If you’re one of those guys who wash their hair every single day with shampoo, then you might want to think this over. Overwashing is a common issue among men and might be the reason your hair is in a bad state.
While some might have already worked out the perfect routine of how often to wash your hair and what shampoo works for you, select others may need to understand the process a little more in order to really up your hair game. So if you’re here seeking tips and answers, then read on as we’re here to guide you through it:
What Is Hair Washing?
Hair washing is actively using shampoo to remove dirt and excess oil called sebum out of our hair. While sebum helps maintain moisture in our hair and coats it for a waterproof, natural shine, too much can attract pollen, pollution, and dirt. Sebum is hydrophobic, meaning it cannot be dissolved in water, which is why you need to wash your hair with shampoo. This will then break down the excess sebum and remove it from your hair and scalp.
How Does Shampoo Work?
Shampoo acts as a detergent that helps lower the surface tension of water. Here’s where the chemistry comes in: the molecule of a detergent is both hydrophobic (doesn’t dissolve in water) and hydrophobic (dissolves in water), so when the shampoo makes contact with the sebum the two cling to each other, the oil starts to dissolve and can then be washed away with water.
Shampoo will not discriminate between the bad oils, such as sebum, and the good oils that keep our hair healthy – it will simply remove everything which is why washing your hair every day is unnecessary.
What Are Sulfates And Are They Bad For Us?
A sulfate is a salt of sulphuric acid and there are two main ones we find in our shampoos: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
Some people think sulfates are bad for our hair because of how good they are at their job. In a way, sulfates act as a paint stripper and take out both the bad and the good oils from our hair, which leaves it more prone to damage. However, there are a lot of shampoos in the market right now that have opted out of sulfates or parabens. These products have the same stripping effect but are not as harsh as shampoos that contain them, so keep an eye out for them when you go shopping.
Hair and Scalp Types
When it comes to how frequently you should wash your hair, it’s really about what works best for you. If you have thick and naturally greasy hair, then you will need to wash it far more often than someone who has finer, drier hair.
Don’t forget to also take into account environmental factors such as the weather; if you’re living somewhere busy and built up then dirt and pollution are more likely to stick to your hair and make it dirtier quicker than somewhere less polluted.
Top Tips To Avoid Damage
1. Stop washing your hair!
This might come off a bit drastic, but trust us on this: try going a week without washing your hair with shampoo. Still rinse with water and shower as you usually would but keep an eye on the patterns of your hair. When does it start to become really greasy and shiny? Does it still look okay by the end of the week? After days of observation, start introducing products.
2. Slowly introduce products
After not washing and observing your hair for a week or so, start to introduce products that will suit your hair’s situation. If you’ve got really greasy hair or a dry scalp then look for shampoos and conditioners which will target these areas. Using the right products is key, but often we don’t know our hair’s natural state because we wash it frequently!
3. Use water-based products
This tip is one of the easiest and is something I personally do – sticking to water-based products. These products will wash out of your hair without needing shampoo and means you can do a different hairstyle each day without needing to wash it every time.
Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about shampoo and overwashing, assess your current hair situation.
See if your routine needs some switching up or if you just need to swap out your current shampoo for something that’s less harsh on you. Again, it’s all about knowing what your hair needs and understanding your own hair type.