How Often Should Relaxed Hair Be Washed?

How often should I wash my relaxed hair? This is a question I’ve asked myself and one that I get often in DMs, emails and see in relaxed hair Facebook groups. While this is a simple and valid question, it’s not so simple to answer.

An important part of a healthy hair journey or healthy hair regimen is washing your hair. Why you may ask? Because it helps to keep our scalp clean and healthy which is where our hair grows from. Plus, it helps with keeping our hair hydrated and moisturized.

How Often Should Relaxed Hair Be Washed? | A Relaxed Gal

There are some indicators or typical situations when it makes sense to pull out the shampoo
  • Oily hair
  • Dry hair
  • Dry, itchy, or flaking scalp
  • There’s been a lot of sweating on the scalp
  • The hair is overloaded with product - such as heavy creams and oils
  • Straight up dirty hair

Not only are these indicators for when to wash your hair but can also help determine how often your hair should be washed. I typically wash my relaxed hair once a week. But on weeks when I work out multiple days or work in my yard multiple evenings, I sweat a lot and my hair gets dirt and yard clippings in it. As a result, I wash my hair twice a week.

So depending on your lifestyle you may find that once a week works for you or you may be able to go longer like every two weeks or you may find that washing less like every 3-4 days is better for your hair and scalp. One thing that does seem to be agreed upon is that black hair whether relaxed or natural tends to be on the dry side and doesn’t need to be washed daily.

Now on the flip side, you do need to be careful that you don’t overwash your hair. Overwashing your relaxed hair can strip it of much-needed moisture. Plus you’re manipulating your hair more when it’s being washed and styled so often making it more susceptible to damage. When I wash my hair I blow dry which increases the manipulation to my hair. So the more often I wash my hair the more I’m manipulating it.

If you do find yourself needing to wash your hair more often due to working out multiple days a week, you’re spending more time at the pool or beach during the summer, or you’re heavy-handed with the products to keep your hair from drying out there are some things you could do
  • Co-wash instead of shampoo
  • If you do use a shampoo use a sulfate-free one
  • Deep condition every single time you wash
  • Consider skipping an extra wash and use a dry shampoo or hair refresher instead. They can help remove sweat and/or product buildup without having to shampoo or co-wash
  • Try air drying instead of using a blow dryer

So the answer to the question of how often should I wash my relaxed hair is very nuanced and varies from person to person. It ultimately comes down to you need to do what’s best for your hair and lifestyle.

As I mentioned earlier when it comes to my hair, I wash at least once a week, typically on the weekends. I’ll do a second wash during the week if I’m sweating a lot because I’m working out or working in my yard, have gone swimming, my hair is weighed down by products or I’m having scalp issues.


When I do a second wash I either use a co-wash or a diluted sulfate-free shampoo that’s mixed with a rinse-out conditioner. I don’t go more than two washes a week except in very extreme circumstances. If I find I need more than two washes a week I will break out the dry shampoo.

If you’re interested in what shampoos I use on my hair you can check out my hair regimen. I’ve also got several shampoo reviews that you can check out.




How Often Should Relaxed Hair Be Washed? How Often Should Relaxed Hair Be Washed? Reviewed by Leah | A Relaxed Gal on 25 July Rating: 5

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