User FAQ's Expert FAQ's Expert Login Contact Us

You Are Here Home > Style and Fashion > Black Hair > Basic Care > Expert Answer

Question How Often Should I Wash Black Hair? (Posted by: Anonymous )

Jennifer Answered by: Jennifer, an
expert in the Basic Care category
Like My Writing Below?

Click Here to hire me
to write for you!


One thing that I come across on a regular basis, that is overlooked by many people, is how to correctly take care of African American or Black hair. Hair is simply hair, right? This is not necessarily true. There are many different variations of texture, color and moisture level among human beings' hair. The idea that all hair is created equal is completely crazy and should not be entertained.

The first thing that needs to be accepted is the idea that African American hair is different than other types of hair. That may seem obvious, but many people still seem to think that practices and products for Caucasian hair is the best idea for ethnic black hair. Styling the hair the same will not make the hair the same. It only causes problems.

The next basic concept is that not all African American hair is the same. People nowadays are a mixture of many different cultures and phenotypes. It is rare when any two people of African descent have the exact same type of hair. Therefore when caring for black hair, use the tips as a guideline, but realize variations do occur.

A practice in African American hair care that differs from other people is how often the hair is washed. In general, Black hair (and other curly hair types) has less moisture than straight hair. Washing the hair removes oils and dirt. If your hair is already drier than average, you run the risk of over drying it by washing it too often. Because of this, there is a habit in African American culture of washing black hair not as often as in other cultures.

As Blacks assimilated into mainstream society, and began to raise families with other cultures, this practice was questioned. Fortunately, the hair care industry responded by making shampoos that were less drying or contained moisturizers to replace the oils that were removed during the washing process. Deep conditioners also became a popular way of repairing the damage done to over washed, dried out hair.

So how often should you be washing black hair? Well, it really depends on a few things.

1. How dry is the hair? If you are able to break a strand in half with one finger you probably could use a break on the shampoo. If the hair is pretty strong and has good sheen to it, daily washing is okay if you use a moisturizing shampoo.

2. Is the hair dirty? No matter how dry the hair is, it should be washed if it is dirty. Dirty hair can be from actual dirt, too much product, sweat, or just the environment.

3. What products are you using? If your hair feels hard or crisp after washing, your shampoo is probably too harsh and should not be used daily unless you are applying a strong conditioner. If your hair feels soft and/or has a nice sheen to it after washing, it is probably safe to use daily.

If you are unable to find a shampoo that does not strip the hair of all of its necessary oils, one trick is to wash the hair with conditioner and skip the shampoo altogether. This allows daily cleansing while not drying the hair so much. If using a conditioner wash, monitor the hair to make sure that it is not getting too heavy, because over conditioning is just as bad as under conditioning.

Washing Black hair requires a little bit of effort and attention to what works for your personal situation. If the time is taken to find the best shampoo and washing ritual, you will be rewarded with healthy beautiful locks!

Please Rate This Answer! Avg. Count
  1 2 3 4 5   3.00 308
Poor Excellent

Things to stay away from that are in shampoos and conditioners are sulfur/sulfonate/ sulfate. There are other I encourage you to research them. I have an awesome all natural deep conditioner called Nadia's Hair. I use it
to 3 times a month and my hair loves me for it! A conditioner that heals the scalp and the hair!!! It works well with natural hair and chemically processed hair replenishing nourishment promoting health, shine, softness, overall LIFE back to your hair By Nadia's Hair on 18-04-12 at 07:55pm
Thanks so much. I've always thought the same thing and it's good to know that someone out there realizes that .... BLACK PEOPLE'S HAIR IS TOTALLY DIFFERNT!! XOXO By Anonymous on 18-11-12 at 11:53am
Thank you for this article. I am tired of people saying shampooing daily or every alternate day is bad for ALL black hair. So untrue. I always just do what works for you regardless of what others say. I have an oily scalp but dry coarse curls and kinks and I refuse to go longer than three days without a shampoo. Walking around smelling rank is NEVER an option for me. By Anonymous on 19-01-13 at 01:48pm
I do not encourage anyone to trust this answer! black hair should not be washed or even co-washed daily.this strippes the hair which makes oils and moisture replenishing conditioners mandatory.bck hair does not get dirty very quickly unless you swim or do another sport.simply putting on a scarf,waking up,putting your scarf back on and ,going to sleep doesnt neccecarly pick up dirt.i understand washing once a week or even twice,but every day is unintelligent.protective styling,and moisture is key to long beautiful locks.thanks for trying to help but if you follow this routine and you are truly of color your hair will never show any progress.srry but you needed a little tough love.shoutout naturals!! By natural fan on 24-01-13 at 10:18pm
If you want to prevent hair loss in the early age, you must try to have healthy diet, use the hair care products from reputable brands, and lead a stress free life. Regards, Rob By Rob on 22-04-13 at 12:55am
Im a aa woman with semi curly hair, my hair was very dry before and I didn't even know I had curly hair tbh. I honestly think that going 3 days washing your hair is okay but this is how I do it. Because my hair is dry and soaks up a lot of products my scalp literally eats grease its no help I don't use it anymore. I co wash my hair every Monday and Wednesday using a gentle formula conditioner with no silicones or sulfates. Part it in to four sections and use the tip not the nail of my finger to really work it in. I let it sit for a few minutes and individualy rinse each section.Afterwards I use cantu leave in repair and conditioner and let it air dry. On Thursdays I pre wash- meaning I don't literally wash my hair but I use coconut milk oil and saturate my scalp and hair leave on for 14 hours. This helps to keep the necessary softens and and oils in the hair. On Fridays I shampoo and Pre deep condition my hair. In a empty jar I mix eggs, coconut oil and honey together and saturate my hair before I wash Let it sit for a hour and then wash with either Mizani curl balance or cantu shampoo only wash once and then condition once , after I aply either cantu leave in or castor oil. Doesn't overdry or anything and your scalp is always clean for the most part. I plan on doing a video on this. Check out my channel Seasonalsecrets18 on Youtube By Taylor on 07-08-13 at 12:03pm
fyi be conscious of what type of scarfs you use to sleep in or wear on your hair. i went from dry to normal hair with less breakage after i changed from a cotton scarf to satin. now when i wash with pantene shampoo and conditioner for colored hair. Then i moisturize with just extra virgin olive oil. let hair dry half way naturally. then blow dry on low to finish drying. i see much impoved results and hair growth. This works for me. By yvonne on 08-10-13 at 12:37pm
Im half black and half hispanic so my hair isnt as hard to handle as most ethic hair, but heres whats I do. I wash my hair with whatever shampoo I like and then I use a deep colesterol conditioner to moisterize, after that I put on leave I. Conditioner and beat protector on my hair before drying. I comb through it with a Wide tooth comb and let it air dry half way, then I blow dry useing a comb dryer to half way straiten my hair. After that I use a Sheen oil to strighten my hair. I wash my hair every
-3 days depending on what I do, and how Active i am. I never wash my hair more than 3 times a week. But keep in mind Im also half hispanic so i probably need to wash my hair more often than most. I find that combing conditoner through your air and letting it sit is rather helpful for the times i really need deep conditoning. Hope this helps By Anonymous on 26-10-13 at 03:49am
I am fully black and have fully natural hair. Just by Being black doesn't mean you have to wash more or less than non black person. It's individualized. I need to wash my hair twice a week or every three days. One time I use shampoo and conditioner the second time I cowash. But in the summer I wash every other day. I know some white people who can go longer without washing than I can. Also depends on the products you use and your scalp. By Anonymous on 19-09-14 at 05:00am
"natural fan" not true at all. Like some has said, it is very individualized. But washing your hair AT LEAST once a week will not harm it at all. In fact, for most washing
-3 times a week will not damage it at all. This whole misguided perception among black individuals that they can go weeks or two months without washing is totally absurd. Trust me, as a former hairstylist and trichologist, your hair does get nasty, greasy, and smells if you go over a week. By Anonymous on 08-12-14 at 11:29pm
Help Make This Answer Better - Post a Comment or Follow-Up Question!

First Name(Optional) OR
Email Address
Are you a human?

Similar Questions & Answers for: How Often Should I Wash Black Hair?

Ask a Question About Basic Care