Are you spending a lot of money and time on your hair and still not getting any near to the perfect hair of the models you see in magazines or TV?
Here is something surprising: you might not really know how to wash your hair the right way!
Using the correct techniques can make a world of difference in your hair’s health, bounce and shine—but if you’re making some common mistakes, you could be damaging your lovely locks without even realizing it.
We asked two of New York’s foremost hair pros, Kyle White, lead colorist at Oscar Blandi Salon and hair stylist Nunzio Saviano of Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York and, to share their best tips for lathering up—and doing it the right way.
You should start with a rinse.
Just like your laundry needs a rinse cycle before you add detergent, hair should be completely wet before you add your shampoo. This will enable the hot water to open the cuticle, which is good for removing any dirt from the hair.
If you have long hair, condition first and then shampoo.
If your hair is beneath the shoulders long, protect fragile ends from drying out by running a small amount of conditioner through them and lightly rinsing, before any shampooing. This will not only keep ends healthy, it will fill any holes in the cuticle with moisture, making it smoother and boosting shine,” says White.
Lather up — but only at the scalp.
“You only need to shampoo the hair at the scalp, particularly at the nape,” Saviano says.
The best way to lather up is from roots to ends. The hair closest to the scalp is the youngest and will inevitably be the oiliest, while the end of the hair is the oldest and usually driest, most fragile part of the hair.”
Don’t use more shampoo than you need, a quarter-sized amount of shampoo is enough. If your hair is particularly long or thick, go ahead and double that.
Rubbing can permanently damage your hair’s cuticle, leading to breakage and frizz. Try to wash your hair like you hand wash your delicates — very carefully.
Despite what the instructions on the back of your shampoo bottle may say, there’s no need to wash your hair twice.
“Avoid stripping the hair by doing one shampoo only, which is usually sufficient,” says White. “Unless the hair is extremely dirty and the first shampoo didn’t produce lather,” in which case, go ahead and lather up one more time.
Add conditioner from the mid-lengths to the tips.
After you’ve rinsed out your shampoo, “squeeze some of the water out of the hair before you put in the conditioner,” says Saviano.
“Then clip your hair up and finish showering, leaving the conditioner rinse out for the final step of your shower.”
The longer the conditioner stays on your hair, the better it absorbs. Don’t put conditioner at the roots of your hair; the natural oil from your scalp is more concentrated there.
Finish with a cold water rinse.
“Cold water will shut the cuticle tight, sealing the shingle-like outer layer, which will cause it to reflect the most light and give off the most shine,” says White.
More Hair Washing Tips…
How often you wash your hair depends on your hair type, too. If you have oily or fine hair, you may need to shampoo daily. Normal or dry hair can lather up closer to three times a week.
Use a shampoo and conditioner that’s made for your hair type. If your hair is dry, choose moisturizing products. If you color your hair, opt for color-safe formulas.