Image courtesy of thebrunettediaries.com
Washing your hair is one of the most ordinary parts of your daily grooming routine. Whether you do it before you start your day or before you go to bed (or both), washing your hair with shampoo seems only natural because you feel the need to remove the dirt, oil, and hair product residues that accumulate on your scalp.
But do you know that your daily hair-washing regimen might be causing more damage than good for you hair? Most barbers, hair stylists, and even dermatologists recommend that you do not use shampoo every day. Before you start freaking out and think of how grimy and greasy your hair would be if you don't wash it daily, there's actually a scientific explanation behind this suggestion. According to these experts, majority of the commercial shampoos contain certain chemicals, like sulphate, that are harmful to your hair and scalp. They wash off the sebum, or the natural oil that your body produces, which then causes dryness, dandruff and breakage.
There's no exact formula when it comes to washing your hair, but the goal is to maintain the right balance of oil in your hair and scalp. A very important factor to consider is your hair type.
You hair type is determined by the size or diameter of each hair strand, and whether it's straight or curly. How often you should shampoo depends on your hair type because it affects how oily your hair could become.
Fine hair gets oily faster because of its smaller surface area that the oil has to coat, in contrast to thicker strands. In addition to that, more oil, product and dirt tend to weigh down the hair, therefore losing volume and making your hair look limp and lifeless. So, if you have fine hair, it is recommended that you wash your hair daily with conditioner and use a small amount of shampoo in order to wash away excess dirt, oil, and chemicals.
An advantage of having thicker hair strands is that it doesn't lose volume as easily as fine hair so it could take a few days’ worth of oil and dirt and still maintain its volume. However, due to its larger diameter, your natural oils take longer to coat the strands, making it prone to dryness and brittleness. You can maintain the right amount of oil in your hair by using conditioner daily and using shampoo every 2-3 days.
Your scalp's natural oil takes longer to coat a curly strand than a straight one. Because they take longer time to become moisturised, curly hair can withstand more days without being washed. Over-washing curly hair would cause it to become frizzy and damaged, making it hard to manage. So, if you have curly hair, wash it with shampoo every 3 days or twice a week and use conditioner daily to maintain the right balance of oil.
Aside from your hair type, the environment, your activities and the amount of product you use would determine how often you should wash your hair. If you exercise or sweat a lot, you would need to wash your hair more frequently because your hair tends to accumulate more dirt.
For the same reason, people who live in humid and polluted areas have to wash their hair daily as well. Also, if you wear hair products like gel or wax, you wouldn't want the chemicals to stay on your hair overnight so you have to wash it before going to bed. In order to avoid over-stripping your scalp of the natural oils due to daily washing, we recommend that you use organic or sulphate-free shampoo and maintain using conditioner daily. A few brands such as Mister Pompadour, Hanz de Fuko and Original Mineral is proven to maintain health of your scalp and it is formulated to be use by men.
In general, having a little bit of oil and dirt to your hair actually makes it look better and makes it easier to style. For a healthier-looking hair, just remember the general rule: use shampoo less frequently, but use conditioner every day.
With over 15 years' of experience as a senior stylist in one of the most prestigious salon in Melbourne, he is no stranger within the Australian beauty industry. Now Raymond managing 2 hair salons, both located in Melbourne CBD.