We generally follow a simple rule of thumb when it comes to washing our hair: if it looks greasy, we wash it.
However, the desirable amount of hair-washing can vary from person to person, and a quick straw poll of the Stylist.co.uk office revealed that we are a varied bunch. Some of us wash our hair every day and those of us with bleached or coloured hair opt for every other day, while those blessed with thick hair opt for a twice-weekly wash.
But in amongst all this variation, is there a right amount of hair washing as recommended by experts?
It appears the answer is yes: read through to see what the pros recommend for your hair type.
Wash your hair less: all hair types
According to the experts, we're probably all washing our hair too much.
“Your hair needs to produce natural oils,” Juliette Dallas-Feeney, senior social media manager and beauty influencer at Birchbox, told The New York Times. “If you wash it too much, you can strip your hair of them."
To counteract this damaging effect, Dallas-Feeney recommends washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner once to twice a week.
Try co-washing: all hair types
Dallas-Feeney also recommends "co-washing" (washing with just conditioner) more, to give your hair its best chance of producing its own oils.
“I do a deep clean when I do wash my hair and really massage it into my scalp, and I’m careful not to get the shampoo on my ends,” she said.
“Then I rinse it out and apply conditioner from my roots to my tips. When I’m shampooing, I’m just focused on scalp cleaning.”
Advice for curly hair
Those with thinner hair are likely to have an increased build up of grease compared to those with thicker hair, making less hair washing a tricky task to commit to.
In contrast, those with drier, curly hair need to wash their hair even less - and the experts recommend they try ditch the shampoo and try co-washing, too.
“I tell people with curly hair to use conditioner only, give it a good scrub on the head and then pull the conditioner through to the ends and rinse it out,” Jeff Chastain, a hair pro from New York, told The New York Times.
Advice for black hair
Women with natural black hair may want to wash their hair even less.
Beauty blogger Nikki Walton, who has textured black hair with corkscrew curls, washes her hair every two weeks with conditioner, and once a month with a clarifying shampoo.
“Your hair is like a fine sweater,” she told The New York Times. “The more you wash it, the more it wears and tears. Your individual hair strands swell and contract, so you’re damaging your hair every time you wet it. You can’t avoid that.”
"Many curly girls stay clear of shampoo as much as possible because dry equals more frizz," she added.
However, Walton also pointed out that women with looser curls may opt to wash their hair a couple of times a week with a conditioner and mild shampoo, as it will be less dry.
You can read more about washing your hair in the original New York Times article, here.