I recently ran an Instagram poll, asking the question – “do you wash your hair every day?” The final result shows that 83% of those who answered don’t.
I mean, the life-saver that is dry shampoo was invented off the back of us not wanting, or needing to wash our hair every day, wasn’t it? Not so long ago, I would insist on daily shampooing, but more recently, my shower cap is getting more action than ever before.
My hair only gets a wash if I feel It really needs it – this can depend on how It looks when I wake, especially if I’ve used a face oil overnight as it always seems to migrate into my hair. The days when I can get away without washing it are a blessed relief. Plus, think of all the resources you’ll save – shampoo and styling products, electricity, not to mention time and energy.
Three days is about my limit, but don’t get me wrong, I prefer having clean, swishy hair, but more often than not I just can’t be bothered to wash it.
I’ve noticed a trend happening where it seems to be the “thing” to have specific shampoo days and since this is something I’ve started doing myself, I thought I’d look at the subject in a little more detail.
Does Healthy Hair Begin With A Healthy Scalp..?
Our scalp is busy and constantly secretes sebum, or what we prefer to call “natural oils”. Whilst we’re led to believe these oils are good for our hair, small doses are fine, however, shampooing less often will result in a buildup, along with dead skin cells and some general grime thrown in for good measure. We can’t see it as such until that “greasy” appearance starts to develop.
This bit might put you off your breakfast… Microfauna loves to munch on dead skin cells and sebum, so if you’ve not shampooed for a few days, there are definitely microorganisms partying on your scalp. Also, unwashed hair and scalp (with the help of said bacteria) begin to smell, and there’s only so much you can mask with dry shampoo or hair deodorants. Typically, those products don’t cleanse the hair, they simply absorb the sebum. If you’re prone to excess sebum, you might not notice the whiff but the person behind you in the post office queue might beg to differ. With all this in mind, some might say daily hair washing is a matter of basic hygiene.
Consider your scalp as an extension of the skin on your face, you wouldn’t go days without cleansing your face, and if you did you’d soon start seeing the negative impact.
Massaging your scalp during the shampooing process stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which in turn, nourishes the follicles and encourages healthier hair. I once read, that when there’s a constant buildup of sebum, dead cells and grime, your hair isn’t able to push through from the follicles freely and therefore, growth may be inhibited to some degree – Just something else to consider.
Even more disturbing, research shows the stress hormone cortisol can build up in our unwashed hair follicles which can lead to thinning hair. There’s another good reason to reach for the shampoo!
I’m under the impression that, if you’re using salon-quality products, washing your hair daily can actually improve your hair. Particularly if you’re using a strengthening shampoo. I remember back to my days as a trainee hairdresser and washing a lot of hair, we used good quality products and my nails generally appeared healthier quite significantly over time. Our hair and nails are the same forms of keratin so, this stands to reason.
If you wash your hair daily or plan to start, choose gentle, but salon-quality, or all-natural products – budget permitting, of course. Otherwise, every other day is a good balance. Also, a couple of heat-free days a week won’t go amiss – give your hair a break and let it dry naturally when possible or, do what I do and skip the straighteners or curling tong here and there.
I’m still in two minds as to whether I’ll wash my hair more often, It’s an hour out of my morning which I don’t always have spare. If it’s raining, or rough weather it can be a total waste of time washing and styling, but, should we go ahead and lather up anyway for the sake of personal hygiene and a healthier scalp?
What’s your take on this? Do you shampoo every day? Has reading this put you off leaving your hair for days at a time? Read about a range of scalp care products I recently tried.