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Thread: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

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    Obsessive Oilaholic ChloeDharma's Avatar
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    Default Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    For years I stretched my washes and I've come to the conclusion that my scalp does not like this very much. I shed so much more if I go for more than a week without washing it, in the past I have done well with twice a week washing but at the moment I keep getting the urge to wash roughly every other day or so. I've been using regular shampoo and conditioner which also is a factor as I don't put off mixing up herbs and waiting for them to be ready, sometimes doing that feels like such a hassle that I procrastinate for ages.

    Anyway getting to my point, my hair is fine and fragile and though my scalp loves being washed more often I am a little worried about wrecking the length even though my hair is not terribly long anymore and I'm not aiming for very long lengths now (though if in the process of trying new routines it manages to look nice and grow then I'm happy to do that).
    I'm wondering about the risk of hygral fatigue if I increase my washing frequency. How can you tell if you have it? I know that coconut oil and some other oils help reduce it but can they completely prevent it if used before every wash? (I do pre-poo with oil anyway). I'm also gently blow drying as it's too cold to deal with wet hair for ages while waiting for it to air dry.

    I know much of this goes against the often suggested LHC advice to stretch washes, not blow dry and avoid sulphates and cones (I'm keen on cones at the moment as my hair is so prone to frizz and fly aways when freshly washed) but I really do notice that I shed more when I leave my scalp unwashed.
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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Hygral fatigue is inevitable with every wash. See here for more info.

    However, I really wouldn't fret. Its effects are very minor, even on fine hair. The effects of heat, chemical and mechanical damage are far, far more severe.

    The LHC "advice" of stretching washes and avoiding sulphates/cones ... really isn't that. Trying stretching washes is advised for those who wash daily and have greasy hair as for some people that greasiness is a result of excessive washing and excessive stripping. If that's not your problem, stretching washes is going to do nothing for you except make you look like a greaseball and risk inducing yeast-based conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis (SD).

    Likewise, cutting out sulphates and cones is certainly fashionable in some circles but it's hardly a universal recommendation or a universal fix. Cutting out sulphates is good for those with a sensitivity to sulphates or with skin conditions like eczema and it's probably a good idea anyway as sulphates can cause skin thinning. However, sulphates are good because they clean better, you can generally stretch washes longer when using them and, for some people, they help control SD. Cutting out 'cones is mostly based on the myth that they dry out hair by forming an occlusive barrier (false) or that they ruin hair by causing build-up (true, but only if used unwisely or excessively). Some people's hair doesn't like 'cones (true) but other people's hair is much more manageable with them.

    Tbh, the only real LHC rule is: YMMV. I think you should try listening to that one...

  3. #3
    LHC FairyGodMum lapushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Hygral fatigue is extreme cases of being immersed in water a lot, IMMHO. I don't think you can get that if you wash every other day.
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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Yeah, I would be more concerned with making sure you're not manipulating your hair too much while it's being washed than the effect of getting it wet more often. I mean, Crystal Gayle washes her hair every day and clearly her length doesn't suffer too badly for it. Torrin Paige has a video that demonstrates the least damaging long-hair washing routine really well. (Basically, shampoo above the shoulders and condition below the shoulders.) Stretching washes can be helpful, for laziness or reducing greasiness or any number of other reasons, but if your scalp and hair want to be washed more often, then wash more often. The most important thing about hair is finding a length and a routine that make you happy with how it looks. "LHC advice" about cones and sulfates and such is a little too pervasive, and can give a lot of false hope about the payoff being worth it. Loads of long-hairs use these products and blow dry through the winter and can still make it to tailbone, classic, or even longer with healthy-looking hair.

    Speaking of blow-drying, if your blow dryer has variable heat and speed settings (some only have off-low-high, which is terrible) find a temperature that you can keep your hand in front of at the same distance you'd have your hair. If your skin doesn't get uncomfortable under the same heat you're putting on your hair, then it's no more damaging than taking a walk on a breezy summer day.
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    Obsessive Oilaholic ChloeDharma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Nique1202 View Post
    Yeah, I would be more concerned with making sure you're not manipulating your hair too much while it's being washed than the effect of getting it wet more often. I mean, Crystal Gayle washes her hair every day and clearly her length doesn't suffer too badly for it. Torrin Paige has a video that demonstrates the least damaging long-hair washing routine really well. (Basically, shampoo above the shoulders and condition below the shoulders.) Stretching washes can be helpful, for laziness or reducing greasiness or any number of other reasons, but if your scalp and hair want to be washed more often, then wash more often. The most important thing about hair is finding a length and a routine that make you happy with how it looks. "LHC advice" about cones and sulfates and such is a little too pervasive, and can give a lot of false hope about the payoff being worth it. Loads of long-hairs use these products and blow dry through the winter and can still make it to tailbone, classic, or even longer with healthy-looking hair.

    Speaking of blow-drying, if your blow dryer has variable heat and speed settings (some only have off-low-high, which is terrible) find a temperature that you can keep your hand in front of at the same distance you'd have your hair. If your skin doesn't get uncomfortable under the same heat you're putting on your hair, then it's no more damaging than taking a walk on a breezy summer day.
    That blow drying tip is excellent, it's the same advice my mother gave me when I was young and it's a habit I have kept.

    I am careful when washing, I only really massage the poo into my scalp and then let it run down the length when I rinse it. I don't really have an issue with greasiness in the length it's more that my scalp starts to feel like it needs a wash but my sebum is rather dry so it seems to build up on the scalp and feel nasty though scalp brushing does help.

    The replies have made me feel more confident about washing particularly as I'm unlikely to do it every day and I do oil with coconut oil at least the night before washing. The blow drying thing I mentioned more because I saw recently that it might be helpful in reducing the risk of hygral fatigue? I'm always careful making sure to aim the air down the hair shaft to minimise lifting the cuticle and i keep the speed and heat low using the hand test trick.

    Thanks for the replies so far, as for the YMMV thing yes, I'm very aware of that but the hygral fatigue thing seemed like something I should look into given I've not been a daily washer for a very long time and never with hair longer than just below my shoulders so just wanted to get some advice and perspectives on it.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Try diluting your products.

  7. #7
    Member meteor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Panth View Post
    Hygral fatigue is inevitable with every wash. See here for more info.

    However, I really wouldn't fret. Its effects are very minor, even on fine hair. The effects of heat, chemical and mechanical damage are far, far more severe.

    The LHC "advice" of stretching washes and avoiding sulphates/cones ... really isn't that. Trying stretching washes is advised for those who wash daily and have greasy hair as for some people that greasiness is a result of excessive washing and excessive stripping. If that's not your problem, stretching washes is going to do nothing for you except make you look like a greaseball and risk inducing yeast-based conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis (SD).

    Likewise, cutting out sulphates and cones is certainly fashionable in some circles but it's hardly a universal recommendation or a universal fix. Cutting out sulphates is good for those with a sensitivity to sulphates or with skin conditions like eczema and it's probably a good idea anyway as sulphates can cause skin thinning. However, sulphates are good because they clean better, you can generally stretch washes longer when using them and, for some people, they help control SD. Cutting out 'cones is mostly based on the myth that they dry out hair by forming an occlusive barrier (false) or that they ruin hair by causing build-up (true, but only if used unwisely or excessively). Some people's hair doesn't like 'cones (true) but other people's hair is much more manageable with them.

    Tbh, the only real LHC rule is: YMMV. I think you should try listening to that one...

    ^ This is such great post!

    Of course, it's a bit of a balancing act - trying to keep scalp clean while avoiding drying out the length and there are lots of techniques that try to address it, like CWC or pre-poo oiling or CO-washing or diluting shampoo... I think washing daily can be totally fine for many hair types, but it's quite a bit of wet manipulation but also can be quite tiring, to be honest.

    Have you looked into scalp-only washes? I find them extremely helpful: they save time, hygral fatigue, detangling and wet manipulation and they focus on just the area that gets greasy. It can be done within a couple minutes in the sink with hair bunned/braided and covered with a plastic cap.
    Here is a partial scalp-only wash technique presented by LauraLongLocks (with hair bunned): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VBOVM-dHlc
    Full scalp-only wash by HaarTraum (with hair braided): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwREj8Kadlo (from 2:00)

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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Wait, so, I know this thread is old, but - the summary would be "don't worry so much, daily washing probably doesn't lead to hygral fatigue, but YMMV. Don't leave it wet for too long."

    There was a lot of info in there, and I'm not sure I got the gist of it?

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    Member Lizzie.torp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Siv View Post
    Wait, so, I know this thread is old, but - the summary would be "don't worry so much, daily washing probably doesn't lead to hygral fatigue, but YMMV. Don't leave it wet for too long."

    There was a lot of info in there, and I'm not sure I got the gist of it?

    Well, every time you wash your hair it gets hydral fatigue because the cuticle lifts and the hair shaft swells when wet but the effects of it are only really damaging if your hair is wet a lot of the time. But since your hair is more delicate when wet you want to manipulate it less to avoid further damage. Also, many people don't do well with frequent washing because it can dry their hair out too much.
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    Default Re: Frequent Washing and Hygral Fatigue

    I wash twice a day, and have baby fine hair, but my hair is fine. I donít think it causes too much harm, since my hair is wet only for as long as it takes to dry, itís not like I spend hours and hours in a swimming pool with chlorinated water. Granted, I am very gentle when washing and drying (blotting dry only, bamboo towels), and I use very diluted shampoo to avoid stripping
    Last edited by Beeboo123; November 3rd, 2017 at 05:38 PM.
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