How Often Should Men Wash Their Hair? (& Busting Other Hair Washing Myths)

How Often Should Men Wash Their Hair? (& Busting Other Hair Washing Myths)

Written by: Piers Le Moignan



Time to read 8 min

One of the biggest mysteries in haircare is how often we should be washing our hair. Some think every day, some think once per week, and is it the same case for everyone?


Every head of hair is different and requires different care, and we know that most men have a hard time finding the right answer to the question. Some say washing every day is necessary, while others swear by less frequent washings.


So, what's the truth? How often should men wash their hair? With so many questions and answers floating around, we decided to dive into some common hair-washing myths and bust them once and for all.

How Often Should Men Wash Their Hair?

Washing your hair every third day is often considered the sweet spot for most hair types. 


Over the course of three days, your hair will produce natural oils, and the longer you leave in those oils, the greasier the appearance of your hair will be.


But it's important you let these oils build up (to an extent) to keep your scalp and hair healthy. Stripping away these natural oils too often can lead to dryness, breakage, and even dandruff.


Men's hair tends to be oilier than most women's because of the larger follicles and higher levels of testosterone, so you'll probably find yourself washing your hair more frequently than women. After around two to three days, you'll probably find the build-up to be too much and want to wash your hair again

Is This the Case for All Men?

This is a great question to ask because the answer is simply no. As men, our hair types and concerns can vary just as much as women's and will affect how often we need to wash our hair. Factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and even climate can play a role in the amount of oil and build-up on your scalp.


If your hair produces oil at a faster-than-average rate, you'll find yourself reaching for your bottle of shampoo more often – maybe even every other day or every day. On the flip side, those with drier hair may be able to stretch out their washes to once a week.


But it's not just how oily your hair is that’ll determine how often you should wash it. 


Men who are more active and sweat regularly may need to wash their hair more frequently to remove any build-up from the sweat, dirt, and bacteria. Same goes for if you tend to use a lot of styling products, for example, if you work as a model or you just like to keep yourself looking fresh on the daily.

Common factors determining how often men should wash their hair:

  • Hair type – Men with thicker, coarser hair may be able to go longer between washes compared to men with fine, thin hair.

  • Activity level – Those who are more active & sweat regularly may need to wash their hair more often.

  • Style preference – If you find it easier to style your hair wet, you may want to wash it more often.

  • Climate – Hot & humid climates can cause hair to become greasy faster, while cold & dry climates may allow for longer periods between washes.

  • Oil production – The amount of natural oils your scalp produces can also affect how often you need to wash your hair. This can be determined by your hormone levels & genetics.

Is it Bad to Wash Men's Hair Every Day?

Myth number one we're busting is the idea that washing your hair every day is bad for you. While you should ideally try to avoid it if you can, it's not likely to do your mop and scalp any harm, especially if it's what your hair needs.


If you struggle with excessively oily hair, washing it daily might be the best option. And if you have a physically demanding job or exercise regularly, daily washing may also be necessary to keep your scalp and hair clean.


Essentially, you want to remove excess oil and dirt before it can build up and cause issues like dandruff or clogged follicles, so if this means washing your hair daily, go for it.


But if you are one of those who requires daily washing, make sure you opt for a gentle formula with natural ingredients, like our Thickening Shampoo. Products with too many chemicals and synthetic ingredients can lead to dry hair and an irritated scalp.


However, if you have a generally 'normal' hair type, we'd advise sticking to that two-to-three-day schedule so you don't strip your hair of its natural oils too frequently.

Washing My Hair Less Frequently Will Make It Less Oily: Is This True?

This is one we've been hearing a lot of over on TikTok and Instagram – known as 'hair training'. The idea that washing your hair less often will make it less oily is not entirely accurate, but it's not entirely false either.


Hair training is extending the periods between washes in hopes that your hair will ‘learn’ to produce less oil over time. The truth is, the amount of sebum (oil) your scalp produces is largely based on genetics and hormonal factors, so there's only so much control this method can do.


You'll notice the biggest change in your hair's oil production when you switch to better quality hair products and by changing other habits such as reducing heat styling, eating a healthier diet, and keeping stress levels in check.

It's also important to remember that washing your hair isn't just about removing oil; it's also about keeping your scalp and hair clean from dirt, bacteria, and product buildup. Skipping washes for an extended period of time can lead to clogged hair follicles and scalp issues.

Should I Wash My Hair More or Less Often if I'm Growing It?

If you're in the process of growing your hair out long, you won't want to overwash your hair, as this can lead to dryness and breakage.


While there's no one secret sauce to unlocking fast hair growth, following a good haircare routine and not overwashing your hair can definitely help. We wouldn't recommend washing your hair more than three times a week if you can help it to allow your scalp's sebum to do its work.


The products you use to wash your hair will be important, too, and can help boost your journey to longer, healthier locks. Hair growth and volumising products, like our advanced Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, contain powerful ingredients that promote scalp health and encourage hair growth.


Read our guide to growing out and maintaining long hair for more expert tips and tricks to help you on your journey.

Is it Better to Wash My Hair With Cold or Hot Water?

The answer is neither. When washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner, you should always use warm water, as it helps open up the hair cuticle and allows for better cleansing.


Hot water will strip away too much natural oil from the scalp, leading to dryness and potential damage. On the other hand, cold water doesn't effectively remove dirt and product buildup.


That being said, cold water does help close the hair cuticles and lock in moisture, which is why it's recommended to rinse your hair with cold water after applying conditioner.


So, wash your hair with warm water and finish off with a blast of cold water.

Do I Need to Use Shampoo & Conditioner Every Time I Wash My Hair?

If it's your proper hair wash day, then yes, you should use shampoo and conditioner every time.


Shampoo is designed to cleanse the scalp and remove dirt, oil, and product buildup. It also helps to unclog hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth. And the conditioner's job is to nourish and hydrate the hair, replenishing any lost moisture. Washing your hair without using these two products will leave you with a dry, dirty and potentially damaged mane.


However, if you're in between wash days and just need to freshen up, you can skip the shampoo and only use conditioner, or forgo both and just rinse with water. You might find working with damp hair makes styling a lot easier, too.

The Verdict: How Often Should a Man Wash His Hair?

There's not really a one-size-fits-all answer to how often a man should wash his hair. While the magic three-day rule is a good one to go by, it isn’t a set-in-stone rule. It all depends on your hair type, lifestyle and personal preference.


You may need to wash your hair every day if you have naturally oilier hair or workout frequently. Others may find that washing every other day or even just a couple of times a week is enough.


But regardless of how often you wash your hair, it's important to use the right products and techniques to keep your mane looking healthy and clean.


Upgrade your hair care routine with our core essentials collection of men's hair products to achieve the best results for your hair today.

Looking for more men's hair care tips? Take a look at the rest of our blog posts.


How Long Can Guys Go Without Washing His Hair?

If you have a 'normal' hair type, you'll likely find you can go a good three days without washing your hair. However, this can vary depending on your hair type and lifestyle habits. Some men with thinner or oiler hair may need to wash more frequently, whereas those with thicker or drier hair may be able to go longer without washing.

How Do I Know When to Wash My Hair?

How oily your hair is is just one measure of when to wash it. Also look out for
- Product build-up
- Dandruff
- Itchy scalp
- Flat, lifeless hair
- Sweat and dirt

Should You Wash Your Hair Only With Water?

Washing your hair solely with water won't deeply cleanse the scalp and remove build-up. It's important to use a high-quality shampoo to effectively remove dirt and oil and finish with a conditioner to hydrate your strands.

Is it Bad to Go 5 Days Without Washing Your Hair?

It's not necessarily bad to go five days without washing your hair, but it may not be the best for your scalp and hair health. Depending on your hair type, this may lead to excess oil build-up and potentially clogged hair follicles. But if your trim looks and feels as clean as it did on day two or three, then you'll be fine leaving it this long.

Piers Le Moignan

Piers Le Moignan is the founder and CEO of Salt Grooming, an award-winning British luxury men’s haircare and styling brand. 

Founded in 2018, Piers has quickly grown the company into a global brand that has distributed to 43 countries and counting.

Headquartered in London, Piers leads an agile workforce of 10 employees and consultants, including the company’s formulation team which features some of the UK’s leading cosmetic scientists. Piers is responsible for overseeing logistics, supply chain, and performance marketing, and is the driving force behind Salt’s product innovation and brand/creative direction. 

Previous to foundership, Piers spent a decade at some of London’s leading creative agencies, developing global brands and communications for the likes of Adidas, Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways, and more.

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