Should You Shower and Wash your Hair Daily?
There is always a lot of debate over whether you should shower and wash your hair every day. Lots of celebrities have come out recently saying that they don’t shower every day, sometimes only a couple times per week, which has led to a lot of people questioning what the right amount of time between showers is and how often you should really wash your hair.
To start off with though, showering in general and washing your hair are two different things, especially in women. Women tend to shower regularly, but don’t always wash their hair every time they do. This happens for a couple reasons. For one, women tend to have a lot more hair so it takes more time and effort to wash and dry it properly, and two, sometimes the natural oils in the hair help maintain certain hair styles and can keep the hair healthy.
With that in mind, let’s talk about whether you should shower and/or wash your hair every day, and if there’s a difference between men and women when it comes to daily hair washing.
When celebrities like Ashton Kutcher came out and talked about how he doesn’t shower every day, and he doesn’t bathe his kids every day, a lot of people got up in arms over it. Even though it shouldn’t be a concern of anyone else’s how often a celebrity, whom they’ve never met, showers or bathes themselves or their kids. Subsequently, the internet did what the internet does, and bad-mouthed them.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how often you should shower… to a degree.
Obviously, it’s important to shower or bathe and keep yourself clean. Personal hygiene is an important part of staying healthy but showering every day may not be necessary for everyone.
If you shower too much you can dry out your skin or clean off the natural oils that help protect your skin. With excessive washing, eventually your skin can be come dry, itchy, red, and sometimes flaky. There are even some good bacteria and yeast that live on our skin to help protect us from other dangerous invaders. So, by scrubbing too hard or cleaning your skin too often, you can remove these crucial layers of defense which could lead to infections.
What Happens if You Don’t Shower Enough?
Even though you may not need to shower every day, not showering enough can also come with its share of problems.
Our bodies are covered in pores which secrete those oils we mentioned above. If your skin becomes too oily it can cause bacteria to build up, which in turn can lead to acne breakouts, roscea, folliculitis, seborrheic dermatitis and other skin diseases and inflammation.
In addition to oils building up, our natural body odor can begin to emit itself from you skin. And while there’s nothing unhealthy about smelling bad, it can damage relationships, it can lower self-esteem, and it can make public meetings and outings more uncomfortable for you and the people you’re with.
There’s even a not-so rare skin condition called ‘Terra Firma-Forme Dermatosis” loosely translated to mean ‘hard dirt.’ For patients who really don’t bathe enough, the skin can create dark plaques that look like dirty skin but isn’t easily removed with regular soap and water; but can be easily wiped off with simple rubbing alcohol.
While daily showering isn’t necessary for everyone, it all depends on your body. Everyone is different when it comes to body odors and the oil produced from your skin. Some people may produce a lot of oil, while others may only produce a little. It’s up to you to determine where the sweet spot is when it comes to showering. There’s also a difference between true soap and gentle cleansers. Soaps are harsher and remove more natural oils. Dr. Krejci recommends that people with sensitive skin avoid products like Dial, Zest, or Irish Spring and instead use a gentle cleanser like, Dove bar soap, Cereve, or Cetaphil to avoid undue irritation to their skin.
More importantly though, if your skin is dirty, if you’re done a strenuous sweaty workout, if you’ve been exposed to germs or caustic substances that could irritate your skin, it’s important that you shower and wash off whatever “badness” you may have on your skin. This will keep those bad odors at bay and keep your skin healthy.
Should You Wash Your Hair Every Day?
Our hair is very similar to our skin when it comes to how often you should wash it. Most men tend to wash their hair every time that they take a shower. This is due to the fact that men’s hair tends to be shorter and easier to manage, while women with longer hair tend to shower a few times before washing their hair.
The general rule of thumb is that if your hair starts feeling oily, smells bad, your scalp starts to feel itchy or irritated, then it’s probably time to use some shampoo and give it a good cleaning.
Just like with your skin, there’s nothing inherently unhealthy about not washing your hair, but as the oils begin to build up, and the odors begin to emit their stench, it will become obvious to other people around you that you’re not keeping up good hygiene.
It’s also important to consider what type of shampoo you are using. Some shampoos are harsher than others and can strip away the natural oils of your hair, which can leave you with dry, brittle hair that may break off or become damaged.
In this case it’s important to make sure you’re using a conditioner after shampooing to ensure that the moisture is trapped in the hair. Some people with shorter hair do great with a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner products, others with dryer or longer hair will need separate products. Finding the right product for your hair type can take a lot of trial and error. But in general, the labels are helpful. For example, if you have fine, limp hair look for one that is intended for fine hair so that it doesn’t weigh your hair down. If you have dry, damaged, or curly hair look for one that says ‘repair’ or ‘intense moisture’ for dry or curly hair.
There is no magic number of times you should shower per week. Daily showering and hair washing may be ok for some people but may have negative effects on skin and hair on other people. It all depends on how your skin produces natural oils and how you react to those oils being stripped away.
Take some time to experiment with your bathing frequency. If you feel like your skin and hair are drying out too quickly, then maybe wait an extra day or two before showering next. If your skin and hair constantly feel oily, then maybe daily showers are better for your body type.
Unfortunately, as we’ve said many times before, when it comes to our bodies, everyone is different. What works for one person’s hair isn’t going to work for another, but despite what other people may tell you, it’s not necessary to shower or wash your hair every single day, from a health perspective. Just don’t go too long between showers – no one likes a stinky friend!