How to Wash Your Hair the Right Way

How to Wash Your Hair the Right Way

Do you ever wonder why it feels so good to have your hair washed at the salon? It’s nothing like when you do it yourself at home, and your hair never feels quite as soft.

Your shampoo might not be the problem. There’s a right way to wash your hair, and when you do it wrong, you can leave your hair damaged and dull. We’ll show you how to wash your hair the right way with these simple steps. 

Brush First

Most people skip this step before they shower, but it makes all the difference in what that wash does for your hair and scalp. When you get rid of the tangles, you let the shampoo reach all your hair.

Brushing first reduces breakage and keeps your hair healthier. But make sure you use the right brush for your hair type— the wrong one can do damage, too. 

Rinse with Warm Water

If you like steaming showers, we’ve got some bad news. When you wash your hair with water that hot, you dry out your hair. Even worse, if you have dyed or color-treated hair, you put it on the fast track to fading.

Warm water allows your pores to open and absorb your hair treatment. It’s also gentler on your skin. You can even do a final cold rinse to close the pores at the end of your shower. 

Use the Right Shampoo for You

We did say shampoo might not be the problem, but sometimes it is. Your hair’s texture, oiliness or dryness, and even whether you bleach or dye it all come into play when choosing the right shampoo.

Oily hair benefits from salicylic acid and fewer ingredients to clear away excess oils without putting more stuff in your hair. If you have dry hair, try to find shampoos that have extra moisturizing agents.

With fine hair, avoid silicones but do use film-formers to help increase the volume of your hair. On the other hand, curly hair benefits from conditioning agents that moisturize your hair and reduce frizz.

If you’ve ever had a problem with your bleached hair turning yellow, a clarifying shampoo can help it keep its brightness. Likewise, use formulas specifically for color-treated hair if you dye it. 

Massage Your Scalp

Fingernails are too harsh for your scalp. After all, you don’t want to actually rip your hair out after a stressful day at work.

No matter how dirty your hair feels, roughness won’t make it cleaner. Instead, use your fingertips to gently massage the shampoo into your scalp for a minute or two. If you feel you need more than one round, rinse and repeat.

Make sure you don’t apply the shampoo directly to your scalp, though. Lather it with a little water in your hands first. That way, you can massage it more evenly over your scalp without missing any areas. It also means you use less shampoo, which saves you money when it lasts longer. 

Let Your Conditioner Set

Make sure you thoroughly rinse your hair before you use conditioner—and don’t apply it the same way you shampoo. Your hair needs the moisture more than your scalp, so don’t start at your roots.

Condition your hair starting at the midway point between the roots and tips. Since the tips dry out faster, they need extra attention.

Leave the conditioner in your hair for about five to seven minutes. Then, use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to work it in before you rinse it out.

Don’t Wash Daily

While many of us feel dirty if we don’t wash our hair often enough, every day is too much. Even every other day can dry out your hair and scalp.

Your hair has natural oils. When you wash them out too often, you encourage your hair and scalp to overproduce those oils. You should only wash your hair about three times a week, especially if you have long hair. The oils help keep your hair healthy, and after a few weeks, you’ll notice that your natural oil production balances on its own. 

Sarah Wood - August 3, 2020

“How to Use Hair Conditioner.” Healthline. Accessed 24 July 2020.

Goins, Liesa. “How to Choose the Right Shampoo.” Radiance by WebMD. Accessed 24 July 2020.

“Hair Wash Dos & Don’ts.” Dove. Accessed 24 July 2020.

Mazzone, Dianna. “How to Wash Your Hair the Right Way in 6 Simple Steps.” Teen Vogue. Accessed 24 July 2020.

“How to Wash Your Hair (the Right Way) for Healthier Hair.” Redken. Accessed 24 July 2020.

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