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View Full Version : Frequent washing = damage? :(



letibear
May 20th, 2012, 09:48 PM
Hello all,
I once heard that every time you wash your hair, you're causing stress and damaging it. Does this have any truth to it? :confused:

I would like to start exercising more, if not every day then at least every other day, but I'm worried about the potential consequences of having to wash my hair every day. :( Currently, I wash it about twice a week.

Any advice?

leilasahhar
May 20th, 2012, 10:11 PM
Ive just started washing with rain water or water that has been boiled..Ive noticed a huge difference in my hair. It no longer feels dry, weak, or chalky looking..I love it.

barely.there
May 20th, 2012, 10:17 PM
I agree with leilasahhar...you can always just rinse it after a workout to get the icky sweat out! :)

HintOfMint
May 20th, 2012, 11:42 PM
I wash my hair about every other day and my hair is fine. It just depends on how gentle you are with it wet.

Frequent washing can be damaging to hair as per some Beauty Brains article about water swelling the hair shaft repeatedly, but I think it can be mitigated through gentle products and techniques such as CWC.

dulce
May 20th, 2012, 11:45 PM
I wash my fine hair daily daily, and I agree it probably depends on your hair type and how gentle you do it.

midsummernight
May 20th, 2012, 11:58 PM
I wash my hair daily with a sulfate free shampoo. To prevent damage I always oil my hair before and after shampooing. Also my hair is coarse so it doesn't get damaged easily.

LadyCelestina
May 21st, 2012, 12:07 AM
I think daily co-washing (or co-rinsing,if you don't need to cleanse the scalp) might even be beneficial for your hair,since you get it moisturized by the conditioner,so maybe try that for daily washing and keep shampooing as often as you do now?

Carissamarie08
May 21st, 2012, 01:53 AM
as long as you are being gentle I think you will be fine. I wash every other day.

auburntressed
May 21st, 2012, 02:16 AM
I think that any time you handle your hair, you CAN cause damage. But that doesn't mean that it DOES cause damage as long as you are gentle. I wash my hair every other day.

I feel strongly that I get far more damage to my hair when I don't wash it enough. Something about my natural sebum causes my hair to get brittle and break off if it gets too saturated. And it gets saturated QUICKLY.

SnowWhite
May 21st, 2012, 03:12 AM
It does cause damage. You know there are some famous statues that people want to touch lightly with their fingers. And that parts that had been touched, corrode. Also because of the rain and temperature differences.

If it happens with statues, why wouldn't it happen with our hair? Some types of hair are 'stronger' than others so it depends on your hair, but I think it's quite logical that washing can cause minor damage in some way. But I don't think it's only washing but also touching in general, using bobby pins, using heat, dying etc...

So I won't be TOO careful about it because we'll never be able to avoid everything that can possibly cause damage. :)
I think you just have to figure out what your hair likes and what not.

Anje
May 21st, 2012, 05:33 AM
I've had problems with damage when I washed frequently with a too-harsh shampoo. It is possible, and hair is weaker when wet. However, if you handle your hair gently when it's wet and use mild products, I don't think you'll have any major problems -- many people here do wash daily and still grow long hair.

Consider CO-washing or just rinsing most days, if possible. If that doesn't work, use the gentlest or most dilute shampoo concentration that gives you fresh-looking hair and concentrate on cleaning the roots. CWC washing is a good option.

Kelikea
May 21st, 2012, 06:04 AM
I used to work out 2x a day, so I washed my hair every day. It got down to hip length. I wasn't even being gentle with it back then. Just use gentle products and handling--don't use any elastics with metal--and you should be fine.

Humbug454
May 21st, 2012, 06:46 AM
Washing it daily will damage your hair and dry it out if you're not careful.

But you don't need to wash every day even after exercise - just rinse the hair with water, and if you feel like it apply conditioner to ends, it may be beneficial!

Kizuna
May 21st, 2012, 06:53 AM
I go to the gym around 4 times a week, but I usually only wash my hair 2 times a week (sometimes less). Instead of washing my hair when it's sweaty I just rinse it. :) It's been working fine for me. I also use the CO-method when I was my hair.

Laur
May 21st, 2012, 09:07 AM
If you're washing daily with harsh shampoos then yes you can cause damage via dryness, especially if you are not gentle with your hair. Consider switching to CWC or CO washing some of the time, or just rinsing your hair well after you work out. And be really gentle with your hair- no brushing when wet, no pulling or ripping a comb through it, metal-free elastics, etc. You'll never 100% avoid damage, but rough handling is a big culprit. Also, make sure you wear a protective style when you exercise!

spidermom
May 21st, 2012, 10:06 AM
I don't think it's the washing that causes the damage, especially if you're using gentle products. It's because of what someone said earlier about water causing the hair shaft to swell and the cuticle to lift. Eventually some kind of fatigue sets in (there's a word for it), and the cuticle no longer closes so evenly and tightly any more. It causes weak spots, and that's where your hair starts to fray and split.

But you can't put your hair under glass and leave it in a darkened room where no damage will ever occur. Life causes damage.

letibear
May 21st, 2012, 01:50 PM
I appreciate the great advice everyone, I'm going to try the CWC method. Thank you!

einna
May 21st, 2012, 01:59 PM
Sometimes after exercising, I just rinse my scalp and roots. I put my hair in a high bun and wrap a shower cap over it. Then I rinse my scalp thoroughtly, while the lenght and ends stay dryish. They dont get sweat on them as I keep my hair contained during my workout, and thus does not need to be washed or rinsed as often as my scalp and roots.
Sometimes I CO the same way, or even use shampoo, but I like CO better because it is no big deal if some is left in my hair.

Audrey Horne
May 21st, 2012, 03:41 PM
I think it depends on the hair (dry, oily, porosity) and the method of washing. I work out daily and wash with something SLS-free every other day and WO inbetween if it's sufficient. I wash with a conditioner too. Every time is different but you can make it work.
If you'd wash with SLS daily and have babyfine dry hair then it's another story.
Anyway make sure you protect your ends.

umbrellabones
May 21st, 2012, 03:57 PM
It depends on what you are using to wash your hair. if you are using a gentle cleanser you should probably be okay. but like stated before I would recommend putting some water only rinses in between washing days.

Hollyfire3
May 21st, 2012, 03:59 PM
I wash daily and every other day, it varies. I feel like the washing it hard on my ends, but who knows for sure, not me.:confused:

DayDreamerDani
May 21st, 2012, 06:41 PM
I CWC. Only shampooing my scalp has really helped with washing. I wash almost everyday, as I work out daily. My hair seems to be just fine with this method!

ratgirldjh
May 21st, 2012, 06:54 PM
For me this is true especially if I use any kind of detergent.

Recently I was obsessed for a short (thank goodness!) period of time with using the Nature's Plus Beauty Cleansing Bar (which has a pH of 4.5 and I suspect that it contains some detergent) on my hair. Now since I could never get my hair to actually enjoy it even though the canopy and my scalp were wonderfully clean the rest of my hair even with scalp only started getting fried.

It got stiffer and stiffer and eventually started breaking off!

Now I was using it almost every day for a week or 2 and usually I use soap and an ACV rinse instead - but since I was trying MO and other oils I had the idea that I needed to use a detergent type cleanser.

WRONG! My hair was breaking and now I am not sure if it was the detergent or just me using it way too often.

Be careful and kind to your length!

terylenerose
May 22nd, 2012, 09:33 AM
I don't really have any advice about daily washing, but my hair probably wouldn't like it as it tends to be dry. Anything that roughs up the cuticle can cause damage if you do it too much.
I'm not actually sure why you think you need to wash every day anyway. Maybe sweat can cause damage to hair, but if your scalp doesn't sweat much then I don't see a need to wash it that often. I exercise every day or close to it and I don't wash more than twice a week. I haven't noticed any bad effects from this.

ravenreed
May 22nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
My hair feels dried out and fried if I don't CO every other day. I find that gentle cleansing can be beneficial, especially in drier climates.

SpinDance
May 22nd, 2012, 10:23 AM
There are lots of theories on whether washing every day is bad or not, and there are arguments that make logical sense about it being damaging. However, growing long hair and washing it daily are not mutually exclusive, as Cinnamon Hair's (http://www.beyondclassiclength.com) routine shows.

For myself, I usually wash it twice a week. However, if I need to wash it more frequently, I do. I may just rinse it well and apply some conditioner, or only CO wash to get out salt or pool water. When I'm swimming daily I oil it heavily before braiding for swimming, then CO it out when I'm done.

I'm sure you'll be able to find a successful way to wash daily and not damage your hair.

bumblebums
May 22nd, 2012, 10:28 AM
Exercising regularly will do more good to your hair than washing more frequently will do damage.

I am not sure that sentence is grammatical or interpretable :) But I hope you know what I mean.

heidi w.
May 22nd, 2012, 10:35 AM
I have to find my George Michael book. I was just perusing it the other day, and he wrote a whole chapter on hair washing, alone, and I remember thinking, "oh this is good info." So I'll find it and hopefully I can then find this post again (which is a challenge for me to find posts....things move quite quickly on this board). It's not the worst thing to wash daily. You might consider diluting the shampoo or using less if you wash every day. Use good shower water. Wash the hair while it hangs down; don't pile it on top of your head and scrub away. Some people just rinse their hair and claim it works well for them. It wouldn't for me since I have a scalp skin condition......but I'm not the norm by far.

It's do-able. I would recommend you wear some kind of bandana or something to soak up extra perspiration while you work out. That may be of some help, too.

heidi w.

heidi w.
May 22nd, 2012, 10:39 AM
I don't really have any advice about daily washing, but my hair probably wouldn't like it as it tends to be dry. Anything that roughs up the cuticle can cause damage if you do it too much.
I'm not actually sure why you think you need to wash every day anyway. Maybe sweat can cause damage to hair, but if your scalp doesn't sweat much then I don't see a need to wash it that often. I exercise every day or close to it and I don't wash more than twice a week. I haven't noticed any bad effects from this.

Sweat does not damage hair. Sweat is in fact part of what makes up the "acid mantle". Good heavens, if we start thinking that what our body produces is bad for us, what the heck is one to do then?

Sounds to me that the OP has a slight misunderstanding, a bit. It's entirely possible that she may not really need to wash the hair daily, even if she does work out. How much working out are we talking? Around an hour.....(That doesn't create that much actual sweat and stink.)

heidi w.

spidermom
May 22nd, 2012, 10:41 AM
If I sweat a lot while exercising, I will often keep my length dry by bundling it into a shower cap, then rinse the scalp.

Madora
May 22nd, 2012, 11:40 AM
Frequent shampooing will eventually strip your hair of its natural oil and leave it looking like hay...unless you restore what you washed away.

The other problematic thing with frequent washing would be mechanical damage from detangling and the general action of moving the strands around.

akilina
May 22nd, 2012, 11:55 AM
My routine is totally messed up since I moved. Before I was in super crappy hard city water...I moved back to northern California and we have a well here. My hair loves it but its hard to establish my washing method again...its been 2 months and I still havent. My hair gets greasy everyday and it makes me want to wash it more.
If you want to stretch washes I'd try a BBB and some baby powder for the front of your hair if it gets a little greasy

elbow chic
May 22nd, 2012, 12:01 PM
Maybe just CO it the days between your regular washings. As I recall, Cinnamonhair CO'd every single day, and has, or had, fabulous hair well past classic length. She said she felt like the water actually helped keep it moisturized.

I say don't let your hair get in the way of living your life. Some people can probably work out and not have to wash it, but I'm not one of those people. If I've been out mowing the yard or dancing enough to break a sweat, it MUST be washed if I don't want to walk around looking-- and smelling-- like grunge. But maybe just scrubbing it with a bit of conditioner will be enough to get the excess sweat and oil out.

letibear
May 22nd, 2012, 05:50 PM
Sounds to me that the OP has a slight misunderstanding, a bit. It's entirely possible that she may not really need to wash the hair daily, even if she does work out. How much working out are we talking? Around an hour.....(That doesn't create that much actual sweat and stink.)

heidi w.

To clarify, outside of normal exercise- I try to do bikram yoga about 3-4 times a week. It's yoga practiced over 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees, being drenched in sweat is inevitable :)

I decided to try the CWC on these days, and hope for the best :)

jacqueline101
May 22nd, 2012, 05:55 PM
It causes damage due to the handling and treatment of the hair.

meteor
May 22nd, 2012, 06:02 PM
I notice when I exercise and sweat, my hair looks terrible only for an hour or so, but then it's fine, it is not oily or anything. I would use some refreshing spray (with your favourite essential oils) and maybe dry shampoo or baby powder. Like others here mentioned, even if you just CO or WO, detangling every day is quite damaging.

spookyghost
May 22nd, 2012, 06:25 PM
I work out hard and sweat too and I still only wash my hair every other day. I work out six days a week. Once it dries its fine. My hair doesnt smell or look like I worked out and didnt wash it! And trust me my dh would tell me!:p

veggielocks
September 17th, 2012, 10:20 AM
To clarify, outside of normal exercise- I try to do bikram yoga about 3-4 times a week. It's yoga practiced over 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees, being drenched in sweat is inevitable :)

I decided to try the CWC on these days, and hope for the best :)

How is the CWC routine going? I go to Bikram 2-3 times a week and have been going for almost 2 years. Does your studio have showers?
I have been using the showers at our studio but they have a time limit and I just can't spend a long time in it. My hair is very thick and waist length so I have just enough time to wet it, shampoo and then I leave the conditioner in.
Have you see some threads where people say to oil before exercise. Have you tried this?
I wonder if it would make me and my mat oily.
Anyway, my hair is a lot drier and I think I definitely need a new routine.

AineMuirne
September 17th, 2012, 10:41 AM
For years, until about 6 months ago, I washed my hair every day with Suave clarifying shampoo, conditioned with TRESemme, and used plastic bristle brushes. I don't have any damage. Granted, I've always been extremely gentle with my hair and the conditioner has always stayed on for more than 10 minutes in the shower. I've never ripped a brush through my hair or anything like that. Now I oil my hair once in a while with coconut oil and I've started tampering with CWC and CO (still washing everyday). There isn't much difference, but my hair doesn't tangle as easily (it doesn't really tangle at all anymore), and I lose a bit less hair because of it.

I think it depends on your hair type and how gentle you are. I get away with washing it every day. But I will take as long as it takes to brush out my hair to lose the least amount of hair possible and have no breakage. I even inspect all of the hairs I shed to make sure they fell out from the root.

beautifulending
September 19th, 2012, 05:03 PM
I grew from a pixie to almost waist washing daily and had/have no damage. Use a good conditioner, be gentle and you'll be fine.