Does hair get used to not being washed?

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Does hair get used to not being washed?

Washing your hair every day can take a lot of time and energy, and you may be looking for ways to wash your hair less frequently. So is this possible?

When you don’t want to wash your hair every day, you can stick to various hairstyles, hats or dry shampoos to hide it, but if you are looking for a more permanent solution, you can try to accustom your hair to not washing it.

What is “hair training”?

Hair training is the process of gradually extending the time between washing days. The logic is that your scalp will adapt to fewer washes and will produce less oil, which means your hair won’t get greasy so quickly. So, does this theory work in practice?

According to hair experts, there is some truth to the hair training theory, meaning that the less you wash your hair, the less oil your scalp produces and your hair doesn’t look greasy as quickly. You can train your scalp to produce less oil by avoiding all harsh, dry ingredients like sulfates and alcohols, aerosol hairsprays, dry shampoos, and also by using only gentle, sulfate-free shampoos, but oil isn’t the only thing we wash out when you shower. The crit of daily life and cell residues in your body also accumulate on your scalp.

You cannot avoid washing your hair at some point, as natural oils and environmental pollutants will eventually build up. If you do not wash your hair, your scalp will become itchy, your hair will become dull and lifeless. Your scalp is, after all, skin, a living tissue that produces oil, sweats, and sheds skin cells, and starts to stink when not washed. 

That’s because when bacteria stay on your skin, they begin to break down oils and sweat, producing a distinctive odor. Also, your scalp contains apocrine sweat glands, which produce a protein-rich sweat that is particularly prone to developing a pungent odor. 

Apocrine glands are the same glands found in your armpits and groin area. You can mask these odors to some extent with dry shampoos or scented styling products, but the only way to eliminate them is to shampoo your scalp. 

Not cleaning your scalp often enough can cause dandruff, itching, irritation and inflammation, which can progress to hair loss. The idea that you can train your hair to need less washing may mean that once your scalp and hair have passed a certain oily point, you may not really notice it. It’s like not seeing stains forming on an already dirty floor.

So how often should you wash your hair?

How your hair reacts really depends on your hair type. Those with naturally oilier scalps and fine hair may find this a difficult process and may find they want to wait a couple of days at most between washes. You will also need to wash your hair frequently if you smoke or live in a polluted environment. 

People with thicker and curly hair may prefer to wash later as it is difficult to cope with newly washed hair, but the general consensus is that the time between washes does not exceed 3 days.

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