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A Guide to Washing Your Hair: How Often Should You Wash it?

Posted by Brandi Marcene on

A Guide to Washing Your Hair: How Often Should You Wash it?

Everyone (women more than men) wonders how often they should wash their hair at least a several hundred times in their lifetime and I don’t see why they shouldn’t, after all your hair is such an important part of your personality.

Like it or not, people judge you by your attitude, your manners but first of all because of your appearance, and your hair plays an integral role in that judgment. That’s unbelievable, right? Not really, our primal brain associates people with beautiful hair with healthy genes and therefore, we subconsciously lean in favor of those who have this asset.

That’s why research suggests that men and women with healthy hair are often paid more than their peers with not so healthy hair.

This should be reason enough for you to count your blessings if you have a head full of hair and take care of this asset (yes, it is an asset in this world). It is your number one priority. In this post our focus is on only one thing; however, it’s good to remind you that healthy hair is a result of one basic habit and that’s a disciplined lifestyle. No, I don’t mean you have to get up at 4:00 in the morning on the weekends, but following your basic hair care regimen and a nutritious diet on a regular basis will do the job.

Oh yes, enough with this lecture. Let’s get cracking at how often you should rinse and shampoo your precious locks to keep them strong and glossy.

 

Hair Type

You shampooed your hair early yesterday morning, hypothetically speaking, how does your hair texture feel? Mildly oily, too oily that you can’t bear it or very dry or just right (neither very oily nor too dry). Take your time, carry out this procedure two to three days by touching your scalp and your hair strands and see how your hair feels.

This is because it will answer your question regarding how often you should wash your hair.

Tissue Paper Test

You can also do a simple hair test if you are not sure of your hair type by touching your scalp and hair strands with a piece of tissue paper. This will work on the third day of the wash (shampoo). Blot a tissue on your scalp or gently rub it across your scalp.

  1. Oily hair (There’s an oily patch on the tissue and your hair strands look like they are stuck together.)
  2. Dry hair (No blot mark on the tissue and your hair strands are sticking up in all directions)
  3. Normal hair (There’s a light patch on the tissue and your hair look well, not glued together and not standing up so much)
  4. Dry greasy hair ( You have to rub in several areas, and then you find a patch on the tissue and your hair feels frizzy)

Greasy Hair

You are worried that you shampoo too much and would lose your hair. You will not, if you shampoo once a day and don’t exceed that limit. People with very greasy hair sometimes feel their hair is dirty and, therefore, decide to wash their hair again with a shampoo. It is not something you want to keep doing.

First your hair is oily and not dirty. Yes, you can rinse it again with water and that will remove the oil to an extent. Since most of us begin our day early in the morning, it is better if you maintain a routine to wash your hair with a shampoo in the morning. And if you feel your hair is oily by the evening, rinse it with water only to remove that excess oil.

 Avoid the temptation of shampooing your hair the second time in a day as that will lead to more secretion of oil on your scalp.

If you have medium to long hair, apply a conditioner on half the length of your hair. If you have short hair, you can skip this step altogether as your natural oils can easily reach the short hair length and do not require the protection of a conditioner.

 Remember that very oily hair gives you the feeling that you have applied oil to your hair by the next morning, giving you the signal that it’s time to shampoo and get rid of excess oil.

Opt for mild clarifying shampoos that contain extracts of lemon, tea tree oil so they can cleanse your scalp without irritating it by stripping it of its natural oils. Your oil glands will go into over production if this turns out to be the case.

Usually dandruff shampoos contain ingredients that make your hair slightly drier than other shampoos, but you should steer clear of them if you don’t have dandruff.

Dry Hair

First, find out whether your hair is naturally dry or is suffering because of excessive experimentation with dyes, perms and what not. If your hair is naturally dry, then shampoo after 5 to 7 days and never skip a conditioner, no matter how pressed for time you are.

If you feel like you have dirt or grime in your hair, or want to get rid of the salt and sweat after a workout, then rinse your hair thoroughly with water and nourish your hair with a keratin conditioner. It will hydrate your hair while removing the grime from your hair shafts. Apply it just an inch away from your hair roots for greater hydration.

Those of you who can’t stay away from shampooing for a week should limit it to two washes in a week or otherwise you will risk damaging your hair. Always apply argan oil before shampooing your tresses even if it’s just for a few minutes as it will protect your dry locks from the acidic effects of the shampoo.

You should also avoid using any shampoos that contain sulfates, sodium chloride, parabens and alcohol. This is because these ingredients will make your hair dry once again, leaving them brittle and prone to damage.

Biotin and Keratin are two ingredients you should look for in a shampoo as these are vital for strong, elastic hair. These will combat split ends which are common if you have dry hair and make your hair smooth.

You should be able to see some improvement after a few washes in terms of your hair texture. Also, avoid taking hot showers as hot water will only make your hair drier and leave them frizzy.

People who have unnatural dry hair can shampoo with a keratin shampoo after every 3 days followed by a keratin conditioner to reverse the damage caused by hair treatments.

In either of the two cases you will benefit from using a Kerotin renewal mask every week since it contains aloe and rosemary extracts with keratin protein to nourish your hair. These essential ingredients moisturize your scalp and hair shafts deeply, leaving them supple and soft.

Normal Hair (Neither Oily nor Dry)

You are quite lucky if you have this hair type because you can shampoo every alternate day (if you feel they are grimy) and apply a conditioner to your hair to maintain its pH balance and to protect your hair cuticle by making it sleek and smooth. You can also shampoo just once or twice a week in mild weather.

You should however be wary of using shampoos that contain mineral oils because this can harm your hair roots in the long run. This substance coats the pores on the scalp and hinders skin respiration (the scalp can’t breathe and can’t secrete oils and toxins); this can lead to problems in the development of new hair cells.

You can, as a general rule, benefit from any good mild shampoo with natural ingredients such as argan, jojoba or almond oil, etc. Make conditioning your habit after each rinse and also after washing your hair with shampoo, unless you don’t mind ending up with dry and unkempt hair.

Dry Greasy Hair

You have combination hair when your scalp turns oily, but the rest of the hair remains dry or some parts of your hair show oiliness and the rest feel dry. You should shampoo a maximum of three times per week and no more than that.

 When you shampoo, gently massage the scalp with it and not the hair itself. The dirt from your hair shafts is removed on rinsing them with water. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water as excessively hot or cold temperatures can weaken the dry hair shafts and might increase the production of sebum on the scalp.

Follow a hair care routine twice a week to provide extra moisture to your hair shafts and try massaging the scalp with light oil before rinsing your hair with a shampoo. Also, massage your scalp for a few minutes every day to distribute natural oils equally on the entire area.

Other Deciding Factors

Now, as we have covered all major hair types, let’s see what other factors contribute to frequent or infrequent shampooing.

Dry/Cold Weather

Cut down on your shampooing by half; that means if you were shampooing every day, do it on alternate days. If you shampoo two to three times in a week, you will do fine just by doing it once a week after thorough oil massage and not without it.

Avoid rinsing your hair daily and wear a shower cap to prevent water from touching your hair in this weather during showers.

Exercise Regimen

If you simply jog down several blocks in the fresh morning air, you can carry on your shampoo routine, according to your hair type mentioned in the article as the sweat doesn’t build-up excessively in this case. This is because it evaporates in the open space.

You would have to shampoo often if you engage in a heavy work-out every day or alternate days from one to two hours in a gym or in any closed space. You can rinse your hair with water the first day and shampoo the next day and apply a conditioner on either days.

Use of Hair Products

Abstain from using hair products, such as wax, gel, mousse, and cream, etc. This is because you would have to shampoo to remove them from your hair otherwise they will build-up as residue and leave clogged pores behind. So, use your favorite products and style your hair with them, but only in moderation.

Air-Conditioners

Generally, a majority of offices and homes rely on air conditioning to keep places cool without realizing the negative effects of air conditioning.

Since this post is hair related we will keep it short; you will do better by either cutting down on your air conditioning or if this is not possible, then cut back on your shampooing just like you would in dry or cold weather conditions.

Heat/Chemically Treated Hair

Again, this requires you to shampoo your hair infrequently as these treatments can strip your natural oils from the hair shaft. You can shampoo three days after the treatment date, unless it states specifically otherwise.

Afterwards, shampoo your hair once a week. You can revert to your normal shampoo regimen after a month from the treatment.

Colored Hair

If you can’t stay without dying your hair on a regular basis, then limit shampooing your hair to once a week for normal and greasy dry hair. Follow your hair color with a conditioner regardless of hair type; Kerotin keratin conditioner preserves your hair shafts and protects the cuticle from getting dry and brittle after this process.

Those with dry hair should shampoo after a week and follow it with Kerotin renewal mask to offset the stripping effects of the hair color. You can shampoo two to three times a week if you have oily hair.

Final Say

There are times when you have to skip your normal shampooing routine, regardless of your hair type. As a general rule, don’t shampoo your hair two to three days prior to coloring your hair as the natural oils create a barrier between your hair and the harsh chemicals in the dye. The exception to this rule is people with oily hair; they should shampoo before such treatments. The reason is that chemicals cannot penetrate the thick oil layer to reach the hair shaft, resulting in weak treatment that requires you to repeat the process and hence damages the hair cuticles.

Sources:

https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/men-successful-hair

https://blog.viviscal.com/best-shampoo-to-grow-hair/

https://www.allure.com/story/how-to-treat-chemically-straightened-hair

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