10 Benefits of Not Washing Your Hair

Are there benefits of not washing your hair? Hair care is a highly personal matter, and everyone has their own preferences, but you don't want to miss out on these advantages!

How frequently you should wash your hair depends on your hair type, scalp texture, and level of skin oiliness. But did you know there are benefits to not washing your hair? Overwashing causes damage and results in a dry and itchy scalp.

In terms of hygiene, shampooing your hair is technically not required at all. Taking a break from shampooing your hair can help preserve natural oils in the scalp and maintain moisture. But not only does not washing your hair benefit the actual hair structure, but it also comes with a lot of personal advantages! We’ve looked into the ten most important ones.

1. Washing Your Hair Less Can Prevent Split Ends

Benefits of not washing your hair
Split ends refers to the splitting of the hair shaft, which usually happens when the outer layer of the hair shaft is damaged.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / pimnana)

While you can’t influence external factors like weather conditions and sunlight exposure, you can control your choice, usage, and frequency of hair treatments. A study by Swift and Brown revealed that shampooing, conditioning, and brushing your hair are the main reasons for hair structure to deteriorate over time. Washing your hair less can prevent split ends by allowing your hair to repair itself using its natural oils.

If you prefer not to change your hair-washing routine, it can still be helpful to pay attention to what kind of products you use. Chemical treatments are especially bad for your hair and can worsen the process of hair breakdown. Using eco-friendly shampoo bars and treatments will benefit your hair in the long run. How about trying out sustainable DIY shampoo bars? You can also use coconut oil for your hair — it makes a great moisturizer or overnight hair mask. On top of this, pay attention to these factors:

  • Keep heat tools on low heat
  • Brush your hair gently
  • Stop picking at your split ends
  • Cut your hair regularly

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2. Not Washing Your Hair Can Restore Its Shine

Benefits of not washing your hair
Alternatively to not washing your hair, using natural oils can be a great way to restore moisture and make your hair look more shiny.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / MabelAmber)

Not washing your hair allows natural oils to moisturize your hair and scalp. This also prevents dryness and luster. Luster refers to the amount of light that your hair reflects. One appealing benefit of not washing your hair for a couple of days is some natural shimmer and less frizz!

One example of an important natural oil is sebum, a wax-like substance found in the skin. According to the American Chemical Society, sebum has several functions, such as coating the outer layers of hair and maintaining water content in the hair shafts. This water content is important for keeping your hair flexible and soft. Sebum also contributes to a shiny finish.

3. Your Hair Will Be Less Greasy and Oily in the Long Run

Benefits of not washing your hair
There are other factors that can influence the oiliness of your hair, such as unhealthy eating habits, medications, improper haircare, stress, hormonal changes or dandruff. 
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Monsterkoi)

Another one of the many benefits of not washing your hair is that your hair will be less prone to getting oily and greasy. People with oily hair tend to wash their hair nearly every day. This is actually counterproductive, as it makes your scalp go into oil production overload.

You might have heard of the term hair training — a technique that involves slowly reducing the frequency of hair washes. This way, you get your scalp used to being rinsed less often and naturally minimize oil production. A couple of tips can simplify this hair training for you:

  • Use dry shampoo in between washes. You can easily remake this DIY dry shampoo recipe instead of using store-bought dry shampoo. It’s a great way of using up ingredients you already have at home, and it is much more eco-friendly compared to store-bought spray bottles.
  • Wear your hair up in a second-day hairstyle (we’ll share some of our favorite looks below).
  • Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar or rice water rinse once a week. This can help restore the pH balance of your hair and is mild enough not to strip your hair of essential nutrients.
  • Keep it simple! Using too many styling products will overwork your scalp. Focus on natural hair care such as burdock roots or flaxseed oil.

4. Overwashing Your Hair Can Cause Itching and Dandruff

Dandruff is a condition of the scalp in which small the skin becomes dry and flaky. These flakes are especially visible on darker hair or even clothing. Overwashing your hair causes oiliness, and this oiliness can be responsible for dandruff production. Dandruff causes itching and can even lower confidence levels.

Dandruff production is a complex process and is influenced by many other microbial conditions. If your levels of dandruff seem unusually high, it’s best to consult a professional. When it comes to smaller amounts, not washing your hair can be an easy start in reducing dandruff and itching. 

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5. You Will Use Less Heat Styling and Prevent Its Negative Effects

Benefits of not washing your hair
Reducing your usage of heat styling does not only bring benefits to yourself, it also also saves a lot of energy and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Jo_Johnston)

If you use a blow-dryer or straightener every time you wash your hair, your hair is exposed to another source of potential damage. Heat styling can alter hydrogen bonds in your hair and change your hair’s shape. Heat styling is also responsible for drying the hair out and damaging the cuticle, the outermost layer of a hair strand. This, in turn, reduces the protection this layer usually offers and causes loss of moisture.

Even if you can’t stay away from washing your hair, try to cut down your usage of heat styling. Make sure not to apply any heat above 450°F and use natural heat protection, such as olive oil, for your hair. Try to incorporate days without using any heat styling at all. Letting your hair dry naturally embraces its natural texture, especially during summer.

6. It Can Save You Time in the Morning

Benefits of not washing your hair
Besides benefits to your hair and scalp, not washing your hair gives you those extra thirty minutes in the morning for some me-time.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Engin_Akyurt)

Not washing your hair saves you valuable time in the morning. How about using this time to establish the best morning routine to kick-start your day off on a positive note? This could include rituals like making your morning coffee or golden matcha latte, or starting off with some self-reflection (check out these gratitude journal prompts). Perhaps you also just want to use this extra time to get some more sleep — you deserve it!

Do you prefer an evening hair wash? Use the extra time to bring your nighttime routine to the next level and increase the quality of your sleep by doing so.

7. Get To Know Your Own Hair

Benefits of not washing your hair
Maybe the journey of not washing your hair even inspires you to try out a new hairstyle or get a fresh haircut?
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Engin_Akyurt)

Learning more about your own hair structure is another great benefit of not washing your hair. Some people report that their natural locks unfold more nicely after not washing their hair for a while. Document how your hair reacts to not washing it and how many days you can go without washing. 

8. Not Washing Your Hair Can Make You Try Out New Hairstyles

Benefits of not washing your hair
There are no rules to experimenting with different hairstyles, let your creativity shine!
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ivabalk)

Some hair trends work even better with hair that hasn’t been washed. Try stepping out of your comfort zone and try one of the following looks:

  • Sleek Ponytail: A versatile and current trend. All you have to do is hold your ponytail and brush out bumps to ensure sleekness. 
  • Messy Bun: The name speaks for itself. Some hair strains looking out of the bun can make this look even more fun.
  • Low Bun: The low bun is great for an elegant and stylish look. Start by putting your hair in a low ponytail, then form a bun and secure it with bobby pins. 
  • Space Buns: Two little buns on each side are a playful way of hiding your oily hair.

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Just make sure you regularly wear your hair open as well. Wearing tight hairstyles too frequently may cause hair shedding. In case it does occur anyway, there are lots of tips on how to stop hair shedding.

9. You Can Save Money by Not Washing Your Hair

Benefits of not washing your hair
While it seems pretty obvious, this benefit of not washing your hair may boost your motivation to start your hair training journey.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / andibreit)

The better you get at training your hair for less frequent washes, the fewer hair treatments and products you will have to buy. In general, try choosing eco-friendly brands and try getting your hair used to solid shampoo and shower bars. They usually last much longer compared to regular shampoo bottles and often come with recyclable or even no packaging. Stop by your local zero-waste shop for the best options.

10. Your Hair Color and Highlights Will Last Longer

Benefits of not washing your hair
Look into the options of organic hair dye — it is often better for the environment and less damaging for your hair.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / SocialButterflyMMG)

Colored hair is often more prone to damage and over-shampooing can cause the color molecules to leave the hair. In consequence, not washing your hair benefits the lifespan of your hair color or highlights!

Get Started: Tips & Tricks For Not Washing Your Hair

There is no rule of thumb to not washing your hair; it all depends on your lifestyle! If you exercise a lot, for example, it may not be feasible for you to wash your hair less. But if your lifestyle does allow this change, it’s important to take it easy. Start slowly by washing your hair every other day and focusing on the scalp when applying shampoo. Likewise, you don’t need to apply conditioner all over your hair — it is sufficient to concentrate on the ends, as they are usually the driest.

Once you feel comfortable washing your hair every other day, try every two days, three days, or even up to a week! While the breakdown of hair is a very complex matter, not washing your hair is a simple way to make a big impact in strengthening the structure and preventing this process of deterioration. 

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Tags: Guide Hair Care Healthy Living Listicles Personal Hygiene

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About the Author: Tung Chi