Obviously, it’s quite impossible to skip a shower every day. Some people prefer to shower twice a day to feel fresh and clean before getting into bed. But how often should you wash your hair? You can save some effort, time, and money by skipping shampoo and only washing your body. All you need to do is wet your hair with water or wear a shower cap if you prefer. You might think that this is unsanitary, but according to some experts, it’s not.
According to Susan Bard, MD, FAAD, every person is different; however, on average, it is recommended that you wash your hair with shampoo at least every three days. In fact, if you shampoo your hair daily, it can leave your hair and scalp in poor condition. Ken Paves, a celebrity hairstylist who has worked on famous celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, and soccer superstar David Beckham, also agrees.
Paves reveals that you should only wash your hair with shampoo two or three times a week. For the days in between, you only need to rinse your hair with water. If you want to feel and smell fresh, you can condition your hair from the mid-shaft out.
Why You Should Not Shampoo Your Hair Daily
Bard suggests that individuals are not required to wash their hair daily unless their scalp feels greasy. This is because shampoo acts as an emulsifier that bonds dirt, oils, and other residue together, including the natural oil on your hair, known as sebum.
A certain amount of sebum is required to maintain your hair’s health, and stripping it out can make your hair drier, leading to split ends and breakage. Sebum also serves as a barrier for sweat and dirt, moisturizing your hair and scalp.
Most people notice that their hair doesn’t produce enough sebum to become greasy until the third day. However, if you sweat a lot, have a greasy scalp, or extremely thin hair, it is recommended that you wash your hair every other day, but not every day. Washing every other day is also fine if that’s what your oil production requires. In fact, having that extra day or two can be beneficial.
According to Bard, sebum can protect your skin from becoming extremely dry. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to overstrip it by shampooing your hair daily. Additionally, washing your hair every day not only affects your scalp but also your hair.
When Should You Wash Your Hair?
However, Bard advises against getting too excited about skipping shampoo. Washing your hair less can help prevent the accumulation of oils on the scalp, which could cause an overgrowth of yeast that sticks to the skin and results in dandruff.
While you might think those tiny white flakes are harmless, they could lead to hair loss. Reports indicate that oils on the scalp can potentially halt DHT, the hormone responsible for pattern hair loss, making it worse.
Is It Okay to Wash Your Hair Daily with Water?
Certainly, you can shower whenever you want, but it’s essential to maintain a healthy level of sebum. Sebum is like any other oil and can be affected by extreme heat.
As a result, it’s highly recommended that you use warm water to wash your body and then lower the temperature before washing your hair. This can help maintain the natural sebum on your hair and scalp while removing sweat and dirt. If you want to completely wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner, you should do so at least two to three times a week.
Rinse Your Hair More Than You Wash
Rinsing your hair will likely depend on how filthy and sweaty your hair feels. If the weather is a bit warm, then it’s fine to simply rinse it with water or leave it dry. Your hair will get dry, and you can wash it the next day to get rid of the sweat.
Nevertheless, if it is really dirty, then rinsing it with water may not be enough. If you recently finished a workout and your hair feels greasy and smelly, then simply rinsing it with water may not suffice. Although water can be used to rinse off sweat, it is not sufficient for removing oil and dirt, Bard says.
How Often You Wash Depends on Your Hair Type
It would be best if you used shower practices and products that are suitable for your hair type. Keep in mind that the thinner your hair, the more delicate it is. Hence, it can’t handle over-washing, which means you can wash it every other day.
But note that it may look greasier faster. That is why a delicate balance is recommended. You can wash your hair every other night since freshly washed hair without any dirt and grease gives more volume and feels better to the touch. Otherwise, if you have thicker hair, you can wash it every three days and be fine.
What is the Thickness of Your Hair?
As expected, you can have either thin hair, thick hair, or somewhere in between. When it comes to hair thickness, it usually refers to the diameter of individual hairs rather than the amount of hair on your head. For instance, you can have thick hair with a bald spot or thin hair that covers your entire head.
It is important to be aware of your hair’s thickness. If you have thin hair, then you need to wash it more often. This is because thin hair has less sebum, which means that your hair and scalp have fewer natural defenses. Therefore, men with thin hair should wash their hair every other day.
On the other hand, men with thick hair or very curly hair have more sebum. That is why they only need to wash their hair every three days or perhaps twice a week. If you have hair that is in between thin and thick, start by washing your hair twice a week and observe how your hair responds.
What Type of Hair and Scalp Do You Have?
To know what the type of your hair and scalp, you can do a simple test. Take note that it all comes down to oil. Two days after you’ve shampooed your hair, which is the final washing with shampoo, for instance, if you’ve washed your hair on Monday, then this is supposed to be on Wednesday, get a tissue and press it gently on your hair and scalp. After taking it away, you can see the amount of oil on the tissue.
If there is no oil on the tissue, then it means that you have thin hair and dry scalp. It is recommended that you should wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner at least twice a week.
If there is a bit of oil blot, then your hair and scalp are normal. You should wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner every two to three days a week.
And finally, if there is lots of oil, then obviously you have an oily scalp. This is further infuriated with your thicker hair that contains oil. Hence, be sure to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner at least three times a week.
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