You may be washing your hair less frequently these days—it’s better for your hair and for the planet. But you also want to make the most of those wash sessions so it’s not all in vain. And, believe it or not, you could be wasting your precious ‘poo (not to mention water) if you’re not following a few key steps for perfectly washed hair every time.
How to Wash Hair the Right Way
Start with wet hair: If you pile shampoo onto dry hair thinking you’re saving water, you could be wasting your shampoo and conditioner. Wetting the hair rinses off any dirt and oil that can block the hair cuticle and makes it easier to absorb the moisturizing benefits of your shampoo and conditioner.
Wash your scalp: There’s one rule of thumb for hair care: wash your scalp; condition your hair. Don’t worry about getting the sudsy action all the way down to your ends. Shampooing is really about cleaning and stimulating the scalp for healthy hair growth and to reduce dandruff.
Condition first: This is only really necessary for long hair, and you’ll surely notice quite the difference once you start. Long hair is prone to drying out and breakage, the extra conditioning helps to keep hair healthy and shiny.
Condition generously: This is really what your hair craves more than the cleansing—moisturize-locking conditioning. So pay the most attention to the ends and work your way up to the root. And be sure to get the right type of conditioner for your hair type. Your hairdresser will be able to recommend the best ingredients or keywords to look for on your hair care products.
Don’t rinse and repeat: I know. But the bottle says so! Unless you have exceptionally dirty hair (like, literally, a bucket of dirt was dumped on your head), then you do not need to repeat the washing cycle. As noted above, your hair really wants the moisture from the conditioner, not the cleansing of the shampoo.
Cold water rinse: You might recall that your hairdresser turns the water colder for the rinse cycle. He or she isn’t trying to make you tip them less—it’s actually better for your hair. Just like rinsing with warm water to start opens up your hair cuticle, cold water shuts it off, making it shinier.
Don’t wash daily: It’s true, you really do not need to wash your hair daily—or even weekly in most cases. Yes, hair care companies will tell you different, naturally, but hair can—and should—go days between washing. This lets your natural oils moisturize the scalp and hair, keeps your locks from drying out, and saves you time and cash.
Avoid overdrying: Nobody likes to walk around with soaking wet hair, but putting that hair dryer on full blast does just what it’s supposed to do–dry out your hair. But not in the good way. Too much hair drying (hot irons, too), will damage your hair. Try letting it air-dry, at least every other washing.
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