Advice on Hair Loss After I Stopped Washing My Hair'

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Name: Louis

Question: Hi, recently I stopped washing my hair as a couple of friends recommended it to me that they haven’t washed theirs in years and all was fine and they didn’t had any negative side effects and only positive (no more buying shampoo, hair looks better, no more chemicals,…). After I started doing this (4 weeks already), I noticed like they said my hair was fuller and stronger, which is great. However, now if I comb my hair after showering I notice more hairs in my comb than there used to be. I’m just wondering is it that I’m losing more hair due to not washing with shampoo, or is this just the hair that I used to lose during shampooing and now only comes off during combing? Many thanks if you could help with advice.

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Answer: Hi, Louis. If you are not washing your hair at all - not even running your fingers through it while you rinse with water to ensure surface dirt is washed off the scalp and roots - then it is likely that you're simply noticing normal hair fall.

We each shed around 100 hairs per day as part of the hair growth cycle and this is a perfectly normal amount of hair loss. Often these hairs shed throughout the day and either drop away without us noticing, or cling to clothing or other hairs.

When the hair is agitated - whether by brushing, combing or washing - this encourages any loose hairs to fall. When it takes place in an environment where we are particularly focused on our hair, such as in the shower, it can seem excessive but is not necessarily anything to worry about unless there are other symptoms also present.

If you are noticing excessive hair fall on a regular basis, or if any other issues, such as a drop in hair density - some women notice their ponytail feeling thinner, a widening of the parting or hair loss become apparent, we would recommend seeing a specialist for a consultation.

You don't mention how you are keeping your scalp clean, having stopped using shampoo, but we would certainly recommend you look into this. It is our professional opinion that, washing the hair once a day or once every other day for Caucasian and Asian hair types and one a week to once a fortnight for Afro hair types, using a good quality shampoo formulated without harsh chemicals is the best hair care routine to ensure a healthy scalp and well-cared for hair.

However, we know some people prefer to join the no-poo movement and, in these cases, we would suggest looking at cleansing conditioners - of which many natural, organic formulations are available - to help keep your scalp clean, healthy and free from build-up. This is also known as co-washing (conditioner-washing) and is a detergent-free way to clean the hair and scalp. Whilst we would still advise the use of shampoo, if this is something you wish to avoid then co-washing is certainly a better option than not washing the hair at all.

Every day elements such as air pollution, sweat and skin shedding can cause a dirty scalp which, when it is not kept clean, can become a source of irritation and potential infection. As an aside, regularly washing the scalp can be beneficial to anyone with genetic hair loss - Male and Female Pattern Baldness - as it helps to remove surface DHT (the hormone responsible for thinning hair in these hereditary conditions).
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