We’ve been washing our hair since forever and It's almost like we think we already know everything about washing our hair. Right? I know what you're thinking... since when was hair-washing interesting? It's really the last thing we probably think about. We go in, enjoy the shower and that is it. We are really probably more focused on aftercare and using serums or leave-in conditioners but today we are going back to the foundations of hair care. This is Hair-washing 101.
How should one really wash the hair? It really does vary from one person to the other and rightfully so. Since your years of experience cleaning your own hair has helped you develop your own hair washing routine. What I have learned though, is that there are still some changes we can apply to optimize the washing experience. Let us start with water temperature.
What do you think is the best option to wash your hair? Cold, hot, or lukewarm? Apparently, the answer is warm is the correct answer. A lot of people want to know if it is better to wash hair with cold water. They say it makes your hair shinier and that it even makes it healthier.
Myth-busting hair care experts reveal that washing with cold water has no added benefits. It just makes you miserable in the morning or at night when you cold wash your hair. We need warm water in order to open the hair cuticle wider than cold water would. Its warmth will release the dirt easier. You can honestly put your hair under the warm water and it will start cleaning your hair. Isn’t that interesting?
Next up, is talking about how harsh or how gentle we should be washing our hair. If your choice is gentle, you'd be correct. A lot of people (me included) tend to angle up their hair when washing because of the manner of scrubbing the scalp. Oh, the scrub... I know it feels so good and relaxing but what we are actually doing is tangling and matting our hair more than it needs to be. We end up roughing up the cuticle way too much.
We also need to consider the motions of scrubbing the scalp. Just go in with side to side motions, not circular motions as this will tangle your hair. Side to side is best and a little bit gentler.
Now, on to the shampoo. I think I learned about the scalp is really our top priority when we shampoo. It can get really oily but the oil comes from your scalp and moisturizes naturally all the way to your ends. When you shampoo your scalp with a nice amount of shampoo and you rub back and forth as we talked about gently from side to side, the shampoo will then work down the ends of your hair. Once you go under the warm water and you rinse your scalp free of shampoo, your ends will then be shampooed by the residue from the scalp so everything comes from your scalp down releasing the trapped dirt within your ends. There's no need to rub your ends anymore.
Now if you're wondering how much shampoo you should be using, the ideal amount is 2 dime-sized amounts. And this is applicable to 90% of people because regardless of how much hair you have, we basically have a similar-sized head. Since we will focus on the scalp, this amount should be more than enough.
I like to use one dime-sized amount for the front of my head and the other one for the back of my head. Work it from side to side until the whole head has been scrubbed gently. I focus on the top of my head where I feel I have the most oil and massaging that spot feels great as well.
We know the water to use and the motions to scrub the scalp to a healthy level so now let us consider the actual cleansing tool.
The type of shampoo also matters because if you are just washing your hair without considering what you put in it, what is the point? Invest in a shampoo that fits your hair type. There are shampoos created for fine hair to add volume. There are specialized shampoos for defining curly hair or thickening fine hair. We also know of shampoos to boost volume. Pick one that suits your hair and choose one with natural products that will nourish your hair from within. It pays to be discriminating about what you put on your hair. It is your crowning glory and it deserves the very best treatment.
This goes the same in choosing the right conditioner. If you have oily hair, choose one that is light or clarifying. If your hair is dry, choose one that would hydrate and make it shine, At this point, let us also talk about proper conditioning.
If shampoos were made to cleanse, conditioners are meant to moisturize hair and hope to bring back some moisture that shampooing tends to strip away. So, how long should we leave a regular conditioner to the hair?
It depends on what your hair state is. If it is not too dry maybe 2 to 3 minutes should do. If it has the tendency to dry out, leave it longer. Just do not go beyond 15 minutes. That length of time should be reserved for hair masks that are recommended to be done weekly to revitalize your tresses.
We have now washed our hair. It smells so good and you just cannot wait to dry it out and step out to the world. But wait! You must know how to dry it properly without causing your hair damage.
I was shocked to find out the drying and rubbing it with a bath towel is harassing my hair strands. We shouldn't be rubbing it down because it creates friction that is not healthy. Instead, scrunch it up and press the excess water out with the towel or use an old cotton t-shirt. Cotton is so much less abrasive than a towel. You may opt to air dry hair, too. Then use a gentle detangler brush to take care of the knots.
If you absolutely must use a blow dryer though, please use the right tools. A nozzle for your blow dryer is a must to concentrate the airflow. Apply some heat protectant spray or serum before doing so. Of course, use a proper ceramic brush to maximize the heat and not take too long. This is the aftercare that our hair needs. You may even apply your favorite mousse or texturizing spray after to create beachy waves. Remember that heat styling should be done in moderation. Care for your locks and it will feel good longer.
The final part we want to discuss here is this question: How often should we wash our hair?
Ladies and gents, I am a committed daily hair washer. I take a bath every day and every day is not complete without washing my hair. I have even had days when I shampoo and conditioner daily. I was horrified to find out that I should not be washing my hair daily.
If you stay indoors just like me ( I work from home) and don’t sweat much, you can absolutely skip a hair wash if you want. Below is a simple hair washing guide for different hair types:
There you have beautiful people! The basics of proper hair washing from start to finish, from in-shower products to clean your hair and aftercare solutions to keep your hair protected. There might be some recommendations that would require a level of adjustment on your end and that is perfectly normal. Some habits are really hard to shake off. I am still guilty of washing my hair daily even if I have fine and wavy hair. This is more of me being a clean freak, really. But on those rare weeks when I can get away with not washing my hair daily, I really feel the difference in body and texture.
I am a firm believer in warm water, though. You do not need to ask me twice.
Do you have any hair washing routines or tips you can share? Comment below. We want to hear from you!
Until next time, beautiful!
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