This Is How Often You Need To Wash Your Hair When You Exercise Every Day

Unsplash/Dan Gold

Loaded question, with a less-than definitive answer. Over the past few years, we’ve come to learn about just how damaging daily shampooing can be for our hair. Even when we follow up with a quality conditioner, daily washing (meaning more than just a water rinse) dries out our strands and throws the scalp’s natural oil production entirely off balance. You’ll lose your natural texture and any volume your locks possess will be long gone.

It’s clear we shouldn’t be sudsing up every day, but how do we balance this haircare rule with avoiding feeling gross AF from daily workouts? Do we really want to rock our post-spin hairstyle to dinner later that evening?

According to celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway, even people who do heavy cardio every day still only need to reach for that shampoo bottle two or three times a week.

“Rinsing your scalp in between shampoos will help clean it,” she told The Cut. “And if you have curly or textured hair, co-wash [with conditioner, but not shampoo] in between. Excess amounts of sweat can weaken the hair strand and shorten the lifespan of your hair. This is why it is important to lock in moisture, refrain from drying out your hair even more by over-shampooing, and use moisturizing products to keep your strands hydrated.”

Unsplash/Priscilla du Preez

However, the magic number for you totally depends on what kind of hair you have and how oily your scalp gets. For those with fine hair and a naturally oily scalp, you’re probably going to need to wash at least every other day to not feel like a total greaseball. But like Redway said, if you have thick, curly hair, which tends to be on the drier side, you’re much better off shampooing once every three days.

Now, if this news is leaving you feeling seriously grossed out, just remember that sweat and oil work very differently in your hair. While water obviously isn’t going to solve an oily mess, it can rinse out a solid amount of sweat and the not-so-fun-smelling components that come with it. And the longer you stick to this limited washing haircare routine, the more your scalp will naturally adjust to produce less and less oil because it won’t feel the need to replace what you’re constantly stripping it of with shampoo.

So, shampoo addicts, start by alternating washing and rinsing every other day, and see how you feel after a month or so. If you think you can push things further, reach for three days. If not, know that you’re saving your hair from an extra three or four washes a week already, which is a drastic improvement.