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How Often Should Guys Wash Their Hair? (Hint: Less Than You Think!)

Men who have their hygiene game down are rare (and much appreciated). But there’s one mistake that too many of them make – daily hair washing. How often should guys wash their hair? The answer is not daily.

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What Happens If You Wash Your Hair Everyday?

Shampoo is drying. It binds to the oil, sweat, and dead skin that builds up in your hair, then takes it with it when you wash it out of your hair. But here’s the thing: your natural oils are what keep your scalp hydrated, even if they smell and look bad.

When you wash your hair every day, you run the risk of irritating your scalp by drying it out too much. That goes hand in hand with frizzy hair, breakage, dandruff, and more.

Most guys don’t actually need to wash their hair every day. It does more damage than good.

How Often Should Guys Wash Their Hair?

The broadest possible rule is that most white guys should wash their hair 2-3 times per week, and most Black guys should wash their hair about once a week (we’ll talk about the difference in the following sections).

Washing your hair every other day or less gives your scalp the space to regulate itself, while still preventing bacteria or hair product build-up from taking over your head.

If you see a hair stylist or dermatologist regularly, it’s a good idea to ask their opinion on how often you should wash your hair. They know your scalp almost as well as you do, and they probably have good suggestions. 

How Many Times Should A Man Wash His Hair Per Week?

Most men shouldn’t wash their hair every day. But beyond that, it’s hard to say exactly what’s right.

Consider a few of these scenarios:

• Guys who tend to get sweaty throughout the day should wash their hair every other day. If you’re an athlete or if you work outdoors, your hair is probably fielding some more sweat and grime. Use a gentle shampoo frequently to smell good (try an antibacterial shampoo if you’re exposed to the elements a lot.)

• Guys who work in an office all day only need to wash their hair once or twice per week – you’re probably not picking up a tone of scalp irritants or bad smells. To keep your scalp happy, give your head a massage in between washes to stimulate blood flow.

• If you have freshly-forming dreadlocks, you’re probably not going to let your hair anywhere near water for a month. After that, wash once a week at most, and focus the shampoo on your scalp, not your ends. Use the best shampoos for dreadlocks.

• Guys who have really oily hair should use the best shampoo for oily hair 3-4 times per week. Natural oils are good at clogging your pores and trapping bad smells. Shampoo dissolves those oils – and your scalp replaces them quickly. So don’t feel guilty about washing every other day.

• Guys with thick and curly hair should wash their hair 1-2 times a week. Your natural oils enhance your curls, and your hair thickness keeps you from looking or feeling greasy. 

• Guys who have eczema, psoriasis, or dry scalp should wash as infrequently as possible to avoid causing further irritation, 1-2 per week. You may need an antifungal shampoo. 

• Guys who are going bald should wash 2-3 times per week to keep their scalp clean. Use one of the best shampoos for bald men.

• Guys who have a bad case of BO probably need to wash every day. If you work a dirty job, smoke, wear an old helmet, or find some other way to get your hair smelling questionable on a daily basis, wash more frequently. Use one of the best smelling shampoos for men.

Maybe you fit into multiple categories. It’ll probably take some experimentation to find the right wash days for yourself – enlist a sniff-tester to help you.

How Often Should A Black Man Wash Their Hair?

This article goes in depth on how often a Black man should wash his hair, but in sweeping strokes, most Black stylists and experts agree that the number hovers somewhere around once a week.

You can condition Black hair almost every day – the moisture is great for your scalp, and it protects your ends from breakage.

But shampoo is abrasive. It protects your scalp from bacteria- and oil-related irritation, but that comes at a steep, drying cost. Always remember to condition (probably deep condition) after washing Black hair with shampoo. Wash just often enough to keep your scalp fresh and healthy, while protecting your hair from the drying effects of shampoo.

If you have dreads, try one of the best shampoos for dreadlocks. They’re easier to rinse out of your hair, and they don’t leave residue. The ingredients are designed to keep your scalp fresher for longer so that you don’t have to wash frequently.

How Often Should A White Person Wash Their Hair?

White men should wash their hair about 2-3 times per week, with exceptions for the conditions that we’ve talked about above.

Most white men don’t report feeling greasy until 1-2 days after washing their hair. That’s a good measuring tool for when you should break out the shampoo. Once you can see and feel grease in your hair, it’s definitely time to wash.

Don’t be afraid to skip washes until you notice that your hair looks oily or smells bad. If you’re forming a new washing routine, try having someone sniff-test your hair for you so that you can get an accurate reading on how soon your hair needs to be washed.

Should Guys Wet Their Hair Everyday?

It’s OK to get your hair wet daily. 

But here’s the reason I don’t recommend it: getting your hair wet everyday distributes oil from your roots to your ends, especially if you have long hair. When your hair dries, it’ll have a weird, slick texture. Some guys don’t mind that, but others (like me) think it’s unpleasant.

If you take really hot showers, you should also avoid getting your hair wet everyday because the hot water can dry out your hair almost as much as shampoo.

Don’t be afraid to go between washes without wetting your hair. It’s really not necessary. But if you’re dead set on it, rinse with lukewarm or cold water.

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.