DOES HAIR ACTUALLY SELF-CLEAN ITSELF?
When it comes to hair, there’s plenty to debate about. Does it actually go grey from stress? Is it true that brushing it 100 times a daywill make it shinier? But one of the most interesting of them all is on the subject of self-cleaning.
We’ve all heard of Betty down the road who “didn’t wash her hair for 6weeks’ straight, and now it cleans itself and she never has to bother with shampoo”. It sounds ridiculous, but also feasible: we never had shampoo and conditioner back in the caveman days, and we got by alright then, didn’t we? Surely if we just went back to our natural non-washing ways, we’d actually be better off for it?
Sadly, that would be wrong. While we can certainly say our caveman ancestors didn’t care half as much about appearance as we do today, evidence actually suggests that they did still carry out basic hygiene practices, including washing their hair. We're not exactly sure what they used, but many historians believe they would have bathed in salt water lakes or the sea depending on their geographical location, which kills bacteria, or used clay to treat the hair with minerals and stimulate growth.
So it was never really a “natural approach” for hair to be un-washed at all – but is Betty from down the road right in believing that her hair self-cleans itself eventually if she doesn’t cleanse it?
The answer is a complicated mix so let’s consider shampoo for a second, first of all. It’s no secret that most shampoos contain a combination of cleansing additives that lift dirt, oil and debris from your hair. This is a good thing in a sense, because it’s your hair’s natural oils that give it an oily appearance once they’ve built up over time. But many people make amistake of shampooing far too frequently, which means the shampoo can remove yourhair of oils far too regularly, causing your hair to panic-produce asmuch oil as possible to replace those that have been lost.
The best solution to this is to space out shampooing gradually by using your stylists advice, so that eventually, your hair doesn’t produce oils as quickly and subsequently you can go for longer periods of time without cleansing your hair. With this in mind, many people think that you can eventually train your hair to only need to be cleansed once a week, then once a month, and finally, never at all. This isnt the case, however the correct homecare really does make a difference.
Hair unfortunately doesn’t “self-clean” in aconventional sense; just produces oils over a slower period of time. You’re still going to end up with oily hair eventually, because there’s no gettingaround the natural oil-producing process, and actually, you wouldn’t want to as bacteria can grow giving your scalp an unhealthy appearance and scent. Our hair’s natural oils also help combat dry scalp and dandruff, as well as nourish and protect the hair, enabling it to grow efficiently and healthier.
Our conclusion is while there’s no reason to be using shampoos and conditioners every night, we need them to keep our hair clean and shiny, if not anything else. Give your hair the self-love and respect it deserves and don’t believe the hype!