How Often to Wash Your Hair, According to Science

Do you think you need to wash your hair every day? Well, think again and read this article to know the science behind hair washing.

People often believe that it is essential to wash their hair every day. However, that is not the case, and hair wash depends on every individual’s hair type.

Different people swear by different numbers of times they tend to wash their hair like Kim Kardashian only washes her hair twice a week. Surprising, right?

Before we delve into the topic in detail, let’s first discover the core reason for greasy hair.

Why Does Our Hair Get Greasy?

Our hair becomes greasy for the same reason that our face becomes oily: sebum! The skin’s glands produce an oily substance known as sebum, which keeps hair moist and prevents it from drying out.

The sebaceous glands — which produce sebum — are found next to hair roots in the dermis layer of skin. Sebaceous gland channels lead to the hair follicle, which is how sebum gets out of the skin and onto your scalp.

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An interesting thing about sebum is that each of us produces it in different quantities. Therefore, every person’s hair gets oily differently. Other than that, hormones also play a role in making our hair and face greasy.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

We have often heard people say that they wash their hair every day, but health and skin experts say that no one should do that to their hair, it does more harm than good to the hair. Dermatologists say that washing hair regularly dries out the scalp and produces more oil.

There are many points that factor in during the hair washing routine, but here’s a general analysis:

  • If you have oily hair, you may want to wash it every other day.
  • If you have chemically treated hair, you may want to take a break before washing it again.
  • If you have textured hair, you may want to wash it once every week.

When a person gets old, his/her sebaceous glands produce less sebum and as a result, they may wash their hair less frequently.

How To Tell If Your Hair Needs Washing?

Oftentimes we question ourselves if we should wash our hair or go on without getting them nice and clean. So here are the signs that tell your hair needs washing:

  • A scraggly, oily appearance
  • Hair that appears dirty and dull
  • There is a noticeable buildup of products on the scalp.
  • When your hair feels sticky

Factors That Matter During Hair Wash

Now that we’ve settled on the fact that our hair does not need daily washing, let’s have a look at the factors that contribute to the hair washing routine.

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A Person’s Skin Type

If you have a normal skin type, then there’s a highly likely chance that your scalp will produce less sebum and your hair will get greasy less frequently. Therefore, people with normal skin types will have to wash their hair less often than those with oily skin.

A Person’s Hair Texture

Experts say that texture is important because it influences how quickly sebum moves from your roots to the length of your hair. Because coarse or curly hair slows the spread of sebum, you may only need to shampoo once a week if you have this type of hair. People with fine, straight hair, on the other hand, will most likely need to shampoo twice a week or more.

Hair Treatment

Another factor that contributes to the hair washing routine is hair treatment. Dermatologists recommend that a person who has treated hair must wash his/her hair less frequently.

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Sweaty Scalp

If you have just worked out or come from a run and you are sweating from head to toe, then you may have to consider washing your hair immediately. Moreover, if your routine demands wearing headgear for a long duration, then your hair will become oily more frequently and that is why you will have to wash your hair every two days.

Environmental Factors

In Pakistan, we often have to pass through roads that are under construction or broken, muddy roads that blow dirt into our hair. Other than that, pollen also makes the hair dirty, so if you have a routine like that, then you might have to give your hair a regular wash.

Dirt and pollen make the hair sweaty, unclean so a gentle massage and a wash with your go-to shampoo will make all the difference.

Cleaning Methods You Should Use

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to a hair washing routine. How frequently you wash your hair — and with what — is highly dependent on your body, lifestyle, and preferences. The dirtier your hair becomes and the more oil you produce, the more frequently you must wash it.

If you believe you are over-washing your hair, try skipping one wash per week or extending the time between washes by one day. Reduce it week by week until you like how your hair and scalp feel.

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Switching your shampoo and washing it with a conditioner is also a viable option, but the transition period can be challenging for many. You do not have to discard your favourite shampoo. If you want to reduce your use of detergent-based shampoos, try incorporating another cleaning method into one of your weekly washes.

Parting Thoughts

If you use styling products, you should only use shampoo to clean your scalp. It should not be used to wash the ends of your hair. The ends of your hair are the oldest and most fragile, and they require special care, such as added moisture.

According to a Johns Hopkins study, conditioner is one of the most important steps in maintaining healthy hair. While conditioner is beneficial to everyone, people with dry hair should use conditioner every time they wash their hair. When you use a conditioner, pay special attention to the ends of your hair. Contrary to popular belief, applying conditioner to your scalp can be beneficial if you have a dry scalp or curly hair. Whatever the case may be, only you can find the ideal balance of cleanliness and moisture for your hair.

Filed under: Makeup & Hair, Tips and Myths

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