Fair Hair Care,  Shower Stories

5 Benefits Of Not Washing Hair Daily You Never Knew About!

Let’s face it: all of us have gone a few extra days without washing our hair. Especially with the current (endless) pandemic we are in, it is too easy to just tie all that dirty hair up in a messy bun to avoid washing it. Nowhere to go, no one to see. But what if I told you that there are actual benefits of not washing hair daily? 

Yes, that is right! You are probably doing your hair a favor by not washing it everyday. 

But it is not as simple as just stopping to wash your hair altogether. There is a process of stretching out wash time in order for hair to adjust. I will explain what happens when you skip wash days and how to switch to natural methods instead, to bring back healthy, shiny, and grease-free hair! 

Table Of Contents

Benefits Of Not Washing Hair Daily

You may be doing a lot of harm to your hair and scalp by washing your hair every single day. From the kind of shampoos you use to even the amount of water exposure can both have negative impacts to the health of your hair.

Let us look at 5 benefits of not washing your hair on a daily basis.

1. No More Toxins

Shampoos contain very harsh chemicals that are toxic and hazardous to human health. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, allergies, fertility problems, autoimmune disorders, and hormonal disturbances-Yikes!

What is worse is that ingredients from shampoos, like sulfates, parabens, etc, leave a sticky residue on scalp and hair that is not removed even when hair is fully washed. This creates buildup that hardens and clogs up hair follicles, leading to scalp calcification. 

Read my article: is shampoo bad for hair.

If you have used commercial shampoos your entire life, you are bound to have a lot of buildup and toxins on your scalp. Washing your hair everyday just adds to this unhealthy accumulation! As a result of the toxic buildup, hair will be more weighed down, making it look limp and greasy. 

2. Healthier Scalp & Hair

Healthy Scalp & Hair When You Wash Hair Less

Shampoos are very harsh on the scalp and hair; they cause a drying out effect on both. Washing hair frequently, strips the scalp of its natural oils, making the scalp dry and itchy. 

To compensate for dryness, the scalp produces an excess amount of sebum (natural oils). This results in an oily scalp soon after hair is washed (within a day or two). The more you wash, the quicker your scalp gets oily!

When you prolong your wash day to maybe a week, your scalp gradually balances out its sebum production. Regulated sebum ensures the scalp stays healthy and nourished. These oils travel down to the length of your hair strands, making them glossy and smooth naturally. This is relevant even if you have curly hair. 

Excessive hair washing prevents the tips of the hair to be coated in protective sebum, especially if you have thicker or longer hair. 

Read my article on how wooden combs for hair distribute natural oils evenly throughout the hair to remove static and frizz.

Another benefit to not washing your hair frequently is that you won’t need to blow dry your hair. We all know how detrimental heat is on wet hair (check out my article on how to dry hair after shower). 

The less you wash, the less hair styling tools/products you will expose your hair too. This further means that you will be reducing product buildup, hair fall, frizz, and unwanted split-ends. Besides, hair is much easier to style on the second day, anyway.

3. Hair Color Lasts Longer

Water alone is responsible for stripping away hair’s color by about 85%. Yup, no kidding. 

Hair Dye Lasts Longer If You Wash Hair Less

When you excessively wash your hair (and daily washing is excessive, yes), you are causing premature color fade. This is because the chemicals in hair color make hair more vulnerable to water. 

Water has minerals like chlorine, magnesium, and copper, that contribute to the discoloration of hair’s pigment and also removes its shine and luster. 

Read my articles on hard water and hair:

Hard Water Hair Damage

Ways To Fix Hard Water Hair Damage

Signs of Hair Damage From Hard Water

Washing hair with hot water causes cuticles to open and this causes the color pigment to wash away quicker. 

The chemicals in shampoos further exacerbate the problem. These shampoos contain sulfates, salts and artificial color that make hair dull and weighed down with buildup. It is difficult for dyes to attach to hair with buildup.

If you space out your wash days, your color will definitely last longer and you will need fewer touch-ups.

4. Saves More Money

Products to wash your hair aren’t exactly cheap. Neither are hair styling products.

Hair Products Costs Add Up Quickly

The commercially available shampoos and conditioners are at an affordable price point for a one-time purchase. However, if you are using the shampoos daily to wash out the dirt from your hair, you are bound to go through the bottles quicker as well. 

As a result, you will be making more frequent visits to your local drugstore to buy more, new shampoo bottles! This can add up pretty quickly.

Aside from finishing the product faster, there is a huge variety (almost endless, if you think about it) of products you can choose from to wash your hair. There are regular shampoos that everyone buys, and then there are other options available like clarifying, chelating, sulfate-free, paraben free, color safe, vegan, etc (the list can really go on…).

Don’t even get me started with all the different products you will need for after-shower hair care (leave-in conditioner, heat protectant, detangler, smoothing serum, etc)! 

You can easily reduce your hair-care maintenance costs if you stop washing your hair daily. Besides, your hair really does NOT need all that product! Trust me, it doesn’t!

5. Saves The Planet

Washing hair daily wastes a huge amount of water and energy, nor is it sustainably friendly! 

As you will see from the table below, you can save costs on your water and energy consumption just by reducing your time in the shower. According to the data from Eco Hair & Beauty, shampooing your hair twice daily with a wash out conditioner, uses around 23 times more water than if you were to shampoo twice a week and use a leave-in conditioner. This is also a savings of close to $300 annually! Cha-ching!!

Everyone uses hot water to wash their hair and this raises the energy usage from 613 kWh if you space out your washes to a whopping 12,252 kWh in energy consumption if you were to wash your hair daily. 

These are values obtained before the consumption of energy from using blow drying or hair styling tools post-shower!

H2O USAGE
(L)
ENERGY USAGE/YR
(kWh)
CO2e
CARBON FOOTPRINT
(kg)
APPROX COST
($ USD)
Daily Shampoo14,22212,252500336.36
Shampoo
Twice/Week
613552537.01
Data Obtained From Eco Hair & Beauty

Your hair products are also harming the environment. They are made of plastic that is most often not recyclable, and are filled with ingredients (petroleum, crude oil, etc) that are sourced with a high carbon footprint. These ingredients often wash down the drain as we shower, entering the water systems and harming marine life. 

Reducing the time spent washing your hair will decrease your hot water & energy use, and help to save the planet as well!  Besides, just to put things in perspective, there are about 785 million people in the world living without access to clean water. That is about 10% of the world’s population.

Think about that for a second.

Natural Hair Care

Natural Hair Care Guide To No Poo Method

Skipping wash days does not mean you are not washing the hair altogether. Actually, some women do not wash their hair with shampoos for weeks, months, even years and they have perfectly healthy hair. 

It is not that they are not washing at all. It just means they have other natural methods of washing their hair. They just don’t use shampoo. 

One such method is called the no-poo hair washing method. I am not a huge advocate of using baking soda to wash hair but that is not entirely what no-poo means. The term itself is misleading and it simply means “no shampoo”. There are many different no-poo methods, not just one. 

If you are interested to know more, check out the No Poo Method eBook  to find out about the different methods that more accurately fit your hair needs!

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links to make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. You can read my full disclosure here.

After-Effects of Skipping

There is a transition period your hair will go through when you decide to skip wash days. Most of the time, the after-effects of not washing hair are so unpleasant that we give in and suds up; we shouldn’t! 

Let me take a quick minute and explain what some of these effects are and why they happen. 

Greasy Hair

For the first few weeks, your hair may get greasier when you stop hair washing. During this time, it is likely you may feel that the scalp is more itchy and flakey; you may even notice more dandruff. 

This is not something to be hugely concerned with. In fact, it most likely isn’t even dandruff. Years of product buildup on your scalp from shampoos and other hair styling products is the reason you are having a greasy, flakey scalp. 

Smelly Hair

Not washing your hair regularly could lead to stinky hair. Raise your hand if you know what that smells like? Don’t be shy- we have all been there, done that! 

This again is not as bad as it sounds…or smells, I should say? Why? Because the smell will subside as your hair detoxifies. 

Hair tends to emanate an odor due to a combined accumulation of sweat, dirt, and sebum. It is this toxic buildup that causes your hair to smell funky between washes. This is easily fixed by adding hair-helping essential oils to your natural cleansers. 

Dirty Hair

Dust, pollution, and debris can quickly accumulate on an unwashed oily scalp, especially if you live in a busy city. When this happens, growth of bacteria and fungus can quickly develop too, exacerbating scalp infections. Dry shampoos won’t work at this point and instead will just cause buildup.

You do not want to walk around with dirty hair.

Benefits of Not Washing Hair Daily Detoxes Hair

It is best practice to keep the scalp clean in order to have dirt-free hair, even if you are spacing out washes. This can be achieved by using natural cleansers that are free of toxins instead of your regular store-bought shampoo. 

Read relevant articles here:

Make Homemade Shampoo (sulfate-free)

Make Homemade Scalp Scrub

DIY Herbal Shampoo Recipe

The Proper Way To Wash Hair

Additionally, some herbs have amazing capabilities to clean out the scalp and promote hair growth.

Read my article on herbs that grow hair faster.

With Bad After-Effects, Why Skip?

As I mentioned earlier, these effects are due to the transition period. Meaning that they are temporary. Your hair will have to go through a detox from all the harm you have caused it over your entire lifetime. And this obviously will take some amount of time. 

It varies from person to person, in that it could take weeks for some, and months for others. Whatever the case, once your hair has passed this stage, healthy, shiny hair will return- I promise!

When To Wash Hair

So, how often do we even wash hair then? This is a tricky question to answer because it isn’t exactly a “one size fits all” scenario. Everyone has a different hair type and different hair needs. What works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. There will be a lot of trial and error at first to find what hair washing routine works best for you. 

But as a general guide, if you have fine hair that is naturally less oily, you are more likely to benefit from not washing hair regularly or even going shampoo-free. 

If you are unsure, you can try to space out your wash day every 3-4 days. If your hair gets greasy, you are good to continue. Space out longer intervals and give your hair time to detox. 

If you get redness or itchy patches on your scalp within the 3-4 days, then it is time to wash your hair!

Keep Going

As you can see, there are many benefits to not washing hair daily and instead to have a routine that better fits your hair needs. Don’t let the transition period scare you and just keep going. 

No Poo Method Means "No Shampoo"

The key is to know your specific hair type: the porosity, density, texture, curl pattern (if you have curly hair). Only then, would you be able to know what kind of method works best for you and whether going without shampoo is even worth it for your hair.

If you would like to know how to check what your hair type is and more, be sure to check out the No-Poo Method eBook. It discusses all the natural ways you can try to have healthier, shinier, and more manageable hair that grows faster!

How often do you wash your hair?

Do you agree that washing hair daily is not entirely healthy?

I would love to know if you have tried natural hair care methods to wash your hair and how the journey has been for you thus far. 

Do leave me your thoughts and feedback down below in the comments section!

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16 Comments

  • Silvie

    Hi,

    I definitely agree with not washing hair every day! During lockdown, I wash them 1 – 2x a week. I have to say, I haven’t yet been able to go through the transition period because if I take it too far, my scalp starts to itch horribly.

    However, it’s definitely not necessary to wash our hair every day! First, it uses a lot more water which we all know is something we should save. Second, you spend awful lot of money on products!

    Great article, I’m off to read the ones about hard water as my area is terrible and I could use some tips! Great site!

    • Sasha

      Hi Silvie, that was exactly my problem in the beginning too! but I soon learned a routine that worked for me based on my hair type. But to be honest, your routine seems to be fine: washing hair once or twice a week is a good break. Most people wash every day or every other day (I used to do that before too!) However, if your scalp starts to hurt from itching, it could be how you are tying your hair or whether you are combing your hair between washes or not (it is a good idea to do so btw, just so the natural oils can distribute evenly and so blood flow is brought back to your scalp). Hope this helps!

      Thank you so much for reading my post! And I am happy you are interested in my other ones about hard water too. Good luck!

  • Josephine Jennifer Crawford

    Thank you for this wonderful article about washing hair. I can see why washing your hair daily would be an issue. I am diabetic and so my golden rule is moderation in all things. The same applies to washing my hair. I however noticed that 2 days is the maximum I can hold out before it starts itching. As a result, I try to wash every other day.

    I am interested in that ebook, so I will check it out. The idea of using less or no shampoo is enticing.

    • Sasha

      Hi Josephine, thank you for stopping by! Yes, most people end up washing hair every other day. If you check out the No Poo Method eBook, it talks you through how to build your wash day routine so that your hair has time to fully detox. It is definitely a great wealth of info in the ebook!

  • Christine

    I didn’t know that water can strip your hair of its natural color over time. Interesting!
    I don’t wash my hair every day, and I can see the benefits. Washing your hair every day is definitely not good and shampoo is made to foam, meaning that it has chemicals, so that’s not good either. I had no idea that it had plastics as well! That’s shocking! My shampoo is organic, so I hope that it’s plastic-free, but I will have to check.
    I have heard of No-Poo, and I heard that it’s good. Do you recommend it for thin, curly hair?

    • Sasha

      The No-Poo Method is actually highly recommended for curly hair as it adds more definition to curls and brings back its natural bounce. However, I would suggest you know what your hair type is in terms of porosity and the eBook really helps figuring out all that in much detail. When you start the method, you can go slow and see how your hair reacts. If you feel like your hair condition isn’t improving past the detox period, I would suggest you to discontinue. Hope this helps, Christine! 🙂

  • Matt Lin

    Hi Sasha,

    This is something new to learn today. I used to think that people should wash hair every day because moms told us so since childhood. I never thought of stopping to wash hair by shampoo could bring so many benefits.

    To help people implement this new habit, you provided a DIY shampoo article, which looks easy to make at home. I think I might take some experiments very soon about this new lifestyle for my hair.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Matt

    • Sasha

      This is so true! We have been taught to wash our hair everyday and the shampoo industry takes it further and advertises to wash twice! It really is not needed to do so.

      Back in the day, people used natural alternatives to just clean their hair once a week and they had super healthy hair. The DIY shampoo recipe that I posted is a great way to clean the scalp and dirt and it is so easy to make! Do try and let me know how it goes:)

      Good Luck,
      Sasha

  • Hannie

    Hi Sasha, I always love articles that promote less use of our resources. 🙂
    It’s at least 30 years ago I was on a music course for which we stayed in a youth hostel. Meaning a shared shower room where we would always meet someone else preparing for the day. Until then I had greasy hair which I washed every day and then modelled it with wax.

    One day a woman asked why I did that. She had similar hair to mine and said she thought it was stupid to wash out natural grease, use shampoo, and then put artificial grease back on. I still remember I was shocked at the time, LOL. It only shows how often we just do things because our mother or sister did it and give no further thought to it.

    But very soon I reckoned she had a point so I tried it out. And like you described, my hair and head skin got better by the day.

    I rinse my hair twice a week with water and wash it at most once a month with shampoo. Unless of course, I spent a day in nature when it was dusty. But by not automatically shampooing, but paying attention to the condition of my hair, it feels much better.

    Thanks for this article to my heart. 🙂

    • Sasha

      Hey Hannie, what a wonderful incident you shared from your own past- super relevant! It’s so crazy how the things we do on autopilot aren’t always the best for our hair health. We are conditioned to do things that we think contribute to hair health, whereas in reality, those same habits are responsible for the exact opposite! I am so glad you learned to practice better hair care habits and actually saw positive results from it! Absolutely love your hair wash routine as well! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • Sylvia

    Wow, Sasha! Another great article! I learn so much from you.
    I told you in another comment that my hair is thin, and I quickly get a greasy scalp, so I wash it every day with an organic shampoo.
    But still, then, it is always greasy. Years ago, I tried the no-poo method, but I couldn’t stand that anymore after five days. I looked terrible! And started to rewash my hair.
    I know in that time I have been quite disappointed in myself. I didn’t know what I know now, reading your article. When I have my holidays, I will try it again.
    Do you know Khadi hair colors? I have no idea, but I would love to try them. They are organic, sustainable, and I heard they are pretty good. I don’t want all the toxins anymore, so I will try out what you suggest! Thank you very much! 🙂

    • Sasha

      Hey Sylvia, dealing with greasy scalp can be tricky, especially when you are trying out the no-poo method. In fact, most people give up too early as a result of the greasiness! So I totally understand why you had to stop as well. However, you have to allow your scalp to fully detox before you see the beauty of naturally washed hair! I hope that you can try again, especially now that we are still in the middle of a pandemic.

      I have never heard of Khadi hair colors. I will definitely check them out soon. I love looking into and looking for organic, sustainably sourced products for my hair! I currently use Herbishh products to color my hair because they are free of all harmful toxins and completely plant-based. Check them out here, if you would like. 🙂

  • Sylvia

    Hi Sasha, Thank you very much for your response. I will check out the link. Yes, this is actually a good time to try not to wash my hair for some days, but I still work as a nurse, so I wouldn’t like to take care of my patients with greasy hair. Maybe I wait for my holidays. I already would be grateful if I don’t need to wash my hair for three days. Thank you very much! 🙂

    • Sasha

      Hey Sylvia, so good to hear you are a nurse, especially during these trying times! I hope you get your holidays soon and please stay safe out there! The world needs and appreciates all that you do!!
      I always used to be so lazy with washing my hair, so I cut it short and slowly trained my scalp to wash my hair less and less. Try using a dry shampoo in between to stretch out the time between your wash days- hope this helps!

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