Upon hearing that you could get thicker hair by washing it less, half of you are probably thinking “gross” and the other half is probably thinking, “Hmmm…tell me more.”
Having been raised on shiny, glossy shampoo commercials- I was solidly in the first category.
And at first thought – it seems to make sense. We feel cleaner after a shower and subconsciously associate ‘clean hair’ with ‘healthy hair.’ Plus there’s that whole social stigma against people who don’t shower regularly.
But despite what well-meaning friends and shampoo adverts tell you – both dermatologists and hair experts agree that washing your hair less often leads to healthier, thicker hair. Not to mention a reduced water bill.
How Washing Your Hair Less Helps You Get Thicker Hair
Dermatologist are saying that it’s very rare for a person to need to wash his or her hair daily from a biological perspective.
Since hair is technically a fiber, think of it like your favorite wool sweater. The more you stick your wool sweater in the laundry, it becomes more frayed and generally worse for wear.
Much like that wool sweater – washing your hair daily can actually dry out it out. You see, our scalp oils do not travel down the hair shaft to moisturize our strands as quickly as you think.
And when you wash your hair daily – especially with non-natural, sulfate-containing shampoos, your hair gets stripped of its natural moisture, drying out your strands and making them more prone to breakage and split ends.
Another reason why washing your hair less benefits your tresses is that aside from getting a break from the harsh chemicals in shampoo, less exposure to hot water also benefits hair. The hot water you use in the shower makes hair brittle and prone to discoloration and split ends.
So if you don’t want hair to look like a limp, lifeless mess – consider skipping a couple of washes.
So, How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
Okay, you’re willing to go without a few shampoo sessions but…how many washes is enough? Well, the frequency of shampooing is dependent on hair and scalp type.
For those with oilier scalps and finer hair, you can shampoo every other day. However, if you have curly, frizzy, or chemically processed hair that tends to be drier, you can even go for as long 2-4 days without shampooing and your hair won’t get greasy.
Admittedly, this idea takes some getting used to. Slowly taper off your usage of shampoo to help with the adjustment. You can start washing every other day for the first few weeks, and gradually shift to longer intervals without shampoo.
In case you’re wondering how to keep your hair from drawing (unfriendly) stares between showers – dry shampoo is your new best friend. It’s easy to “spot-treat” with it – it’ll usually be just the top of your head that starts looking a little…funky, so just rub a little dry shampoo in where the oil is.
When using dry shampoo, hold it at least 6 inches away from head to avoid product buildup, and focus on just the roots to fluff up hair and give it some volume while repelling dirt and grime.
If you’re craving the fresh off the shower scent, you’d be glad to know that a lot of dry shampoos have a super gentle fragrance. There are plenty to choose from, but try to go for one that’s as natural as can be since you don’t want to irritate your scalp in the process. That sort of defeats the whole point.
My current favorite dry shampoo is Captain Blankenship’s Organic Mermaid Dry Shampoo. It’s totally natural and uses a mix of organic powders and nourishing essential oils.
The best part? It actually gives unwashed hair a volumizing lift, which is a lifesaver if you’re prone to limp, greasy locks. Ain’t nobody got time for that Professor Snape look.
Another option if you shampoo often or have very dry hair – you can simply skip the shampoo when you shower but be generous with the conditioner.
If your hair isn’t really dirty – i.e. you haven’t been trekking through a jungle or rolling in mud – the conditioner alone will easily rinse away all the surface funk in your hair while hydrating and replenishing dry, thin strands. If you haven’t tried it yet – RENPURE solutions Conditioner is amazing.