You know how amazing your hair feels (and looks, for that matter) when you leave the salon? Well, it’s because the pros know the perfect method for washing your locks, and mirroring their techniques could make a world of difference when it comes to your hair’s health, bounce and shine. The trouble is, if you’re making some of the common mistakes, you could be damaging your locks without even realising it.
Washing our hair pretty much comes as second nature to us, but this is often where the problem lies. The majority of us jump in the shower in the morning and if it’s ‘hair wash day’, tend to spend around 1 minute giving our hair a quick refresh with our go-to shampoo and conditioner. The thing is, healthy hair comes from a healthy scalp, and what many of us don’t consider is that our scalp is a natural extension of our face and ergo should be cared for in much the same way. So taking a little extra time to work products in, like we do with our complexions, can totally transform your mane.
Here are some tips on how to wash your hair like the pros…
1. Water temperature
Don’t be tempted to use water that’s too hot. This will over-stimulate the sebum gland which causes your hair to start increasing the levels of sebum it’s generating, which leads to greasy roots!
2. Massage it in
Pop a 10p-sized amount of shampoo into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Massage it into the scalp gently – if you have long hair, simply tip your head to one side and slide your hands under your hair. The area many of us go wrong is working the shampoo in too vigorously, as this can not only damage and weaken the hair but lead to it producing more sebum = oily roots. A good way to avoid this is applying shampoo using your fingertips and palms, but never, ever your nails.
3. Shampoo, rinse, repeat
If you’re not washing your hair daily, applying shampoo twice is usually better. You see, the first shampoo works to remove any dirt and grease and the second will penetrate the hairshaft and give your hair what it needs, be it hydration or volume.
4. The truth about lather
If you’re using a high quality or non-sulphate shampoo, keep in mind that it might not produce as much lather – this is totally normal so don’t be tempted to apply more! In Britain we’re psychologically predisposed to associate foam with cleanliness and what many of us don’t realise is that the lathering effect of shampoo actually serves no purpose. Yep, really. It’s created by sulfates and if anything, can be damaging.
When is comes to applying conditioner, squeeze any excess water from your hair first as this will dilute the formula and therefore, stop it being as effective. Only apply conditioner to your mid-length and ends as it does absolutely nothing for your scalp, other than clog your pores!
When it comes to haircare, we’re fully behind using the highest quality products you can afford (although this doesn’t mean you need to break the bank). Trust us, it does make a difference. Professional haircare contains higher quality ingredients, more advanced technology, and less nasties like sulphates. On the other end of the spectrum, lower quality formulas tend to leave a ‘plastic’ coating on the hair which fools us to think our locks are super shiny, when in fact they have actually created a barrier that’s preventing any good ingredients getting in!
It’s also imperative that you’re using the right product for your hair type. Why? Because if you use one that’s designed for damaged hair when your hair isn’t damaged, it just results in heavy, weighed down locks and lots of leftover residue. In fact, the majority of the UK population use an anti-dandruff formula when they don’t need to be. The result? A very dry scalp.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up the best formulas to use for your hair type…
Central heating, styling and cold weather can wreak havoc with our poor hair, so if your hair tends to be a little on the dry side, it’s time to give it some TLC before it becomes really damaged. Adding a hair mask into routine will help restore the moisture that winter stole, while adding a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to your bathroom lineup with ensure your mane is given a boost in hydration every time you wash.
We Love: Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Treatment Masque, £29.50 at Aveda
Use a scalp exfoliator once a week. It’ll remove dead skin cells and any product build up, leaving your hair super fresh and clean as a whistle. What’s more, clay is a saving grace when it comes to excess oil, as it essentially ‘drinks up’ any sebum, leaving your locks grease free. Olay’s new Clay collection (we put the mask In The Spotlight) does just this, and is an absolute dream for sufferers of oily hair. Which, with the modern day polluted world causing us to create 56% more excess sebum, tends to be a fair few of us.
We love: Kerastase Chronologiste Exfoliating Care, £23.20 at Feel Unique and Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing Shampoo, £2.66 at Boots
Lots of fine-haired women often avoid using conditioner altogether as they feel that it weighs the hair down, but you’re actually not doing your locks any favours! Especially if it’s coloured. Instead, choose a very light or volumising conditioner and apply sparingly to the lengths and ends of your hair.
We love: Strivectin Max Volume Conditioner, £21 at Boots
Damaged hair, meet deep conditioning mask, your BFF. If your hair is feeling a little worse for wear and in need of immediate repair, opting for a 5 minute protein-rich treatment once a week will inject protein back into the strands, inforcing them with a little extra strength that will help them to stop snapping.
We love: Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask, £31.85 at Look Fantastic