It has always been an unwritten rule to wash hair frequently for its best look and your own appeal. And, let’s confess it, our hair does look its best on the wash day, which we used to skip only when feeling tired or lazy.
But things changed. Suddenly, we started hearing from all the corners that washing your hair daily damages it in the long run and even trains it to become greasy! So where is the truth and how often should you wash your hair after all? We have an ultimate answer for you below.
How Often Should You Shampoo Your Hair?
You must have heard that shampooing less is better for your hair. But how is it possible, once your shampoo is “thickening”, “repairing”, “nourishing”, “volumizing”, and other-ways-amazing for your hair, according to the ads?
The problem with shampoo is that it cannot choose between what to remove, so it strips your hair of dirt along with all the natural oils your hair produces. These oils do not only moisturize your hair but also create a protective barrier for your scalp and hair, and rinsing them off leaves your hair prone to damage and dryness.
One way to affect the situation is to shampoo less frequently, but opting for a sulfate-free shampoo can help too. Yes, sodium lauryl sulfate – a harsh chemical that makes part of your household detergents and cleaning products – is found in most mass-market shampoos. Using it often on your hair is nothing good, so you should better postpone such wash days or refuse from sulfates overall.
Is refusing from shampoo for good a good idea too?
No, it’s not. Even a “no-poo” movement that encourages people to give up on shampooing suggests rinsing hair with alternative products, not avoiding cleansing as such. Sebum, the oily and waxy matter that glands in our scalp produce, does not delude in water, so showering your head without any products won’t help you cleanse it.
Once natural hair oils accumulate, they attract more dust and pollen, leaving the scalp and hair shaft clocked with dirt. If you don’t wash your head often or thoroughly, you may face inching and visible flakes. Another piece of sad news is that the lack of cleansing hampers your hair growth. Thus, washing hair properly is part of keeping your hair and your scalp healthy.
How Often to Wash Hair Depending on Your Hair Type
How long you should wait between the washes largely depends on your hair texture and your lifestyle. Let’s break it down further:
Thin Straight Hair
If your hair is thin and oily, forget the ban on shampooing hair daily. First, your hair doesn’t need the oily barrier as much as dry curly hair does. Secondly, oils can easily weigh down your hair, making it look limp and greasy. This is why dry shampoo is among the top recommendations for volumizing fine hair.
At the same time, there are many other evils that make a wash day a real trial for our hair, including hot water, brushing hair when wet, rubbing it with a towel, or blow drying. Fine hair is fragile and will easily break or feature split ends after such practices. Thus, cutting down on shampoo days or at least amending your washing and styling routine can make a huge difference.
Curly Hair Texture
Retaining natural hair oils is very important for those with curly or coily hair prone to dryness and frizz. This is why curly girls should try to increase days between washing and shampoo hair twice or once per week.
That being said, it is much easier to style curly hair when it’s wet and it might be not easy to retain the excellent shape of curls day after day. To extend the wash days, adopt a proper routine for sleeping on your curls and dampen hair in the morning to refresh the shape. Of course, a braid or a bun will always help you win one more day without washing.
Natural hair needs even more moisturizing oils and rarely shows the signs of greasiness, so it is best to shampoo hair once a week or even two.
Although some protective hairstyles allow extending this period even more, skipping a shampoo for more than 14 days can be really bad for your hair and scalp. In any case, avoiding the shampoo for a longer period will not give you any benefits.
Dry Scalp and Dandruff
Harsh chemicals in your shampoo may be the very reason why your scalp is dry or irritated. However, if you have a dry scalp or dandruff, you should brush and wash your hair more frequently
Not only because washing and brushing will remove the white flakes. The case is, dandruff can be caused by fungi that feed on the oils in your skin, so removing them will help you halt the infection. You will still need a specialized shampoo to get rid of the issue.
Other Factors to Weight In
There are many other factors that determine how often your should wash your hair. For example, exercising, working on polluted sites, and sweating a lot will make you wash your mane more often. Irrespective of hair type, people with oily skin tend to shampoo more often than those with dry skin. Even your age may be important, as glands tend to produce less sebum as we age.
While we cannot affect all the factors that make our hair greasy, some are in our hands or, more precisely, in keeping hands out of our hair.
How to Minimize the Washing Day Damage
Although much hair damage does happen on your wash days, your shampoo is not the only one to blame. If you want to keep your hair strong and healthy, here are some excellent washing day practices to follow:
- Don’t wash hair in very hot water;
- Use hair conditioner;
- Adopt protective drying routine: plop wet hair in a cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel, air dry flipping your hair to let air reach the roots, only use a blow dryer or a diffuser on a half-dry hair to set it in place;
- Use a heat protectant each time you are heat styling;
- Avoid going out in cold weather or heat styling when your hair is still damp.
After all, washing your hair daily doesn’t dry your strands as much as bleaching or heat-styling them frequently. Thus, if letting your hair show the signs of greasiness freaks you out, wash it. You can always give it some tender loving care by going natural or skipping on a blow dryer or a straightener.