Monsoon comes with its perks and downfalls, and one major pet peeve for many is sweat. The hot and humid months are synonymous with rising humidity levels, making it seem like we need a shower every few minutes. And with it comes the concern of sweaty hair. Just like exfoliating your skin is a regular ritual in these months, haircare hygiene is imperative.
It's not an unknown fact that sweat blocks your pores -- not only on your skin but also on your scalp causing itchiness and oiliness. But if your daily tasks require you to be out in the open or you're someone who works out regular a question that many of us are confronted with is, can sweat cause hair damage? Does oiliness mean washing your hair everyday? To answer your concerns we sat down with Dr Kiran Sethi, Dermatologist and Founder Isya Derm to know more.
Can sweat cause hair damage?
Dr Kiran states that sweat itself is not the real damage agent, rather it is the saltwater or water with electrolytes (a natural expression of your body's ability to regulate its temperature) in it that cause the damage. She further says, "However, sometimes sweat air-dries, and can obstruct scalp hair follicles. This causes folliculitis or infection of the hair follicle itself. Sweat can also make your scalp feel a little dry because when it dries, it sometimes takes the moisture from the scalp skin along with it." So is washing your hair regularly the answer? She suggests not. "Though the problem often comes from our thoughts about sweat on the scalp that is associated with being dirty, and hence we wash our scalp daily. " However, this is not the case Dr Kiran cautions. "Regularly washing our scalp causes it to feel more itchy, irritated and dry, and also our strands to be very dry as well. It can also cause more hair breakage because air drying then sweating again then air drying will cause the hair shaft to keep swelling and then going back to normal, causing some damage to the shaft, thereby making it more prone to breakage."
However, if your scalp is oily, excess sweat can sometimes trigger dandruff or worsen scalp obstruction. So then how can we prevent it?
Tips to prevent hair damage
Experts in the field believe that there is no direct correlation between sweat damage and not washing your hair daily. However, it's about adopting hair-friendly practices to reduce the damage. Dr Kiran advises one to try wearing a cotton headband to soak up excess sweat, instead of washing your hair washing daily. Another great alternative to keep your hair strong is also using a leave-in conditioner.
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