Hair Skin Care Hair Washing

In all likelihood, you don’t think too much about washing your hair. Most people hop in the shower, rub a glob of shampoo into their hair, lather for a few seconds and rinse. While this routine will likely remove excess oil and dirt from your hair, it could also cause damage.

People with damaged hair, thin hair or processed hair could break their hair by washing too vigorously. In addition, people with scalp issues could cause problems by washing with the wrong shampoo. In order to keep your hair at its best, it is important to know how to properly wash your hair.

Choosing the Right Shampoo

Before you can wash your hair, you’ll need to find the right shampoo for your hair type.

When we wash our hair, shampoo strips the hair of sebum, a protective layer on the hair in which dirt often gathers. This is extremely harmful and will dry the hair. To ensure that your hair stays healthy and shiny after shampooing, you’ll need to find a shampoo that is right for your hair type.

Whether your hair is dry or oily, straight or curly, there is likely a shampoo on the market formulated to address your hair’s specific needs. Here’s a list of just some of the shampoos you can likely find at your local drugstore:

  • Color-Enhancing Shampoos: Color-enhancing shampoos help keep color-treated hair from losing its vibrancy.
  • Curl-Enhancing Shampoos: Curl-enhancing shampoos provide extra moisture to tame curls and reduce frizz. Most also contain ingredients to promote hair to curl.
  • Dandruff Shampoos: If you have problems with flakes, look for a dandruff shampoo, which will help prevent dandruff.
  • Shampoos for Thinning Hair: Shampoos for thinning hair prevent hair loss and work by stimulating hair growth and by protecting hair follicles.
  • Volumizing Shampoos: Volumizing shampoos use thickening agents to achieve an increase in volume.

Hair Washing Steps

Once you’ve selected the proper shampoo, you’re ready to wash your hair. To properly wash your hair, follow these simple steps:

  1. Completely saturate your hair with warm water before applying your shampoo. Make sure the water isn’t too hot, as hot water can cause excess drying. Lift your hair at its roots so that water can reach your scalp, where dirt and oil tend to collect.
  2. Once your hair is wet, place your shampoo in the palm of your hand. Long hair needs approximately 1 Tbsp. of shampoo. Short hair will require much less. Add a bit of water to the shampoo and lather it slightly in your hand.
  3. Starting at the crown of your head, apply the shampoo. Distribute the shampoo from the roots of your hair to the ends, making sure to apply it to the underside of your hair.
  4. After the shampoo is distributed, use the pads of your fingers to gently scrub your scalp. Work your fingers in small circles to loosen dead skin cells, styling products and oils.
  5. Rinse your hair well with warm water. You should rinse for at least one minute to ensure that all of the shampoo has been removed from your hair.

Although many shampoo bottles will call for you to rinse and repeat, repeating the washing process generally isn’t necessary. Only people with extremely think or dirty hair will need to wash twice.

For maximum hair health, once you have finished washing your hair apply a hair conditioner.

Resources

About, Inc. (2007). How to How To Wash Your Hair. Retrieved October 24, 2007, from the About.com Web site: http://beauty.about.com/cs/hair101/ht/washhair.htm.

HairCareGuide.com (2004-2007). Hair Care Guide.com. Retrieved October 24, 2007, from the Hair Care Guide Web site: http://www.haircareguide.com/.

Time, Inc. (2007). How to Wash Your Hair. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from the Real Simple Web site: http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/gallery/0,21863,1580355,00.html.