Here’s how often you should really wash your hair, according to experts
We know brushing our teeth daily is key to good oral health, and many of us feel best when we shower each morning. But if you’re someone who washes your hair every day, experts say you’re overdoing it.
According to Nhi Tran, the creative director at Toronto’s Sassoon Academy, washing your hair every single day is excessive, and not good for your locks.
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“Hair washing is when one feels like their hair is soiled, dirty,” she said. “[But] it’s not really necessary to wash it too often.”
So how often should you wash your hair? There’s no one rule to follow, and it largely depends on your hair texture and lifestyle, Tran said.
What influences how often you wash your hair?
“Lifestyle plays a really key role because it has a lot to do with what [you] do on a regular basis,” Tran explained. “I often like to compare a chef to a personal trainer, to somebody with a sedentary job in a cool, temperature-controlled environment.”
Tran said for someone who works in a hot kitchen or a sweaty gym, their scalps may get oilier faster, meaning they’d likely want to wash their hair more often. But if you work in an office and don’t spend much time outside, you can get away with shampooing less regularly.
Hair texture is another determining factor. Finer hair gets greasier faster, whereas thicker or curly hair can last longer in between washes. Tran said that thick curls or heavier, fuller locks typically respond differently to shampooing than thinner hair does.
“When you first wash the hair — especially with curlier hair — you’re obviously cleansing, so you’re removing any residue and buildup from the environment,” she said. “And what happens is the hair becomes very light. And oftentimes, people feel it’s quite expansive, so washing it less frequently will actually enable the hair to be shiner and more controlled.”
Trudie Mulalu, the owner of Curl Bar in Toronto, said that people with curly hair tend to know when their hair needs to be washed. She agreed that lifestyle influences how often one washes their hair, and said that it’s fine to rinse your hair every day, but you don’t need to shampoo it daily.
“For curly hair, those with wavy and fine hair can wash their hair more than once a week with a curly friendly cleanser to remove buildup,” she said. “If [people] are very active, they can use a cleanser once a week and then co-wash the other times. For curlier textures, we recommend washing your hair as needed.”
What happens when you overwash?
While it may seem counterintuitive, washing your hair too much may actually make it greasier. When you overwash, you are at risk of drying out your scalp, which can cause your skin to produce more oil.
Plus, shampoo can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving your hair dry or brittle. It can also discolour colour-treated hair, or cause the colour to fade faster.
“Some people who wash their hair on a regular basis, like every day, or twice or three times a day … they find that their scalp is oilier because their bodies are trying to produce as much oil as possible and as fast as possible to protect their scalp,” Tran explained.
“To me, that’s a little excessive, but it’s [some people’s] preference because they want to have a very cleansed scalp.”
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