10 Tips for Washing Hair

August 17, 2010 by Reverting  
Published in Hair

I know this may sound ridiculous but there is a definite technique to properly washing hair. Many people wash hair incorrectly and damage their hair, irritate their scalp, or don’t get hair clean enough. These tips will help you shampoo, condition, and dry your hair without causing further damage.

Tip number 1:  Start with untangled hair

If you’re going to wash your hair, but your hair is a huge mess of knots and tangles, you are going to do more damage than good.  Grab a wide-toothed comb and gently ease the knots out.  If you have several knots, start on the bottom third of your hair (towards the ends) and then go back later to work out the higher tangles.  You can also use a detangler or some diluted conditioner to help the process.

Tip number 2:  Spread your shampoo and conditioner out over your entire palms

Most people start with a dollop of shampoo in the center of one hand.  This causes uneven distribution of shampoo/conditioner, which means you’re going to have a spot with a lot of product while the rest of your hair is lacking.  Instead smooth the dollop across both hands as you would lotion, and then gently run your hands through wet hair.

Image by stevendepolo via Flickr

Tip number 3:  Don’t be aggressive with your hair

Remember when you were a child and your mother would give you a unicorn horn, or dog ears, or any number of weird hair shapes by “sculpting” your hair with shampoo?  This kind of washing damages the hair.  (Don’t worry, back when your mom did this you didn’t use a flat iron, color your hair, or use five styling products so the damage was minimal.)  Always wash your hair gently by working your fingers down the length of your hair.

Tip number 4: Don’t scrub your scalp with your nails

Instead, gently massage your entire scalp with the tips of your fingers.  Scrubbing with the nails can lead to scalp damage and possible scalp sensitivity.

Tip number 5: Don’t wash your hair until it squeaks

Look, your hair is not a plastic bowl that needs to have every drop of oil removed from it, so don’t waste the time and shampoo it takes to have perfectly clean hair — especially when you’re going to condition it afterwards.  Oil naturally protects your hair from damage, and when you remove it all the hair becomes extremely vulnerable.

Tip number 6: Use a clarifying shampoo at least once a week

When hair starts getting limp and lifeless, you can bet the cause is too much product buildup.  Clarifying shampoo will remove the buildup without causing damage to your hair.  Of course, if you don’t use any products you can skip this tip.

Tip number 7: Only condition what needs conditioning

I have a really dry scalp, so I condition everything from roots to ends at least twice a week.  But this advice doesn’t make sense for someone with a normal scalp.  And someone with a really oily scalp may not even need conditioning at all.  Get to know your hair and learn what parts of it really need conditioning.

Tip number 8: Keep a wide-tooth comb in the shower

When you’re done with your shower, turn off the water and gently comb any tangles out of your hair.  Gently squeeze the excess water out of your hair immediately after combing each section.

Tip number 9: Blot your hair, don’t dry it

Using a towel to dry the hair by rubbing will further damage the cuticle of the hair.  Instead, gently press the hair with the towel. to avoid further damage.

Tip number 10: Use the hairdryer sparingly

If your hair will style properly without a hairdryer, and you have time, let your hair air dry.  Hair dryers are one of the worst tools we use on our hair daily.  If you need to dry your hair, blot it as much as possible first.  Use the lowest heat possible to dry the hair, and wait until hair is fully dry before using any styling brushes.

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One Response to “10 Tips for Washing Hair”
  1. Karen Gross Says:

    You make it look so easy! I have always found it challenging to style my own hair. I have finally found a great hairdresser who makes my hair very low maintenance. All I do after towel drying is to turn my head upside down, add some mousse to the roots, comb it through, and gather it all into a high ponytail. Then I give it a good dose of hairspray and let it dry naturally. When it is almost dry, I take the ponytail out, and the layers all fall into place with even curls and some volume on top.

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