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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!