I used to think my hair-care routine was healthy and hygienic, until I noticed how quickly my hair seemed to be drying out. As someone who never uses a flat iron or dyes her hair, I was pretty confused. And then I learned that it was actually my shampoo – a product I thought was beneficial to my hair’s health – that was causing my ends to split and my hair to frizz.
As it turns out, over-shampooing is a real concern. Most of us think that shampooing daily is necessary to keeping your hair clean, but this isn’t actually the case. Dr. Lin tells In The Know by Yahoo that shampooing too frequently can damage hair and even lead to hair loss in some cases. “The shampoo removes the natural protective oil layer, which can lead to increased dryness, irritation, tangles, dullness, and sebum overproduction,” she says, adding that shampoo can even disrupt your scalp’s natural biome and cause further issues.
So what’s the solution? Obviously, we can’t forgo shampoo altogether and leave hair looking dirty or greasy. Dr. Lin suggests determining a balance that’s right for each specific hair type. You can keep your hair clean without shampooing everyday. “You can consider rinsing your hair with water only, especially if you tend to exercise or sweat a lot. Some people also do co-washes where only water and conditioner are used instead of shampoo,” she says.
You’ll probably have to do some trial-and-error to figure out how many times each week you should wash your hair. During the other days, rinsing with just water is fine. Once that’s determined, picking the shampoo that’s right for your specific hair type is essential to making sure your hair gets properly cleaned without stripping it of any healthy oils it needs to stay luscious.
“Some types of shampoos and ingredients may not be appropriate for every hair type,” Dr. Lin says, adding that there are ingredients all hair types should avoid. “Sulfates may cause too much stripping of the natural oils on the scalp and hair. Other ingredients like formaldehyde and parabens should be avoided due to potential irritation and systemic absorption risk.”