How often to wash hair? Ditch the shampoo vs shampoo every day. The divide on this one makes deciding on the perfect hair-wash schedule seem impossible! We hope to explore the subject and offer some rescue.
Experts say that there is no single answer to this confusion. The only truth in this scenario is that every individual has a different hair type and deserves a hair wash regime that’s best suited personally.
Not washing your hair too often can lead to dandruff, irritation, and even hair loss. Not abstaining from washing the hair too often can increase oil production and lead to scalp inflammation. Washing it too often makes it dry and brittle. Wash it less often and it becomes oily. It requires some investigation into your hair type and hairstyling practices to decide the best hair wash schedule, read on to know how often to wash hair.
How Does Your Lifestyle Affect Your Hair Wash Cycle?
There is no answer on deciding how often to wash hair. It depends greatly on your hair type, body, lifestyle, and preferences. Let’s look at how your lifestyle guides you and how many times you should wash your hair. The answer to how many times a week should you wash your hair depends on your activity levels throughout the week or even through the day. If you are more active, you need to wash your hair more often. The dirtier you get, the more often hair needs a wash.
How often to wash hair may depend on the scenario. For example, you wash your hair in the morning. You blow-dry and style it perfectly. In the evening you visit the gym and work out and the hair starts looking like a mess – it is oily and repulsive. This must be sounding familiar. If you go to the gym you might need to wash your hair more often as the sweat produced contains salts that may clog the hair and pores on the scalp. The practice of not washing hair frequently with such a lifestyle can lead to breakage and damaged hair.
The scenario might vary as per your daily routine, the nature, and environment of your workplace, the amount of physical and strenuous activity that you are involved in throughout the day. Messy tasks like cleaning and gardening demand a post-duty hair wash.
Styling products also influence how often to wash hair. Styling products can build up on the scalp and cause irritation. Frequent usage of creams and sprays calls for more frequent washing of the hair.
Why Does Your Hair Become Oily and Greasy So Often?
All healthy hair has a certain amount of oil, known as sebum. It is a natural mechanism of the scalp to hydrate itself and keep the hair protected. The amount of oil produced depends on many factors such as hairstyle, hygiene attitude, age, gender, and lifestyle. Children and older adults produce less sebum than teenagers or adults in their 20s and 30s. The scalp becomes drier with age.
- The sebum mixes with sweat and dirt, forming a layer on your scalp. This is normal for most people. Compared to others, some hair types are prone to more oil buildup. Even in less than a day, some of you might be experiencing a visible oil buildup on the hair. Straight hair is especially more prone to collecting oil when compared to wavy or curly hair.
- Over washing can also cause oily hair. Every time you shampoo your hair, your scalp produces sebum to replenish the oils lost in the washing. When you wash your hair too frequently, the sebum production in the scalp goes on an overdrive.
- Other factors such as intense physical exercise, overuse of styling products can accelerate oil buildup. Sometimes excessive humidity also causes oily hair.
- Lack of personal hygiene such as not washing hair for a long time, using a dirty brush causes oily hair.
- Sometimes hormonal fluctuations and genetics also play a role in oily scalp.
How often should you oil your hair?
If you have fine hair or an oily scalp, carry out oiling once every two weeks. For thick hair and dry hair, you can oil once a week. Only a few people produce so much oil that the hair needs a wash daily. Most people produce oil only enough to demand hair wash every couple of days. Practicing good hair hygiene might also help control the oil production in the hair.
How Often Should You Shampoo Your Hair?
We have already seen that your lifestyle and hair type greatly influence how often to wash hair. Now let us consolidate our information and answer that question - How frequently should I wash my hair?
Only a very small group of people need to wash their hair daily.
- If you have very fine hair, you might need a hair wash daily.
- If you sweat (or exercise) a lot or live in a very humid place.
Most people fall into this category
- How many times to wash hair in a week?
For an average person, shampooing the hair every two to three days is sufficient.
- When do I know it is time to wash my hair?
The hair shampooing frequency can depend on signs such as visible oil or scalp itching. These signs indicate that you should shampoo your hair.
- How often should you condition your hair?
It is recommended that shampooing be followed by hair conditioning always.
How often should you wash your hair if you have dandruff?
Dandruff may be a result of over washing. You must use an anti-dandruff shampoo and wash every two days.
If you have normal hair that does not suffer from oiliness or dryness, you can wash the hair whenever you feel the need to, depending on the visible oil buildup and the itchiness. Thicker and curly hair can go without shampooing for a long time since there is a lesser oil buildup, the oils in the scalp do not travel down the hair strands as it would do with thin or finer hair. This should help you decide how often to shampoo hair.
Shampoo works by removing the dirt and excess oil from the scalp and if overused, can lead to hair damage. Too frequent shampooing strips the scalp of the essential sebum and causes the hair to dry. You can avoid this by shampooing the roots only and avoid applying too much to the hair strands. Of late, more people are looking to extend the period between hair washes. Regardless of how you feel, it is recommended that you do not go without a hair wash for more than two weeks. Your hair type and lifestyle should help you decide how often to wash hair.
Tips to Prevent Oily Hair
Since oil buildup is one of the major motivations for hair shampooing, one must look at some of the tips to prevent oily hair -
- Wash your hair less often, as discussed over washing can lead to oily hair.
- Use a dry shampoo between washes.
- Use a silicone-free conditioner.
- Apply conditioner only to the ends of the hair strands.
- Choose your hair products wisely, go for options formulated for oily hair.
- Clean your hairbrush, as the dirt may get caught up with the oil in the hair, demanding more frequent hair washes and thus more oily hair.
- Use tea tree oil during shampooing.
- Refrain from using shine-enhancing products.
Shampoos for Healthy Hair
With the overwhelming options of shampoos for different hair types in the market today, it might get a little confusing when narrowing down the product of your choice in addition to deciding how often to wash hair. Traditional shampoos often employ harsh chemicals called sulfates. These cause hair damage and are not sustainable in the long run. In the long run, you must opt for an herbal product that uses natural ingredients and is a sulfate-free option. Here we look at some of the alternative shampoos that are available in the market today.
Meant to replace regular washing with water, dry shampoo helps to extend the period between two washes. Dry shampoos are available as powder and spray. It is an excellent alternative to shampooing when you are either not able to wash your hair due to time constraints or want to extend the time between washes. Dry shampoo does not have a cleaning action like the traditional shampoo, instead, it absorbs some of the oil and prevents clumping of the hair.
Also called cleansing conditioners – these are recommended for curly, wavy, dry, and frizzy hair. These products are to be used just like a shampoo – after scrubbing just let it sit for a few minutes and rinse normally.
Sometimes simply washing with water might be the best option. It removes dirt, dust and accomplishes most of the functions of shampooing. However, you may miss out on the moisturizing which a conditioner or a hydrating shampoo provides.
It is not easy to figure out how all these factors influence how often you should shampoo and condition your hair. You can start by washing your hair once every two to three days. The lesser you wash your hair, the more it will train itself and adapt to this. In the long run, the oil production will be lesser and regulated. Training the hair in this manner can take a long time but is very effective in the long run. Hopefully, this reading has helped you in deciding how often to wash hair.
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