It is my experience that many people don’t fully understand how overall scalp health and hair growth or hair loss go hand in hand. Good hygiene when it comes to your hair is just as important as general hygiene when it comes to the rest of our bodies. Many believe that washing their hair once a week would be the best, much in the case with ladies with longer hair. Which on a practical level I can understand because it takes a lot of time and effort to wash, condition as well as dry or style the hair afterwards. In some cases, all depending on the length of hair, this could be a half-day kind of process. Then on the opposite spectrum, we have some people washing their hair every day and could possibly be doing more harm than good.
In this article, my aim is to better guide or educate what would be the best and address some misconceptions when it comes to hair growth and what overall scalp health looks like. There is no hard or fast rule however when it comes to what would be the “right” number of times to wash your hair. This is very much dependent from person to person and lifestyle to lifestyle. Regardless of this, we always need to strive to create a healthy environment for our hair to grow in.
Firstly, I would like to address the importance of what we use to wash and condition our hair. Using products with Sulphates and Parabens in them can severely damage hair and lead to hair loss as well as breakage because it leaves the hair dry and brittle. What makes these products so damaging is that it also leaves the scalp dry, and this could lead to the formation of dandruff or even acne on the scalp. The build-up of sweat or sebum can also affect the overall health of the scalp.
This can happen when we don’t wash our hair frequently enough. The consensus is that if you are a very active person or sweat excessively it is advised that you wash your hair every other day (every second day) and if not very active every third day should be fine. But there is no strict rule to this as mentioned previously. There are however taletelling signs that we can look for to show us that it is time to wash. These could be your hair being visibly oily, your scalp being itchy or there are flakes starting to form due to dirt building up. Washing your hair every day could throw your scalp’s natural microbiome off and this, in turn, could leave your scalp susceptible to bad bacteria and fungi to take over and cause inflammation. There are however products that assist with maintaining this natural microbiome which are Vit B5, Vit E, Bergamot, Citric Acid as well as natural oils like Lavender, Coconut and Macadamia. Now I am by no means saying to take all of these, that I have just listed, and throw them all together and put them on your scalp every second to the third day. What I would recommend is getting products that contain a specific blend of these already because it takes a balanced blend of these essential ingredients to leave your hair as well as scalp nice and nourished.
How we style and treat our hair is another contributing factor to the general well-being of our hair. Using heat on your hair, without a good heat protector, or styling your hair too tight can diminish the strength of your follicles as well as increase damage to the hair structure or shaft itself. Using too many chemicals on your hair will also leave your hair weaker. Its agents like Peroxide, Ammonia and other bleaching agents, which can generally be found in colouring products, will leave your hair weaker especially if you do this very frequently. These products affect the cuticle that is directly responsible for the protection of the inner shaft of the hair where the moisture of the hair can be found. The higher the moisture content within the shaft will help you retain hair length. Excessive brushing, brushing too vigorously or even brushing with the wrong brush can also be damaging to your hair because it increases the level of breakage of hair.
The additional products we use on our hair, like mouses and gels, also have a great impact on the general health of hair and scalp. Excessive use of these products can do the same that not washing or washing too much can do. The basic thread I would like to leave with you today is this: “When our scalps aren’t happy our hair would also not be happy”. It’s for this reason that we always need to strive to “listen” to our scalps when it starts showing us signs that it needs a good wash. If you are looking for a range of products that would assist you in repairing damaged hair or even help with caring for your hair, have a look at our Vitamin Hair range that has been specially formulated for overall scalp and hair health.