Most people don’t realise that washing your hair the wrong way can cause a great deal of damage. Hair is most fragile when it is wet, so the constant pulling and touching of wet hair during washing can seriously weaken the hair.
The key to protecting the hair when it is wet is to minimize movement of the hair itself. This will help to keep the cuticle flat and undamaged, resulting in shinier healthier, stronger hair.
You will need to pick a shampoo that is appropriate for your hair type. Having the wrong shampoo will not do your hair any favours. For example, if you have dry hair, using a clarifying shampoo will strip your hair of its natural oils, making the problem much worse. If you do not know what type of hair you have or which shampoo you think would be best, consult your hairdresser.
Most hairdressers recommend that if you are going to spend a lot of money on one product, make it the shampoo. A good quality shampoo will protect the hair, and leave less need for conditioning (less need not no need).
Always wash your hands before you wash your hair; I know that sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people forget this. If you have dirty hands and you touch your hair, you are transferring the dirt from your hands to your hair.
Step 1. Thoroughly drench your hair before you apply shampoo. If your hair is soaked, you will need less shampoo. The shampoo will also lather much more easily and you will not have to rub your hair or scalp. The water should be lukewarm, not too hot.
Step 2. Figure out where you need to wash. Do you have greasy roots and dry ends? Then only apply shampoo to the roots, the rest of the hair will be cleansed when the shampoo is rinsed out.
Rub a small amount of shampoo between the palms of your hands, smooth it over the hair. Gently massage your head with the pads of your fingers. Do not pull your hair or scrub at it with your fingers, this will only cause tangles.
Step 3. Rinse thoroughly in warm water. Make sure that the water is not too hot, as this will damage the hair. Let the water do most of the work, massage your hair every so often to ensure that all traces of the shampoo are removed.
I recently found out that conditioners use quite a lot of science, I won’t bore you with too many details, but they do more than simply moisturise your hair. Conditioners contain positively charged cationic molecules that are attracted to negatively charged areas of damaged hair.
The same rule for shampoo applies to conditioner; choose one that is right for your hair. If you have greasy hair, stay away from anything too heavy or intensive, opt for a lighter conditioner specifically formulated for greasy hair. If you have dry hair, you will need something a little more heavy duty.
Step 4. Wrap your hair in a towel for a couple of minutes, then apply your conditioner, this will prevent the conditioner from being diluted, it’s effect will be more noticeable and you will not need to use as much. For a more intensive conditioning, you can apply your conditioner and then wrap your hair in a heated towel. This helps the conditioner to penetrate the shaft of the hair.
Step 5. Smooth the conditioner onto your hair with the palms of your hands, making sure that you stroke the hair down, following the cuticle. Gently massage the conditioner into your hair and leave for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly, again, let the water run over your hair and gently massage until all of the conditioner has been rinsed away.
For shinier hair, you can always give your hair a final rinse in cold water. This is supposed to help the cuticle to lie flat.
Wrap your hair in a towel when you step out of the shower, do not rub your hair, or squeeze it. Pat it dry with the towel.