Does Constant Washing Make Natural Hair Grow Faster?

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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?

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