The “dirty hair” trend, as it is known online, has been gaining popularity on TikTik. In fact videos associated with the hashtag have racked up 169.1 million views. The growing popularity has led people to question how effective waiting to wash your hair is.
Hair that is not freshly clean (dirty) is easiest to style because the build-up of your natural oils and leftover hair products acts as almost a grip on the hair, which makes the desired style hold better.
Bacterial growth and scalp irritation can result from dirty hair. Bacterial growth can cause scalp diseases, causing your hair to fall out or not grow properly. One of the reasons some people believe that less washing promotes growth is that over-washing encourages dryness, brittleness, and breakage.
Let me start by saying that I consider dirty hair to be hair that has been previously styled with mousse, gel, hairspray or other various styling products and/or has been styled with a curling iron or flat iron.
Going a long time without washing your hair can cause a buildup of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia on your scalp. Over time, this leads to a layer of dead skin cells that shed from your head in the form of oily, yellow-ish dandruff flakes. Dandruff can also make your scalp red, scaly, and itchy.
"The average individual can typically go 2 to 3 days without shampooing their hair. However, if your hair is visibly oily, you may not want to wait that long," she says. "Usually, you can go longer without washing your hair when your hair is styled up, but no one should ever go more than 14 days."
Water is effective at washing away dirt, dust, and other water-soluble debris from the hair and scalp without stripping the hair of this sebum. However, Mamelak notes that if there are other oils in the hair (from a haircare or styling product, for example), a good portion of these will be left behind as well.
We don't recommend having dirty hair cut and styled since you'll eventually need to wash your hair and potentially ruin the new style (and second-day hair).
"Although sebum is good for the hair, too much can make your hair look slick and greasy. Common causes of oily hair are unhealthy eating habits, medications, improper hair care, stress, hormonal fluctuations, and change in weather."
Rossi generally tells his patients they should wash their hair once or twice per week. But if you've had chemical treatments that can make your hair drier — such as bleach, perms or relaxers — you might want to wash it less than once weekly to avoid breaking or brittle hair or split ends, he said.
Freshly washed hair is harder to style as this silky smooth hair follicles are more inclined to slip and slide away from the intended styling position. Removing of oil and grit makes your hair harder to styling as there is nothing for you hair follicles to grip onto and support itself.
You might think it won't hurt, but washing your hair regularly is incredibly important for the health of your hair and scalp. "Shampooing removes sebum or oil that normally coats the hair shaft," says Brendan Camp, MD, a double board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York.
While products like dry shampoo can help reduce scalp oil, you still need to wash your hair regularly for optimal scalp and hair health because not washing your hair enough can cause hardcore dandruff, irritation, clogged pores, breakouts, and even hair loss.
No matter what your hair type is, not washing your hair every day can benefit everyone! After you stop washing your hair every day, you will notice your hair get shinier, your scalp become less dry and your split ends improve!
The most common answer is to wash and dry your hair the day before a professional updo styling. It is best when one night's worth of natural oil buildup is on the hair.
In general, it's always a good idea to arrive at your hair appointment with clean hair. This helps ensure that your stylist can properly assess your hair and determine the best course of action. It also helps avoid any potential scalp irritation that could occur if you had product build-up on your hair.
All hair produces some oil to keep it nourished and healthy, as well as to protect the scalp. But too much oil production can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that causes red, scaly patches to form on the scalp, along with dandruff that is difficult to get rid of.
Touching Your Hair Often
Just as touching your face too often can lead to acne, touching your hair too often can lead to added grease as well. That's because your hands are also covered in a natural oil to protect your skin. And every time you touch your hair your transferring that oil directly to your hair.
Everyone's hair is different.
Others have less sebum production and need hydrating and moisturizing products to keep the scalp from becoming dry. Having excess sebum production alone, and having an oily scalp, are not what causes you to lose your hair; it's the effect that sebum has on the hair growth cycle.
Rivera recommends braids, topknots, buns, and ponytails as go-to hairstyles for second-day hair. "If hair is dirty, these styles will tend to hold longer because second-day hair is not as soft as when you first wash and dry it.
What Is the No-Poo Method? The no-poo method is a hair-cleansing technique that removes shampoo from the equation, says Geeta Yadav, MD, a dermatologist in Toronto. Instead of using shampoo, followers of the practice use alternatives such as apple cider vinegar, a cleansing conditioner, or just plain water.
Shampoo as we know it today has only existed for about 100 years. Prior to 1903, the act of hair washing ranged from a head massage with fragrant oils to boiling pieces of “shaved soap” bars in water. There are a range of early methods, however let's focus on the past hundred years or so.
Prolonged periods of not washing can cause cause buildup on the scalp, damaging hair and even impeding its ability to grow, Lamb said. Grime from dirt, oil and hair product can show up within four to six days for people with finer, straighter hair.