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Hair care is a highly personal choice. There is rarely a medical reason to wash hair at all.
The decision about how frequently to wash the hair is a cosmetic one based on personal preference.
For most people, shampooing the hair is not necessary for good health. Just rinsing the hair with water a few times a week will remove most visible dirt and debris.
how frequently to wash hair depends on a person’s hair type, scalp texture, how oily the hair gets, and personal preference.
For some people, too-frequent washing can cause damaged hair and a dry, itchy scalp. For others, infrequent washing can make the hair look greasy and lifeless.
Very oily hair may look greasy a few hours after washing, particularly in the summer or after a workout. People with very oily hair might choose to wash their hair daily or every other day.
Washing the hair is a lot like washing skin. Water can remove most visible dirt and debris, but might not eliminate odors or oily deposits. Shampoo helps water remove dirt, debris, and odors, such as smoke or sweat effectively.
Shampoo cleans the hair with chemicals called surfactants. These are soaps that remove surface debris from the scalp and hair. Many shampoos also contain compounds called sulfates, which produce a rich lather that removes oil from the hair. This can help the hair look cleaner, but it can also damage the hair.
For most people, there is no medical need to shampoo at all, as rinsing with water can remove dirt and dandruff. However, some health conditions can benefit from regular shampooing.
People with parasitic infections of the scalp, particularly lice, may need to use special shampoos to get rid of the bugs.
Scalp psoriasis may improve with the use of special shampoos, particularly tar products or medicated shampoos. People with specific skin and scalp conditions should discuss their ideal hair care regimen with a dermatologist.
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