You may hear some stylists talking about ‘second-day hair’ for a messy bun to look best. For some of us, it’s part of our daily routine. But with the multitude of tips (and myths) that circulate, it can leave us asking ‘How often should I wash my hair?’
Causes of ‘dirty’ hair
Depending on our hair type, age, ethnic background and sex, there are many different reasons for our hair to lose its cleanliness and how quickly this happens.
Oil or greasiness is often the reason we make a beeline for the shower. Our teenage years are renowned for causing extra oil production, but as we leave our thirties, this begins to slow down. Straight hair will become coated in oil faster than curly hair, with textured hair needing to be washed the least.
Is it okay to wash your hair every day?
If you’re shampooing daily, you may want to consider giving your hair a day off. Owners of very fine hair or a particularly oily scalp are likely to need daily washes. Fine hair is often accompanied by having individual hair strands, meaning more oil glands on the scalp.
However, it’s not unhealthy to wash every day. Contrary to popular belief, washing every day will not cause hair loss, but it can cause your hair to become oilier. If there’s no visible oil or flaking, you’re good to extend that period between washes.
Benefits of washing hair less
Leaving a day or two between washes allows hair to regenerate its natural oils, preventing itchiness and flaking and keeping hair looking healthy. It’s particularly beneficial for people with thicker or drier hair who may want to reduce the frequency of their washes even further.
Rinsing hair with only water between washes can help keep it looking clean without drying your hair out, as well as other products such as dry shampoos and natural hair masks.
Am I washing my hair correctly?
If you think you might be dealing with oiliness too often, it could be down to the way you’re washing your hair.
Shampoo should only be applied to the roots of your hair to cleanse your scalp. The ends of our hair are the most fragile and need that extra moisture to keep them looking healthy. That’s where conditioner comes in. If you suffer from particularly dry hair, conditioner is an essential step every time you wash.
Some other factors to consider when washing:
- Water temperature: Water that’s too hot can strip away natural oils just as easily as shampoo, as well as causing scalp irritation. Keep that dial to the cool side when you’re seeing to your hair.
- Time to leave product to work: Unlike conditioner, shampoo doesn’t need to soak in. What you do need is to give your scalp a good massage to really scrub away all the grime, then rinse away as soon as you’re done. Conditioner can be left to do its job for around one to two minutes.
- Squeaky clean: Hair washes at the salon leaving our hair feeling its best, and there’s usually a very simple reason why it feels so much healthier and bouncier. According to stylists, clients often neglect around the ears and the nape of the neck, as well as the mid-section. Paying more attention to these areas while we shampoo will help to remove oil and dead skin cells in full.
Making sure your hair is well looked after when it comes to wash day will help keep it fresh and clean for longer.
Taking care of your scalp
Our hair can tell us a lot about our overall health, but our scalp is just as important an indicator of how well we’re looking after our hair.
For those of us who do struggle with itchiness or dryness of the scalp, you’ll need to strike a balance with how often you wash your hair, and what products you use. Natural ingredients such as henna are a great alternative to chemical heavy shampoos and conditioners that will prevent a dried-out scalp, and are less likely to harm your hair when used every day.
What method is best for you?
Unfortunately, there’s no blanket approach for how to look after your hair. It will take a lot of trial and error if you find your current routine isn’t working for you. Your body, lifestyle and preferences will all affect how often you wash your hair.
If you suspect the frequency is affecting your hair’s cleanliness, try cutting down the regularity of your wash days each week until you feel comfortable. Listen to your body and pay attention to any signs of discomfort.
Any changes you make should be given at least a month to test they’re working. For those with dry scalps, or other scalp conditions, it may take some patience to get your treatment right with medicated shampoos. Or if you want to cut out the chemicals, try some more natural solutions.
Great hair care starts with taking the time to get to know your hair type and what products work best for you. Our range of cruelty-free, organic products are designed to bring peace of mind to obtaining healthy hair. For more hair care tips, head over to itselixir’s blog today.