A recent report of a carcinogenic chemical found in some dry shampoos might make you rethink your hair care routine. But experts say there’s no one answer to how often you should wash your hair or what you can do to maintain it on rest days.
“Some people just think they have to wash their hair every day or they’re going to have very oily hair,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, assistant dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a member of the l American Academy of Dermatology Association. “If they give themselves a chance, they can see that they don’t really have that oily scalp or oily hair. And on the other hand, they can’t stand to go too long or too infrequently because they feel that their scalp is getting very oily.
How often you should clean your locks depends on several factors, including hair type and style, your scalp’s tendency to be greasy, and your activity level.
“It’s kind of a personal effort,” Rossi said. Washing them too often can dry out and dull hair, while oil buildup from underwashing can also lead to odor and dandruff.
Here’s how to figure out what works for you.
Rossi usually tells his patients that they should wash their hair once or twice a week. But if you’ve had any chemical treatments that can make your hair drier — like bleach, perms, or relaxers — you might want to wash it less than once a week to avoid breakage or breakage. hair or split ends, he said.
If your scalp is very oily, you may need to wash it up to once a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association website. Your age can also play a role.
“During puberty we have this surge of hormones, and so the sebaceous glands can get bigger. That’s one of the reasons people get teenage acne,” Rossi said. oilier scalp during puberty, so washing your hair more often could be helpful, he added.
Our scalp produces less sebum as we age, according to the association.
According to the association, your hair may be more likely to dry out or break if it’s curly or frizzy. Washing it too often can make this problem worse, so thick, curly hair usually doesn’t need to be washed daily or even weekly, according to the association.
But you should wash it at least every two to three weeks to keep your scalp and hair clean and healthy.
Hair and scalp care doesn’t just happen in the shower. Between washes, there are things you can do to maintain its cleanliness and appearance – and protect it from damage.
“I think it’s important to have scalp hygiene. Much like beard grooming, you want to take care of the skin underneath,” Rossi said. “Take care of it and comb (your hair). This loosens dead skin cells, debris. You want to wet it if you can.
“At least massaging the skin of your scalp will also help loosen debris, so you don’t necessarily need to wash it out with shampoo itself, but keeping it clean is very helpful,” Rossi added. You can also use products like leave-in conditioner or scalp oils that help nourish and hydrate the scalp.
If you sweat regularly after exercising, you don’t need to wash your hair every time, unless there’s an overgrowth of bacteria or your hair or scalp starts to dry out. smell bad, Rossi said. You can rinse it with water if you want.
Most dry shampoos have been deemed safe for hair, but don’t rely on them often, Rossi said. “If you’re super oily, that’s fine in a pinch. But you want to wash that off. You don’t want to build that up on your scalp either.
If you notice excess oil just around the hairline, you can wipe it away with cosmetic blotting papers, he added.
If you swim in a pool with your hair exposed to water, the chlorine can make it dry and brittle. Protect your hair by wetting and conditioning it beforehand, wearing a tight-fitting swim cap, and immediately afterwards replacing any lost moisture using a shampoo and deep conditioner specially formulated for swimmers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
If you’re having perpetual issues with your scalp or hair — like dandruff, hair loss, or hair breakage — you should see a board-certified dermatologist who treats conditions in those areas, Rossi said.
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