You’ve been in a relationship with your hair for, what, at least 20-plus years now, right? You probably feel like you know it pretty well, and that includes knowing how often it needs to be washed. And even though you’ve heard that daily shampooing is just the worst — it strips your natural oils! it makes your hair frizzy! — you do it anyway, because you just can’t stand to have even one greasy strand on your head.
Does this sound like you? Then we have some good news. We did a little research and discovered that, depending on your hair type, it can actually be a good thing to wash your hair every day.
That’s right! Daily washing can actually be healthy for your hair. So if you find yourself getting chastised frequently for over-washing your locks, arm yourself with this list and wave it in the face of anyone who tells you to back away from the shampoo.
1. You have thin, fine hair.
If your hair texture is thin and fine, you know your strands get greasy fast. That’s because oils from your scalp can easily travel down your locks, giving them that oily appearance. (Curlier hair keeps oil closer to the scalp, since there’s no straight path for it to reach the ends of the hair.) If you prefer your hair grease-free, washing it daily may be right for you.
2. You work out every day.
Working out and sweating daily can lead to a build up of excess oil on your scalp, which can cause skin problems (see #4). So if you sweat every day, it’s a good idea to give your hair a good daily wash to keep your scalp healthy.
3. Your hair is pin straight.
Like we said in #1, your scalp’s natural oils travel faster down certain hair types, giving the hair a greasier look. This is true for anyone with pin-straight hair (even if the individual strands are thicker).
Miles Elliot, a barber at Freemans Sporting Club in New York, told GQ, “You can shampoo [straight hair] every day if preferred. This will give a dryer look with no natural oils left on the hair and scalp. How much you condition determines how heavy you want your hair to be: 4-5 times a week if you like it heavy and weighed-down; one or two if you like it light.”
4. You have an oily scalp.
Daily shampooing removes oils that are healthy, to some degree, but a too-oily scalp can nourish fungus that causes seborrhea, a condition that leaves the scalp itchy and scaly. If your scalp is naturally oily or you work out daily, washing once a day may be right for you.
5. You have dandruff.
Shampooing removes dead skin cells that would otherwise clump up and fall off (also known as dandruff). It is true for some that shampooing too often can lead to a dry scalp, causing dandruff, but if your scalp is feeling itchy, washing your hair can help to remove those dead, uncomfortable cells and clear flakes.
6. You live in a very humid climate (and sweat a lot).
Just like those who sweat every day at the gym, living in a humid climate can lead to an excess buildup of oil on the scalp. Washing daily can keep your hair fungus- and dandruff-free.
7. You want your hair to grow.
Washing your hair helps remove dead hair follicles, which in turn can stimulate hair growth. So if you need a little help getting your hair to grow, you might want to consider washing it more often.
8. You prefer to wash your hair daily.
At the end of the day, only you have to live with the hair on your head. And if you like it best when it’s washed daily, then by all means — wash it. Says Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists, “We wash our bodies every day and clean our teeth twice a day, why should hair be any different? With all of the fumes from cars and pollution a daily shampoo and condition is ideal.”
So go free, little hair-washers. And enjoy your fresh, clean locks.