If you are regularly looking for new ways to keep your hair as healthy as possible, maybe you’ve heard the buzz about women trying to train their hair to produce less oil. Some women believe that you can train your hair so it becomes used to not being washed regularly, reducing oil production.
If you have heard this idea, you may be wondering if trying this would leave you with greasy hair, if it would cause dandruff or if it would really make your hair healthy. Here is a closer look at this idea and some information to help you decide if you should give this a try.
About the Dandruff
First, would you end up with dandruff if you stop washing your hair or you wash hair less often? No, not washing hair will not lead to dandruff. Bacteria and overactive sebaceous glands end up causing dandruff. So, if you do not currently deal with dandruff, then skipping a shampoo here or there will not cause dandruff to occur.
To figure out if training hair to be less oily really works, let’s take a look at how the oil actually ends up on the scalp. This oil, called sebum, is made by sebaceous glands that are located beneath the skin’s surface. These small glands produce sebum that ends up on the skin via hair follicles. While having some of this sebum is a great moisturizing, keeping hair and skin supple and soft, too much sebum production can be a problem.
If you are wondering if you can train your hair to get used to not shampooing it, then you make the assumption that allowing that oil to remain on your hair and scalp will reduce oil production. On the opposite side, this means that shampooing regularly could make the sebaceous glands start producing more sebum. In reality, this is very close to what actually happens.
Sebaceous Glands and Oil Production
Let’s take a look at how the production of sebum is actually regulated. Oil production is actually regulated by the presence of oil on the skin’s surface. Studies show that when oil is located on the skin’s surface, it actually sends a signal that turns off the sebaceous glands. So, with this in mind, in theory, it could be possible to work on training your hair to produce less oil.
What About Shampoo?
So, with that in mind, wouldn’t shampooing regularly make your scalp become oilier? Actually, shampooing doesn’t continually create more oil, since oil production quickly levels off. For example, once you shampoo, it removes the oil from the scalp, and then the message goes to the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce more sebum. However, once they produce enough oil for the entire scalp, the signal goes back to turn off oil production. This means you only get a specific amount of oil on the scalp.
If you stop washing your hair, that sebum will start building up until it reaches a specific amount and then the message will go to the glands to stop producing the sebum. This means that you will still have some of the oil on your scalp unless you wash it away. So, although shampooing does end up triggering the production of more oil, once a certain amount ends up on the scalp, the production stops. So, the idea that shampooing will result in the accumulation of more and more oil on the scalp over time really isn’t true.
Keep in mind, if your sebaceous glands are overactive, you could end up with oily hair or skin. However, shampooing your hair is not causing the oil problem.
The Bottom Line
In the end, you could benefit from reducing the number of times per week you shampoo, depending on the oiliness of your skin and your specific hair type. You could definitely try it. However, don’t stop using shampoo because you think it will make hair even oilier. It just doesn’t work that way.