hair washThere’s a lot of myths surrounding hair loss and its causes. One which has been doing the rounds for some time is that over-washing can cause the hair to start shedding. With all of the conflicting advice out there, it’s difficult to know what’s true and what isn’t. So, to help, here we’ll clear up the truth about whether the way you wash your hair can cause permanent damage.

Can over-washing cause hair loss?

According to experts, over-washing will not lead to excess shedding. In fact, some even argue it’s not possible to over-wash your hair as it should be washed daily anyway. So, where did the notion that over-washing can lead to hair loss come from? The logic behind the argument that over-washing can cause shedding, is that it strips the hair of its natural oils. However, this isn’t actually the case. In fact, washing the hair daily, or at least every other day, is considered essential for the hair’s health. This is because throughout the day, all kinds of pollutants attach themselves to the hair, and its natural oils also start to build up. Unless these pollutants and excess oils are washed out of the hair, they could potentially block the hair follicles. It’s this which can contribute to shedding. However, whilst over-washing isn’t likely to result in shedding, the way you wash your hair might.

Avoiding washing-related hair loss

Although rare, it is possible to damage the hair through the way you wash it. In winter, extra care should be taken to prevent potential damage. Hot showers for example, can really dry the hair out, making it brittle. So, lukewarm water should be used throughout the colder, winter months, rather than hot water.  Also frequent vigorous drying using a towel could potentially lead to traction alopecia, along with potential heat damage from constant blow drying and styling You’ll also want to treat your scalp with natural oils if it dries out. A dry scalp can loosen the hair’s follicles, leading to hair loss and damage. So, keeping it well moisturised is highly recommended.  

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By Ian Watson

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