Is Sweating Good or Bad for Your Hair?
Sweating is our body’s natural mechanism to regulate our temperature. Sweating or perspiration is a process in which the sweat glands release a clear liquid that is high in salt. When this liquid evaporates, it leaves a cooling effect on the skin. There are two types of these sweat glands—one for the hair and the other for the skin. The Eccrine glands are spread over the body. They open on the skin’s surface directly to allow the sweat to escape, whereas apocrine glands are where the hair growth is thick, like the head, axilla, and inguen. They open in the hair follicle, which opens onto the skin’s surface.
This way, both glands can release the sweat onto the surface, which gives a cooling effect. In some parts of the body, these glands are most active, like the scalp, axilla, face, and back. These parts are more exposed to air; hence the sweat will easily evaporate.
Sweating is an unpleasant experience. The sweat often stinks, and in a humid climate, it can leave behind an oily residue on the face. However, sweating is not all that bad; it serves more than one purpose because it is also our natural detox method. Active sweating means our metabolic rate is healthy, and our body is detoxing.
Sweating Too Much Or Too Little
One thing we should keep in mind is that an excess of anything is wrong. If you are sweating too much, it might be a good idea to consult a doctor as too much sweating can indicate a lot of things, like a heart malfunction. An increased heartbeat can lead to excessive sweating. Too little sweating is also bad for your health. It means the body is not working at a healthy metabolic rate, which can lead to further complications.
Now that we have discussed how good overall sweating is let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sweating against our hair. Many sweat glands below our scalp let the sweat out of the hair follicles. These secretions can leave our hair looking unwashed and disheveled. But is this any good for the hair? As discussed earlier, too much of anything is wrong. If it is too much sweating, better consult a doctor, but if it is normal, there are a few benefits and a few disadvantages. We will discuss these in detail below.
Is Sweating Bad for Your Hair?
One of the most obvious reasons is that it leaves the hair looking unwashed. But how bad is it anyway? According to studies, sweat contains a reasonably high amount of salt, and when the sweat evaporates, it leaves these salt deposits in our hair. These salt deposits are harmful and should be taken care of.
1. Sweat can be a major culprit for the hair fall you are facing
Sweat leaves behind deposits of salt on the scalp. Now, these deposits can damage your hair big time! It can weaken the roots, clog the follicles, leading to ingrown hair, and even encourage dandruff. Studies have shown that sweating is the cause of Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA), more commonly known as frontal hair loss.
2. Sweat can be responsible for frizzy and dull hair
Frizzy and dull hair is often seen in dry and humid areas. This is because the residues of sweat can leave the hair looking dull, while the constant wet hair leaves them frizzy. It can also happen because of frequent shampooing.
3. Sweat encourages dandruff and itchiness
Yes, dandruff is often caused by sweat or frequent shampooing. Sweat leaves the hair looking oily, so we have to shampoo them for a fresher look, encouraging dandruff. Also, the salt residues on the scalp leave the skin dry, which gives birth to more dandruff. The salt residues and dandruff will leave your skin itchy and irritable.
4. It can clog the hair follicles
If the sweat is not cleaned up, it can leave the hair follicles clogged. This blockage can lead to fungal outbreaks, negatively affecting hair growth, and can easily lead to infections. Folliculitis is a condition where small red pimples appear on your scalp. This infection happens when sweat keeps gathering in your head and is not cleaned.
Is Sweating Good For Hair Growth?
Now the question that arises is how good sweat is for our hair. Well, we again have a few points for you to ponder!
1. Sweat is a good cleanser
Imagine that! Like our facial skin to glow, our scalp needs to be cleansed for healthier growth. Sweat glands are present next to the hair follicles; they open up into them. This means that sweat ends up cleansing the way no shampoo can!
Once we cleanse hair follicles, there is more room for the hair to grow. They become healthier and grow at an increasing rate.
3. Sweat has an antibiotic nature
The constituents of the sweat form an excellent antibiotic and can heal wounds on the scalp much more quickly than any ointment can.
4. Dormant sweat glands can cause more harm to the scalp than active ones
When the sweat glands are not active, the skin accumulates dead cells, which becomes a hindrance to hair growth. In opposition, active sweat glands cleanse the skin and help grow hair.
We all love our hair, and hair loss gets us all worried. This hair loss happens because of clogged hair follicles but sweat opens these pores and encourages hair growth.
How Can I Protect My Hair from Sweating?
We have discussed the pros and cons of sweat in our hair. Sweating in itself is good but sweat causes damage. So how do we protect them? Here are a few ways to help you out.
1. Use dry shampoo and a headband
The chemicals in shampoo can damage our hair, so that we can use dry shampoo. It quickly absorbs sweat and doesn’t let it do too much damage. A workout headband absorbs much sweat, especially from the forehead, where sweat can cause Frontal fibrosing alopecia.
3. Apply leave-in conditioner
A leave-in conditioner will act as a barrier between hair and sweat. It doesn’t let the sweat cause much damage.
4. If frequent shampooing is required, try conditioning your hair only
You can alternate between shampooing and using a conditioner only. The conditioner will wash away the sweat and not cause damage to the scalp. Also, dry your hair with a hooded dryer after a rigorous workout. This will help you dry out your hair.