Should Washing Your Hair Be A Daily Ritual?

As a girl I’ve always talked with my friends about how often they wash their hair each week.  I’ve always been obsessive about showering, shampooing, and conditioning my hair every day because I hate when it falls flat from sleeping on it two nights in a row.  But I have some friends who go days, even a week at a time without shampooing their hair.  They shower of course because body odor can get quite disgusting but for some reason they prefer their hair a little “dirty” I guess you could say.  My roommate in fact can go days without washing her hair and has no problem with it, and it doesn’t even begin to look that greasy.  It irks me a little bit because of how often I wash my hair, so I started to wonder if it was good or bad for your hair to shower as often as I do.

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To my surprise, some sources say it really isn’t good to wash your hair every single day.  In an article by WebMD, they say that washing it three to four times a week is much better.  It helps to preserve the natural oils in your hair rather than continuously washing them out.  Sonya Collins says, “the longer, thicker, curlier, and more processed your hair, the longer it can go between washes.”  I agree with what she’s saying because I definitely notice that my hair, which is extremely thick, can go longer without being washed than my friends with extremely thin hair.

Another article on Discovery Health‘s website by Josh Clark says that it’s so disagreed upon by dermatologists that it’s really just up to the person.  So obviously everyone can make their own choice!  But I think I’m going to lay off the shampoo a little bit!

9 thoughts on “Should Washing Your Hair Be A Daily Ritual?

  1. JENNY TAI

    I’ve seen this discussion many times before, but I believe it depends on your hair type. If you have oily hair, then you don’t need even more oils in your hair, therefore it’s okay to wash it every day. Usually you need these natural oils that your hair secretes (that washes away with every shower) in order for your hair to look shiny and healthy. Shampoo contains a chemical called sulfates that cleans hair a little too well, that’s why it’s suggested that people shouldn’t wash their hair every day. For me, I don’t have to wash my hair everyday, it’s actually better for me to not wash it because I have dry scalp and using too much shampoo and conditioner can actually dry it out. Also, don’t fall for the shampoo commercials. Many popular shampoo brands such as Herbal Essences and Pantene are actually terrible for your hair. They leave a fake film of oil in your hair to make it look shiny, but in the long run, these shampoos are actually unhealthy and not beneficial for your hair.

  2. PAULINA MOUSSAVI

    I love this blog because I can vouch for both sides. I have thick, medium/long hair and I do not wash my hair every day simply because I don’t need to. It does not smell even after not washing it for a day, and in fact it even looks better sometimes as Day 1 passes. I think this is because after that is when oil starts to set in your hair, allowing you to style it the way you want. I also have so much hair that it would be 1) time consuming and 2) a waste of shampoo + conditioner to wash it every day. I don’t intend on changing the amount of times I wash my hair because I know that the amount I do is healthy and it still looks good. I do not recommend washing your hair every day because it can strip your hair of its natural nutrients and it also can make your color dull.
    However, there is a limit to how few times you should wash your hair. I laughed when I saw this blog because I have a perfect example. A girl I know, who will remain anonymous, barely ever washes her hair. I think she has washed it under five times since the beginning of the school year. While it is not good to wash your hair every day, it is also not good to not wash it until it visibly needs to be washed. When other friends tried to confront her about how unhygienic that can be, she defended herself saying that the woman in her family told her its ok, if not good for her hair. I don’t quite recall her exact words. While wisdom passed down through families can often be useful, I think that this piece of advice she took with her is actually hurting her.
    Up close, you can see dandruff and other “things” in her hair and scalp. You can see how greasy her hair is. To get rid of the “greasy” look, she uses baby powder, brushing it through her roots claiming it makes the look of grease go away. However, it honestly does not look any less greasy and in fact makes her hair look white/grey on top. My friends and I sometimes discuss whether it is appropriate to tell her something because it is such a sensitive subject. Unfortunately, I do not have the guts to tell my friend truly how bad it looks. Not only does it look bad, but it is unhealthy for her. All the products she piles on day after day to make the look of grease go away, are actually just building up on her scalp making it even dirtier with every day she does not wash it. These products are also ruining her hair particles; it is not good to put chemicals in/on your body!
    Mail Online used a good example when discussing how often hair should be washed. They compared hair to a face; every day you put products on both and every day you are exposed to elements of the outside world. Does this mean you should not wash your face? It’s pretty much the same concept.

  3. KELLY SARAH FITZPATRICK

    I hear this all the time. All the magazines you read, online articles, and my friends say you shouldn’t wash your hair very often but I have to! I am like OCD when it comes to showering sometimes I even shower twice a day. My roommate and some of my friends on my floor only wash their hair every couple days and their hair still looks perfect, but for some reason if I don’t wash my hair within 24 hours of the last wash it gets so oily and disgusting looking and I just feel dirty. It makes sense though about the thicker hair my friends and my sister have very thick and/or curly or wavey hair. My natural hair is very fine and straight and out of habit I’m always touching it transferring even more oil to my hair. I really wish this was disproven but I guess I’ll just have to take my chances with washing my hair everyday.

  4. TAL ZARMI

    I was wondering if I wash my hair too much since I wash it every single day. My mom always tells me not to wash it all the time. I hate going a day or two without washing my hair because it gets greasy and oily and it just makes me feel dirty. My roommate also goes days without washing her hair. Even when she works out and get sweaty, she doesn’t wash her hair. If I did that I think I would smell really bad and just feel gross over all. I have medium thickness, and my hair is really long. I also straighten my hair almost every day so I fear that maybe washing it really often causes even more damage. I am hesitant not to wash my hair because it makes me feel dirtier. I wish I could find an article to refute this because I want a reason to wash my hair every day, but not one article I have found online agrees with me… I guess Ill have to listen and reduce my hair washing routine.

  5. MEGAN ROTH

    I have also heard that washing your hair too much is bad! I’ve heard about how not washing your hair as much preserves natural oils, and I’ve also heard that it prevents head lice! When I was younger, I got lice and my mom was surprised because I don’t wash my hair everyday. I’ve been told by many people that lice are attracted to really clean hair, but is this really true? I found a variety of answers. Most of the conversational websites I read said that lice are attracted to only clean hair, but most research based websites said that there is no research to back this up and that lice like any type of hair (clean or dirty)… So I guess it is a myth that lice are only attracted to clean hair and you can still wash your hair everyday and not worry about lice! However, there is evidence that lice prefer straight hair rather than curly hair, because the cross-section of curly hair is hard for lice to grip onto. Interesting stuff!

    Conversation-
    http://www.sodahead.com/living/do-licenits-like-dirty-or-clean-hair/question-793779/

    Research based – http://www.abc.net.au/health/talkinghealth/factbuster/stories/2008/06/11/2271382.htm#.UJK5erTLCfQ

    Curly Hair-
    http://www.truefalse.co.nz/articles/truefalse100-liceclean.html

  6. NICHOLAS WILLIAM MARSICO

    I wonder if this same solution applies to men? I mean our hair is sometimes real thick so should we follow the same hygiene patterns as you girls?

  7. CAROLYN MYERS HAMM

    I find myself in the same exact situation as you Kelsey! I feel like everyone around me is washing their hair only a couple of times and week and I go through shampoo like its water! I read once that the reason you should only be washing a few times a week is because any more often would strip your hair of its natural oils. If you look at the basic anatomy of a strand of hair (click here for a photo of a hair follicle ) you will see that the split occurs when the cortex of the strand is exposed. This exposure causes the protein fibers of the hair to unravel- therefore resulting in a split end. I’ve used tons of products in my hair like Moroccan oil and replenishing masks but nothing works like a plain and simple haircut.

  8. NIA J NICHOLSON

    I also did a blog about this earlier discussing the differences in taking care of African American hair and Caucasian hair. What I learned was that your hair texture matters more than anything else. You stated in your blog that the thicker, curly, etc., the longer the hair can go without washing, which is actually what I found to be true. How much oil your hair produces matter too, as you said the oiler the hair the more it needs to be washed. Thicker hair doesn’t produce, as much oils thus why it doesn’t need to be washed as often. I also know that no matter what washing you hair everyday cannot be the healthiest thing to do, because it will end up drying out your hair. I definitely think you should try every other day if possible but if it becomes too oily, then do whatever you think is best for you.

  9. TESS STAIRIKER

    This is great! My hair is really thick so I can go three or four days without washing it, and usually right after I wash it, it just poofs up in a frizz ball. I found an article in Glamour magazine about washing hair; however, it recommended getting rid of shampoo completely and washing your hair with “things like vinegar and baking soda.” It’s supposed to make your hair healthier by getting rid of the chemicals as well as being environmentally friendly. The article stemmed from an NPR broadcast where they talk about the eco-friendly movement.

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