Is skipping out on shampoo healthy?

Washing HairMore and more people are going longer without shampoo as it is believed that shampoo damages the hair as it strips the hair of its own natural oils. The trend is quite popular from many celebrities embarking in “no-poo” as it is been deemed. But is not using shampoo actually healthy and beneficially for the hair and scalp? Well experts say that that depends more so on the individual.

Dr. Angela Lamb, director of Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology in New York City said, “It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. It all depends on your hair type. There are some hair types that would tolerate it better than others.”


Alternatives to regular drug-store shampoos include at-home concoctions which contain baking soda and apply cider vinegar for example.
Dr. Lisa Donofrio, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine explained the theory behind the “no-poo” trend as “leaving the natural oils on the hair, the hair doesn’t need any styling products. If you don’t apply any styling products, then there is no need to wash your hair. No products, no need to wash them out.”

Hair products are the primary reason people wash their hair, it’s in order to remove such products. Dr. Lamb added, “You don’t want to leave products in for a month,” she said. “Those are things you want to wash out, or the hair can become brittle and break.”

Although not washing the hair may be beneficial, there is still a need to use a cleaning product for the scalp in order to remove dead skin, dirt, dried sweat and even oil. If the scalp is not properly cleaned a person can become prone to fungal and bacterial infections. The scalp may also become irritated, flakey and develop pimple-like lesions.

Lamb suggests that the “no-poo” trend, although isn’t harmful, may not be for everyone and that only each individual knows how often they should or shouldn’t be washing their hair. “You’re not putting your hair at risk by trying this. Try it and see. Frankly, I have some patients who love it, and say their hair is the healthiest it’s ever been. And I have other patients who say their hair has too much build-up; their scalp is too oily; their scalp is itching,” added Lamb.

Dr. Donofrio added that even if you try going without shampooing your hair and scalp will tell you if it’s worth it or not.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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