A question that hounds us day and night – is it a good practice to wash your hair daily?The summer heat makes your hair and scalp feel greasy and slick; the winter winds leave your hair feeling dry and limp. In between these weather woes, we don’t realise the harmful effects that weather changes have on our hair and scalp. Add to this, we are all hard pressed for time. There has also been the long drawn debate on whether shampooing daily does more harm than good to your hair.
So is it good to wash your hair daily? The answer – it depends.
Different people have different hair and scalp types. You might have an oily or a dry scalp; you may have curly, wavy, straight, thin, thick or fine hair. You may be genetically predisposed to have a head full of healthy hair, or problems related to scalp and hair health. Scalp sebum production, excessive sweating and the intensity and frequency of using styling products can affect the need for daily hair wash. Your work patterns and lifestyle also play a role in determining your ability and also, the need to wash your hair daily. Although there are pros and cons attached to washing your hair daily, here is what we recommend.
1. It is good to maintain a sense of cleanliness and hygiene. Your hair and scalp are subject to the same routine and environmental exposure as your skin. Sweat, sebum, oil, dirt and chemicals from styling products accumulate on your hair and scalp. Retaining these on your hair can cause unwanted problems such as hair loss, hair fall, damage to the roots, dandruff, negative impact on scalp health and so on. Hence, it is good to keep your hair clean. Also, a hygienic scalp is essential for healthy hair growth
2. There are several shampoos in the market, each suited to a particular hair type. There are also some shampoos that are milder than others; those that have a more natural, herbal base than their chemical laden counterparts. Choose the right shampoo for your hair. Opt for a mild, herbal based shampoo. Avoid shampoos that contain sulphates – these are harsh chemicals that are used to generate foam while shampooing. More often than not, these can cause damage to your hair
3. Shampooing daily can help keep scalp and hair odour at bay; it washes away grease and sweat and cleanses excess oils. A build-up of oils and dirt leads to an increase in bacterial growth, which causes scalp odour. Washing your hair and scalp daily can avert this
4. If you are sceptical about washing your hair daily with shampoo, you can indulge in a shampoo wash once in two days. This will cleanse the hair and scalp effectively. You can opt for washing your hair and scalp with plain water on days when you don’t use shampoo
5. If you feel the need to wash your hair daily, it is a good practice to add a dollop of shampoo to half a mug of water. This solution will be milder, but will work as effectively as directly applying shampoo
6. Opt for a hydrating conditioner, which will restore moisture to your hair strands. It will also keep your hair tangle-free, smooth and will help reflect light better, promoting a healthy sheen
7. Another tip to wash your hair is to opt for co-washing. Co-washing is simply using a conditioner in place of a shampoo. You can alternate between a shampoo wash and a co-wash, if you aren’t too inclined towards using shampoo daily. Just use a small amount of conditioner on your scalp and hair, leave it for about two minutes and then rinse thoroughly
8. Alternatively, you can make your own natural shampoo, which you can apply on to your scalp and hair
Recipe 1 – Natural pH Balance Shampoo
- One and a half cup of coconut milk
- One and three-quarter cup of pure aloe vera gel
- A few drops of your favourite essential oil (optional)
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients and whisk them well
- Pour the mixture into ice trays; place them in the freezer for a few hours until the mixture completely freezes
- Twenty four hours before your hair wash, take one cube out of the tray and keep it in a small container
- Place the container in the fridge (not in the freezer)
- Use the solution as you would a regular shampoo; apply onto your scalp, gently massaging as you do so, and work it into the length of your hair. This is a non-foaming shampoo so do not apply too much with a view to generate foam
- Let the shampoo sit for 30 seconds and then wash off with plain water
- If you find your hair feeling waxy, wash your hair with a vinegar rinse or an apple cider wash
Recipe 2 – Simple Homemade Shampoo
- One tablespoon of baking soda
- One cup of soft water
- Mix the two ingredients together and store in an old, clean shampoo bottle
- Shake the bottle before each use and apply the shampoo directly onto the scalp and hair
- Gently massage the product into the scalp and hair for a minute or two
- Rinse well with plain water
Remember that a clean and healthy scalp makes way for healthy hair growth. It is best to maintain the hygiene of your hair and scalp in ways that are gently and mild, yet effective.