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Hair Washing Myths, Debunked!

In today’s blog post, I want to wrap up my little series on how to wash your hair by addressing four major hair care myths related to washing. We have heard them all, but are they any good?


(Creative Commons Cold by Andrew Seaman, used under CC BY)

  • Cold rinses make your hair look shiny

Good news for all of you who like it warm and cosy: From now on, you can skip this dreaded step in your hair care routine! No more daily ice bucket challenge 🙂 The theory behind cold rinses is that hair cuticles respond to heat and cold and, like shingles on a roof, lie flat when splashed with cold water. But sadly, the (minimal) effect of a cold rinse wears off as soon as you blow-dry or heat-style your hair. Besides, did you know that your cuticles are influenced by pH levels much rather than by temperatures? The ideal pH value is in the range of 5,5 to 6,5: The higher the pH, the more your cuticles will lift away from the shaft. A sour rinse with apple cider vinegar will therefore close your cuticles more efficiently and make your hair look a lot more lustrous than cold water. If you don’t use plain vinegar but a product like Yves Rocher’s Raspberry Rinsing Vinegar, it will also be a much more pleasant experience 🙂

  • Lather, rinse, repeat

Please don’t! I have no idea where this tip comes from, but given the high-performance shampoos we are using nowadays, washing your hair thoroughly one single time is certainly enough. If you are afraid that your mild shampoo might not get the job done in one go, just leave the product on your head for a bit longer before rinsing.


  • It is healthier not to wash your hair every day

The argument behind skipping- and no-poo-theories is that daily lathering strips the hair of its natural oils and thus causes permanent damage over time. Whilst there is some truth in it and your hair might indeed benefit from not being washed too often, your scalp on the other hand won’t like the sebum, dirt, sweat and bacteria that collect in a few days or a weeks time. Rely on common sense and just wash your hair when you feel like you need it: no earlier, but no later either! All a greasy scalp does is make you feel uncomfortable: It is not going to change anything about your split ends.

  • Your hair is greasy only beacause you are overwashing

Oily hair is the result of age, hormones and genetics, which influence the size and activity of our sebaceous glands. The fact that overwashing might indeed (slightly) increase sebum production doesn’t necessarily mean that the opposite is true as well: You cannot “train” your scalp and make it produce noticeably less sebum by not washing your hair anymore. You might well find that after a while (and thanks to dry shampoo), you can go a day or two without washing, because your scalp stops overcompensating for stripping shampoos; but you won’t be able to fundamentally change your hair type and transform oily into notmal or dry hair.

(Thumbnail: Creative Commons Shower No. 2 by PhotoAtelier, used under CC BY)


2 thoughts on “Hair Washing Myths, Debunked!

  1. Pingback: Conditioners 101: Five Key Ingredients | The Wherewithals

  2. Pingback: A Winning Team (in the Midterm) | The Wherewithals

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