Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.47.52 PM

I am definitely not the first natural to notice what appears to be faster hair growth with more frequent washing. In the beginning of my journey, it was a question that came up periodically on the hair care forums I visited. A recent video by Naptural85 (Whitney) made me revisit that question again. In this post, we look at Whitney’s theory and present some possibilities for why it may be true.

The “theory”

If you follow Whitney’s main hair care channel, Naptural85, then you’ve probably seen the video she released a few weeks ago entitled “My Hair Growth Plan + Theory” (posted below). She discussed her new hair growth regimen, which includes co-washing more frequently – every 3 days to be exact. In short, her “theory” is that washing more frequently will lead to faster hair growth based on two observations:

1. That straight and wavy hair appears to grow longer faster than curlier or kinkier textures

2. Those with straight and wavy hair tend to wash their hair more often than those with curlier or kinkier textures

The logic behind her theory is that more washing equals more root stimulation and moisture, both of which equal faster hair growth and more retention.

Massages for faster hair growth

“Therapeutic massage increases circulation (helping bring more blood to the scalp) and reduces stress” – University of Maryland Medical Center on Alopecia

Many of us already know, that scalp massages can aid in hair regrowth. A proper massage can stimulate blood circulation, thus inducing the anagen (growth) phase by delivering more nutrients to the follicle. Additionally, it can reduce stress, which may prematurely induce the catagen (regression) phase of the follicle. So increased scalp massages due to more frequent washing can help with hair regrowth and possibly reaching one’s optimal growth rate.

Moisture and length retention

Many of us are aware of how length retention is adversely affected by dryness. Parched strands lead to brittle strands, which lead to increased susceptibility towards breakage. It is no secret that our hair thrives and retains length better when it is adequately moisturized. So wetting the hair via washing has its benefits as well – in the form of hydration.

But what about over-manipulation?

There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing” and this can apply to washing. Washing too frequently can result in excessive handling of the hair and lead to increased breakage over time. For some, washing can also lead to dryness, but that can be mitigated by using conditioners or solely water to wash. As for what it means to wash too frequently? That is something that you have to determine for yourself.

For further reading:
Study on stress and hair loss in mice (2003)

 

So what are your thoughts and/or experiences? Do you notice faster hair growth with frequent washing?

Chinwe

Healthy hair care tips and more!
http://www.healthyhairbody.com

Leave a Reply

50 Comments on "Does Constant Washing Make Natural Hair Grow Faster?"

Notify of
avatar
MsPhenomenal

I started washing my hair weekly with shampoo, and deep conditioning, but also, right in between those weekly washes, co washing. This made my hair much more softer…ends too.

kia

I co wash everyday. My hair is always moisturizer and I have minimal shedding. I don’t deep condition either. I’ve been doing this constantly for about a year now.

Tai Evans

How on earth do you style wet hair daily? Someone with a looser texter could probably manage, but for us 4’s I imagine it would be a nightmare, especially with longer hair.

kia

wash n go. i have a little 3b, mainly 3c, and a few sprigs (lol) of 4a.

Amanda

Lol I have mine in mini twist and wet it every other day then apply moisturizer it’s fine. U don’t have to style ur hair everyday

FineNaturalHairandFaith

I think this method could potentially work for some but not all. As for someone with a head full of fine hair, frequent washing is just WAY too much manipulation. when I wash, I can’t get past having to do some form of detangling. If i’m ever going to reach my hair goals, I have to minimize how much.

envy_chic

I’m definitely not in the wash everyday bandwagon, but I do think more frequent washes has scalp, moisture, and detangling benefits, like Whitney noted in her video. When my natural hair was at neck length, i washed every 3 days or so and definitely had less tangles and **faster** hair growth. I definitely need to revisit some old habits.

Aliyah

I think only people with a really short twa can wash everyday . When I had a twa I use to cowash all the time now that it has grown to my shoulders ( when stretched ) I can’t cowash all the time because I’ll have shrinkage and crazy tangles . I have to protective style . I love my braided updos though .

Aliyah

Nah I don’t believe in washing everyday because I don’t want shrinkage and tangles but spraying with a water bottle really helps your hair ALOT. I protective style with a braided updo and I spray with water to my roots then seal with olive oil . When I take my braided updo down I also use shea butter . People with straight hair and wavvy hair have to wash everyday because there hair is really oily and greasy . While our hair tends to be dry that’s why we always use oils moisturizers and butters .

zanalies .

totally agree with you!

Cosita

Drying quickly is a sign of normal to high porosity. Low porosity takes a long time to dry. For me air drying alone is a whole day.

Akum

This sounds like a good idea but I don’t think its for me because every time I put water in my hair but hair shrinks like crazy, then I have to spend time stretching it out.

Tina

I noticed more moisture and more “tingly” sensations on my scalp by co washing twice a week than once. I absolutely love the feeling and I will continue with this theory for 3 months to compare

Treacle234

I agree, water helps hair grow. Wetting your hair on a frequent basis helps it to grow. Saturating the scalp with water is great.

Mscoleman1991

I notice more growth when I cowash my TWA almost everyday versus wearing a wig and washing it once a week.

Uzori_Kinks
Doesn’t this concept slightly resemble the maximum hydration as MH requires you to wet your hair daily only that MH consists of a thousand and one steps whilst with this one your just co-washing your hair daily then sealing in that moisture. I recently started co-washing my hair everyday and it has given my hair more shine/sheen ,whichever one, either way my hair tends to look more nourished and less dull.My hair has low porosity (like I left my strands in a glass of water and they stayed afloat the WHOLE day! and then some) my hair dries very fast… Read more »
K Moore
I think she is 100% correct about this theory. I figured it out the same at the beginning of my hair journey after I big chopped. I was able to wash my hair every day with my TWA because I constantly wanted to refresh my curls. My hair grew like a weed and I was back shoulder length in 7 months. I was amazed and so was my family. Now that I am 2.5 years in my hair is 2 inches from BSL but I have noticed the growth slow down because I don’t wash it daily. instead I wash… Read more »
Free Tea
I agree with the concept that daily (or every 3 days) washing is a bit unreasonable for those with tighter patterns and longer hair–I find that my roots and strands love it, but my ends HATE it. It’s just too much manipulation for them. Every 5-7 days is frequent enough for me. I tried washing more frequently earlier this summer, and I had to do a major (2-3 inches) trim as a result. I’m trying to break past BSL, but I had to cut all the way back to APL after that foolishness. Do what your hair likes, ladies. It… Read more »
Dawn

It stands to reason that your hair grows better the more you wash it. Consider a plant. We water it and it grows. We don’t water it and it wilts and dies. Continue to consider the plant. If we feed it and talk to it, it thrives. The same goes for our hair. If we do not water it and feed it, it won’t grow.

omfg

a plant that is overwatered can die though. you have to reach the proper balance for the plant in question.

Elia T

But hair isn’t the same as plants.

Tai Evans

You don’t have to detangle a plant though lol

zanalies .

LOL!

lis

You know it’s true….what I do is oil with coconut oil and then rinse with only water next day or next two or three days…..scrub scalp….no shampoo ….mainly at night…then oil, aloe vera juice+ vegetable glycerine and leave ins…..it works.

maneinuk
I think Whitney might be onto something here and I’d like to share my experience because I feel that I’m a bit of hair oddity and I would like hear from anyone who has shared the same experience. First a bit of hair background: very low porosity, which is probably the reason I had unsuccessful so far in my hair journey. My hair has many textures from 3a to 4b. I have been natural and my hair has (only?) reached apl when stretched. I have tried a few of Whitney’s recipes, but no matter what I would put in my… Read more »
Camille

Discovering that my hair was low porosity was a huge deal for me. I have tried almost every oil and butter that exists, but I simply can’t put that on my hair. Water, aloe vera, and products with glycerin are what REALLY moisturizes my hair. I use products that have these ingredients in the top 5.

maneinuk

I am planning to use glycerine this winter. I will probably keep my hair in a protective style (in braids) to avoid too much frizz. Hopefully without the oil/ butter no longer working as a shield, i should benefit from the humidity of the weather. What has been great so far is that i spend £1 for a bar of soap and my hair dries much faster, it takes 20 minutes to braid and wash my hair (in that order), and my hair is ready the following day.

Audrey John Melzer
I have been drowning my hair in butters and oils for years to no avail thinking low porosity meant I needed to apply all the things to my hair. I was so wrong! I recently went to a natural hair salon for the first time ever and my stylist only used a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and some light oils for styling. She oiled my scalp and sent me on my way. I had a moment or five of butter withdrawal but my hair is much happier. I just washed it with the same products she used, detangled with a… Read more »
Camille

I live in Texas so my winter isn’t too bad, but I have had the best luck doing a double coating of something that is light rather than using something heavy when my hair feels dry. Also doing something while the first coating sinks in (just a few minutes) helps.

Renee

I big chopped twice because my hair was dry. I tried everything – seriously. After the second bc, I was like ok im fine with the boy cut because i have the face for it. So my daughter, she is natural, her hair is growing out, looks great, and my hair envy was up there (lol) and I wanted my hair to grow out. I tried the baggy/greenhouse method and water washing and voila that worked for me and still does, finally. I scritch and message daily, sometimes co-wash but I wash monthly; I only use Alikah Natural products.

April Davis
I kind of agree with Naptural. I watch all kinds of videos about healthy hair, including those made by women of other races. I do believe there is a correlation between hair growth and water. I’m not necessarily washing my hair more often though. What I have been doing is drenching my hair in water everyday..no product. I’ve noticed a difference in softness…haven’t been monitoring it long enough to know if it effects my growth. And depending on your style, it still allows for low manipulation. I’m wearing yarn twists now and once I drench my hair, I squeeze the… Read more »
Bianca Roberson

I was just thinking about this. Currently training for my first marathon. With all of the sweatt and builup on my scalp, I’ve been co washing frequently (using Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Co Wash). My hair seems to be growing whereas during the winter my hair growth seemed stagnant. And because I’m really simple with my styles (braid outs for 2-3 days and buns after) my detangling is pretty much a breeze.

Crystal

Our hair 4c is based on less manipulation…Washing have nothg to do with it even though moisture is good but not necessary. We have oils as well and black hair can do just fine once a week or month the ppl I know that did this had healthy, long, hugh hair..I hve did a total of 10 BCs. Just love your hair.

Elodie Careme

I only wash my hair once a week but as I have a TWA I water my hair everyday in the shower (heavily like for a shampoo). I only recently started so I’m gonna wait a little to draw conclusions. I understand the logic behind it: fréquent watering means better hydratation but what I’m not comfortable with is the manipulation and product: won’t it be too agressive ? I m really longing for the results of her experimentation.

Beni

I think what she was going for was solely water-washes. You don’t necessarily have to add product, and I hardly manipulate it (too much of either defeats the purpose). I alternate between watering my hair in the shower and just spraying it (I have a bottle with just water in it). The only product I use is oil to seal the moisture, but I don’t even need to do that as often because I water every day.

Cosita
She said she’s going to wash every three days which nothing radical. It’s actually fairly common and has been my wash routine for many years, I do it even more and yes my hair seems to grow faster in the summer. People should realize race and curl pattern are not the end all of hair care. I almost hate responding sometimes when black people ask me how I care for my hair because I’m “acting white” because I wash my hair more than once a week and I use Tresemme instead of products for “our” hair. Frequent washing can make… Read more »
Sharlene
I think what’s been confusing this debate since she posted this video is that some people are confusing SHAMPOOING (cleansing your hair with a cleanser) with CONDITIONING (wetting your hair, applying conditioner, and then rinsing). It seems people for so long have been misusing the term co-wash and somehow think using conditioner, which is not a cleanser, will cleanse/strip your hair. I believe her plan is to use a rinse-out conditioner every three days. I totally agree with her logic and I’m looking forward to seeing her results. If you can add leave-in conditioners/moisturizers to your hair everyday, why would… Read more »
Chevanne
I don’t think the washing frequency of looser textures can be correlated with kinky textures. Looser textures tend to get greasy, which is why standard shampoos are so stripping. They are getting rid of oil buildup that is uncomfortable or weighs down the hair. On the other hand, kinkier textures are more naturally dry, as natural oils don’t make it completely down the hair shaft. That dryness can result in breakage or split ends that affect length retention. If you wash more frequently, you allow the best moisturizer — water — to saturate your hair. Well moistured hair breaks less.… Read more »
LBell
Completely agree…what I’ve learned over almost 20 years of being natural is that the more moisturized my hair is, the more length I retain, and that has NOTHING to do with how fast or how well the hair grows. Almost all of the length retention issues I’ve had over the years were because I tried to do too much to these fine 4b coils of mine. Folks kill me with how stuck they are on growth, growth, my hair doesn’t/can’t/won’t grow, yada yada yada…EVERYBODY’S hair grows. And straight and wavy hair textures don’t necessarily grow faster either…they just show length… Read more »
herlucidsky
Great points, especially about kinkier hair textures doing more styles. When I was a teenager and still to this very day, people always wonder why I wear the same “boring” styles everyday. “Why don’t you switch it up and do something different?” Truthfully the main reason is because I prefer simple and I just can’t be bothered. But over the years I’ve come to realize that with less manipulation and more moisture retained, the more length retention achieved. Less is definitely more in my case. Whenever I share with someone how simple and low maintenance my regimen is, it’s as… Read more »
Alicia

I do notice during the summer my hair grows the most because I’m constantly washing my hair after swimming or going to the beach.

Dee

same.

lv

increased growth of my 4a – 4b hair as a result of washing more has definitely been the experience

FreeTea

I really think this depends on type AND texture (there are 4s that can wash every 3-5 days and there are 3s that wash twice a month). Unlike the posters below, I suffer breakage and rougher detangling sessions when I wash more frequently than once a week. It would be interesting to see how our hair differs 🙂

Rydee
I’m currently doing this right now and I LOVE it! After I saw this video and another instagram user jewjewbee (sp?) talk about how washing her hair more often lead to easier detangling sessions and using bentonite clay masks made her curls clump better, I had to give it a go. And omgggg y’all! My detangling sessions use to be ridiculous but now I wash my hair every four days and it’s loooove. Soo easy to detangle and it makes so much sense. Since I’m not trying to go the longest time without washing my hair aka detangle it only… Read more »
Alevi Cross

To be completely honest I do a half-a**ed job at detangling when washing frequently.. and there were still barely any tangles lol. I was also inconsistent, some days I wash every 1-2 days, other I wait up to a week as usual. I’ll try to be more consistent next time and actually detangle well.

Camille

I cowash/detangle every 2-4 days most of the time, and it doesn’t get tangled the way it does when I go 5+ days.

jjac401

I agree that washing the hair frequently causes the hair to grow faster. That’s my experience.

Elia T

Oil hydrates hair. Water has the opposite effect. It strips the hair of oils.

ToniG

Water hydrates hair. Oil seals in the moisture. Not the water that strips the hair, it’s the harsh products (I.e. Shampoo) that strips the hair of oils. That’s why many people find Cowashing to be beneficial.

wpDiscuz