There are two camps of women. Those who wash their hair daily and those who shampoo on alternate days (or stretch their shampoo mileage as long as possible). Regardless of your hair wash habits, it is a fact that skipping a hair wash session means more grease on your scalp and hair.
“How greasy your scalp and hair get depends on the amount of sweat you produce, the accumulated sebum leads to an imbalance of pH on your scalp, which can encourage the growth of bacteria,” says trichologist June Ng, who’s the co-founder and director of J’s Salon. And it can lead to problems like an itchy scalp, dandruff issues, and even clogged hair follicles and thinning hair.
But having a greasy scalp can actually be good in some instances.
“Skipping your hair wash the day before you do your hair colouring is recommended as the grease protects the scalp from harsh chemicals, especially when bleaching is involved,” says Dennis Seah, style director at Toni & Guy The Star Vista.
Plus, reducing the frequency of your shampoo sessions can actually be beneficial to the hair, especially if you have coloured hair. Our hair’s natural pH level is 4.5 – 5.5, which is acidic in nature, explains Victor Liu, salon director of Chez Vous. “Water and shampoo have higher pH levels, causing hair to swell, leading to a loss of artificial colour pigments, moisture and protein. It can also damage the hair cuticles, making hair look dull and coarse.”
So how do you wash less often, yet prevent your scalp from greasing up too much and causing problems? Mervyn Lee, stylist at Hairloom, recommends alternating between a moisturising shampoo and a purifying one to balance your scalp’s pH.
“You can even moisturise your scalp with a scalp mask or even organic coconut oil once a week in order to combat greasiness. When your scalp is well-moisturised, it will not overproduce sebum when you wash your hair every other day,” adds Victor.
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This article was first published in Her World's May issue.