The frequency of washing your hair is a controversial subject. Some people do it religiously on a daily basis while others stretch washdays out for weeks at a time. What does science have to say about this hotly debated issue?
The Purpose of Washing Your Hair
Washing your hair is not the same as washing your body. Although hygiene is important, washing your hair also helps to balance the levels of oil on the scalp and hair follicles. A nice shampoo removes product buildup, natural oils, dirt, sweat, dead skin, and everything else that can accumulate on the scalp.
Different scalps do not have the same amount of oil, and different products leave different amounts of residue. That's why different heads of hair have different needs.
When Should You Wash Your Hair?
There's a perfect balance. If you wash your hair too often, you'll deprive your scalp of necessary oils. If you don't wash your hair often enough, you can create a situation that is unhealthy and stinky. Anything that pools up on the scalp creates a damp environment for bacteria and fungus to flourish.
From a medical perspective, two weeks is the maximum length of time that should pass from wash day to wash day. Anything less than two weeks at a time is up to personal preference and the signs your hair shows.
Hair washing is a time when it's important to listen to your body. Wash your hair when it looks or feels dirty. If the hair feels greasy with oil, smells bad, or has visible flakes or product buildup, it's time to wash it. If none of these factors apply, wash day can wait.
Everyone's hair is unique, so some people may need to wash their hair, simply to remove natural oils, more often than others.