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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

Empow­er­ing women of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin. https://cherishthymelanin.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cherishthymelanin/

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

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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.

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.

Tai Evans

You don’t have to detan­gle a plant though lol

zanalies .

LOL!

Elia T

But hair isn’t the same as plants.

omfg

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

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 »
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.

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.

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.

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.

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 it… 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 »
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 »
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 faster… 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 after… Read more »
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.

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.

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.

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