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How Often Should Black Men Wash Their Hair?

Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on the topic. But really, how often should Black men wash their hair? Using tips from Black stylists, hair care YouTubers, bloggers, and Reddit’s r/BlackHair, we’ve crowd sourced the best advice on Black hair care.

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How Often Should Black Men Wash Their Hair?

In broad strokes, the consensus is that black men should wash their hair about once a week.

But a better measurement is how your scalp feels. If you start noticing dandruff, or feeling itchy or irritated, it’s probably past time to shampoo and condition. For you, that could be every other day or once every two weeks. 

The length of your hair matters too – short hair is a lot easier to wash than long hair, and the roots generally stay healthy even if you decide to wash every other day. 

Once you have over half an inch to an inch of growth, you need to start thinking about your game plan for protecting the ends of your hair. Too much shampoo will dry out your tips, causing split ends and breakage. You’ll either need to balance it with a deep conditioner, hair oil, or less frequent washing. Likely, a combination of all three.

If you have cornrows or dreadlocks, the question is a lot harder to answer. New braids and locs are difficult to wash, especially if you’re worried about unwinding them. We’ve reviewed some of the best shampoos for locs, but those shampoos won’t magically protect your strands from unwinding. They’re just good at cleansing your scalp. You might need to avoid washing your hair for a month if you’re forming locs.

I always recommend asking your hair stylist for tips whenever you visit the salon or barber shop. They can provide specific feedback for your hair type and the style you’re maintaining. Likely, the feedback they’ll provide is, the longer and more styled your hair is, the less you should wash it.

How Often Should A Black Man Moisturize His Hair?

You should moisturize your hair every day. Black hair loses moisture rapidly, so anything from a quick refresher spray, to a leave-in or deep conditioner works wonders for helping you retain moisture.

The trick is to find a water-based moisturizer that you can apply directly to your hair, then layer a hair oil on top. The hair oil traps the water underneath, sealing the moisturizer to your strands and locs.

The one exception is dreadlocks. If you moisturize dreadlocks every day, you’ll be in danger of developing a condition known as dread rot – the inner locs trap water, and start to develop mold, rotting from the inside out. You can still moisturize your locs every 1-2 weeks, just be sure to use a hairdryer to completely dry out every loc.

If you suffer from symptoms of dryness, moisturize more often, and try using one of the best dandruff shampoos for Black hair to soothe your scalp.

How Often Should Black Hair Be Conditioned?

At a minimum, you should use a conditioner every time you use shampoo. You can use a leave-in conditioner every day if you feel like your hair is drying out too quickly, and you can upgrade to a deep conditioner as needed.

Some of the best, overlooked conditioners are conditioner bars. They’re not soap – it’s just concentrated conditioner in bar form! Though, it does look a lot like soap. 

Conditioner bars are often more natural, gentle, and have more moisturizing ingredients than liquid and grocery store conditioners. If you feel like your current conditioner isn’t doing enough for your hair, switch to a bar.

You can also start using a shampoo with more moisturizers, if your conditioners aren’t cutting it. Some shampoos are just too drying. Avoid ingredients like sulfates, alcohol, minerals, and petroleum. All-natural shampoos for men often offer more moisturizing ingredients to protect your hair.

How Often Should A Black Man Wash His Beard?

Black beards follow the same rules as black hair. You should wash about once a week to cleanse your hair and soothe the skin underneath your beard.

The Black Men’s Beard channel on YouTube has a lot of great tips – one that lots of guys overlook is that you can (and should) condition your beard at least as often as you wash it. 

You can use a conditioner almost every day to keep your beard smelling nice and looking fresh and hydrated. Put a water-based conditioner on first, then a beard oil on top to seal in the moisture. Beard oil alone will actually dry out your hair, so don’t skip on the moisturizer.

Host B With The Beard uses beard-specific washes, moisturizers and oils. He says that one of the biggest mistakes he made going into Black beard care was using regular shampoos and conditioners on his beard. It dried out his skin and hair.

Remember, beard products are a little closer to home because you have to apply them directly to your face. Stick with brands and products that are made for your beard so that you don’t dry out your skin or suffer from irritation.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.