You’ve probably heard, from a friend or the internet, that washing your hair daily is damaging to your hair. This, though, is not the case. Overwashing your hair is unlikely to lead to hair loss. There are a lot of myths and rumours regarding hair care, so let’s look at some of the science around hair washing.
Haircare and shampooing are largely personal preferences as your hair and scalp type will affect your choice of when and how often to wash. While overwashing can lead to dryness or damage for some people, irregular washing can lead to greasy, lifeless hair for others.
The scalp secretes an oil called sebum. This oil works to keep our scalp moisturized and provides a healthy texture to the hair. However, if not removed, sebum production on the scalp can become a breeding ground for the yeast that causes dandruff.
Additionally, frequent use of styling products such as hair sprays, gels, mousse, or dry shampoos can cause excess buildup on the scalp. The oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and product buildup can lead to clogged pores resulting in scalp infections and damage to the hair follicles. When you wash your hair, you also remove this buildup.
How Do Shampoos Work?
Shampoos have certain chemicals known as surfactants (surface-active agents) that work by removing debris from the scalp and hair follicles. Some shampoos also contain compounds called sulfates which are used to produce a rich lather to clean thoroughly and eliminate excess oil. Shampoos containing sulfates have been shown to cause dryness and damage over extended use. Additionally, using a conditioner is always advised as it is an excellent moisturizer for your hair, adding extra shine and smoothness.
Can I Wash My Hair Too Frequently?
One of the most common myths that persist around hair washing is that washing too frequently leads to hair loss. While over-washing can lead to some shedding, it is not the act of washing your hair, but the shampoo you’re using that may be making your hair dry and brittle and causing it to fall out. While some shedding is normal—we naturally shed about 100 hairs a day—but if you’re losing clumps of hair while washing, it could be a sign that it’s time to change your products.
What you do after washing also matters. Aggressively drying your hair with a towel can accelerate hair shedding. Frequent use of hair styling tools such as blow dryers and straighteners can cause heat damage to your hair, making it more prone to breakage and hair loss. Lastly, brushing your hair when it is wet is more likely to cause it to break or shed.
What If My Hair Keeps Falling Out?
If you’ve changed shampoos and your hair loss persists for over 6 months, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, or simply pattern baldness. At this point, you should seek medical advice. There may still be time to stop, slow down, or even reverse your hair loss. Ask a dermatologist to recommend a suitable shampoo and conditioner depending on your hair type.
How Often Should I Wash My Hair?
Washing your hair daily is harmless – as long as you are using a proper shampoo. However, washing can still lead to damage if not done properly. Try and follow these tips:
- If you have naturally dry hair, consider washing only twice a week as this can help to preserve the scalp’s natural oils and keep your hair moisturized.
- If you have naturally oily hair, you may choose to shampoo every day or every other day.
- If you have any scalp conditions such as excessive dandruff, psoriasis, or parasitic infections, you may need medicated shampoo as recommended by your doctor.
- For Asian and Caucasian hair types, washing every day is often advised. Those with Afro hair require less washing due to the coarse texture of their hair.
Is There A Solution To Hair Loss?
Yes, a hair transplant is a truly permanent solution to any type of hair loss. A hair transplant in Turkey uses a patient’s own, natural hair to fill in the spots left behind by hair loss. During a hair transplant procedure, healthy hair follicles are extracted from a donor site unaffected by hair loss – typically the back of the head. These hair grafts are then implanted into the recipient site and will continue to grow healthy hair for the remainder of the patient’s life.
Dr Serkan Aygin is a pioneer in the field of hair transplants and was honoured by the European Awards for Medicine in the field of “Hair Transplantation” in 2019. Over his 25-year career, he has achieved a hair regrowth rate of 98% across more than 15,000 clients. Contact our offices today to schedule your full, free consultation.