While you’ve probably spent years following the same hair care routine, there is actually a science to learning how to shampoo and condition hair. In fact, figuring out how to properly wash your hair with the right products is critical to maintaining the health of your scalp and hair.
Shampooing and conditioning hair is one of those mindless activities we tend to do while still half a sleep or before rushing out the door. Most people start by squeezing shampoo on their head, lathering and rubbing their fingers into their scalp, rinsing and then repeating much of the same process with conditioner. And although using shampoo and conditioner shouldn’t be hard, most men and women may not be washing their hair type correctly.
Here’s everything you need to know about washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner to maximize growth, volume, shine and health.
Detangle Hair Before You Shower
Nothing stresses hair out more than running a comb through knotty, wet strands. Wet hair is weaker and more prone to breakage and damage than dry hair. For this reason, it’s best to detangle the hair before you even step into the shower.
Use a quality brush and start from the ends of the hair, working your way up to the roots.
Depending on your hair type, there are several options for detangling before the shower. Made from the soft and flexible hairs of a wild boar, a boar bristle brush distributes oils from root to tip, increases blood flow to the scalp, and encourages hair growth.
Interestingly, for natural hair growth without toxic chemicals, you’ll want to get a shampoo that includes peppermint oil in the formula.
If you prefer a comb, a wide tooth comb makes it easier to detangle and prevents breakage and split ends. Taking the time to detangle helps avoid damage and revitalizes the scalp. Whichever your preference in brush or comb, don’t skip this essential step before showering.
Choose The Right Shampoo
Taking a walk down the shampoo aisle can make your head spin. Hydrating, color-safe, strengthening, thickening, moisturizing, cleansing; which one is right for you?
When choosing a shampoo, the first line of business is figuring out your scalp or skin type.
There are four main scalp types: normal, oily, dry, and combination. Dry scalp’s call for moisturizing shampoos free of sulfates and oily scalps do best with clarifying and strengthening formulas.
Normal hair fares well with volumizing or fortifying shampoo while combination hair demands a custom plan to combat trouble areas.
Knowing what your scalp type is will help you choose the products that are right for you, instead of playing the guessing game in the shampoo aisle.
And according to MensHairstylesToday.com, there are enough affordable all-natural organic shampoo and conditioner products online that you shouldn’t have to settle for harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabens, dyes, or artificial ingredients in your choice.
Use The Right Water Temperature
We know a hot shower feels awesome, but it’s not exactly the best thing for your hair. Hot water opens up the hair cuticle, allowing moisture to enter the hair, but when hair is consistently rinsed in hot water, it strips your locks of their natural oils and moisture.
Using cold water closes up the pores which prevents dirt and oils from entering the scalp, seals in moisture, and leaves the scalp healthy and hydrated.
The key to the perfect wash is to shy away from hot water and make the switch to warm water. Wash hair in lukewarm water, and after applying conditioner, rinse with cold water to seal pores. This way, hair gets both benefits from the water temperature.
Shampoo Your Hair The Proper Way
When you apply shampoo to your hair, do you let it sit in a big blob on top of your head then haphazardly lather it around? Well, you’re doing it wrong, and you’re wasting your pricey shampoo.
To start, you only need about a teaspoon or quarter sized amount of shampoo for medium to long lengths of hair, not the handful you’ve been using. The shampoo should first be dropped into the palms, and then lathered onto the roots.
For a good shampoo, focus must be on the scalp. Massaging the shampoo into and all over the scalp is the key to a good wash. There’s no need to lather all the way to the ends, as the conditioner will take care of that area. Remember: shampoo is for the scalp and conditioner is for the ends.
Don’t Use Your Fingernails
While a scalp massage in the form of a deep scrubbing may feel good after a long day at the office, it’s not exactly what your scalp needs. If you find yourself going at your scalp with your fingernails, it’s time to stop.
Harsh scrubbing with your fingernails can irritate and even infect the scalp. Your fingernails collect all kinds of bacteria and germs that you don’t want getting into your sensitive scalp.
Creating friction from hard scrubbing on the scalp can lead to breakage, damage and frizz. The scraping and tearing of the scalp can also lead to hair loss.
By using the soft pads of your fingertips to gently massage shampoo into the scalp, you’re able to increase blood flow while protecting your hair from damage by your own hand.
Don’t Over Wash or Wash Too Frequently
Contrary to popular opinion, most people do not need to wash their hair every day. Washing your hair too often can lead to a myriad of issues, from drying out the scalp to stripping the hair of color.
Over washing leads the scalp to ramp up oil production in an attempt to replace the oils that are being stripped. This translates to hair getting greasy quickly when you don’t wash it, which forces you to wash it yet again.
To get out of this cycle, stop shampooing every day and switch to every other day. After a few months, you can switch to washing two times a week. Over time, the hair will stop producing excess oil, and you will be able to go longer between washes and still benefit from healthy, shiny hair.
The Best Way To Condition Your Hair
Most people make the mistake of conditioning their hair from scalp to end. This is a big no-no since the natural oil from your scalp is more concentrated at the root. Adding conditioner to this area can clog your hair follicles, increase oil production and slow hair growth. Follow the rule of conditioning your ends, and you won’t run into these pesky problems.
Because your hair is soaking wet after a good wash and therefore filling the hair’s cuticle, your hair is unable to absorb the conditioner if it’s still saturated. Before applying conditioner, gently wring out the ends of your hair until it is damp. Use a dime size amount and run through the ends of hair, rinsing well with cool water to lock in moisture.