Washing Your Hair - The Do's & Don'ts
How Often Should I Wash My Hair?
In general, you should wash your hair every two to three days. However, this can vary by hair type. Everyone’s hair is different, and you may find that you need to wash your hair more or less depending on a number of factors:
- Fine, straight hair needs to be washed more often because it’s easier for sebum, or natural oils, to travel down the shaft.
- People with curly or textured hair can go longer between hair washes, since sebum can’t as easily work its way down the hair shaft.
- Lifestyle should also be taken into account. The more often you exercise, the more often you’ll need to wash your hair. Sweat can clog your pores, and make your hair look greasy and dirty.
- Those who live in a very humid climate may find it necessary to wash their hair more often.
If you don’t cleanse your scalp frequently, excess oils, dirt, pollution and dead skin cells are allowed to build up. An accumulation of dead skin cells can cause itching, irritation and visible flakes. Some hair types, like fine straight hair, fall limp and develop a greasy shine (not a healthy-looking shine) if you don't wash frequently. Other hair types develop combination hair – greasy and matted on top, dry and tangled on the bottom.
Is Shampoo Bad for Hair?
No, shampoo is not bad for hair. Shampoo is an emulsifier; it captures sebum and dirt and washes it away. Washing your hair regularly is critical for healthy hair. However, not all shampoos are created equal. Some shampoos are too harsh, stripping the hair of its healthy, natural oils. Sulphate-free shampoos cleanse hair of excess oil and dirt without excessively drying the hair.
Unless you apply styling products, your shampoo is only meant to cleanse your scalp. Don’t wash the ends of your hair with it. The ends of your hair are the oldest, most fragile portions, and they need special care like added moisture. While everyone can benefit from conditioner, people with dry hair should use conditioner every time they wash their hair. Pay special attention to the ends of your hair when you use conditioner. Despite what most people think, applying conditioner to your scalp can also be beneficial if you have a dry scalp or curly hair.
Washing Your Hair - The Do's
- Rinse Thoroughly - Shampoo lathers better on wet hair and spreads evenly. You’ll also need less shampoo to wash your hair if you wet your hair properly beforehand.
- Rinse with Warm Water First - The warm water will help open the cuticles of the hair so that the shampoo can penetrate deeper and remove dirt and oil from the hair.
- Mix With Water - Avoid using shampoo directly on your scalp, instead mix it with some water. This will ensure that the shampoo spread evenly throughout your scalp.
- Shampoo Only the Hair - It’s the scalp that needs the most attention while shampooing because the roots are often the oiliest.
- Abrasive Washing - Never scrub the scalp with your nails as that can cause abrasions and attract infections.
- Shampooing Twice - Washing twice will strip your hair of its natural oil which will adversely affect the growth of your hair and trigger damage.
- Applying Conditioner on the Scalp - It’s your hair that needs the most hydration and thus, should be conditioned from the mid until the ends of your hair.
- Rubbing Your Hair Dry - Do not rub your hair with a towel to dry it. Instead, gently pat to blot dry your hair.