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by: Better Not Younger
October 06, 2021
In the same way that not washing your hair enough can damage your hair, washing your hair too often can do much the same. In fact, shampooing your hair too often can lead to a number of problems with hair and scalp health—some of which you may not have ever even considered.
Though everyone’s hair—and hair routine—is different, there are a few universal truths to what happens to hair when it’s not properly cared for. No matter what type of hair you have, washing it too often can lead to hair loss. It can also make your hair brittle and vulnerable to breakage, which is especially concerning for thin, aging hair that is already so fragile.
There are a handful of signs to watch out for that’ll tell you that you’re washing your hair too often, and only one of them is hair loss. Your other hair concerns could actually be traced back to jumping in the shower too often, but it’s easy enough to fix your hair routine and find your way back to shiny, healthy hair in no time.
Washing your hair too much can, in fact, lead to hair loss. Though you may think that showing your hair some love by getting it clean couldn’t be anything other than beneficial, it can actually work against you if you’re doing it too much. Hair loss isn’t the only sign of over-washing, though, so here are the signs you need to watch out for to know if you’re shampooing too often.
While it may seem that shampooing your hair often would keep it extra clean, it’s actually the opposite. Every time you wash your hair, your scalp produces sebum, and if you’re washing it often, that sebum production becomes very elevated, meaning your scalp has a lot of grease on it, which travels down the strands of your hair, weighing it down and making it look greasy.
If you have dyed hair and you wash it too often, the color will fade more quickly. Though shampoos made for color-treated hair are gentler on the dye, they’re still slowly stripping away the color each time you shampoo your hair. Plus, if you’re washing your hair in hot water, it’s also breaking down the color and making it fade faster.
When you wash your hair too often, it causes damage from the root to the tip, which leads to tangling. This is because washing your hair, especially with hot water, opens the cuticle, which dries out the hair because moisture can quickly escape—and dry hair naturally tangles more easily.
Now this may feel counterintuitive when we just told you that too much washing makes your scalp oily, but too much washing can also dry out your scalp and make it flaky. Constant shampooing and drying can lead to a dried-out scalp that eventually flakes excessively. There’s a delicate time balance that your scalp needs to produce the proper amount of natural oils between washing cycles to give you healthy hair. By washing too frequently, this balance is thrown off and the result is flakes or grease.
Just like how over-washing leads to tangled hair, it can also lead to split ends and breakage for the same reason. Your hair will become dry (but still greasy) when it’s washed too often, and strands will start to become brittle and break off, leading to noticeable split ends. Our Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo is a terrific solution for strands that are prone to split ends—it’s clinically proven to reduce breakage by 95%.
And once your hair dries out and starts to break off, you’ll see visible hair loss, like we said earlier. Hair is also more vulnerable when it’s wet, so brushing or aggressive towel-drying while it’s wet can also pull out more hair. And the more often you wash your hair, the more often you’re getting it wet, which means more of it could be falling out.
Over-washing your hair strips it of its natural oils that keep hair shiny. This results in your hair looking dull and lackluster rather than bouncy and shiny. Sulfate-free shampoos will slow the process of stripping away the natural oils, but even using that too much can be detrimental to hair. Those natural oils keep your hair and scalp healthy and bring out the beauty in your locks, but if you’re constantly shampooing, conditioning and rinsing your hair, you’re taking it all away.
You already know that washing your hair too often leads to damage, so if you find yourself using a lot of different products to tame frizz, grease and tangles, it’s probably because your hair is more damaged than it once was. Take a look at how many products you’re using to wrangle your hair into shape and ask yourself if there could be a deeper problem than just having frizzy hair. If you’re using a lot of products, washing your hair every day, and using an aggressive towel drying method to finish off, you’re definitely hurting your hair.
The process of correcting your over-washed hair is actually not too difficult. Step one is to cut back on how many times you’re washing your hair per week. We typically recommend you wash 2 to 3 times per week for the optimal frequency, though that, of course, can vary based on your lifestyle and hair texture.
Someone with curly hair may wash less frequently to keep their curls intact and to avoid drying out their hair since natural oils have a more difficult time travelling down the hair shaft due to the curly texture. On the other hand, someone who works out every day may run the risk of residue buildup on the scalp, and washing 3 to 4 times per week may be more ideal.
If you want to wean yourself off your daily shampooing routine, consider using Better Not Younger’s dry shampoo. The talc-free formula keeps hair fresh between washes so you won’t feel as concerned about not shampooing every single day—and it’s noncomedogenic so it won’t clog pores. This will help your scalp and your strands regulate the production of natural oils again and eventually bring shine and moisture back to your hair.
Once you’ve gotten yourself into a routine of not washing your hair every day, you should start to see an improvement in your scalp and hair health—which also means less hair loss!
Tell Us: Have you experienced any of these signs of over-washing your hair? Share in the comments below!