Doctor busts hair washing ‘myth’ that people still fall for

Washing your hair might seem like a chore, but one doctor has warned against leaving it unwashed for more than a few days due to some rather unsavoury consequences.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr Jenny Liu took to TikTok to warn that neglecting your scalp could be detrimental to your hair health. Her video’s caption stressed “scalp care is skincare”.

Dr Liu disclosed the unsettling reason why you should “never go more than a few days” without washing your hair, debunking the popular belief that hair can ‘train’ itself to be less oily. She insisted it’s “completely a myth that our hair and scalp just cleanses itself”.

According to Dr Liu: “We know that sebum, dead skin build-up, all of that basically contributes to Malassezia yeast overgrowth [a fungal skin condition], that can lead to dandruff, as well as inflammation.

“Just even sebum itself sitting on our scalp causes oxidative stress, and that inflammation is not a healthy environment for your hair to grow.”

For those experiencing hair loss, Dr Liu advised maintaining scalp health as a key factor in promoting hair growth.

Dr Liu stated that the frequency of hair washing is “personal”, and “depends on your scalp type” and “lifestyle”. Thus, those with an oilier scalp or those who exercise regularly, resulting in sweat, may need to wash their hair “frequently”, perhaps every other day or even daily. Conversely, those with a dry scalp require less frequent washing.

She also advised against the daily use of anti-dandruff shampoo as it can be “very drying for your scalp and hair”, leading to “dry and frizzy” hair. It also disrupts the moisture barrier, which “doesn’t help dandruff either”.

For those who wash their hair daily, Dr Liu recommended using an anti-dandruff shampoo two to three times a week, leaving it on the scalp for five minutes before rinsing off.

She also debunked the myth of using olive oil on the scalp to retain moisture, stating it has “not been demonstrated in any way to help with scalp concerns”.

However, if one desires an oil to “nourish” the hair, Dr Liu suggested coconut oil as it “penetrates into your hair shaft” to “really condition and temporarily reduce damage”.

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