Originally Published June 1st, 2017
You’ve probably heard that shampooing everyday is a no-no, mostly because it will dry out your hair.
But can everyday washing actually cause hair loss? What if you have extra-fine or oily hair that needs to be washed more often… if you wash your hair everyday will it fall out?
Let’s answer these questions by looking at how shampoo works in the first place.
How Shampoo Cleans Your Hair
Shampoo works by stripping the oils from your scalp and hair strands. But, as you know, there are some oils that your hair needs to stay healthy. These natural oils (sebum) that your scalp produces helps your hair stay moisturized and strong.
When we wash our hair, we’re trying to get rid of the “bad” oils, which include things like dirt, product residue and dead skin cells. When these bad oils build up on your scalp, your hair follicles have trouble growing strands properly.
However, shampoos can’t tell the difference, so they basically wash away all of your oils, good and bad. That’s why experts tell you not to over-wash your hair.
Does Washing Your Hair Everyday Make It Fall Out?
Thankfully, modern shampoos are relatively mild. Washing everyday (and having dry hair) won’t cause hair loss itself.
Losing a few hairs per day is normal. It’s part of the normal hair growth cycle and for the most part, it’s relatively unnoticeable.
So while over-washing your hair won’t cause it to fall out, all of the extra stuff that you do after you wash your hair can.
Over-styling with hot tools, especially if your hair is dry from washing it everyday, is one of the quickest ways to damage your hair to a point where it is brittle and will fall out. That friction and stress put on dry or “washed out” hair strands can definitely weaken hair to the point that it is more prone to breakage and falling out.
Other factors like everyday stress, or even the types of hairstyles you wear can also have an effect. Hair that’s dry from being over-washed is going to be much more susceptible to damage from natural elements like the sun and wind.
So How Often Should I Wash?
You want to keep your hair strong, but clean. Generally speaking, the thicker your hair, the less frequently you need to wash it.
Keeping your hair up in protective hairstyles like French braids will help you go longer without washing. It can be good to take advantage of protective hairstyles a couple times per month as a way to offset the stress your hair goes through when straightening it, or pulling it into a tight ponytail.
However long you go without washing, remember not to go more than 14 days without a shampoo. At that point, it can feel uncomfortable and even start to smell. Not something you want to experience!
So, will your hair fall out if you wash it everyday? Not directly, but be careful. All of the additional maintenance that goes along with washing your hair can weaken it and cause it to fall out. Your best bet is to monitor your hair and wash only when needed.