How long do you spend getting your hair just right in the morning? Several minutes? Hours? In spite of the great volumes of time people spend getting their locks to bounce and shine, most people put very little thought into the actual act of washing their hair. It turns out the way you wash your hair has a much greater impact on the overall health and appearance of your hair than you might have realized.
Washing your hair has probably become second nature to you. You wake up, stagger into the shower like a zombie, and then mindlessly lather up. There’s more to it than that though.
Luckily for you, there are seven easy steps that can help you get hair that looks more like this.
And less like this.
Step 1: Brush your hair before you wash it
Before you get into the shower, give your hair a thorough but gentle brushing. Brushing will stimulate circulation in your scalp while also preventing breakage. As an added bonus, brushing before you shower will also prevent as much hair from going down your drain, so you can avoid those disgusting hair-creature drain clogs.
Step 2: Wet your hair and apply shampoo
Wet your hair thoroughly with warm water — avoid scalding hot water as this will dry your scalp out. Then apply a quarter-sized dollop of shampoo into your hand and begin to gently massage the shampoo into your hair. Start at the roots and work your way down the hair. If your hair is long, of course you’ll need a little more shampoo, but there’s no need to overdo it.
Step 3: Massage your scalp
Most people rinse their hair once it’s fully lathered, but this is a big mistake. Before rinsing away the shampoo, be sure to give yourself a solid two-minute scalp massage. Massage your scalp firmly with your fingertips in a circular motion. This massage will stimulate healthy circulation of your scalp and emulsify the shampoo so you get the full washing potential out of it.
Step 4: Rinse
Now it’s time to rinse all that soap and hair grime away. Be sure to use lukewarm water here and make sure you rinse thoroughly. Gently squeeze the suds out of your hair until you are sure there are no more soap compounds left. Getting it as dry as possible before the next step is helpful too.
Step 5: Condition
Squeeze as much water out of your hair as possible. This will prevent water from over-diluting the beneficial moisturizers of the conditioner. Apply a generous dollop of conditioner to the palm of your hand, and then massage the conditioner into the mid-lengths of your hair out to the roots. This will help nourish, hydrate, and repair your hair.
Step 6: Rinse with cool water
Rinse all of the conditioner out of your hair with cool water. Temperature is important because cool water will seal the outer layers, or cuticles, of your hair. This will protect your hair from sustaining damage throughout the day.
Step 7: Dry
Gently towel dry your hair, then blow-dry if need be. Blow-dry from root out to tip — this aids in keeping your cuticles tightly sealed. Never stop moving the blow-dryer and don’t dry any one spot for too long or you could risk drying out patches of your hair.
Now go enjoy your beautiful, salon-perfect hair!
Remember not to over-wash your hair. Two to three times a week is generally enough, depending on how quickly your hair builds up oil.
Collage image via Diply