A hair-raising tale!

Photo via hercampus.com
Photo via hercampus.com

Knowing when to wash your hair, and when to leave it the heck alone!

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

If you’ve been catching flak from your significant other or family for not washing your hair every day, then you’re not the only one—and the truth is, you’re not supposed to!

I can’t count the number of times my family and boyfriend have been grossed out by the fact that I only wash my hair maybe two or three times a week. Being completely honest, up until recently I was one of those people who did wash their hair every night before I went to bed, and I was completely baffled when other people told me that they didn’t. I mean, how could they manage to do that? Wouldn’t it get greasy?

Then a friend of mine told me that maybe the reason I was having issues with breakage and fly-aways might be because I washed my hair too much. Logically, it didn’t make much sense to me. Hygiene is good, right? So then why would keeping your hair clean be bad for it?

It is bad for your hair if you consider the fact that you’re washing all the essential oils out of it. Essential oils are the good kinds of oils, the stuff that keeps your hair shiny and healthy looking. Generally shampoos have sulphates in them, which break down oil and wash it away. Used too much, the sulphates will actually start breaking down the oils your hair needs to keep itself strong, resulting in breakage, and in some cases, hair loss.

So now you’re stuck. You can’t wash your hair every day without damaging it, but it looks greasy if you leave it, even for one night.

Not to fret, there are a number of easy solutions. Number one is that you can switch to an organic shampoo. Organic shampoos don’t contain sulphates, so they are less likely to damage your hair. The trouble is they can be expensive, and a lot of people complain they cause dandruff.

Solution two is that you can wait it out. Usually if your body is used to you washing your hair every day, it will actually produce an excess of oils to protect itself. Stop washing your hair so often and your scalp will eventually produce less.

The last solution, and the one that I personally subscribe to, is dry shampoo and/or powder. Dry shampoo is an aerosol powder that you can spray into your hair, and it will soak up the oils, allowing you to brush it away. This removes the excess oils, but will leave the majority so you can reap the benefits. Most dry shampoos also have conditioners in them as well, making your mane easier to tame. This is a really good solution if you have naturally fine hair, because it will actually thicken it slightly and give it texture, which will allow it to hold a style for longer. Don’t like aerosols? That’s totally fine, just take a large powder brush and dab loose powder into your roots. This will do the exact same thing; don’t forget to brush it out, though!

So then, how do you know when to wash your hair? Eventually you’ll be able to feel it. Instead of greasy, look out for when your hair feels too stiff. Generally that’s a good indication that there’s either too much product in it, in the case of if you’re using a dry shampoo, or that it’s accumulating too much oil.