Taking care of your scalp is a juggling act. When you wash your hair too much, you risk damaging your scalp and hair. And when you don’t wash your hair enough, well, you risk damaging your scalp and hair.
“A total lack of moisture from stripping oils can also cause a dry, flaky scalp and as your scalp dries out so does your hair,” hairstylist Tonya Le said of too frequent hair washings in an interview with Insider. This can lead to an itchy scalp, according to the Cleveland Clinic. In turn, a dry, itchy scalp “can lead to increased hair shedding,” said dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal to the Cleveland Clinic. And don’t think about picking your dry scalp. “If you then pick at those flakes or scrape at them, you can even end up damaging your hair follicles, which could lead to hair loss,” Niket Sonpal, an internist and professor at Touro College in New York City, to Bustle.
Now, if you don’t wash your hair enough, you can incur buildup on your scalp, which may negatively affect your hair growth, Angela Lamb, a board-certified dermatologist, told USA Today. In addition, not washing your hair for an extended period of time increases the risk of developing ringworm of the scalp, explained Medline Plus.