Washing your Hair Look at Scalp Texture Even Weather

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Washing your Hair

You may get a different answer depending on who you ask. And there are other factors to consider. So how often should you wash your hair?

Some say you should never skip washing your hair. Still others talk about the benefits after weeks of not shampooing. In fact there’s a movement not to shampoo.

It may be just a matter of preference and how you think your hair should look.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis. More details.

How Shampoo Works

Shampoo traps oils. Your hair produces oil called sebum naturally. Shampoo works as an emulsifier to grab excess oil, dirt and product residue.

As you wash your hair you eliminate these. By over shampooing you can dry your hair out and make it prone to breakage.

Most important, some dirt is ok and natural. You do want some sebum to say on your hair. It has the job of providing moisture as well as protection barrier for your skin and hair.

Who could Shampoo Daily?

  • Very fine hair types
  • If you exercise a lot (and sweat)
  • Live in humid location
  • Oily scalp
  • Dandruff

How often should you Wash Hair?

There really is no answer that works for everyone. This is why the struggle. Because your scalp and hair type has different needs compared to your friends.

Then there are the affects from weather, your products and how active you are. It is best to evaluate your hair needs. That is to say there are no rules to follow here.

Most importantly, become educated about different factors concerning your scalp and hair health. Let’s take a look at some main concerns.

Do you have Flakes, Dandruff or Buildup?

First of all let’s start with your scalp. Just like skin types there are different scalp types. Some normally are oily, drier and some have flakes.

Also similar to your skin changing over time your scalp can too. Make a routine of checking out your scalp. That is to say, part your hair at various spots on your head and actually look at your scalp.

Is it red? Do you have flakes? Is there oily buildup? Get into this routine. In short, you need to pay attention to what is going on there. This is not done enough.

It is important to notice your scalp. If there are signs of inflammation here it could lead to hair loss. In addition, extreme cases of buildup or irritation can also pull your hair down due to all the inflammation around the hair follicle.

If you have dry scalp

Shampooing too much or using harsh products will dry out your scalp as well as your hair. The dry scalp often feels tight, itchy and might be accompanied with small, dry flakes. Don’t confuse these with buildup or psoriasis scabs which are oily, yellow flakes.

If you feel this is your problem decrease how often you shampoo. Skip a day per week for a couple weeks. Then skip another, follow this until your scalp becomes less irritated. Your natural oils will also be balanced.

If you have scalp buildup

This is the most common sign that you’re not shampooing enough. Buildup is due to conditioner not being rinsed out also consisting of styling products, oil, dirt and dead skin cells.

Usually washing hair daily helps to deter buildup. When buildup is extreme, your scalp can feel tender and sore. Also think about doing a scalp scrape to really remove all that debris before you start your new routine.

If you have dandruff

Ah those annoying flakes. What is causing your dandruff? If you have seborrheic dermatitis it’s more about the shampoo you are using than how often you wash.

However, your condition can become worse. In the case you have an irregular washing routine you should shampoo more often to rid scalp of yeast and dead skin cells.

Washing your Hair
Photo by Mohamed Chermiti from pexels

Next Determine Hair Texture

After determining your scalp, the next big factor in your wash routine is your hair texture. Those with straight hair generally wash more often versus those with curly or kinky hair.

But this isn’t a golden rule because other factors can make a difference. Do you know what your hair texture is? Following is some help with that.

Straight hair

This type is first to become oily because the sebum travels easily from root to shaft. So those with straight hair should shampoo more often like every other day with a product that adds volume.

Wavy and loose curls

The recommendation is shampooing two to three times per week adding an occasional deep clean or scrub.

Tightly curled or kinky

Hair tends to be dry with more breakage. Too much washing can put strands under physical stress. In other words give your natural oils more time to condition those strands with shampooing once or twice a week.

And avoid sulfates. This provides best hair growth. It’s just as important to follow with conditioner.

Dry or damaged hair

Depends on the degree of dryness and damage. Dry and damaged could mean you’re over shampooing. A clarifying shampoo could strip your hair of nutrients that it needs to be healthy.

Shampooing is recommended every five to seven days because you want to encourage natural oils to moisturize.

Fine or thin hair

Usually every other day will provide it with enough moisture to thrive and grow. Buildup and oils often weigh fine or thin hair down. Shampooing removes this.

Thick hair

Texture tends to hold onto moisture and absorb more products. Shampooing once per week will be enough for you.

Is your Shampoo doing its job?

Signs shampoo isn’t strong enough if you have buildup repeatedly or your hair and it looks greasy right after you shampoo this is a sign it isn’t strong enough.

To clarify it’s an indication to shampoo an additional day during your week. You might try a clarifying shampoo once a week to get rid of leftover buildup that your regular shampoo didn’t remove.

Signs shampoo is too strong if you are using harsh products your scalp will become irritated and your strands will be frizzy. You should start using a low lather shampoo that is gentler.

Do you use Lots of Styling Products?

Are you a fan of dry shampoo? Do you usually apply curl creams or love leave in products?

It’s OK still these need to be removed completely. Remember the more products you use on your hair between shampoos you need to be extra diligent to get them removed.

Some things to be alert to and what you can do:

Silicones: these are so good at attaching to your strand and sealing down its cuticle thus giving the illusion of shiny, silky hair. This ingredient is contained in a lot of hair care and styling products.

Most importantly those leave in stylers. The problem is they don’t come off as easily. Specifically those oil soluble dimethicones.

Because of this you’re applying layer after layer without removing the previous layer. You might switch to a silicone free product.

Dry shampoo: It’s not really a problem by itself but so often it is overused. Many people substitute them for washing and this is not the intent.

Dry shampoo is a temporary styling aid. You shouldn’t let this sit on your hair for a maximum of two days.

If you work up a daily sweat when exercising through cycling class or your hot yoga you probably want to shampoo after. This is understandable. Many people fall into this group.

Switching to a gentler, moisturizing shampoo is a good choice. When heading to your gym, pack along your own shampoo versus that generic in the locker rooms.

These probably include sulfates and cheap drying agents. Occasionally, consider to just rinse your hair with water.

Washing your Hair
Photo by Jacob Godisable from pexels

The weather can affect your hair just like your skin being affected by the cold chill of winter or heat in the summer. Temps and humidity can change your hair too. Your hair products and habits should also be switched to fit these new needs.

During summer it’s OK to increase shampooing because of extra sweat and oil due to warmer temperatures.

If you have curlier or coiled textures you can shampoo less. This allows time for natural oil production to get through hair strands to add moisture before your next wash day.

Colder weather can make your scalp drier and sometimes produce dandruff. Defiantly go for a lighter, gentler shampoo that won’t strip your natural oils.

Wrapping it up

As you see there is no one answer to how often you should wash your hair. Similar to your skin, your hair and scalp goes through changes.  Pay attention to these changing needs.

These need to be identified and consider the factors. Make adjustments according to your scalp condition, hair texture, your products and weather. If you are more active during the week and need to shampoo more or you feel like skipping a shampoo it’s alright.

In short you can always consult your hair stylist to help create a shampoo routine that you can follow.

Did you know your scalp condition and hair texture before reading this article?

Header Photo by Jose’ Luis from pexels

about me
Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fourteen years.
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