One of the biggest balancing acts in people’s daily routines is deciding how often people should wash their hair with organic shampoo and conditioner, to find the perfect balance between being clean and not going too far and potentially damaging their follicles.
There is no terribly easy answer to this, as hair health can depend on a variety of factors and for some, their hair can feel more oily and less clean than it actually is.
On the other hand, washing too much can cause more damage in the long run, which often results in hair that feels like straw: coarse, dull, brittle and not a lot of fun to style.
This is especially true if we use shampoos and cleansing products that contain detergents and other harsh chemicals, which when used to the point where they build-up can cause damage to our hair in the long run.
What Makes Us Want To Wash Our Hair?
Outside of routine, tradition or an expectation to do so, the main factor that determines how often we wash our hair is how clean it feels.
We associate oily hair with unclean hair, but much like earwax, that sebum that your scalp produces does have an important part to play in helping your hair look silky and healthy. Some people produce enough to require daily washing, but not too many.
However, here are some factors that can affect how often we want to wash our hair:
- Sweat – the sweat we develop on a warm day or after a big workout does spread some of that oil around, which can make our hair feel dirtier than it is. This is what leads to so many people showering after exercising.
- Dust, Pollen And Dirt – If you travel in a green area, particularly on an especially hot day, dust and dirt can build up in your hair, and alongside pollen can cause it to look and feel unclean and dull. If you have hayfever, it can also make it feel worse.
- Gels, Mousses And Sprays – Naturally, if you use a lot of hairstyling products, it will invariably build up on your scalp, causing damage to your hair and requiring you to wash it out more often.
- Hair Type – typically the thinner your hair is or the straighter your hairstyle, the more frequently you will need to wash it, with thicker hair, curly hair and wavy styles taking longer for sebum to coat them and thus look greasy.
Should You Wash Every Day?
Many people wash and condition their hair every day, but should they? In practice, the answer is probably not, and by doing so, they might be unintentionally causing damage to their hair in the long run, particularly for people in their 40s and older who do not produce as much oil from their scalp.
Ultimately there is no one single answer, as active people or people with active sebaceous glands will invariably need to wash more often.
However, if you are worried about dry hair or stripping away the oils, try waiting an extra day between washes and see how that feels, or use alternative shampoos.
If you do try a new routine, however, make sure to wait at least a month to see how your hair adjusts to it.