Can you wash African American hair everyday?


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No, while you technically can wash African American hair every day, it’s generally not recommended. African American hair, or any other type of curly or textured hair, tends to be drier than straight hair. This is because the natural oils produced by the scalp have a harder time traveling down the hair shaft due to the coiled nature of the hair.

Washing hair every day can strip these natural oils from the hair, causing it to become even drier, brittle, and prone to breakage. Instead, it’s often recommended to wash African American hair once a week or even less frequently. This can vary depending on the individual’s hair type, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

For those who exercise heavily and sweat a lot, or feel their hair is dirty, co-washing (washing with conditioner only) might be a good solution between shampoo washes. This can help cleanse the scalp and hair without stripping away the natural oils.

Also, keep in mind that the products you use should be appropriate for your hair type. Many people with textured hair prefer sulfate-free shampoos, as sulfates can be particularly drying. Deep conditioning treatments and oils can also be helpful to maintain moisture.

As always, everyone’s hair is unique, so it’s best to try different routines and products to see what works best for your individual needs. And when in doubt, consult with a professional hairstylist or a trichologist.

Reasons why you should avoid washing African American hair daily

DrynessWashing hair every day can strip away the natural oils, causing hair to become dry and brittle. This is particularly significant for African American or textured hair, which is already more prone to dryness.
BreakageDry and brittle hair is more susceptible to breakage and damage. Over-washing can thus lead to weakened hair.
Scalp HealthOver-washing can lead to an imbalanced scalp environment, which can cause issues such as dandruff or an itchy scalp.
Product BuildupWashing hair daily may lead to over-reliance on hair products to restore moisture, which could lead to product buildup and weigh down the hair.
Color FadingIf the hair is dyed, frequent washing can cause the color to fade faster.
Time and EffortTextured hair often requires significant time and effort to wash and style. Washing less frequently can reduce the amount of time needed for hair care.


How often should I wash my African American hair?

While it varies based on individual needs and lifestyle, it’s generally recommended to wash African American hair once a week or even less frequently. This is due to the dry nature of the hair and the need to retain natural scalp oils.

What should I do if I need to cleanse my hair more frequently due to workouts or heavy sweating?

If you feel that your hair needs to be cleansed more often, you might consider co-washing, which is washing your hair with conditioner only. This method can help clean the hair without stripping it of its natural oils. Alternatively, you can also use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo.

What type of shampoo is best for African American hair?

Many people with African American or textured hair prefer sulfate-free shampoos, as they are less harsh and less likely to strip the hair of its natural oils. It can also be beneficial to look for shampoos that have moisturizing ingredients, such as shea butter, argan oil, or coconut oil.

Final thoughts 💭

African American or textured hair is typically drier due to the difficulty of natural scalp oils traveling down the curly hair shaft. Washing this hair type daily can strip it of its essential oils, leading to increased dryness, brittleness, and a higher risk of breakage. To maintain healthy hair, it’s generally recommended to wash African American hair once a week or even less frequently, though individual needs may vary.

In situations where more frequent cleansing is required, such as after workouts or heavy sweating, co-washing (washing with conditioner only) is a suitable method. It helps cleanse the hair without removing vital oils. When choosing hair care products, sulfate-free shampoos are typically preferable as they are less harsh, and those with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, argan oil, or coconut oil can provide additional benefits.

Ultimately, finding the best hair care routine and products involves some trial and error, and may require professional advice.

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