Can I wash my Hair Every Day? (Part 2)

The Back Porch

Read part 1 (on which the comments section led me to write this follow-up post!) here.

Since I already addressed the initial question of hair washing in the last post, I thought it may be more effective and informative to frame this post in a Question and Answer layout.

Does washing my hair more often strip my color? I’ll answer this a few different ways because it depends on what kind of color you have done to your hair. If you are coloring your hair with full, permanent color that lifts and deposits (often requires peroxide), then shampooing more than necessary could cause dullness or fading of the color. Color-safe shampoo and conditioner will help mitigate this from happening. If you have your hair lightened with bleach, then shampoo likely will only continue to maintain brightness or possibly even create an illusion of getting lighter over time. This will happen from any gloss/toner/demi-permanent color that was applied during the coloring process to be slowly faded out from shampooing.

So, the short answer is “yes, it can affect your hair color” but I wouldn’t be worried about it being stripped. If you only use a demi-permanent or temporary color on your hair, then shampoo will affect it more dramatically than it would permanent color.

On days that I don’t wash my hair, what can I put in my ends to keep them from looking/feeling so dry? I like a serum or oil! It’s usually really lightweight and gets the job done quickly while also adding a bit of shine on the ends too. The Virtue Healing Oil is one of my personal favorites.

If I’m washing daily, or very regularly, are there things I should be looking for in shampoo and conditioner to keep my hair healthy? There are so many shampoo and conditioners to choose from so I can totally understand how overwhelming this may be! In general, professional brands are a safe bet! Redken is one of my longest used, most reliably good shampoo and conditioner. If you’re looking for something in the drugstore category, look for color-safe options (whether your hair is colored or not!). If it’s truly formulated to be gentle on colored hair, it will also be gentle on non-colored hair too!

As far as ingredients go, I’m admittedly not someone who majors too much on these, but more than ever before brands are leaving out necessary ingredients to simplify formulas. Sometimes silicones get a bad reputation but a little bit of silicone in your conditioners is what gives your hair a bit of slip and smoothness.

I heard dry shampoo is really bad for your scalp health, is this true? What can happen with frequent dry shampoo use is lots of buildup just sitting on your scalp. For the most part, a few days of use between shampooing is just fine for many people, but if you start to notice any extra flakiness, dandruff, irritation, itching, etc. it could be that your scalp requires more cleaning (via real shampoo, not dry shampoo)

I’m not dirty because I don’t wash my hair every time I shower! I know this! I remember blowing people’s minds when I shared that I use a shower cap when I body shower but skip washing my hair. I thought, “doesn’t everyone do this!?!”. It’s very normal to wash your body in the shower and skip hair washing. The same thing can happen in a bath too!

Do I need to wash my hair after I swim in a chlorine or saltwater pool? Yes! Make it a regular habit to, at the very least, rinse the chlorine or saltwater out of your hair. Spray with a leave-in conditioner too if you can. I spray leave-in conditioner on my hair all summer long, even after I use cream conditioner in the shower. I spray it on my daughter’s hair as well!

What about apple cider vinegar instead of shampoo? ACV helps balance the pH of your scalp and that is beneficial for calming and soothing the skin. Healthy skin on your scalp is good for smooth, healthy hair. Personally, I hate the smell so I never use it, and I’d worry that it doesn’t have enough to do an effective clean of the hair shaft.

I can go longer between washing when I have my hair freshly highlighted? Why? That is likely because the process of getting your hair highlighted caused a bit of drying on your hair strands. The highlighting process, especially with bleach, involves using chemicals to open your hair cuticle, and chemicals to penetrate into the hair shaft and alter the color. So, in a nutshell: it’s pretty rough on the hair. Any oil that was already on the hair is likely gone after going through that chemical process. It’s not unusual for the hair to feel dry after a highlighting service so that may also translate to you feeling like your hair doesn’t look as oily as usual!


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Michele says · 05.27.21

I find my hair is really tangled on days I use dry shampoo. Is that just me?

Also, I’m considering cutting bangs again, but since I’ve grown them out I’ve gone to washing every other day. Any thoughts?

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 05.27.21

Thanks for sharing, Kate! ❤️✨

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Brittany says · 05.27.21

Thanks for this follow-up! It is super helpful.

Vita says · 05.27.21

Thank you – my 74 year old Mom still loves getting her hair highlighted and roots coloured and always wants to know the effect of frequent shampooing on her hair colour lasting – now I can properly explain it to her!!
Your site always keeps me informed and brightens my day – I appreciate you Kate – thank you!

Lana B Weeks says · 05.27.21

Thanks for these posts! Could you, pretty please, consider doing a post on little (toddler) girl hairstyles/products/tips? My 1.5 year old daughter’s hair is finally long enough to “fix” but I don’t really know what I’m doing!

Lisa says · 05.27.21

What about heat? I like to wash every other day but what about using a blow dryer and straighter that often?

Carly says · 05.27.21

I wash my hair with ACV to clean my scalp but i also use shampoo and conditioner. The smell is rough but the result is worth it for me!

Sarah M says · 05.27.21

Is there a specific leave-in conditioner you recommend?

Ash says · 06.02.21

or what leave in conditioner spray you use for your daughter?

Heather Anderso says · 05.27.21

My hair gets SOOO dry in the summer and literally snaps off. I only wash 2x week.

Any thoughts?

Chooseyourthings says · 05.27.21

I have asked this question myself many times. I got the answer from your blog. I am happy to read your post. You have solved my major problem.

Shelley says · 05.28.21

Thanks for sharing, these posts have been so informative! You mentioned using a leave-in conditioner on yours and Emily’s hair, any recs?

Lynn says · 05.28.21

I find that my hair is so hard to comb through after washing my hair, which I do daily because I work in a restaurant and cannot stand the smell of my hair. I use a wide tooth comb. Do you have any product recommendations to comb through it more easily so as not to damage my hair?

Bridget says · 03.04.22

On day 2 hair or when re-styling your hair, do you use another heat protectant spray or item? I have recently heard that you should be using something when using heat again on hair. Since hair is already dry, what products would work best for this?