How Often Should Curly Hair Be Washed? A Comprehensive Guide

Curly hair, with its unique texture and pattern, requires special care to maintain its health and vibrancy. One of the most common questions among curly-haired individuals is about the optimal frequency of washing their hair.

This comprehensive guide aims to answer that question, offering tailored advice to help you keep your curls looking their best.

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how often should curly hair be washed

How Often Should Curly Hair Be Washed?

The ideal washing frequency for curly hair varies based on several factors, including curl type, scalp health, and lifestyle:

  • Curl Type: Tighter curls and coils may benefit from less frequent washing to preserve natural oils, while looser curls might require more regular cleansing.
  • Scalp Health: An oily scalp may necessitate more frequent washing, whereas a dry scalp may require less.
  • Lifestyle and Activity Level: Regular exercise or exposure to pollutants can affect how often you wash your curly hair.

General Guideline

A good starting point is washing curly hair 1 to 3 times weekly. Adjust this frequency based on your hair’s response and personal comfort.

How Often Should You Condition Curly Hair?

Conditioning is a crucial step in curly hair care, providing moisture and detangling benefits:

  • After Every Wash: Always use a conditioner after shampooing to replenish moisture and protect the hair.
  • Leave-In Conditioners: For extra hydration, incorporate a leave-in conditioner into your routine, especially on non-wash days.

Deep Conditioning

  • Frequency: Deep condition your curls every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on their moisture needs.
  • Benefits: Deep conditioning treatments can help improve hair elasticity, strength, and overall health.

Read also: Baking Soda for Grey Hair

What to Do After Washing Curly Hair

Post-wash care is essential for defining and maintaining curls:

  • Gentle Drying: Avoid rubbing your hair with a towel. Instead, use a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt to blot the hair and reduce frizz gently.
  • Detangling: Use a wide-tooth comb or fingers to detangle gently, starting from the ends and working your way up.
  • Styling Products: Apply curl-defining creams or gels to damp hair to enhance curl pattern and reduce frizz.
  • Drying: Air dry your hair or use a diffuser attachment on a low heat setting to dry your curls without disrupting their natural pattern.

Tips for Maintaining Curly Hair Between Washes

Keeping your curls hydrated and defined between washes is key:

  • Refresh Your Curls: Use a spray bottle with water or a curl refresher to revive and reshape your curls as needed.
  • Protect Your Hair at Night: Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase, or wear a satin bonnet to reduce friction and prevent frizz.
  • Scalp Care: If your scalp feels oily or itchy between washes, consider using a dry shampoo or scalp treatment specifically designed for curly hair.


Determining how often to wash curly hair depends on individual needs and hair characteristics. You can maintain healthy, hydrated, and vibrant curls by understanding your hair type, listening to your scalp, and following a consistent care routine.

Remember, curly hair thrives on moisture, so prioritizing conditioning and gentle handling will go a long way in keeping your curls in top condition.


  1. Can I wet my curly hair every day?
    • You can wet your curly hair daily to refresh your curls, but avoid shampooing each time to prevent drying out your hair.
  2. Is it bad to leave the conditioner in curly hair?
    • Leaving a small amount of rinse-out conditioner in your hair can provide extra moisture, but it’s best to use products specifically designed as leave-in conditioners for optimal results.
  3. How can I tell if I’m washing my curly hair too often?
    • You might wash your hair too often if it feels dry, frizzy, or loses definition. Try reducing the frequency and observing how your curls respond.

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