Just like a shiny, greasy face, greasy locks are a no-go for anyone who wants to look presentable in public. It may be OK to leave your tresses in a greasy bun when you’re at home and have decided not to go out anytime soon. However, in most cases, having dirty hair is not an option, as it makes us all uncomfortable in the end. Somehow, even if we’ve showered — we can feel the grease!
Yet, here’s the problem — how often should anyone wash their hair? This conundrum has been one of the biggest concerns of the beauty community, precisely because clean hair equals a good hair day. So, without further ado, let’s see what it all boils down to.
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Oils Protect the Hair — So Don’t Get Rid of Them So Easily
Just like our faces can become oily during the day, so can our hair. In fact, the sebaceous glands are (again) to blame here. They produce sebum, an oily substance that forms a protective layer and keeps our tresses manageable and healthy. Unfortunately, it also makes our hair feel dirty and as if we haven’t showered in days.
So, what can we do if it gets super oily practically overnight? Experts advise against overwashing the hair, i.e., washing it every day. It can only do more harm than good, as by stripping the hair of all the natural oils will — you guessed it — just make it oilier.
By eliminating oils from the equation, the sebaceous glands will think they need to compensate for it, so they’ll work hard on producing more and more sebum.
As it turns out, it’s a vicious circle that can only damage our hair in the long run. Thus, it’s best to stick to a simple formula. Overall, washing our hair every 2–3 days or twice a week should keep it in mint condition.
However, there is a catch; how often you wash your hair does depend on its texture, your skin type, how much product you use, and your lifestyle.
People with fine hair get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to hair washing. No matter how much sebum there is, the oils will cling onto the hair and make it look greasy. Thus, they may think they should wash it every single day, not knowing that they’ll fall into the trap of making a simple problem even worse.
Instead, if you have fine hair, you ought to try one of two things. Such hair often lacks volume, so switch to volumizing shampoos. You’ll get more wear out of your hair that way, and the grease may not even be noticeable.
On the other hand, if you, for some reason, don’t like much volume, you can always rely on good old trusty dry shampoo. If you lead an active lifestyle, dry shampoo is a real savior, as it will serve you well between washes. You can use it on day two, and then wash your hair on day three!
Curly and Kinky Hair
Although some women see their extremely kinky hair as a curse, they ought to know that it’s a true blessing. Since kinky/curly hair is often dry in texture, it won’t go greasy fast. You can get away without washing it for a couple of days — and you should. Overwashing curly hair can only dry it out further and make it unmanageable and prone to breakage.
What If Our Hair Is Naturally Quite Oily?
The truth is — there’s only so much we can do if our hair is greasy. If grease just tends to cling to it and we produce too much sebum, we probably won’t want to leave our home looking like that.
However, you don’t have to shampoo and condition your hair each day — even if it’s often a greasy mess. The oiliness happens at the roots and then works its way through the hair. Thus, if you simply cannot stop yourself from washing it, aim to lather up only the roots.
There’s a good chance your ends are grease-free, so by shampooing the roots only, you could save your hair from the damage overwashing comes with. Still, just to stay on the safe side, use a hydrating shampoo; you don’t want your scalp to be dry and flaky.
Colored Hair Is a Bigger Problem
Using chemicals on your hair is bound to make it drier than usual, so the same thing we said about dry hair applies. Whenever you can, avoid washing your locks so that they stay healthy for longer.
An optimal number would be to wait for about three days to wash the hair, but that may be a bit too long for some women. Therefore, if you have to wash it every two days (never wash it every day), opt for gentle shampoos that won’t dry it out further. Think sulfate- and paraben-free — those shampoos should keep your hair healthy and shiny. In fact, opt for sulfate-free shampoos whatever your hair may be like. Sulfates can dry it out and potentially irritate your scalp.
Less Is More, Especially When It Comes to Hair
So, it’s settled — washing hair every day is a surefire way of drying it out and making it even oilier. This is one of those situations when less is definitely more. By waiting for at least two days between washes, we can ensure our tresses stay nourished all year round.
However, consider your hair care routine as well. The more products you use on your hair, the more likely it is for it to look completely greasy in a day or two. Similarly, excess heat styling, applying conditioner on the roots (it only goes on the mid-ends!), and washing the hair with hot water is likely to dry out both the strands and the scalp, making it completely unmanageable.
Therefore, aim for products that work for your hair type and ensure it stays perfect even after a few days. Adjust your routine to squeeze in a few more days between washes so that the glands naturally stop overcompensating for the dryness. In the end, you can always opt for dry shampoo or a quick rinse with water only (or a cleansing conditioner) to make it look cleaner — use that to your advantage!