This goes out to all the protective style enthusiasts who tend to forget about their hair for months on end, especially those who wear wigs. We’re also talking to the lazy naturals in the back, as well as the “leaving your hair dirty makes it grow faster” naturals. Going 6 months without a cleanse in the name of hair growth is crazy. And in any case, it’s not true. Continue reading to see the reasoning behind this as well as every other justification for leaving the habit of keeping dirty hair in 2023.
The main factors that determine hair growth are genetics, hormone balance, and general health. Notice how there’s no factor that has to do with keeping your hair and scalp dirty. For healthy hair growth, a healthy scalp must be maintained, which is mostly achieved by keeping it clean.
If you don’t cleanse your hair and scalp, oils, dead skin cells, and product buildup accumulate, especially on the scalp, which can cause problems like seborrhoeic dermatitis or dandruff that affect the health of hair follicles.
By maintaining a clean scalp, you’re encouraging better blood flow to your hair follicles, creating the ideal environment for hair growth (hair grows out of the follicles).
Wash it. To achieve clean hair, wash it. All you’ll need is some water and shampoo. Use a moisturizing shampoo or a clarifying shampoo if you’re dealing with a lot of buildup from products like gel or hair butters. A shampoo bar is also a good option if you’ve got shorter hair or if you just prefer to use a solid bar for cleansing. Avoid using regular bathing or washing bars of soap as they’re harsh on the hair.
Start by sectioning off your hair into 2-4 manageable portions. Washing in sections helps you effectively cleanse each part without leaving any strands out.
Thereafter, wet your hair with some lukewarm water. Wetting the hair prior helps the shampoo lather better and cleanse more effectively without having to continuously add more. Additionally, the temperature of the water you use matters. Use cold or lukewarm water instead of excessively hot water as it can be drying to the hair, and potentially cause scalds.
Go on to apply the shampoo onto your hair and use your finger tips to form the lather. Continue to use them to massage your scalp and work the shampoo through it. Do this for the whole head and rinse off with lukewarm or cold water.
We recommend a double cleanse to effectively remove excess oils, dirt and buildup. After your second cleanse, pat your hair dry with an old t-shirt or microfiber towel, apply some conditioner, detangle with your fingers or a wide tooth comb, wash out the conditioner (if it’s not a leave-in), and you’re done! You can style as desired afterwards or keep it in chunky braids or twists till your next hairstyle.
While the response to this vary one’s from person to person, it’s generally recommended to wash your hair at least once every two weeks, followed by a deep conditioning treatment to revive moisture.
Individuals who gym regularly may have to wash their hair a bit more frequently, but it all comes down to the state of your hair and your individual hair needs. For some, they may need to wash after 3 weeks or so, and for others biweekly. If you apply products like gel to your hair regularly, don’t hold back on biweekly cleansing as products like gel cause a lot of buildup.
If you have a protective style in like braids or twists, shampoo your scalp every few weeks to prevent buildup. If you’re worried about ruining the style, use mousse to redefine the parts and make it neat again. Remember not to have in your braids or twists for too long (more than 6 weeks), as this could result in matting and hair loss.
For protective styles like wigs, don’t use them as an excuse to go months without cleansing your scalp and hair. Take down your wig every few weeks and cleanse your hair and scalp. Ensure your hair dries properly before putting the wig back on. Remember to replenish your wig cornrows with natural oils like jojoba or castor oil to prevent itching.
Moving forward into the new year, let’s let go of bad hair habits like keeping dirty hair. On top of being generally unhygienic, it could bring about scalp issues like dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis that are a problem to your hair follicles. Protective style in or not, ensure to regularly cleanse your hair if you want to enhance hair growth. Remember, you are a gem. Treat your hair as such.