October 13, 2014

Should I wash my hair everyday?

Reader's Query

M asks:
I’m a 20 year old girl and have fine, medium length hair. My hair tends to get greasy within a day or two of washing it and so I have started washing it daily. Is washing the hair everyday good for my hair?

Response: While it’s true that fine, silky hair needs to be washed more number of times than thick, coarse or curly hair, it’s certainly not right to wash it everyday. Frequent shampooing dries hair and hair tends to break off and this in turn will lead to considerable hair loss in the long run. Also washing hair frequently with chemical laden shampoos and full of foaming agents damage the protective protein coating of the hair. Even if you wash hair with just plain water, it can still damage your hair as dermatologists say that hair is just like a woolen fiber. Forget about washing in harsh detergents; you might have noticed that if you just soak woolen fabrics in plain water for 10-15 minutes they look worn out. The same rule applies to your hair strands as they are almost akin to  to woolen fibers.

Even if you find that your hair turns greasy and dirty at the end of the day, it’s not wise to wash it daily. By washing your hair everyday, you are depleting the natural oils secreted by the scalp. This in turn could cause your scalp to produce more oil and make your hair look more greasy thus leading to a vicious circle. It’s quite possible once you stop washing your hair every day eventually your scalp will adjust and produce less oil.

Another disadvantage of squeaky clean hair is that it’s difficult to style. Clean hair is loose,floppy and unruly with flyaways and is very difficult to manage. The natural oils in your scalp give it a shine and bounce and you may have noticed that your hair is much better looking 2-3 days after you have shampooed. Also if you have colored your hair or if you have simply used henna paste as a colorant or as a conditioner, frequent washing will fade away the colors.

If you feel that your hair looks too greasy then use talcum powder to absorb the excess oils or you could use dry shampoos. Do check the post An instant tip to make greasy hair look better. But washing your hair everyday should be avoided at all costs. Considering your fine hair texture, I suggest you wash it 2 times a week or at the  most 3 times a week if it’s too dirty. For best results, massage your scalp gently with coconut oil the night before shampooing. This is not only relaxing but also improves the blood circulation.  If it’s not conducive to leave the oil overnight, then at least apply oil an hour or two before shampooing. Coconut oil is great for hair as it has great penetration power – 3 times more than any other oil. Coconut oil evens the outer protective covering (cuticle) and restores sheen to the hair. It penetrates into the central part of the hair (Cortex) and also forms a coat on the external covering (Cuticle), thereby protecting the hair. And always use lukewarm water and a mild shampoo never use hot water on your hair. Also as far as possible avoid the use of hair dryers for drying your hair. Also read Treat oily hair at home the easy way and Dos and Don’ts of hair care.

By Smitha

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