Why You Shouldn't Wash Your Hair So Often

If your hair isn't looking its best, it's time to rethink your shampoo.

When it comes to hair care, women usually know a thing or two. One of our secrets? Going without shampoo once in awhile.

Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shower on the daily – we're not endorsing that. But skipping a hair wash during your normal routine can, somewhat counterintuitively, actually make it look far better.

How it Works

If you're worried that your hair will looks greasy and your scalp will get oily if you put down the shampoo, don't be. In fact, your shampoo might actually already be causing those effects, rather than preventing them.

Just like with your skin, stripping the scalp of moisture through overly aggressive washing triggers an overproduction of oil to overcompensate for the loss, which in turn gives you overly greasy hair. By skipping a day or two, you can break that nasty cycle.

By leaving those natural oils in place, and combing to distribute them from root to tip, you'll end up with softer, healthier-looking, more easily styled hair. Think of it as a natural conditioner. And just think of how much time you’ll save in the shower.

That doesn't mean you should go without entirely, though – just like the face, you also need to be concerned about a build-up of grime. So a couple of days at most is the way to go.

The Easy-to-Follow Strategy

The basic approach is simple: keep up your normal routine, but with a reduced frequency in hair washing. Once every other day is a good starting point. If you like the way your hair looks after a day and don't feel too grimy, try once every three days.

A thorough rinse on the days in between washes is just fine to clear away dirt, sweat, and the like. But if you work out daily or just don't feel clean enough with a simple rinse, you do have some options. Try switching to a conditioning cleanser (a non-lathering shampoo that contains hydrating ingredients), or a sulfate-free shampoo, which will be free of the extra-harsh ingredients that sweep away your hair's natural oils.

The Secret Weapon for Skip Days

If you get that no-so-fresh feeling in your scalp, dry shampoos will help you get it back without requiring you to do a full-on wash.

It's a powder, usually in an aerosol can, that you quickly spray into your hair to mop up excess oil without taking away too much of the stuff. If you've got longer hair, it can be your best friend in keeping hair healthy, but not greasy.

While the oil-absorbing ingredients help sop up excess oil, fragrant essential oils deodorize and disguise the olfactive proof that you haven’t lathered up in a couple of days. Oh, and they double as styling product, so you might be able to skip the pomade.

Stick to botanical-based options, which contain combinations of naturally absorbent materials like clay or starches derived from corn, rice and tapioca. Drugstore types, on the other hand, tend to contain unseemly actives like petroleum and alcohol.

If that all sounds a bit complicated, it's as simple as this: if you don’t wash your hair so often, it'll look shinier, be healthier, and you can sleep an extra five minutes. Given that, it's kind of a no-brainer.

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