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  5. Hair Wash: How Many Times Per Week Is Really Ideal?

Are you one of those people who wash their hair every single day? Or, do you prefer hair wash only once a week? If you have ever wondered whether you should be washing your hair so often, or so infrequently, this article is for you.

So, is there any ideal frequency for hair wash that you need to follow? Dr. Zeel Gandhi, hair care expert at SkinKraft says, “It depends a lot on a person’s scalp type - it could be oily, dry, normal, inflamed or dandruff-ridden. Each scalp type needs to follow a different schedule for washing their hair.”

She goes on to add, “I have known patients with very oily scalps who prefer having their hair washed everyday. I’ve also known a few with dry scalps who can clearly go on for a week after a wash without trouble.”

Now, let’s get into the finer details.

What Does Shampoo Do To Your Hair?

In simple terms, a shampoo removes oil and dirt from your scalp. Here’s how it works.

There are tiny pores present on your scalp. Underneath these pores, you have oil-producing glands called the sebaceous glands. This oil, known as sebum, is vital to maintain the health of your scalp and hair. [1]

However, a day or two after your hair wash, sebum generally starts forming a coat over your scalp, attracting dirt and debris. The products you use to style your hair can also stick to this coat. This is basically unwanted oil and dirt, which can also result in a lot of other concerns like dandruff and itchy scalp if you don’t wash your hair regularly.

Your shampoo is your saviour here, sweeping away all the dirt and oil. It contains surfactants that take away this oil with them. However, remember that excessive and very frequent use of shampoo can strip away all the essential oils and moisture from your scalp. [2]

How Often Should You Really Wash Your Hair?

A number of factors should be taken into consideration before determining how often you should wash your hair. These include:

1. Too Much Oil/Grease

Oil doesn’t mean your hair is dirty. However, too much sebum/oil attracts dirt, pollution and other debris that can clog your pores and leave your scalp feeling itchy. It may also result in dandruff (and hair fall) if not treated properly.

Factors such as your age, lifestyle, genes, hormonal changes and even the weather can determine how much oil your scalp produces. Some people may overproduce oil (a lot of teenagers and young adults) due to hormonal changes during their growing years. Others may produce too much oil due to their genetics.

If you feel like your hair gets extremely greasy too soon after you wash it, you may need to wash it every day or every other day.

2. Your Hair Type

Your type of hair also matters here. If your hair is too thin, fine and straight, you may need to wash it more often as compared to somebody with curly and more textured hair. If you have very fine hair, the oil from your scalp can roll down your strands more easily. This can also weigh your hair down and make it feel greasy.

3. Lifestyle

If you’re somebody who travels in the hot sun too often or exercises regularly, you may need to consider washing your hair more often. This is because your scalp will accumulate sweat that is not the best thing to have. Sweat also makes your scalp feel greasy apart from attracting dirt.

4. Dust Or Pollen Grains

The days you decide to do your gardening, dusting and cleaning up your house, you may want to wash your hair. Your scalp may accumulate the dust and pollen grains that come from these tasks, meaning you may need a good wash.

5. Leave-On Styling Products

Leaving on products filled with chemicals can cause them to build-up and even clog your pores. This may result in irritation and can even damage your hair. If you use styling creams and sprays often, you may want to consider washing your hair regularly as well.

Can You Wash Your Hair Everyday?

Washing your hair every day with shampoo is not recommended, unless you’ve been rolling in dust and dirt! Even if your scalp is clean, it may feel greasy in certain weathers. This does not make it unclean and overwashing your hair will only strip away your scalp’s essential oils.

However, a certain section of people like those who exercise regularly or have any medical condition may wash their hair every day.

Note:

If you have been diagnosed with any scalp conditions or are using a medicated shampoo, follow the instructions as given by your doctor. It is always advisable to speak to your doctor before you decide that you need a hair wash everyday!

Who Should Refrain From Washing Their Hair Too Often?

Those with very curly or dry hair should shampoo it less often. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you wash your hair not more than once a week if you have tight curls or textured hair [3].

How Often Should You Wash If You Exercise Regularly?

Exercising regularly can make your scalp feel sweaty and greasy constantly. If your scalp feels too itchy and greasy, then washing it every day with a very mild shampoo is recommended.

How Can You Extend/Postpone Your Hair Wash Day?

The recent past has witnessed a number of new products that may help you postpone your hair wash if you’re too busy. These products keep the scalp clean and less greasy. Examples include leave-in conditioners, powders and dry shampoos.

If your scalp is too greasy or you have thin hair, it is recommended that you avoid using a leave-in conditioner as it can weigh your hair down. As for the dry shampoo, spray it from a distance (only to your roots). Section your hair for easier access to your scalp. You can use it before going to bed as well.

How Do you Know That Your Hair Needs A Wash?

If you have exceeded more than 3-4 days post a wash and your hair starts to feel too greasy and dirty, it may need to be washed. If you’ve had a long day outside in the hot sun, traveled too much or have been exposed to dirt and pollution, you may need to wash your hair (unless it doesn’t feel too greasy and dirty).

Wrapping Up

How often you wash your hair depends on a lot of factors like your lifestyle, how often you travel and your scalp type. If you have very greasy hair or work out often, you can choose to wash it more often or every other day. If your scalp is dry and you have tight curls, washing once a week should be enough for you. If you are dealing with any scalp conditions (psoriasis, dry scalp, dandruff), talk to your dermatologist about how often you should wash your hair.

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