The simple answer is no. It’s not healthy not to wash your hair. However, it has further nuances. There’s no medical reasoning as to how frequently you should wash your hair. The frequency of your hair wash is directly linked to your liking and your hair texture. For some people, it’s essential to use shampoo as it helps to remove oil and sebum. If speaking strictly in medical terms, most people don’t require shampoo to wash their hair.
Since the first day you stepped into this world, you have been constantly reminded to take a bath and wash your hair almost daily.
Besides keeping your scalp clean, you’d be short of other reasons to wash your hair so often.
Fast-forward to the 21st century, and you start to come across various studies claiming it to be unhealthy to wash your hair every day.
Let’s see what we can uncover from both perspectives.
6 reasons to not wash your hair
First, we will discuss the reasons we shouldn’t wash our hair. These reasons include the cons of washing your hair daily, with or without shampoo, and how you can work around it.
1. Healthier for your hair
Sebum is a natural scalp oil, and if it’s removed by washing your hair too often, it actually starts to produce more.
So if you decide to stop washing your hair regularly (whatever regular means to you), the sebum will eventually produce less, and as a result, you will have less greasy hair.
2. Avoidance of chemicals
Studies have shown that most shampoos contain chemicals that are harmful to you.
Some studies have even found these chemicals to be cancer-causing, yes you read that right, ‘cancer-causing.’
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a substance present in shampoo that causes it to foam is not limited to just that.
Those studies have shown that it is a carcinogen as well. Similarly, another ingredient present in the shampoo known as diethyl phthalate is also cancer-causing.
3. Hair color fades away
Washing your hair more frequently causes your hair color to fade away.
4. Split ends
This is a direct result of washing your hair more frequently.
5. Environmentally friendly
Not using shampoo results in less usage of water. Add that up over time, and you’re saving quite a bit of water by reducing shampooing sessions.
6. Dry scalp
Washing more frequently and washing it with hot water causes the scalp to dry.
Note: Apart from some points made earlier, it’s still a subjective choice to not wash your hair. There are pros and cons for both perspectives, and the best thing for you is to consider all those points to make the best choice for yourself.
8 reasons to wash your hair regularly
If you don’t wash your hair for two weeks or a long time, it can lose its ability to grow. It’ll also result in a dry scalp and, consequently, can lead to skin infections.
Apart from medical reasoning, it will also be bad for your basic hygiene and social reasons.
1. An oily scalp
If you have an oily scalp, it will result in itchiness.
Using a shampoo can remove healthy oils; however, if your scalp is too oily, it is advised to use shampoo.
Too much oil in the scalp nourishes fungus, which eventually causes seborrhea disease.
2. Avoid dirt stuck in your hair
Not washing your hair results in the dirt in the environment around you sticking between your hairs.
To avoid that, you need to rinse your hair. So you can see, it’s not entirely healthy to avoid washing your hair.
3. Remove dandruff
Dead skin in your scalp comes off and forms a white flake that looks untidy and causes itchiness. Washing your hair with shampoo results in the removal of those flakes.
On the other hand, some shampoos cause the scalp to get drier and eventually result in an excess amount of dandruff that is counterproductive.
For this reason, you must choose a shampoo that is suitable for your hair type.
4. Living in a humid climate
If you live in a hot and humid climate, you need to wash your hair regularly as the humid climate results in excess sweat.
This excess sweat results in more oil produced in the scalp that can eventually cause dandruff and fungus, so it is advised to wash your hair regularly.
5. Active lifestyle
If you are an athletic person and have to practice daily or work out regularly, you need to wash your hair regularly too. How often depends on you.
These activities cause sweat and eventually result in excess dandruff and a nasty hair smell.
6. Hair growth
If you want your hair to grow, along with using natural oils such as coconut or almond oils, you need to wash your hair regularly.
Washing your hair removes any dead hair follicles, allowing your hair to grow more rapidly.
7. Thin or straight hair
If you have thin or straight hair, it’ll result in them getting greasy faster than otherwise as the oils from the scalp have less deterrence between your locks.
So it is advised that you have more frequent washes to avoid all the harm done by excess oil.
8. Healthy and vibrant scalp
Shampoo makes the hair color more vibrant and makes the roots strong. For healthy hair and hair fall to minimize, you need to shampoo regularly, as it strengthens the roots and makes your hair color more vibrant.
Note: You need to take good care of your hygiene. It’s advised to take a bath/wash your hair once every 3 days on average. Not washing your hair for a really long time will only result in an awful scalp smell (due to the bacteria) and dead skin accumulated.
Note: Greasy hair isn’t unhealthy; however, it acts as a deterrent to styling your hair. That’s why oil accumulation isn’t the best thing for your hair.
Shampoo ingredients to avoid
The worst shampoos for you are the ones that involve the following ingredients:
- Sulfates – Such as ammonium lauryl sulfate, makes your hair brittle and increases frizz. As previously mentioned sodium lauryl sulfate was shown in a study to be a cancer-causing chemical.
- Parabens – It is a preservative used to prevent bacteria from building up in shampoos. It can increase the growth of breast cancer cells.
- Sodium Chloride or salt – It is added in the shampoos to make it consistent and thicker however it causes a drier and an itchier scalp.
- DEA and TEA – It is a foaming agent; it is used to mix oil with water. According to various studies, it is also cancer-causing. The European health commission has banned all cosmetic products that contain DEA and TEA.
- Alcohol – Some types of alcohol cause your hair to dry up very quickly hence it is better to avoid them.
Tips to have the best healthy hair
1. Having a balanced diet
It’s essential for you to have a protein-rich diet.
Hair is also made up of protein. A protein-rich diet includes eating, fish, eggs (can also be directly applied to your head) as well as zinc-containing nuts such as Brazil nuts.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids also prove to be beneficial for your scalp’s health. It does not necessarily contribute to hair growth, however, it still stimulates your sebaceous glands and hair follicles.
Coldwater fish such as salmon and sardines are rich in omega-3. Along with cold fish, cereal, yogurt, and cottage cheese also are full of this nutrient.
Conditioning after shampooing is also very vital in getting thick hair. To have the best effects apply conditioner on your hair with a comb, leave it for 2-3 minutes, and then rinse it with water.
Note: Hair can get thin due to various reasons like genetics or not taking proper care. Hair can regrow if you follow the upper mentioned instructions and take professional help. You need to take vitamins for thicker and shinier hair (such as Vitamin A, B, C, and D) and proteins.
It can be healthy not to wash your hair for 2-3 days. One of the major takeaways for you to know is that your hair is unique, so watch how oily it gets or note any other changes you notice as you adjust your shampooing schedule.
Using shampoo does provide many benefits, such as oil removal in your hair; however, excess usage is not suitable for your hair. Consuming a healthy diet also helps in the quality and strength of your hair.