Oily hair. We’ve all been there. If you work in healthcare, you are constantly on the go, and you’re more likely to be exposed to contaminants (or sweat up a storm under all that personal protective equipment). So it’s understandable if you feel the need to wash your hair after every shift.
If this is the case for you, you may be overwashing your hair, which presents the opposite problem. Instead of oily hair, your mane’s looking dry, brittle and, all in all, unhealthy.
So, to find the perfect balance, just how often should you wash your hair? And how often should you condition your hair, too?
How to wash your hair properly
Of course, there’s a lot of conflicting information regarding hair care. And we get it. We really do. Most everyone wants thick, luxurious locks, regardless of whether they work in healthcare, and they’re doing whatever they can to get them.
Do I need to shampoo twice for healthy hair?
You probably heard that two rounds of shampooing equal good hair care, and if yours is a job that involves a lot of dirty work (as is the case with healthcare at times), you may find some truth to this. You may not be able to scrub out all that grime on the first round.
But is shampoo bad for your hair? In short, no. Just ask any hairstylist. However, if used excessively, shampoo can overstrip your hair of its natural oils (aka the good ones).
Does colored hair need special products?
Coloring your hair, especially with store-bought products, can damage it. But nourishing shampoos and conditioners can help restore its luster and make your hair less brittle. They’ll also keep those colored hairstyles looking fresher for longer. Whatever the color of your hair, be it dyed or not, avoid shampoos with sulfates, as they’re notorious for overdrying.
How often should you wash your hair, and what happens if you wash your hair every day?
Is it bad to wash your hair every day? Well, it depends on its thickness, its texture, the activities you engage in and the shampoo and other products you use.
Who should shampoo daily?
Anyone with fine, thin or straight hair should probably use a gentle shampoo daily, as oil buildup tends to show quicker than other hair types, either through the sebum on the hair itself or by exercise-related sweat. When your hair begins to look stringy, it’s time to lather up.
Who can wait a few days to wash their hair?
Should you wash your hair every day if you have thick, curly, coarse or dry hair? No. Excessive washing can strip your hair of its little oil, causing avoidable damage and scalp flaking.
What factors change how often you should wash your hair?
To sum it up, if you’re wondering how often you should wash your hair, things to remember include:
- How your shampoo leaves your hair (remember, avoid sulfates!).
- How much oil your hair produces (this varies depending on your age, environment and gender).
- The type of hair you have.
- How much you sweat (the more you sweat, the more frequently you should wash).
- How much dirt you’re exposed to.
- How many chemicals (color, perm or straightening treatments) or styling products you use.
How often should you wash your hair per week if you want to make washes last longer?
Remember, there’s nothing wrong with washing your hair often (just not too often!). Even if your hair is on the more delicate side or you sweat a lot, most clarifying shampoos and cleansers are formulated to keep your hair looking fresh for longer and help with product buildup.
Leave-in conditioners are always an option, as is dry shampoo. Suppose you’re really stretched for time or just worried about those brittle ends. In that case, you can hop in the shower for a quick rinse instead of soaping up that stressed-out hair.
We should mention that personal preference plays a huge role in how long your hair wash “lasts.” Like searching for the best scrubs for your body shape, we’re all going to have quirks for how certain textures feel against our skin. Some people can withstand excess oil in their hair for longer periods, while others may hate it.
What happens if you under wash your hair?
You’ve probably got a decent idea about what happens with infrequent washing by this point. Excess oil starts to accumulate. Hair turns flat and limp, and if you have bangs, the oil from your hair can irritate the skin along your forehead.
If left unwashed for extended periods, oil and dirt can build up on your scalp. This can cause itching, which will make you scratch your scalp or potentially cause sores. Although you can stretch out the number of days you don’t wash your hair (if you throw aesthetics aside), never push it past two weeks or run into scalp problems.
What happens if you overwash your hair?
If you’re a healthcare professional, you’re probably having the opposite problem. Because you frequently have to disinfect yourself and your scrubs, your hair may be too clean.
A little bit of oil on the scalp isn’t a bad thing. Without it, that dry scalp is prone to dandruff and irritation. The ends of your hair may also turn brittle, leading to unflattering frizz, split ends, breakage and possibly hair loss. Your premium scrubs have a tag with washing instructions that you most likely follow to a tee. Unfortunately, your skin and scalp don’t. So, wash well, but wash gently.
And if you’re looking for other ways to protect your hair from breakage, check out our Jaanuu scrub caps!