How to Break your Hair’s Oil Cycle – Part One

Washing your hair.  It seems simple enough, but when you stop to think about it, the simple task of washing hair can impact a lot of things.  Most directly, it impacts your time.  Time to wash hair, comb it, and dry it (if you use an energy sucking blow drier that also damages your hair).  But besides time, there is also money spent on shampoo and conditioner (both of which have to be manufactured).  A third impact from washing your hair is water.  Water is pumped to your house, heated, used in the shower, sent to be treated (with gallons of chemicals), and then released into the environment.

With these three impacts in mind, I am trying to reduce the number of times that I wash my hair per week.  In order to do this, I will have to break my hair’s oil cycle.  I’m not a hair expert, but my understanding is that when you shower, you wash away the natural oils on your head.  Then your skin thinks it needs to make more oil to replace the oils that were washed away.  The more you wash your hair, the more oil your head will produce and this becomes the oil cycle.

As I got deeper into this green change, I wondered, how often does everyone else wash their hair? To answer this question, I surveyed 52 ladies.  Thank you to everyone who participated!  Here’s the data:

On average, we wash our hair 4 times per week, but the most frequent answer was “every other day”.  Below is a graph of all the responses.  2.5 washes per week means that the person washes their hair 2 or 3 times per week.  I know you can’t actually wash your hair in half increments.  Also, a few people mentioned that they use dry shampoo sometimes.  This data represents wet hair washes only.

Hair Washing Frequency

I’m sharing this data because I think it is interesting, not because I am judging someone for washing their hair a certain amount.  Each individual has to do what they feel comfortable with.  With that in mind, stay tuned for part two on this topic when I’ll report on the results of my attempt to reduce my hair washing frequency.


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