How Often Should You Wash Thinning Hair?

how often to wash thinning hair

For those with thinning hair, you probably know all too well the struggles of deciding when to wash your hair. If you wash your hair too often, it can sometimes produce more oil stimulation - and if you go too long without washing, it can cause back-up on your scalp and cause your already thin hair to appear greasy. There are both downsides and positives to how often you should wash your hair if it is on the thinner side; to help you figure out the best hair washing schedule for you, we’ve compiled helpful thin hair tips below. 

Know Your Hair Type

If you’re reading this blog, it is most likely because you're worried about thinning hair. But if you happen to have thicker hair, know that these specific tips may not apply to you. Everyone’s hair is different, so that means not every hair practice will suit everyone the same. Those with curly, textured hair will have a different hair care routine than those with finer, thinner hair, or those with dry hair, or oilier hair, and so forth. Only until you’ve figured out what type of hair you have, will it be easier for you to find your ideal hair care routine. 

Best Hair Practices for Thinning Hair

That being said, what exactly should you be doing to make sure your thinning roots aren’t amplified? Those with naturally thin or thinning hair may notice that it is easier for your roots to appear “oiler and greasier” than other hair types. This is because your scalp is always producing a certain amount of natural oils, and due to the nature of your fine-textured hair, it is easier for oil to be transferred throughout your strands. You may notice for those with curlier, coarser hair, natural hair sebum does not spread as much due to the shape of the locks. 

Due to this amplified look of greasy hair, you may feel inclined to wash your hair everyday. While it is acceptable, sometimes washing your hair too often can actually incline your body to produce even more oil. If you must wash your hair everyday, consider the ingredients of your hair care products to make sure they are not only gentle, but effective for your hair type. 

When you are going through your shower routine, please note to avoid shampooing your ends. You should only apply shampoo to your roots and allow the rest of your hair to be cleansed through the shampoo being washed out. This is because the ends of your hair are the most fragile, so you want to avoid drying out your ends with shampoo. When it comes time to condition, you should do the opposite - condition only the ends of your hair and not near your scalp. Conditioner is heavy in its nature, so something that thick will only weigh down your roots and emphasize thinning hair. 

Dry Shampoo

Another way to extend the amount of time in between your hair washing cycle and absorb excess oiliness on your scalp is dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is often found in a dry powder or aerosol can, and not only shrinks the appearance of greasy roots, but can add volume too. 

But Does Dry Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

The short answer is: not directly. However, misuse or overuse of this popular quick-fix beauty product can potentially have negative effects on your hair.

  • Too much dry shampoo use in between showers can clog hair follicles, trap dirt on the scalp, and irritate your skin, leading to stunted hair growth, infection, and potential inflammation, all of which may worsen or accelerate hair loss or shedding.
  • Overuse of dry shampoo may cause drying of the hair shafts, making hair feel brittle, and therefore weaker, potentially leading to increased shedding.
  • Dry shampoo itself can adhere strands of hair together. This could lead to more hair fall than normal because a shedding follicle might drag other, healthy hair with it. 

The long and short of using dry shampoo and not causing worsened or accelerated hair loss is to use in moderation as a tool, not a crutch. 


Things to Avoid with Thinning Hair

As we mentioned previously, the ingredients in your hair care products can be playing a big role in your thinning hair. The following ingredients are frequently found in brand name shampoo and conditioners, but have been linked to playing a potential role in hair thinning: 

  • Sulfates: Sulfates are a common ingredient in brand-name hair care products. Sulfates are behind the reason for foaming when you wash your hair, but this ingredient is harsh and can strip your hair of its natural oils. 
  • Parabens: You’ve probably seen “no parabens” being advertised on hair care products in recent years. This additive is used to preserve shelf life in drugstore hair products. 
  • Dimethicone: A silicone that has been known to dry out hair and cause build-up on the scalp in the long run.
  • Polyethylene Glycols have been known to strip hair of moisture and natural oils. 

If you are on the market for a new shampoo & conditioner, be hesitant about products containing the ingredients above. For thinning hair, opt for hair care that includes ingredients like tea tree oil or keratin, that are not only gentle on your scalp, but help to strengthen and cleanse your hair thoroughly to prolong washes in between.

How Many Washes Should You Aim For?

While this question truly depends on the nature of your hair and varies from every person, if you have thinning hair, try to wash your hair between 3-4 times a week if necessary; washing thinning hair just 3 to 4 times per week means doing so just about every other day. Again, your hair washing schedule all depends on your lifestyle and the status of your strands, but an every-other-day hair washing schedule should suffice in giving your hair a healthy balance of cleansing and allowing your scalp to produce the necessary oils

Don’t Stress Over Thinning Hair, Be Proactive

We know the struggle of having thinning hair all too well. It can feel like you are only intensifying matters when you practice hair habits that aren’t suitable for your hair type. If you’re using the right hair care products and routine for your fine strands, you can lessen the amount of washing for your hair and thus prevent the appearance of thinning hair. 

If you’re looking to find other methods in being proactive against your thinning hair, we can help.  We understand how overwhelming hair loss can be, but at Revela, we’re changing how people think about hair loss and giving them options to fight back naturally – Revela’s Hair Revival Serum can give your hair follicles the support they need.
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Reviewed by: David Zhang, PhD |

David is an immunologist and bioengineer with over a decade of medical research experience. He completed his PhD at Harvard University, where he worked on developing life-saving cancer therapies. He received his undergraduate degree in immunology from McGill University and his master's degree from the University of Toronto

Written by: Enzo Benfanti, MEng |

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