While a hair wash may seem like a fairly mundane task, getting it right is not as easy as you think. Washing your hair too often, rarely, or with extremely hot or cold water can have an adverse impact on your overall scalp and hair health – damaging the hair shaft and follicles. Hence, getting this routine process right is imperative.
While you may have curated the perfect hair care arsenal, boasting a suitable shampoo, conditioner, and serum, the trick is to leverage the benefits of these products by using them correctly. Below, we elucidate the dos and don’ts of shampooing to help you achieve the hair of your dreams.
Dos of Shampooing Your Hair
1. Detangle Your Hair Before a Wash
Before you wash your hair, make sure you brush out the knots and tangles to avoid breakage. If you’re in a hurry, simply run your fingers through your hair. As we all know, nobody likes hair stuck in the drain!
2. Wash Your Hair Twice Over
Shampooing your hair once doesn’t clean it out properly. Remove dirt, grime build-up, and any product residue by washing your hair twice.
3. Use a Sulphate-Free Shampoo
Sulphate-free shampoos are ideal for sensitive scalps, given that they are gentle and don’t contain ample chemicals.
4. Pick a Shampoo Based on Your Hair Type and Texture
Matching your shampoo with your hair goals is crucial. If you have curly hair, opt for a hydrating cleanser that contains jojoba oil, shea butter, argan oil, and coconut oil. Alternatively, if you have dry hair or excessive frizziness, a smoothening shampoo is ideal. If your hair is fine or thinning, purchase a volumising shampoo.
5. Use a Microfiber Towel to Dry Your Hair
Wrap your wet tresses in a microfibre towel or cotton t-shirt to avoid friction. If you have time, skip blow-drying your hair and allow it to air dry minus unnatural heat exposure.
6. Dampen Your Hair Before Applying Product
Shampoo tends to lather more evenly on damp hair. Before applying the product, dampen your hair with lukewarm water to open hair cuticles and allow for deeper absorption of post-shampoo hair formulations.
7. Don’t Skimp on Conditioner
Follow up your shampoo with a suitable conditioner to restore lost moisture. Apply the conditioner to the lengths of your hair, keeping it away from your scalp.
8. Invest in a Protein Treatment
Since your hair is composed of proteins, replenishing your locks with protein is ideal for a lustrous, fuller mane. At-home treatments include protein hair masks, hair serums, and hair creams, among other products.
Don’ts of Shampooing Your Hair
1. Avoid Washing Your Hair Daily
Daily hair washing will ruin the texture of your hair and strip your scalp of its natural oils. Contrary to popular belief, this will make your scalp greasy and strands more dry. Your hair follicles will compensate for the loss of natural oils by expelling more sebum onto the scalp.
2. Leave on the Product Before Rinsing It Off
Allow the shampoo to sit on your scalp and strands for at least 3 minutes before rinsing it off. If you have thicker tresses, let it stay on for a bit longer. Shampoo just the roots of your hair and avoid the tips to prevent split ends.
3. Don’t Use Extremely Hot or Cold Water
Lukewarm water is perfect for hair washing. Water that’s too hot or cold can cause damage to your hair. Hot water causes excessive scalp dryness, resulting in dandruff and flakiness. After rinsing off the product, use cool water towards the end to avoid frizziness and strengthen your roots.
4. Steer Clear of Conditioner on the Scalp
A conditioner is for the lengths of your hair, not the scalp. If you use a conditioner on the scalp, you’ll end up with oilier than usual hair.
5. Don’t Be Harsh While Shampooing
When in a rush, one tends to be harsh while washing their hair. Avoid using your nails to scrub your scalp to keep injuries at bay. Abrasive hair washing can also weaken your follicles.
6. Don’t Brush Your Hair When Damp
While you may feel tempted to brush your hair before it dries out completely, avoid doing so. When your hair is wet, the proteins that make up the strands form weaker hydrogen bonds, weakening your hair follicles and causing more breakage and damage.
7. Shampoo Your Scalp and Lengths
While conditioning should be limited to the hair lengths, you should shampoo your strands and scalp. The roots are the oiliest and require the most care.
8. Don’t Overuse Product
Use water to emulsify the shampoo before applying it to your scalp and hair. Doing so will make the product last longer while protecting your hair.
9. Don’t Combine Shampoo With Conditioner
Skip using 2-in-1 products. A shampoo and conditioner need to be applied separately. While shampoo is supposed to cleanse the hair, a conditioner is supposed to repair your hair.
10. Avoid the Following Ingredients
When looking to buy shampoo online, keep an eye out to exclude the following ingredients: sulphates (ALS, SLES, SLS), parabens, polyethylene glycols (PEG), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), formaldehyde, alcohol, sodium chloride, synthetic dyes, and synthetic fragrances.
Since we wash our hair two to three times a week, we must ensure that we are doing it correctly. From finding the right product for your hair type to exposing your strands to an ideal temperature, a lot must be taken into account when washing your hair. Religiously following a few simple steps is all it takes to ensure optimal hair health.