How Many Times A Week You Actually Need To Wash Your Hair, According To An Expert

Showering. For some, it can be a pain trying to find the time to squeeze in a soak. For others, a daily wash is an essential part of their self-care routine. Because showering is so integral to our everyday lives, many people have strong opinions on the ritual, including celebrities. While they might not be just like us, despite what we're told, famous figures still have to wash, right? 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jake Gyllenhaal infamously revealed, "more and more I find bathing to be less necessary at times." Meanwhile, talk show host Drew Barrymore took the opposite stance, confirming she's a "five-day-a-weeker with a possible sixth day" (via ET). When it comes to showering, some people are Jakes, others are Drews, and many fall somewhere in between. 

But the question remains: is there one right way to take a shower, according to science? And if there is, how often should you be washing your hair? In an interview with CNN, Dr. Anthony Rossi, an assistant attending dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, weighed in on the matter and clarified the answer to this frequently debated topic.

Everybody has different hair-washing needs

The long and short answer to how frequently your hair should be washed is that it really depends. Unsurprisingly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as we all have a unique set of tresses. "Everyone has different body chemistry," Marie Robinson, a colorist and founder of New York's Marie Robinson Salon, explained to Goop. "And weather, environment, your exercise regimen, and of course, your hair type all contribute to how often you should wash your hair."

Various factors come into play when deciding how often you should wash your hair. In general, Dr. Anthony Rossi recommends washing your hair once or twice a week as a good baseline, per CNN. However, if your hair is extra oily, washing it up to once a day is not overdoing it. When going through puberty, teenagers tend to have relatively oily hair compared to children and adults. 

Therefore, it is typically necessary for them to shower much more often. Hair type also plays a key role in how often you should wash your hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, certain curly hair types may only need to be cleansed every two or three weeks. When you do wash your hair, though, there are certain things you should always avoid

You don't need to wash your hair every time you shower

While there may not be a magic solution to how often you need to wash your hair, it really comes down to how your locks feel. You know your hair better than anyone else and how best to strike a balance between it being too oily and too dry. "Washing your hair too often can make the hair dry and brittle and lead to irritation of the scalp," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital's department of dermatology, shared with Today

While washing your hair too much can lead to rashes, itching, and irritation, "If you don't wash your hair often, scalp oil tends to build up. This causes greasiness of the hair and can promote dandruff." Factor your age, hair type, and skin type into your assessment of how frequently you should wash your hair. Keep in mind that colored hair should be washed less often, while lifestyle is also important to consider. 

Someone who is exercising and sweating regularly will shower more often than someone who isn't. That said, even though you may want to hop into the shower after a long workout, don't feel as though you need to wash your hair every time. Dr. Anthony Rossi recommends "massaging your scalp skin" and using "leave-in conditioner or scalp oils that help nourish and moisturize the scalp" as alternatives to washing your hair daily (via CNN).