I live in a tropical country where the sun shines all throughout the year, and it is hot and sweaty most of the time. So I shower every day as a habit.
Can showering every day damage your hair? This has been a question that has been lingering in my mind for quite a period of time. I searched for answers and found out that showering every day could make your hair thin, weaken your hair and damage it if you do it wrong.
In this article I will discuss how showering every day could damage your hair, and what precautionary steps that you could take to minimize the damage.
How can showering every day cause hair loss
Showering has become a daily routine activity among most of the individuals including myself. Based on a survey done by a company called YouGov, it was found out that roughly around 66% of the adults in America tend to shower daily.
As you can see, this is a pretty common scenario among most of the individuals. But is it good for your skin and hair to shower daily?
1. Strips away natural oils
The sebaceous glands  in the human body produces sebum. Sebum is a natural oil consisting mainly of fatty acids and triglycerides, wax esters and other lipids . The main purpose of the sebum is to moisturize the skin and hair.
If you are living in an area having a cold climate, then you are probably showering hot water. Well there’s a bad news to give. Hot water could strip away these natural oils.
Hot water showers will open the pores in your head and allow the natural oils to escape more easily. This will strip away the moisture in your scalp and hair.
Therefore the skin and the hair will be dry. The dry skin could lead to scalp irritation and make the hair more vulnerable to break. Further dry hair will be weak and prone to break easily.
On the other hand when the natural oils are stripped away, the hair will start to look thin. As a result your scalp would be visible to the outside. This would make you look like you have lost hair, but actually what it does is make your hair thinner by removing the oil.
If you are using shampoo to shower every day, then this situation would become worse. Most of the shampoos are loaded with heavy cleaning agents which would also remove the natural oils and weaken your hair by making them dry.
2. Could damage the keratin structure
Keratin is a protein which is found in the cells making up the skin, nails and hair which provides a strong structure for such cells.
The expert opinion is that the shampoo and hot water could damage the keratin structure of the hair. This can make the hair weak which can cause hair breakage.
Showering every day using hot water and shampoo could worsen the situation.
3. No time to recover
As discussed above both hot water and shampoo could damage the hair and weaken it, however most of us tend to use hot water and shampoo to shower every day.
Human body will regenerate the lost natural oils and the keratin naturally from the nutrition that we eat as food. However this could take a couple of days, and it could take more time as a person ages.
If you keep on showering every day with hot water and shampoo, then your body has less chance of recovering from these damages. In such a situation, your hair loss would be severe and could even be permanent.
Is it necessary to shower every day
Showering is needed to wash away the dust and dirt built up on the hair. But should you do it every day? Absolutely not. So is it ok for me to shower once a week or twice a week? Well that depends.
According to the experts point of view both over showering and under showering can have its drawbacks. Under showering can increase the build up in the scalp which could cause scalp infections.
Further uncleaned built up could block the hair follicles which could affect hair growth. Therefore both overshowering and under showering could affect your hair negatively.
So how often should you shower? Well I shower every day, upto this day I still do (I will explain later on why and how I shower every day). But the experts recommend that you could shower every other day. That means if you shower today, then you should shower again the day after tomorrow.
This would give the scalp and hair a recovery period from the damage caused to natural oils and keratin.
What showering every day did to my hair
As I said earlier I shower every day, especially since I’m living in a tropical country where it is the summer, throughout the year. Dust, dirt and sweat gets built up on the scalp. To minimize the effect of such build up, showering everyday is crucial (In my opinion of course).
I shower cold water and do not use hot water unless it is absolutely necessary. I use shampoo (it says made up of natural ingredients) only about two days maximum per week.
My showering time will be limited to a maximum of 10 minutes and make sure that water pressure from the shower is not too harsh.
However I made a couple of changes during the beginning of March due to the COVID 19 pandemic. I had to work during that period and I was afraid that I could be bringing the virus home. I had to work from 8 in the morning till about 7 at night.
Because of the fear of the virus I showered at night instead of the mornings (not hot water), before going into my home. I used shampoo as a cleaning agent to clean my head from the virus and continued this routine for a couple of weeks.
I thought that showering with shampoo is a necessary evil to protect myself and my loved ones from the virus.
However, my hair condition got worse. I saw that my hair was gradually thinning out and a large part of the scalp was visible outside. My hair was weak and got broken easily.
Although your shampoo says that it is made up of natural ingredients, do not use it every day. It could contain heavy cleaning agents which could damage your hair, as it did to my hair.
Showering every day did not cause any severe damage to my hair until I started to use shampoo every day during the pandemic.
How to shower every day safely
1. Minimize the use of hot water
In a previous article I have emphasized how hot water could damage your hair in various ways. Hot water would strip away the natural oils in your hair and make it dry and weak. Therefore it is better to avoid hot water and shower from normal water.
However this may seem difficult if you are living in an area with a cold climate. The experts suggest that mild warm water which is slightly above the body temperature is ideal if you prefer showering hot water (slightly above 37 Celsius or 99 Fahrenheit)
Even if you shower from mild warm water, you must do a final rinse from the cold water to close the pores in your scalp which got opened due to warm water.
The opened pores will help to clean the build up in them but also it would allow the natural oils inside the pores which nourish the hair strands to escape, thereby making the hair dry and weak.
2. Avoid shampoo
Most shampoos in the market are loaded with heavy cleaning agents, which helps to clean the dust and dirt in our scalp and hair along with its natural oils.
As I mentioned before, natural oils help to keep the hair moisturized. If such natural oils get stripped away on a daily basis due to the daily use of shampoo, then your hair would lose its moisture and become dry and weak.
You must clean up the dust and dirt build up from your hair. For this you must use shampoo. But it is not necessary to use shampoo every day. Make sure to limit the shampoo usage to a maximum of 2 days per week. Give your body sometime to regenerate the natural oils.
Even though your shampoo says that it is made up of natural ingredients, limit the usage to a maximum of 2 days per week.
When you use shampoo, make sure to wash it off thoroughly and then apply a conditioner to minimize the dryness caused by the shampoo.
3. Get an oil treatment
Showering every day could strip away the natural oils in your scalp in many ways. Therefore nourishing it with oil every once in a while will help to get rid of the dry hair.
You could use olive oil, coconut oil or sesame oil mixed with vitamin E oil and apply on your scalp. Massage your scalp gently so that the oil is thoroughly absorbed. (Click here to check my previous article on using vitamin E and oil for hair growth)
You could apply the oil mixture twice a week in the morning and rinse it off with water. It’s better to rinse off without using shampoo.
It may be difficult to get rid of oil with water alone. In that case use a clean cloth to wipe away the oil from your hair before the shower. However do this gently to avoid the risk of hair breakage.
In my opinion showering every day does not cause a severe damage to your hair that could lead to a severe hair loss, if you use normal water and limit the usage of shampoo to a maximum of 2 days per week.
If your hair does not get dirty, as of mine due to dust and sweat, then showering every day may not be a requirement for you.
But if you do prefer to shower every day then make sure to use normal water and minimize the use of shampoo.
If you want to learn more about the showering mistakes that could lead to hair loss, check my previous article from here.