WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – It’s an often-debated question that never seems to come to any proper conclusion: “how often should I wash my hair?”
Thankfully Dr. Curtis Schwartz, Associate Director of Personal Care Research & Development at Dow Chemical Company, and Dr. Janet Windisch, Technical Service Manager for Personal Care, held a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) about personal care products and “specifically the science of soap”.
Redditors dived in with questions about how often they should wash their hair, what products they should use, or whether they should use products at all.
Reddit user asked: “Is it really beneficial to skip using shampoo and conditioner on your hair? I have crazy thick, difficult to manage hair, and am always curious about how to make it nicer.
Dr. Windisch responded: “This is why personal care is personal.
“It depends on personal preference,” she continued. “I have been hearing a lot about this idea of not washing hair.
Unlike hand washing, which is key to prevent spreading of disease, washing of hair is more related to how we want to look and feel.
“It’s the surfactant which surrounds dirt and oils and washes them down the drain when you shower. However, this does strip hair of natural oils.
“And like we all know, then we need to use conditioner to add back the appearance of moisturized healthy hair.”
Most experts appear to agree with Dr Schwartz and Dr Windisch, and add that there are ways you can judge for yourself how often you should care for it.
In March, dermatologist and director of Boston Medical Centre’s hair clinic Lynne Goldman told Business Insider why it’s best to try not to wash too often.
“It’s paradoxical, but people who wash their hair a lot to get rid of oil are drying out their scalp and producing more oil,” she said.
Things to keep in mind are:
Hair texture. Coarse or curly hair slows down the spread of sebum (the oily secretion that comes from the sabaceous gland), which means hair may only need to be washed once a week. People with fine hair will likely need to wash their hair more often.
Skin and hair type. If you have hair and skin classed as “normal” (not oily or dry), a Columbia University health column suggests you probably only need to wash it once or twice a week.
Styling.If you blast your scalp with hairspray each day or spend hours styling it, it becomes damaged more easily, so it’s best to avoid exacerbating this by using shampoo and conditioner every day.