Debates concerning the frequency of hair washing have been going on for over a century. From the conservative ages when women usually washed their hair once a month, we’ve evolved to washing it a couple of times a week and in many cases even daily. So how often is healthy? Opinions on the matter are numerous and contradictory. Nevertheless, the answer depends on multiple factors such as hair type, texture, length, condition…and others.
How did we get here?
Nowadays, the idea of washing your hair monthly is found disgusting by most people. There is truth in that, of course. Scalp oils become rancid in time, causing unpleasant odors and aspect. In addition we should also take into consideration the polluted air that we city folks live in. All sorts of air-born particles reach our hair and scalp, dust included. Leaving these untouched in our hair for a month is definitely not the way to go.
At the opposite pole are the daily-washers, adepts of shampooing every day. There are very rare cases of people that have such an oily scalp they actually need to wash their hair daily. On your journey of finding the proper frequency for washing your hair you must first pay attention to your hair’s needs and behavior in various situations, such as extreme temperatures and/or humidity.
Curly hair is usually thicker and it keeps its volume better than straight hair when it becomes oily. For straight hair, using a bristle brush to spread the hair’s natural oils can improve its aspect. Just make sure you don’t overdo it as excessive brushing can actually damage the scalp and hair. Just a couple of strokes are more than enough.
If we wash our hair too often it’s not just the shampooing that can damage it, it’s also the styling. For us women, blow drying is a habit but we’re also using straightening and curling irons along with hair styling products. That is why it’s best you think twice before deciding if your hair needs a wash. Most men don’t have this problem as they prefer to let their hair dry naturally. Of course this doesn’t mean that men should wash their hair daily. Washing the hair is supposed to be done when you really need it, whether you’re a man or a woman.
The climate of the area you live in is another factor that can influence the frequency of washing your hair. If it’s very hot, excessive sweating can make the hair look bad pretty fast. The same goes for people that perform intense workouts on a regular basis. Nevertheless, there are some solutions: you can rinse your hair with water and apply some conditioner on the ends between shampoo days or you can use a dry shampoo. Dry shampoos are basically a powder that is applied at the hair roots to absorb excess oil and can easily be removed by brushing.
Dandruff is a common skin condition that makes people wash their hair more frequently. Dandruff causes bad-looking skin flakes which we try really hard to remove as soon as they become visible. It is true that the hair looks much better immediately after you wash it but it certainly doesn’t solve the problem. Those ugly skin flakes are usually caused by a fungus and they won’t go away without treating it. There are special anti-dandruff shampoos, conditioners, lotions and other hair products that can improve the aspect of your scalp as well as alleviate skin redness, itchiness and other symptoms that may occur. In severe cases a dermatologist can suggest a more aggressive treatment.
Whatever your hair washing routine is, remember it’s not fixed. Adapt it anytime conditions change such as summer & winter or if you feel like there is a better way to do it. Keep in mind that once the hair gets deteriorated it can’t be “fixed”. Hair conditioners can only improve its aspect. Also, pay attention to the hair products you use and choose them according to your hair type.