How often should you wash your hair?

How often should you wash your hair?

Some people are very prone to having a greasy scalp because they produce a lot of sebum and they accumulate a lot of buildup rapidly from cell turnover. On the other hand, some people have very low sebum production and tend to accumulate far less buildup overtime.

To be clear, sebum production is not a bad thing and it plays an important role in proper scalp health. Sebum acts to waterproof the scalp and the hair bulb by forming a layer around the hair shaft as it leaves the epidermis. Besides this, it is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial to protect your hair follicles from infections.

Buildup on the other hand, comes from the turnover rate of the skin cells on your scalp reproducing and then dying cyclically. These dead skin cells tend to build up on the scalp because your hair is protecting the cells from sources of friction that may exfoliate them. This is why you often see buildup on your scalp but do not often see this on your arm for example.

When it comes to the health of your hair and hair follicles you want to avoid allowing buildup to persist on your scalp because it suffocates the hair follicles and this can lead to hair loss.

Going a long time between washes will allow buildup to accumulate and you may notice a sharp decline in your hair health & increased inflammation on your scalp.

Some people don’t produce that much buildup and they have less sebum production so these are the people for whom the no shampoo method is doable & less harmful.

On the other hand, there are many people who produce a lot of buildup in a short number of days and therefore frequent washing will be phenomenal for hair health and growth compared to allowing that buildup to persist and inflame the hair follicles.

It’s important to know that the no shampoo trend is not one size fits all & you need to know your scalp to determine whether or not this is something that will work for you.

Why to avoid shampoo?

The thought process behind avoiding shampoo is partly to prevent exposure to chemicals in shampoo and partly to prevent stripping your hair of its natural oils frequently.

I do understand the rationale but I believe this is not something that should be engaged in for most people.

Here’s 3 reasons why

1. Air pollution is abundant especially in big cities and it’s best not to leave the filth that accumulates on your scalp sitting there for many days. If you haven’t shampooed your hair for two or more days you’ll notice that your scalp gets oily and that oil will attract the dirt, dust, and grime that is found in the air and the environment. For the best scalp health it is wise to wash this off.

2. Many people prefer not to shampoo their hair because they don’t want to be exposed to the chemical ingredients. However, there are plenty of natural shampoos out there with healthy ingredients that are not going to expose you to any endocrine disruptors or carcinogens while also cleansing the scalp efficiently.

3. It’s thought that stripping hair’s natural oils is detrimental to it. I do agree with this & it’s important to preserve that natural environment and pH on your scalp for optimal hair health. However, many natural shampoos are designed to maintain that pH and use very gentle natural cleansers that do not strip the hair of its natural oils.

How often should you shampoo?

For these three reasons I believe it’s important that most people shampoo their hair at least 1x/week to remove buildup.

Use your finger pads to dig into your scalp/exfoliate it and I also recommend to double shampoo if you’ll only be washing your hair occasionally. The first shampoo will dislodge buildup and the second one will wash away all the dirt.

For those with greasy scalps and for those that produce a lot of buildup in a short number of days I recommend shampooing your hair 2-3x/week. 

For those that don’t produce much grease or build up it’s very possible to go a week without cleaning your hair and still have it look gorgeous. But a 1x/week shampoo will allow your scalp to breathe & reset buildup production.

Summary

If you have a greasy scalp prone to accumulating buildup it’s best to wash it often, I recommend 2-3x/week.

If you have a scalp that doesn’t accumulate buildup very much I recommend you wash your hair 1x/week.

If you’re going very long periods of time without washing your hair I recommend you double shampoo your hair every time you do actually wash it.

Lastly look for natural shampoos that do not use harsh detergents and opt for naturally derived cleansers that won’t strip your natural oils away such as our Honey and Maca Root Shampoo

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