Washing Your Hair Daily

Girl with wet and freshly shampooed hair
Photo: Dreamstime
Q: I have heard many people say that washing the hair daily is bad for the hair because the oils in the hair help it to grow healthy. I've heard that you should only wash it once (or twice) a week, but that it should be conditioned every day.
But doesn't conditioning count as washing the hair since you are watering it after applying the conditioner? Doesn't this eliminate oils, too? I ask because I had a bad haircut and would like my hair to grow faster. What is the right schedule to follow for washing the hair each week?

A: Well, many people do use a rinse-through conditioner instead of shampoo for daily cleansing, and instead shampoo weekly. The conditioner is sufficiently alkaline that it will remove dirt and oils from the hair, but has the benefit of depositing moisturizing ingredients and preventing the stripping of moisture from the hair to leave it vulnerable to damage.
The simple thing to remember is that you should only shampoo the hair when it becomes soiled. If you work in an environment where your hair is exposed to dirt, dust and other particulate contaminants, or you sweat excessively, you may need to shampoo daily. Otherwise, you may only need to rinse the hair or apply a rinse-through conditioner.
Some people only need to apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner to combat odor and keep the hair moisturized. The specific needs of your hair can be determined through trial and error. Start out by waiting to shampoo your hair half as often as you currently do. If the hair seems to be okay with this routine try adding another day in between shampoos.
When you reach the point that the hair seems oily or if you are unhappy with the look, then drop one of the days in between the shampoos.
See also:
Hair care
How to wash your hair and use the right amount of shampoo
Can washing your hair every day dry it out?
Can you apply too much shampoo and what effect will it have on your hair?