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You may have heard many different answers on how often you should wash your hair, some people say everyday, others say once a week and many people say all kinds of things in between the two, but how often should you really wash your hair? The answer depends on you and your hair. In order to figure out how often you should be washing your hair, you need to determine your hair length, texture and thickness. Is your hair thick, long and straight or fine and short, curly or not curly?
Regardless of the answers to those questions, it's important that everyone combs their hair before washing to remove any excess product build up and remove any tangles. You also want to make sure you are buying a shampoo that suits your hair type, shampoo for colored vs. non-colored hair for example. While shampooing, make sure to massage your scalp which will encourage your sebaceous glands to produce sebum which is your hairs natural oil. When you shampoo, you are removing your hairs natural oils/sebum that your hair needs in order to be healthy. Stripping your hair of its natural oils on a daily basis can lead to dry and brittle hair that breaks more easily leading to an increase in split ends and hair breakage. It will also lead to a drier scalp which will in turn trick your scalp into thinking it needs to produce more sebum/oils to coat your hair and scalp. This means your hair will actually get "greasy" more quickly than if you didn't shampoo as frequently. Shampooing everyday will also dull your hair and fade any color you currently have much more quickly.
If you are currently shampooing your hair everyday, I would recommend decreasing the amount of washes you are doing each week over time. Maybe switch to every other day at first and see how you feel. You may begin to notice over time that the less frequent you wash your hair the less it needs to be washed on such a strict schedule. If you have thick or curly hair, you can probably go even longer between hair washes and can stick to a once or twice a week schedule or every 2-3 days. If you have thin or fine hair, you may need to stick to an every other day schedule because the oil buildup on your scalp will show faster than with thick or curly hair.
Over time of washing your hair less, you will notice your hair becoming more shiny with less breakage and split ends. You will save money on your shampoo because you're using it less too. You should also be able to use heat tools and hair products less because you can ideally style your hair once with heat tools between washes and then just do quick touch ups, requiring less heat and hair products overall than if you were doing it everyday. Dirty hair is also easier to style and you can always use dry shampoo if your roots are looking a little greasy!
If you're looking to grow your hair out longer or to repair it and get it looking and feeling healthier, washing your hair less frequently will definitely help! Once you determine your hair type you can play around with the length between days of shampooing and find what works best for you and your hair. It goes without saying, but of course don't stretch the time between hair washes too long. If your scalp begins to itch it is definitely time for wash. Also, if you have a very strenuous workout and have a lot of sweat on your scalp you may want to consider washing your hair even if it is one of your off days.
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