One thing everyone with curly hair wants to know is “How often should I be washing my hair?” The answer varies from one curly to another, since everyone’s curls are so different. Can you over-wash curls and what effect does this have on your hair?
Curly hair is naturally drier and this has to be considered when it comes to washing your hair. Sebum is an oil that is produced by our scalp naturally. It also protects the hair and adds moisture, as the sebum travels down the hair shaft. In straight hair, sebum travels down the hair easily, but with curly hair this is more difficult due to the natural spiral texture of curls. This means that curly hair is drier and needs more time for the sebum to penetrate each hair strand. Washing your hair too often strips away the beneficial sebum and can dry out curls, causing them to lose essential moisture. Fine or wavy curls may not be affected by this as much as thick or coarse curls and coils, so hair texture and thickness plays a role as well. How many times should we be reaching for the shampoo every week?
How often should I wash my curly hair?
Most experts recommend washing your hair about 1-3 times a week, but those with thicker curls and coils can often leave their hair for longer, with some recommending every 10-14 days. Coarser curls need the moisture from the sebum as long as possible, or else the hair can feel very dry and brittle. This has to be carefully balanced with scalp health too, as the scalp needs regular cleansing to remove product build-up.
You may think that you need to wash your hair more regularly to have great curls, but over washing can cause dryness, especially if you use a traditional sulfate shampoo. If your hair feels like it’s lacking in moisture, why not try extending your wash day a little to see if this helps? Learning a good refresh routine is key to keep your curls thriving in between wash days. Using a little water and some of your styling products can help revive your next-day curls. Check out our recommended refresh routine here.
What products should I use to wash my curls?
Only Curls products are perfect to use when cleansing and conditioning your luscious locks! They are designed with all curl types in mind, and they are full of moisturising ingredients, to keep your curls in the best condition. The All Curl Cleanser gives a deeper clean and is more like a regular shampoo, but has no sulfates or silicones so it’s gentle on curls. After rinsing out the Cleanser, use our Curl Conditioner to add moisture back in.
Another product which is brilliant for thicker or drier curl types is the Cleansing Co-wash. The Co-wash is a hybrid between shampoo and conditioner, more moisturising than the Cleanser, and won’t strip the hair of any essential moisture. This can be used in place of the Cleanser if you prefer to wash your hair more regularly and it will be so nourishing for your curls.