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longcurlygirl<3
July 11th, 2011, 10:59 AM
Hello, I have been doing hair extended washes since I started growing my hair out [mostly because I am lazy and hate detangling] But I also have been wondering. Why do WE LHC and others do it? Is it prone to make hair grow faster? Just wondering? Any benefits?
:)

Annibelle
July 11th, 2011, 11:05 AM
Check out the WO thread. :) It's not specifically about extended washes, but it should give you your answers! :flower:

longcurlygirl<3
July 11th, 2011, 11:06 AM
Thanks! I will do.

longcurlygirl<3
July 11th, 2011, 11:08 AM
Wait? Where is the WO thread

Siiri
July 11th, 2011, 11:15 AM
It's here: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=3412

QueenJoey
July 11th, 2011, 11:22 AM
By extended do you mean more time between washes? If so, well, water generally raises the cuticles on your hair. Think of your hair like cat fur fish scales, water makes the hair stand on ends, like if you brush the cats fur or the fishe's scale in the opposite direction they are supposed to lie. This lets in more damage, in a sense.

I've heard that with the cuticles being raised and lowered everyday, it gets.....tired, I guess is the word. So the cuticle stops closing all the way, and becomes more prone to damage.

Too much washing also strips your hair of its natural oils, which are good for it, and makes it more dry and brittle.

longcurlygirl<3
July 11th, 2011, 11:37 AM
Yeah, like I wash my hair two the most three times a week. And then let it be curly for 2 days, then bun/braid because I always hate my hair getting stuck to something. But how can water be damaging? It is the most moisturizing thing?

heidi w.
July 11th, 2011, 11:40 AM
A couple of things to keep in mind.

I would argue that those who have scalp skin issues, particularly, such as psoriasis, exzeme, seborrheic dermatitus, need to wash the hair about once every third day. Depending on the severity of the condition, perhaps every other day.

Those who are younger may have a lot of sebum production and may need to, in fact, wash daily, such as teenage boys and girls, who are also more likely to be physically active (school PE or otherwise).....

Generally, the reason to wash less is to preserve the acid mantle's health. All skin on everyone, no matter skin tone or age, has an acid mantle on the skin. Face, back, arms, scalp skin. For my money, washing the hair is more a hygienic act of cleansing the scalp skin than washing the hair, really.

The acid mantle is a combination of sweat and sebum that we call "oil" or "oiliness" when too much, even......and a little bit of buildup can be beneficial. When washing, usually harsh ingredients, particularly sulfates in shampoos, can be problematic in that it strips the scalp skin and some of the associated hair of that sebum, which is necessary for a nice, healthy scalp skin, that includes some beneficial bacteria.

When we go too long between washes, we tend to notice more "buildup", more streaky looking hair or sectioned hair from buildup of sebum. In fact, if you go too long, even without a skin condition, this too can be a problem in that otherwise healthy hair can get lost earlier than necessary because all that sebum, eventually bacteria grows and effectively eats the sebum, if you will -- for a simple explanation. This bacteria can ostensibly get into scalp skin hair follicles and become a mini infection of red bumps, for example, and you can lose the hair from that follicle.

I would say that 4 days of non-hair washing is generally the safest length of time one can endure between hair washes.

Older people, those with the sebum output reduced because of hormones, may get a day longer.

Certainly if the hair smells, if the scalp skin smells rank, it's time to wash. This is a sign that bacteria has gone into hyper-activity. Certainly if you get an itchy scalp, it's time to wash. Certainly if it's so itchy and when you do scratch, that you get a kind of waxy ball of whitish or possibly discolored grey or even yellowish hue, it's definitely time to wash. Bacteria is in hyper-activity mode.

Most people do not know this little factoid of the perils of waiting too long between washes.

Know too, that if you extend wash durations, that when you do wash it can appear that your hair loss increases. Know that washing more frequently, then you're removing these strands more frequently....but if waiting longer between, than all those hair can get balled up and appear larger. It's still the same rate of hair loss, just a lot less frequency of removal.

heidi w.

ETA: The above notice about water raising the hair cuticle....well, basically right. I'd explain it differently. Warm or hot water opens the cuticles (lifting them), and in fact, when you apply conditioner, you want the cuticle opened so that the conditioner can do as it's intended to do: bond with the Cortex of the hair. There's a chemical reaction that goes on with conditioner and warmer water, etc. Softened water is more like skin's pH generally, than hard water (back to acid mantle). Water quality can make a difference, and depending on the supply source of your water, the hardness can be more or less than someone else's water. I softened my severely hard water, and haven't looked back.

In fact, if you wash and condition in too tepid of water temperature-wise, then you can risk not a good rinse and the conditioner kind of coating the hair unpleasantly, as in sitting on top of the hair and leaving behind a kind of greasy film. This is particularly noticed in winter where there's snow on the ground....that conditioner is very cold when applied, and until some warm water is applied to the conditioner, it doesn't emulsify well (smear around, it kind of glops on in cold)...think of dish soap when used with cold v. hot or warm water....the viscosity is less dense and emulsifies much better in warm/hot water...bubbles, all of it, smears around on the sponge, etc.

heidi w.
July 11th, 2011, 11:46 AM
Yeah, like I wash my hair two the most three times a week. And then let it be curly for 2 days, then bun/braid because I always hate my hair getting stuck to something. But how can water be damaging? It is the most moisturizing thing?

See my response above near the end.

Water is not the most moisturizing thing. Conditioner is when we're talking hair.

heidi w.

LaurelSpring
July 11th, 2011, 11:46 AM
Two words....scalp washes

Check out some threads on this and try a couple of different methods. Scalp washes have been great for me. Quick, easy clean scalp without messing with the length.

heidi w.
July 11th, 2011, 02:04 PM
Two words....scalp washes

Check out some threads on this and try a couple of different methods. Scalp washes have been great for me. Quick, easy clean scalp without messing with the length.

Great point, LaurelSpring. This helps keep the top clean and not have to do the length and dry it out.

In fact, this morning I realized my hair needs to be washed, but the length is looking great. So I scalp washed.

You can also do abbreviated scalp washes. A scalp wash gets the hair wet to almost the shoulders, a full scalp wash. But you can do just the top half, closer to the forehead, and not down the back at all (note, the back of the hair takes a bit longer, by a day or more to buildup to that goopy greasy look....). It takes then about ten minutes, done.

Put hair up, it dries while up, then, and you can go about your day.

heidi w.

Madora
July 11th, 2011, 02:56 PM
@Heidi w... Excellent post!!

I've been extending washes for years. I wash my hair every 4 to 5 weeks. This grew out of laziness and a loathing for dealing with snarls. I had a LOT of hair back in the day and hated snarls with a passion.

However, I do brush my hair 100 strokes every day with my bbb, and that bbb gets washed every other day. Also, I'm not very active and spend a lot of time indoors.

Scalp washes are great..provided you are able to have someone help you while you're doing them!

Frankly, in spite of the lady who hadn't touched shampoo in years, I can't see water only as an effective technique of keeping both your scalp and hair clean.