.

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