Washing your hair seems pretty simple, right? Add a little shampoo to your hair, work up and lather, and rinse it out.
Piece of cake.
But there’s actually a little more to washing your hair than that – and if you don’t do it right, you can wind up damaging your hair or making it look worse than when you started. The trick is finding the right products and using them correctly so you wind up with clean, fresh hair that’s ready for a killer style.
All shampoos are not created equal, so it’s important to choose a formula that’s right for your hair type. On your next trip to the salon or drugstore, read the labels carefully to make sure you choose the right shampoo for your hair condition or texture. For example, if you have dry, damaged hair, moisturizing formulas like Neutorgena’s Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo. For fine or thin hair, opt for a thickening or volumizing shampoo such as Avalon Organics Thickening Biotin B-Complex Shampoo. If you have a dry scalp, go with an anti-dandruff formula like Head & Shoulders Classic. Color-treated hair requires a specialty shampoo to help prevent fade like Biolage by Matrix Color Care Shampoo. If you use the right shampoo for your hair needs, you’ll wind up with much better results.
Use the Right Amount … in the Right Spot
More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to shampooing your hair. You only need about a quarter-size amount (you may need to adjust if you have super long or super short hair) if you want to avoid weighing your hair down. Instead of applying it directly to your hair, squirt the shampoo into the palm of your hand and work it into a lather before working it into your wet locks. When you do, apply it to your scalp, using your fingers to gently massage it in. Your scalp is where most of the dirt and oil in your hair resides, so that’s where you should concentrate your efforts. Use whatever’s left on your fingers to wash the rest of your hair from the ears down.
Keep It Cool (and Conditioned)
When it’s time to rinse the shampoo, use cool or cold water. While warm water may feel better, cooler water actually helps close your hair’s follicle so your hair looks smoother and shiner. Squeeze the excess water out of your hair before applying your conditioner. Keep in mind that conditioner should never go on your scalp – it’s meant to treat and hydrate your hair, so apply it to the ends of your hair only and let it sit for several minutes before rinsing it out.