A stylist shares 5 signs you’re washing your hair too much, even if you don’t think you are

You may be washing your hair more often than needed.

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You may be washing your hair more often than needed.
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iStock
  • There’s no specific answer for how frequently you should be washing your hair, but there are signs you could be shampooing it too often.
  • Signs of over-washing include an increase in split-ends and excessive dandruff.
  • If your hair is being cleaned too often, it may look less shiny and more frizzy.
  • Visit Insider’s home page for more stories.

There’s a chance you could be washing your hair too often, especially if you’re shampooing it on a daily basis.

And, yes, it may be tempting to shampoo and condition each morning, especially if your hair easily becomes greasy, but doing so can cause many issues – including stripping your scalp of many essential oils.

“There isn’t an exact number of times you should wash your hair a week,” celebrity stylist Tonya Le told Insider. “It depends on your hair texture, your natural-oil production, etc. But paying attention to the little signs your hair is giving you can help you come up with the best washing schedule.”

Unsure if you’re washing too often? Insider spoke to Le to determine five signs that you may need to give your hair a break from shampoo.


If you have dyed hair and your color is fading fast, you may need to cut back on how often you wash your hair.

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It’s important to use products made specifically for color-treated hair.
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Shutterstock/Voyagerix

If you highlight or dye your hair, examining how long the color stays vibrant can often show if you’re washing too much.

It’s also important to use a shampoo and conditioner made specifically for color-treated hair.

“Wash hair about three to four times a week with the correct shampoo and a conditioner/mask made for color-treated hair,” Le told Insider. “And, in between washes, refresh your hair with a dry shampoo of your choice.”


Dry, frizzy hair is another sign you’re probably shampooing your hair too often.

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You might also want to try some moisturizing hair products, too.
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geliatida/Shutterstock

Washing your hair too often can also impact the texture of your hair.

“A total lack of moisture from stripping oils can also cause a dry, flaky scalp and as your scalp dries out so does your hair,” she said.

If your hair begins to lose its shine, Le suggests using moisturizing styling products that can “help restore the hair cuticles by making them more soft, manageable and, most important, luscious.”


You might start to notice more split ends, too.

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How often you wash your hair could be negating the good effects of your haircut.
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Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

If you seem to be getting more split ends than usual, this could also be a sign of over-washing. Wet hair is so extra susceptible to damage and breakage, so the more you wash it, the more opportunity it has to break,” Le told Insider.


If your hair has lost its shine, it could be that you’ve stripped away too many oils from your scalp.

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You might also have residue build-up from hair products.
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Nicky J Sims /Getty Images

Since over-washing strips the scalps of oils, it can also make your hair appear to be less shiny.

“Shiny hair is healthy hair, so if your hair has no shine, it could mean your hair is not moisturized,” Le told Insider. “Shampoo washes away your natural oils, leaving the inner layer unprotected. Or even using too much shampoo can cause residue build-up.”


If you have a lot of dandruff, it could be that over-shampooing has dried out your scalp.

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Excessive shampooing can dry out your scalp, resulting in dandruff.
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chokja/ iStock

Le told Insider that you may start to notice more dandruff in your hair if you’re washing it too often, since it occurs when your scalp gets a bit too dry and begins to flake.

“So minimizing your shampoo sessions will help give your oil glands a chance to do its job and soothe the scalp naturally,” Le said, “If it’s dandruff [gets] too intense, a scalp exfoliating treatment along with a tea tree oil scalp treatment will take care of it. And make sure to continue using a dandruff shampoo until flakes clear.”