PDA

View Full Version : wash less frequently = less hair growth?



jaquelines
August 19th, 2014, 03:17 AM
For the past year I have managed to wash my hair only once a week. Since then, I had less hair growth, not even 1/4 inch every month. My hair doesn't really get oily until the 4th day and after that I keep on stretching the wash until the 7th day. I don't know if it is a coincidence with the slow hair growth, but I don't know if it is healthy either.
I don't do SLS, I do oiling, massage, etc...I thought that stretching hair washes is good for the hair, but I don't seem to get the same hair growth anymore. It could be only a coincidence, I am not sure yet if I should "sacrifice" the rest of the hair and start washing more frequently just to test it, which would take in any case a few months.


Any of you had the same experience?

Ingrid
August 19th, 2014, 03:26 AM
I've experienced the opposite, reducing my hair's exposure to water has improved my growth substantially. Also, the quality of the new growth has been much, much better than when I was washing more frequently. One of my friends used to wash her hair once a month and it always grew like a weed, she could barely keep up the trimming!! Maybe you've been over-doing the oiling? Too much oil on the scalp can be detrimental to growth. Diet and stress are also huge factors in determining hair growth, probably even more important than the frequency of washing.

urs
August 19th, 2014, 03:30 AM
I have noticed that by washing more frequently hair shedding is more than less frequent. But, what occurs in another wont happen to you. Maybe your hair enjoys the frequent was then compared to less frequent.

Akville
August 19th, 2014, 04:06 AM
I was also thinking about same thing, if washes have with hair grow to do...
I wash once a week and my hair grows 1 cm a month.... want so badly to wash more frequent but am afraid to damage my hair.

jaquelines
August 19th, 2014, 04:24 AM
Ingrid, your mention about oiling might have something in it. I wear my hair up all the time and I do oil the scalp without washing it out. I will try to see if it makes any difference. I don't have any vitamin deficiency but unfortunately I can't quite say that stress doesn't play a big role at this moment.

Glad to see the rest of the answers, maybe it's right to stretch washes but not the way I am doing it.

lapushka
August 19th, 2014, 07:19 AM
My hair's been washed weekly ever since a few years ago, since I had to stretch washes because of a health issue (to two weeks, which in turn sparked the SD badly, but that's beside the point). I haven't noticed my growth slowing down any. Maybe there are other factors at play here?

Scarlet_Heart
August 19th, 2014, 07:28 AM
I don't know about growth, but I know that less frequent washing makes me shed more. Consequently, I wash my scalp every other day.

IsisMoon
August 19th, 2014, 07:56 AM
When I was washing once a week and oiling, I had horrible hair shedding. But that's maybe because I wasn't using any clarifying shampoos so I had build up and everything got clogged up. Try clarifying every now and then and see if that changes anything.

Madora
August 19th, 2014, 08:57 AM
Washing once a week should not be of concern re: hair growth. Years ago, I washed once a week with no ill effect. My hair grew long.

Stretching washes is better for your hair because too frequent washings strip your hair's natural sebum away, leaving it look like hay. Less washing also means less mechanical damage from detangling. I shampoo my hair once a month and my hair is still growing.

There might be other factors at play in your instance. Are you wearing your hair up to protect the ends? Avoiding blow frying/hot curlers/chemicals? Do you detangle gently with a wide tooth comb, working from the ends up to the roots? Are you eating nutritiously?

At any rate, be patient and give it a little more time. Perhaps your hair is in a stall. Good luck!

jaquelines
August 19th, 2014, 11:35 AM
I only detangle on dry hair, from the end, no chemicals, no electrical blow dryer, eating properly, BBbrush, hair up all the time to avoid ends and touching it, I have been quite careful.
But I do run every day. Could it be that the salt from sweating might block the roots?

Madora
August 19th, 2014, 01:24 PM
I only detangle on dry hair, from the end, no chemicals, no electrical blow dryer, eating properly, BBbrush, hair up all the time to avoid ends and touching it, I have been quite careful.
But I do run every day. Could it be that the salt from sweating might block the roots?

Perhaps. Could you do a scalp wash..say every other day? Try using diluted shampoo..not full strength.

ExpectoPatronum
August 19th, 2014, 01:32 PM
The only thing stretching washes has done for me is "increase" my shedding when I do actually wash. It's not really anymore than normal if I divide the hair ball in half (I wash every other day). It just looks like more.

I suspect oiling the scalp might not be helping your case. You could also, unfortunately, just be in a growth slump. :( Whatever the case, I hope the problem goes away and your hair growth picks up!

Santi
August 19th, 2014, 01:41 PM
Hi Madora, I posted a question about shampooing. It's in the forum. It's my first thread (not sure if that is the correct lingo) & thought i'd have the option to put it in the mane thread. Would you please check it out & give me your opinion. In one of your replies you said that you shampoo once a month. What do you do the rest of the month? Thanks.

Santi
August 19th, 2014, 02:30 PM
How do you all maintain your hair between washes? Do you rinse w/ water or conditioner? If you do, how often? Does anyone use dry shampoo?

LeonineMane
August 19th, 2014, 03:48 PM
Yes! I had the exact same experience, I then experimented doing the inversion method and found that that made it grow its normal rate again! I wash my hair with my head upsidedown, it must have had something to do with bloodflow. May be the same case if you wash with your head forward?

Madora
August 19th, 2014, 04:08 PM
Hi Madora, I posted a question about shampooing. It's in the forum. It's my first thread (not sure if that is the correct lingo) & thought i'd have the option to put it in the mane thread. Would you please check it out & give me your opinion. In one of your replies you said that you shampoo once a month. What do you do the rest of the month? Thanks.

Hi, Santi, I don't do anything for the rest of the month. I believe in benign neglect. I brush every day with a pure boar bristle brush and keep my hair covered whenever I have to do something that raises dust (cleaning litter boxes, sweeping). I wash my comb and brush every day. I don't use oils of any kind, except when I wash my hair. Then I use 4 drops of mineral oil to help detangle my hair.

I hope this is helpful. Please send me a pm or visitor's message if I can be of further help. I'm a slightly wavy myself and don't know anything about curly hair, except that it can be very fragile, because of its structure, and prone to breakage if not handled gently.

McFearless
August 19th, 2014, 04:31 PM
You could use a brush on your scalp or remove dead skin cells lightly with your nails/wooden comb to make up for the less frequent washing. Usually the build up of dead skin cells and sebum some people get on their scalp from stretching washes would cause increased shedding and not slow down growth.

McFearless
August 19th, 2014, 04:39 PM
Oops double post.

SummerCherie
August 19th, 2014, 04:55 PM
I shampoo every other day. On the days I don't shampoo I rinse my ends with conditioner so it gives my hair more of a clean feel. I get a little over a half inch per month of growth.

FrannyG
August 19th, 2014, 05:06 PM
I only shampoo about once a week now. My growth is average--about 1/2 inch per month, and it was the same when I was washing every other day.

What was your growth rate before you began stretching out your washes?

Santi
August 19th, 2014, 08:18 PM
Madora, you & others in LHC have given me much food for thought. I will approach how & when I wash differently in the next few weeks. Thanks again for responding & extending yourself.

Madora
August 19th, 2014, 08:24 PM
Madora, you & others in LHC have given me much food for thought. I will approach how & when I wash differently in the next few weeks. Thanks again for responding & for the extending yourself.

Glad I could help, Santi. By the way, it took about 3 months to stretch my shampoos to once a month. Before that, I used to shampoo every week (using diluted shampoo and diluted conditioner).

Sarahlabyrinth
August 19th, 2014, 09:06 PM
May I ask you Madora, how you managed to stretch your washes to one a month? What made you decide that washing once a week was too much washing for your hair?

Just interested - I believe that women in Victorian times would wash their hair once a month. I suppose in those days their hair was pretty much covered with hats and bonnets most of the time, so it would be hard to tell if it looked greasy or not. Also, they probably would have eaten less processed foods, which may have made a difference too.

Madora
August 19th, 2014, 09:13 PM
May I ask you Madora, how you managed to stretch your washes to one a month? What made you decide that washing once a week was too much washing for your hair?

Just interested - I believe that women in Victorian times would wash their hair once a month. I suppose in those days their hair was pretty much covered with hats and bonnets most of the time, so it would be hard to tell if it looked greasy or not. Also, they probably would have eaten less processed foods, which may have made a difference too.

Plumb downright laziness, Sarahlabyrinth! Also, I loathed dealing with snarls every.blinking.time (this was before I perfected my special technique for shampooing, conditioning and rinsing).

You can stretch your washes if you try and keep your hair as free from "stuff" as possible...oils, mousse, gels, hairspray. Plus, brushing it every day helps keep it cleaner too (provided your brush is clean). I also wear a scarf on my head when I go outdoors.

Santi
August 19th, 2014, 09:15 PM
Thanks for sharing that, Madora. I never used oils prior to my transitioning process & my hair grew the same rate as it does now. The difference is that I am no longer using chemicals. My hair tends to be on the dry side. I will be mindful of the amount of oil I use in the next few weeks & see if there is a difference in my need for wanting to use shampoo often.

At this point, I can't imagine going thru long stretches like you & other members of LHC. In the beginning of last year I would never have imagined wanting to grow my hair in it's natural state. I would have laughed at the thought of not 'needing' some type of relaxer or the possibility of never using my blow dryer or flat iron again. It's now a different story for me & i'm open & willing to explore new ways to achieve optimal health for my hair.

GoddesJourney
August 19th, 2014, 09:19 PM
For me, washing less actually does make it grow less. Maybe it's just related to scalp health? I find one or two shampooings per weeks keeps me covered, but I use a non SLS shampoo (alba hawaiian mango). However, when I shampoo it does shed a lot more. I have to find that balance and once/twice per week works great for me. The rest of the time I CO wash with non coney suave.

meteor
August 19th, 2014, 09:20 PM
May I ask you Madora, how you managed to stretch your washes to one a month? What made you decide that washing once a week was too much washing for your hair?

Just interested - I believe that women in Victorian times would wash their hair once a month. I suppose in those days their hair was pretty much covered with hats and bonnets most of the time, so it would be hard to tell if it looked greasy or not. Also, they probably would have eaten less processed foods, which may have made a difference too.

Not Madora, but I also wash with shampoo only once a month or maybe once every 3 weeks, what helps me: scalp-only washes, keeping hair up all the time, always sleeping with hair contained and covered in silk, and having a dry-ish but healthy scalp. It took me a long while to stretch washes - maybe a couple years, but I really like the results. But if my scalp EVER rebels, I'll be back to shampooing often, of course! :)

In Madora's case, she brushes every day - that's DEFINITELY very cleansing for things like lint, dust, shed skin, etc. Possibly even better than washing for things like lint and dust!

You are right on the money about less processed foods. The less sugar and processed foods we eat, the better chance we have of having balanced skin / scalp / sebum.

Also, the hats/bonnets actually protect hair from collecting all the dust/lint/odors/grime from the air and fabrics. So not only do they hide the greasies but they kind of help the hair and scalp stay much cleaner.

meteor
August 19th, 2014, 09:27 PM
For me, washing less actually does make it grow less. Maybe it's just related to scalp health?

Yes, for example, very often people notice "miracle growth" from things like Monistat, but what's probably happening there is that Monistat fights the yeast and therefore scalp health improves and you notice faster growth.
It's important to strike that delicate balance: keep scalp acid mantle intact (don't mess with it much), but also cleanse it periodically with gentle methods (please avoid alkaline stuff like baking soda or even soap).

Madora
August 19th, 2014, 09:32 PM
Thanks for sharing that, Madora. I never used oils prior to my transitioning process & my hair grew the same rate as it does now. The difference is that I am no longer using chemicals. My hair tends to be on the dry side. I will be mindful of the amount of oil I use in the next few weeks & see if there is a difference in my need for wanting to use shampoo often.

At this point, I can't imagine going thru long stretches like you & other members of LHC. In the beginning of last year I would never have imagined wanting to grow my hair in it's natural state. I would have laughed at the thought of not 'needing' some type of relaxer or the possibility of never using my blow dryer or flat iron again. It's now a different story for me & i'm open & willing to explore new ways to achieve optimal health for my hair.

That's music to my ears, Santi! It might take a bit of experimenting, but you'd be surprised how going "natural" can help your hair. You don't need a ton of stuff to have beautiful, healthy hair.

As for the oils, if you don't mind an unsolicited tip: try mineral oil to help keep your hair moisturized. It also helps tame the frizzies and is a great detangler. MO is best used on hair that has been clarified first but you can also use it on damp (not wet) hair. Naturally, it is more effective on hair that does not have a lot of residue buildup on the strands.

The MO is not applied directly to your scalp. You just put two drops in a container (I use a pill bottle cap). Then take a baby swab, dip it in the MO so it is thoroughly coated. Then take the coated swab and swab all over your hands, palms, fingers (both sides). Then take your hands and run them through your hair several times, until the sheen has vanished from your palms.

Here's a link to MO info provided by Ktani, a former LHC member http://ktanihairsense.blogspot.com/2012/04/conditioners-treatments-and-mineral-oil.html
http://ktanihairsense.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-mineral-oil-can-help-even-damaged.html

more info: http://ktanihairsense.blogspot.com/2011/12/mineral-oil-and-hair-care-and-skin.html
http://ktanihairsense.blogspot.com/2011/12/understanding-drying-capacity-of-oils.html

meteor
August 19th, 2014, 09:32 PM
You can stretch your washes if you try and keep your hair as free from "stuff" as possible...oils, mousse, gels, hairspray. Plus, brushing it every day helps keep it cleaner too (provided your brush is clean). I also wear a scarf on my head when I go outdoors.

This is excellent advice! :thumbsup:
I also like that idea of avoiding the whole "build-up / clarify" cycle by simply not using too much stuff that builds up! Just say no to all styling products if you can. :)

Madora, may I ask: do you also encounter this problem of shedding a lot more during washes now that you wash only once a month compared to how much you lost during a shampooing when you washed more frequently?
I have this, but I guess it's because some hair is trapped until I wash it or something...
Thank you! :flower:

Madora
August 19th, 2014, 09:49 PM
This is excellent advice! :thumbsup:
I also like that idea of avoiding the whole "build-up / clarify" cycle by simply not using too much stuff that builds up! Just say no to all styling products if you can. :)

Madora, may I ask: do you also encounter this problem of shedding a lot more during washes now that you wash only once a month compared to how much you lost during a shampooing when you washed more frequently?
I have this, but I guess it's because some hair is trapped until I wash it or something...
Thank you! :flower:

I guess my hair is funny but I've never been bothered with shedding...ever. I had tons of hair back in the day. If you're noticing sheds in the shower, have you tried brushing your hair well before getting it wet? A good brushing removes a lot of hair that is either stuck among the hairs...or just ready to fall out. Of course hairs do come out when shampooing, rinsing, conditioning...but that all boils down to how carefully you handle your hair during those processes.

Santi
August 19th, 2014, 09:55 PM
Thank You!

meteor
August 19th, 2014, 10:00 PM
Thank you so very much, Madora! :flowers:

I guess I should brush, but once my hair is completely detangled with a comb, it straightens out completely anyway and looks like it simply doesn't need brushing.
I've had bad breakage from all my low-quality brushes in the past, so I through them all away, but high quality ones (like Mason Pearson) are pretty expensive and seem sort of unnecessary in my case. But I'm really not sure... I think I'm too lazy and fast and rough with hair to benefit from regular brushing, honestly.

Sarahlabyrinth
August 20th, 2014, 03:40 AM
I'm thinking that the brushing would not only remove dust, skin flakes, a certain amount of oil, but would provide a scalp massage also, unlike a comb. This would certainly benefit the hair, I feel and perhaps optimise growth.

lapushka
August 20th, 2014, 04:50 AM
My mom washes 2-weekly to a month as well but she has dry hair, no oily scalp in sight, so she *can* do that. So it's also a matter of being able to stretch those washes. Not everyone has the same scalp. Some have oily scalp and sebum production, some normal scalp and sebum production and some have dry scalp and minimal sebum production.

meteor
August 20th, 2014, 08:06 AM
My mom washes 2-weekly to a month as well but she has dry hair, no oily scalp in sight, so she *can* do that. So it's also a matter of being able to stretch those washes. Not everyone has the same scalp. Some have oily scalp and sebum production, some normal scalp and sebum production and some have dry scalp and minimal sebum production.

Absolutely! Using the same cleansing method for everybody's scalps is like using the same skin care routine on everybody! Everybody has different skin type, condition and bacterial micro-flora, plus somewhat different sebum composition! Plus, even the most appropriate routine may become irrelevant as the body (hormones/skin/sebum/...) changes. Everybody needs to find what's suitable to them and be ready to adapt, if necessary. :)

Madora
August 20th, 2014, 09:24 AM
I'm thinking that the brushing would not only remove dust, skin flakes, a certain amount of oil, but would provide a scalp massage also, unlike a comb. This would certainly benefit the hair, I feel and perhaps optimise growth.

You're right on target, Sarahlabyrinth! Especially if you brush in the head down position! The brushing stimulates the follicles, which encourages greater blood flow..leading to healthier hair. Naturally, it is best to do it every day, if possible. A healthy scalp means healthy hair (providing you don't use harsh chemicals or unfriendly hair practices...and I'm sure you don't, judging from your glowing mane!)

jaquelines
August 21st, 2014, 02:06 PM
Perhaps. Could you do a scalp wash..say every other day? Try using diluted shampoo..not full strength.
Had to check on scalp washing, because I never did this before. What do you think about doing a HALO rinse instead of a scalp washing? or ACV rinse? (usually after every washing, I use those at the end).


The only thing stretching washes has done for me is "increase" my shedding when I do actually wash. It's not really anymore than normal if I divide the hair ball in half (I wash every other day). It just looks like more.

I suspect oiling the scalp might not be helping your case. You could also, unfortunately, just be in a growth slump. :( Whatever the case, I hope the problem goes away and your hair growth picks up!
I hope too, thank you. I will reduce oiling by only the night before washing.


You could use a brush on your scalp or remove dead skin cells lightly with your nails/wooden comb to make up for the less frequent washing. Usually the build up of dead skin cells and sebum some people get on their scalp from stretching washes would cause increased shedding and not slow down growth.
I can't say I have more shedding (but I'm also on MSM at this moment, which usually stops my shedding.


I only shampoo about once a week now. My growth is average--about 1/2 inch per month, and it was the same when I was washing every other day.

What was your growth rate before you began stretching out your washes?

Not a crazy growth, something around 1cm (0.80 inch?)


Yes, for example, very often people notice "miracle growth" from things like Monistat, but what's probably happening there is that Monistat fights the yeast and therefore scalp health improves and you notice faster growth.
It's important to strike that delicate balance: keep scalp acid mantle intact (don't mess with it much), but also cleanse it periodically with gentle methods (please avoid alkaline stuff like baking soda or even soap).

How about ACV rinses?

meteor
August 22nd, 2014, 12:19 PM
jaquelines, yes, you can try HALO rinses and diluted ACV. I see no issue there. Ultimately, we all need to settle somewhere where both our scalp and hair are happy.
But check out this article first: http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2014/07/can-you-wash-your-hair-with-baking-soda.html
Shampooed hair under microscope (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WybybDZeGvI/U7QrZW-_hoI/AAAAAAAABdY/er8vw7G8-ZA/s1600/shampooed_natural_hair_0714.jpg)
ACV-"washed" hair - 10 minutes - under microscope (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-D5fvSPLHVEU/U7Quo9WjlGI/AAAAAAAABd4/IwZ9Yrj_zGg/s1600/acv_natural_hair_2.jpg)

On a more general note, the point of stretching washes is not to promote faster growth (that would be too good to be true), but only to reduce wear and tear on hair that happens with wet manipulation, hygral fatigue and exposure to detergents.
Washing hair too often is bad for the same reasons as why washing fine silk too often is bad.
But if your scalp requires good and frequent cleansing (e.g. skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis), you need to put your scalp's needs first, since that's the only part where hair is living and growing (follicles), and that's where new hair is created every day. And you can always do scalp-only washes.

lapushka
August 22nd, 2014, 02:13 PM
On a more general note, the point of stretching washes is not to promote faster growth (that would be too good to be true), but only to reduce wear and tear on hair that happens with wet manipulation, hygral fatigue and exposure to detergents.
Washing hair too often is bad for the same reasons as why washing fine silk too often is bad.
But if your scalp requires good and frequent cleansing (e.g. skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis), you need to put your scalp's needs first, since that's the only part where hair is living and growing (follicles), and that's where new hair is created every day. And you can always do scalp-only washes.

I doubt you can get hygral fatigue from plain old washing regularly. I mean, that's almost a given. If you wet your hair multiple times a day, day after day, then maybe we can have the hygral fatigue discussion. :rolleyes:

jaquelines
August 23rd, 2014, 07:18 AM
That was a informative link, thank you for posting it, meteor. I had no idea, that ACV rinses can leave the hair oily. I actually use white vinegar, but I assume it is the same thing.
This week it was for the first time when I did not used any oiling and left my scalp the way it is. It might seem a stupid question, but - when should one wash the hair while trying to stretch washes? Today it is my 6th day and my ends are not dry, but not as smooth as on day 2, my scalp isn't oily, but the hair is slightly sticky on the roots, like it has more holding power, but the strands stick together. So - since the ends don't make a problem for now, as far as the benefits of the scalp goes, should I wait until it gets really oily or should I wash the moment I notice the hair sticks like it is now?

Long_hair_monk
August 23rd, 2014, 07:33 AM
Dear Scarlet Heart,

If your profile picture is of your hair. They are simply beautiful. I love them.
My compliments.


I don't know about growth, but I know that less frequent washing makes me shed more. Consequently, I wash my scalp every other day.

What is mad political scientist?

dulcie
August 23rd, 2014, 08:33 AM
I agree stress has a lot to do with growth. So I'm going to chill here and keep posting!!!

meteor
August 23rd, 2014, 09:26 AM
That was a informative link, thank you for posting it, meteor. I had no idea, that ACV rinses can leave the hair oily. I actually use white vinegar, but I assume it is the same thing.
This week it was for the first time when I did not used any oiling and left my scalp the way it is. It might seem a stupid question, but - when should one wash the hair while trying to stretch washes?
It's not a stupid question at all, but I'm afraid my answer might sound annoying: "There is no rule." An extra day or two shouldn't make a difference, if you like the look.
Believe me, people can stretch their washes a lot without it hurting the hair (unless you have a scalp condition, like SD). That's why people still grow hair if they follow NW/SO or if they are stuck somewhere without easy access to water. It just may look unappealing, but it won't be a huge problem.

Think of it this way: if you wash hair daily, you expose hair to detergents, wet manipulation and swelling and de-swelling of hair in water 365 times a year.
And if you only do it weekly: it happens only 52 times.
If your hair is 60 inches long, it means the ends are 10 years old (avg hair growth rate is 6 inches a year * 10 years = 60 inches) .
So with daily washing those ends would be washed and manipulated wet 365 washes * 10 years = 3,650 times.
With weekly washing it would be only 52 washes * 10 years = 520 times.
That's a difference of 3,650 - 520 = 3,130 washes! Imagine the time, products and extra hair manipulation that stretching washes saves in this particular example!


Today it is my 6th day and my ends are not dry, but not as smooth as on day 2, my scalp isn't oily, but the hair is slightly sticky on the roots, like it has more holding power, but the strands stick together. So - since the ends don't make a problem for now, as far as the benefits of the scalp goes, should I wait until it gets really oily or should I wash the moment I notice the hair sticks like it is now?

If your ends are dry, why not smooth a couple drops of oil, serum or diluted conditioner over them?
You are describing a pretty good hair day. I wouldn't wash in this case. I mean, why wash it if it already looks and feels good?
I wash when it starts looking dirty or if my scalp feels a bit unclean.
Oh, and by the way: if you want to re-style your hair, no need to necessarily shampoo it (if you didn't use hair-spray or other heavy styling products), you can just wet it down and wet-set it to dry in your new style.