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How often should you wash Afro hair? The answer may surprise you!

How often should you wash afro hair

African-American hair tends to be drier than other hair types, so How often should you wash afro hair? You’ll need to wash it more often, or at least that’s what many believe. The opposite may be true! Frequent washing can strip your hair of essential oils and encourage buildup, leading to excessive oil production and dry hair. Plus, the natural oils your scalp produces help keep your hair soft and flexible, so washing too often can leave your strands brittle and prone to breakage. 

Washing your hair is something that most people do regularly, but what if you have Afro hair? How often should you wash the natural hair of African Americans? It’s probably not in your best interest to wash your hair as often as someone with straight hair would because the curly hair will start to dry out and break more easily. That said, it’s also not in your best interest to avoid washing your hair as much as possible. So when should you wash your Afro hair? The answer depends on your hair type and style.

How often should you wash afro hair?

How often should you wash afro hair? You’ll need to wash it more often, or at least that’s what many believe. Afro hairs are different from other types of hair because they are coarse, curly, and tightly coiled. Curly hairs are formed when each strand’s outer layer curls under and its inner layer curl over, creating a sort of z shape. This behavior causes afro hair to appear tighter and springier than other hair types.

Unlike straight hair, which lays down smoothly and soaks up oil, the tightly-coiled curls in afro hair hold onto oil and grease for long periods.

How often should you wash afro hair

Afro hairs need to wash more regularly than normal hairs.

This is why afro hair needs to be washed regularly, more than other types of hair. Even if an afro-hairstyle doesn’t feel oily, a daily cleanse is important because it will maintain healthy and shiny curls. There are different schools of thought on how often you should wash your afro hair. Some recommend washing every day, while others say that too much washing can have a negative effect on your curls; it can make them feel dry and brittle.

You’ve heard it all before: Let your hair air dry, don’t use a brush, and comb only when necessary. These are some of those tips that seem to make sense on paper but not always in real life. So we did some digging around to find out what is fact and fiction when it comes to washing afro curls. There is no hard and fast rule for how often you should wash your hair.

Wash within 4 days 

Can I wash my hair every day? Most people don’t realize that washing their natural afro-textured hair is damaging, causing it to lose a lot of its natural oils. This means that it’s far less shiny and healthy-looking than it would be if you could keep these oils in your hair. 

Therefore, it’s important to remember to avoid washing your hair daily as much as possible. Wash within 4 days: After about four days without washing, your natural afro-textured hair will likely become greasy and somewhat dirty looking. As a result, it’s a good idea to go ahead and wash it then.

This is because washing your natural afro-textured hair every day or two will prevent it from properly absorbing and retaining these oils, which means that its health and shine will be compromised in exchange for a cleaner appearance.

The maximum limit is up to 14 days.

How often should I shampoo my hair? Everyday washing is not good for your hair. It can dry your scalp and get frizzy and brittle, but it will also cause split ends and breakage. We think most people would benefit from taking a 2-day break every 7 days to wash their hair. 

Or try to stretch it even longer, 3 days between washes if you’re wearing protective styles, like braids or weaves, since these styles protect your natural hair from dirt and prevent unnecessary manipulation of your style during daily activities.

If your scalp is very oily, it’s also fine to stick to washing your hair every other day. It will take some time for your scalp and natural oils to adjust to being washed less frequently.

You shouldn’t let your hair unwashed for more than 14 days. Wash your hair with a good shampoo, or better still, buy conditioner to prevent the shedding of hairs, leading to major baldness later in life if it is not prevented immediately. 

Signs that its time to wash your afro hairs

How often should you wash afro hair

You can usually tell when it’s time to wash your afro hair when your curls start to clump together or if there is a strong odor. If you wait too long between washes and your curls become too dry, some people will develop dandruff, while others find their scalp starts itching more than usual. Here are five signs that indicate that its time to wash your afro hairs:

1. A lot of oily or greasy curl 

Oily or greasy curls are an indication that your hair needs washing. Your scalp produces oils to keep your locks soft and moisturized, but over-oiling can lead to a buildup of residue that will weigh down your curls. When possible, try to resist washing your strands daily. Dirty hair doesn’t happen overnight unless you work out in yours or have an extremely active lifestyle. Giving it more time between washes keeps your tresses healthy and helps them grow longer by reducing breakage. If it gets too much for you, consider investing in a dry shampoo to give those roots a quick clean while maintaining moisture levels daily.

2. If your hair becomes dry and chalky

Wash your afro hair at least every two weeks. When your natural afro hair is dry, flaky, and brittle, it’s a sign that you’re overdue for a shower. Wash your AfroAfro every two weeks with natural shampoo to keep it healthy and hydrated while reducing breakage. However, if you have oily or overly thick locks, you might need to cleanse more often – up to three times a week (if necessary). It all depends on your scalp type and oil production levels.

3. Dandruff buildup

While many naturals have dandruff, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem. Excessive sebum buildup and other chemicals in your scalp can cause or worsen dandruff. If you find yourself itching like crazy every time you wash your hair or touch it, the chances are that something is off your scalp and needs cleaning up. Investing in a sulfate-free shampoo can help minimize dandruff over time. Daily washing is also an important way to keep your scalp healthy, so ensure your regimen includes regular washes. 

4. If your hairs produce a smell

Under normal circumstances, most people recommend washing our hair two to three times a week. However, there are conditions when more frequent washing becomes necessary. For example, if your scalp produces an odor due to excess sebum (oil) production, then washing your hair daily is recommended to remove dirt and sebum from your scalp.

These conditions vary from person to person depending on their skin type and natural levels of oil production. When it comes to washing your Afro hair, the best way to know how often is required is by smelling the hairs: If they produce a smell, then it’s time for a good scrubbing with shampoo.

You can also check out our other related article How often a black man should wash his hair:

Steps to wash your afro hairs

How often should you wash afro hair

To wash your afro hairs, first, we must understand that to maintain healthy afro hairs, we must clean them daily and keep any dirt out. If you are worried about how often or when to wash your afro hairs, follow these steps to have a beautiful and fresh look. Ensure you do not wash your hair with hot water, as it will make your coarse/dry/frizzy look more severe. Here are some steps you should follow to wash your afro hairs in the best possible way.

1. Oil or massage your afro hairs before washing: 

It is very important to oil or massage them before washing them as this can also help prevent dryness and frizziness. Massaging the scalp can stimulate blood flow which helps bring natural oils from the skin down through the hair shafts. It also provides much-needed stress relief for many people. 

2. Try to detangle your afro hairs with the help of fingers:

You might think that rubbing your hands on the knots would only make things worse, but if you gently use your fingertips, you will be able to break up the tangles without damaging too much of your hair at once. 

3. Rinse under lukewarm water: 

After trying to detangle the knots with your hands, try rinsing under lukewarm water to start softening up some of those tough parts before applying shampoo onto all areas of afro hair 

4. Apply shampoo on all areas of afro hair:

You should apply shampoo to all areas of afro hair, including the neck and shoulders. The shampoo has been designed specifically for sensitive scalps and also has a pH balance that won’t strip away natural oils as regular soap does, 

Use only a very little shampoo: Since curly hairs are normally prone to dandruff and scalp conditions, we must use a shampoo that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients. Many people think they need to use more shampoo on their afro hairs since they tend to get dirtier quicker. Still, it is recommended to use less as curly hairs are more sensitive than other types of hair and can react strongly with products like sulfates and chlorine, so make sure you rinse them thoroughly before adding conditioner. 

Some people who experience strong itching during hair washing recommend using moisturizing shampoo instead of a clarifying one because this reduces irritation caused by the detergents. 

5. Use a conditioner after washing with shampoo: 

After rinsing out your afro hairs, you should use a conditioner to replenish moisture and restore nutrients. Conditioners are usually gentler than shampoo, so they don’t remove as much protein from the hair. Your conditioner should have proteins to nourish and strengthen your afro hairs while keeping its natural oils intact. Leave it on for at least five minutes. Conditioners aren’t good when you’re just starting with wearing an afro hairstyle; even women who’ve had theirs for years can benefit from conditioning now and then!

6. Wrap your hair in a microfiber cloth. 

After washing your afro hairs, you should wrap them in a microfiber cloth. This will allow the hair to absorb the water needed for a quick-drying process. 

Tips for taking care of your natural afro hairs

Finding a balance between natural and effective can sometimes be difficult, but with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, it becomes much easier. Here are some helpful tips to take care of your natural afro hairs

1. Use a sulfate-free shampoo:

Sulfates are the main cause of dry, curly, or tangly hair, so using a sulfate-free shampoo is one way to comb. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that. 

Because their hair is already dry and brittle from years of neglecting it, any shampoo will do. However, this is not true at all! Using an all-natural moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo will help heal your tresses by making them strong and healthy again while retaining the moisture they need to stay soft and shiny without drying out even more. 

2. Don’t use too much shampoo:

Avoid excessive amounts of shampoo when washing your hair as it strips away the natural oils in your scalp that keep your scalp hydrated and healthy. When washing with excess shampoo, you run the risk of disrupting these essential oils on your scalp, leading to dryness and itchiness, which can turn into major dandruff issues if not corrected quickly. 

3. Try coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner: 

Coconut oil has become well known for its conditioning properties and ability to soften keratin in both skin and hair. Applying coconut oil on wet strands will strengthen those weak ends by giving them extra protection from breakage due to over-manipulation and tension caused by brushing or other styling techniques like braiding or twisting

4. Use a wide-toothed comb: 

For afro hair, use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush. Brushing removes many tightly coiled curls and causes more shedding than necessary. If you must brush, go very gently through your locks to minimize damage.

5. Never use hot water to wash your afro hairs:

It’s best never to use hot water when washing your hair because it contains high levels of alkaline, which destroys natural oils, dries out the scalp, and leaves hair lifeless. Hot water also doesn’t give you time to get a nice lather going before scrubbing your tresses clean. Let warm/lukewarm water sit on your head for about three minutes before massaging it in.

6. Use protective styles to keep your afro hairs safe from sun or dirt: 

One of the most important things to remember when caring for your afro hair is to protect it from external elements. Prolonged exposure to the elements can lead to drying and dullness. Whether you’re outside running errands, traveling, or enjoying a day at the beach, wear a hat or scarf to shield your afro hair from direct sunlight.

Protecting your hair against dust and dirt will also help prevent breakage and maintain the silky texture of your locks. Finally, consider trying a style incorporating little to no manipulation of your afro hair. Styles like braid-outs and twist-outs promote growth by avoiding heat products and chemical treatments.

How often should you wash afro hairs when they are in protective style?

How often should you wash afro hair

Of course, how often you need to cleanse your scalp depends on many factors, such as weather and what product(s) or conditioner(s) are used. But as a rule of thumb, many experts say that curly-haired folks (especially those who wear weaves or braids) must wash their heads at least once a week. 

This means scrubbing with a pH-balanced shampoo, rinsing well, and allowing your scalp to dry completely before styling. You might want to apply some organic tea tree oil for added protection from any environmental toxins. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t go two weeks between washes if you choose; it just means that more frequent washing is always better for the health of your natural curls than less frequent washing when it comes to retaining moisture.

Some protective styles for afro hairs

French Braids, Senegalese twists, Bantu knots, and crochet braids are some of my favorite protective styles for afro hair. Just about any style is suitable for afro hair if maintained properly. For instance, when I started transitioning to natural hair three years ago, I opted for Senegalese twists as a protective style because they were quick and easy.

1. French braid: 

One great thing about french braids is that they can be taken out after the hair has been washed, conditioned, and detangled without the need for cutting or combing the strands in the process. My mother used to have me do her hair with this style every week until she cut off all her kinky curls one year ago. 

2. Senegalese twists:

Senegalese twists were popularized by Miley Cyrus and Jada Pinkett Smith as a protective hairstyle for black women. The twist can last up to six months before unraveling or becoming undone and need only be done once per month, depending on your scalp’s moisture levels. They’re an excellent option for anyone looking for a low-maintenance hairstyle that requires little upkeep.

3. Bantu knots:

These are probably my favorite protective style for African Americans because they provide maximum coverage while retaining your mane’s volume. Unlike other styles like weaves or cornrows, which require more upkeep and cost more money, Bantu knots offer a versatile long-term solution to protect afro hairs from wear and tear.

Bantu knots are also less time-consuming than cornrows (a tedious process) and take around five minutes max to complete, making them perfect for people who don’t have much time during their busy day. Plus, no one will notice them unless you decide to show them, so if there’s ever an occasion where you want to cover up your natural locks, then this would be the perfect hairstyle for you.

Effects of not washing afro hair for too long

How often should you wash afro hair

When your afro hairs grow, they can trap and retain more dirt, debris, and sweat. This can lead to an increased risk of infection; your scalp might itch or burn. To keep your locks looking healthy, it’s important to clean them regularly. If you let your afro hairs stay unwashed for too long, your scalp will start producing excess oils and flakes to protect itself from bacteria and other substances that can cause damage or discomfort. 

When you get hit with dandruff or flaky skin condition because of how long you’ve gone without washing afro hair, that can also be pretty embarrassing when people start noticing how bad things have gotten for you. This makes it harder to brush through your hair, but the flakes are sometimes visible and accumulate throughout the day. You don’t want your scalp to suffer from anything too serious like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or eczema, all common side effects of keeping afro hair unwashed for too long. 

The best way to care for your scalp is by treating it as if it were delicate, as, over time, its natural defenses can weaken and become susceptible to more severe conditions like inflammation and scabs. These types of complications are typically avoidable with frequent washes. And if you experience any uncomfortable symptoms while waiting for an in-between buildup shampoo, try using a medicated shampoo specifically designed for acne-prone scalps. These work wonders against all sorts of inflammation caused by the accumulation of grime down below!

Health benefits of keeping your afro hairs clean

Just like your skin and scalp, keeping your afro hairs clean is important. Washing your afro hairs helps eliminate dirt and oil buildup that occurs naturally from daily activities, such as sweating or dust. This can also help prevent acne, reduce dandruff, improve follicle health and prevent scalp conditions such as dermatitis. Use a gentle shampoo or soap to cleanse your afro hairs.

Why afro hairs are so special

In many ways, afro hairs are similar to other hairs. They are made up of three different layers, and they can absorb moisturizers and oil, too. However, because of their unique structure, some key differences make it important to wash them differently than normal scalp hairs. For example, afro hairs tend to be coarser than normal scalp hairs, and it’s also easy for dirt and oil to get stuck in your curls if you don’t keep them clean regularly. 

Why do afro hairs remain dry?

How often should you wash afro hair

The real reason afro hairs remain dry and unmanageable, even after washing them, is that they are chemically processed. Just as a damaged weave (or your head of hair) requires special maintenance to restore its normal texture, so do afro-textured hairs require special care. Two types of chemicals can be applied to afro hair. These include Relaxers used primarily on women with curly and tightly coiled natural textures. Hair straighteners are also known as relaxers but are designed for men.


Get the answers to your questions.

What type of hair is afro hair?

Afro hairs are C4 type hairs, which is the most special hair type because of their Z-shaped curls.

Does black people’s hair grow slower?

This is a bit of a contentious topic in several African communities, where some people believe that black people’s hair grows slower than other types of hair. However, there’s no hard evidence to support that claim. One study found no difference in how quickly different types of hair grow. Black afros tend to be coarser and thicker than Caucasian or Asian afros.

Is Afro hair curly?

Yes, these afro hairs are curly with more kinks and bends than their straight counterparts. 

Wrapping it up

How often should you wash your afro hair? To answer that question correctly, we must first address a few things. First, every single person has different hair types, whether straight or curly/kinky, and there are also different textures for each.

While these differences can seem like they make it impossible to give everyone one universal way in which they should all wash their hair, I will say that washing less is better when it comes to curly/kinky type textures than with other types of hair. In our blog, we have thoroughly discussed the answers and all the info you should have about your afro hairs. Thanks for reading.

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