How Often Should You Be Washing Your Hair?

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There’s the age old question of how often one should wash their hair, and when we debate it here in the office, the answers are pretty much all similar: we don’t enjoy the process of washing and doing our hair, so we try to wash it as little as possible, say 2 or so times per week. However, that can all depend on how often we work out, etc. We’re thrilled that we have an expert here today, Dr. Angela, back with us, who is answering this question for us below. You’ll want to read this one! 

I don’t know about you, but I feel like the advice for how often to wash or not wash your hair has become very confusing.  I had always been taught to wash your hair every day.  In the last few years, hair stylists and Dermatologists recommended not washing every day.  Now, it seems the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction.

Your hair produces natural oils, or sebum, to keep the hair from getting to dry and breaking.  Shampoo traps the excess oil, dirt and products so they can be rinsed out.  Your hair needs some oil in the hair to provide a protective barrier and moisturize the hair.  So, the thought was that washing your hair every day removed the sebum, or natural oil, and could strip your hair of the oil that it needs.  Some people thought that removing this oil could stimulate your oil glands to “produce more oil”.  Proponents of this theory say that if you can stick with the “no poo” regimen for 2 weeks or so, your oil glands will acclimate.  However, there has been no scientific evidence that a person can adjust the oiliness of the scalp by not washing the hair.  We do know that oil production is influenced by hormones and genetics. The other thought is that without the natural oil, your hair will be too dry and break easier.

So, some women have been using dry shampoo, (click, to see what MRG recommends as the best dry shampoos here!)  baby powder and blow outs to go as long as possible between washes.  Unfortunately, not washing your hair enough can actually strip your hair of the natural oils because of product build up.  Also, the scalp can build up not only oil, but pollutants, dirt and bacteria.  So, what to do?

The shampoos we currently have are much better for your hair than years ago and help retain some of that natural oil.  So, you should listen to your body.  People with fine hair, an oily scalp or sweat or exercise frequently should wash their hair daily.  People with thicker hair or less oily scalps can go a few days.  If you can feel or smell the oil when you massage your fingers on your scalp, its time to wash.  Opposite to what you might think, washing more frequently can actually help dry, flaky scalps. So, you might not want to go a week or more, but most people can stretch a blow out for a few days and your hair will be stronger for it.

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