If you want great looking hair then you must first start with a foundation. The foundation of a good hairstyle is shampoo, not only the brand you use but how you wash your hair. What could be simpler than washing your hair? (You ask) From experience I have observed that less people know how to get their hair clean then you think. Chances are you are one of those people. You may be thinking… “How would you know that?” So I will confess.
The 2 diagrams below show how soap works. The soap looks like the round ball with a stick protruding from it. A molecular-level the soap attaches its self to the soil and lifts it off the surface. Here is the clue about clean hair; if there is more “soil” molecules then there are soap molecules there will be some dirt left after you rinse. Has anyone wondered why the shampoo bottles say to rinse lather and repeat? That is because you are supposed to Repeat!
Myth: shampoo will dry out your hair. This is the first Myth I want to bust. Shampoo can dry out your scalp but if you are using the right shampoo for you and your hair you will not dry out your hair. You must learn the correct way to use conditioner as well. I will address that in another post.
Here is a secret: you can tell if your hair is clean or not by how much soapy lather you have left at the end of your scrub. If by the second round you have lots of soppy suds on your head then you did a good job, if all that lather has disappeared then you still have dirt and oil on your head and you need another lather and rinse.
Now let’s discuss how to scrub your hair. If you have long hair you don’t pile all your hair on your head and start rubbing around. The dirt is not on the ends of your hair it is on your scalp! Don’t waist shampoo by washing what dose not need it. Place the shampoo on your hands and using your fingertips scrub your scalp. Use the most soap in the places that get oily the most.
It has been my experience that for most women the nape (or the back of the head at the neckline) and the area above there ears need it the most. So many time ladies tell me they just washed there hair and it looks clean but once I get my hands in there underneath is all oily.
Now for another tip: scrub for around 2 minutes. It is like brushing your teeth. Besides this time scrubbing is good for your scalp. It causes the blood to flow at your hair’s “roots” and helps it to grow.
Once you have washed your scalp you can rinse the shampoo down to the ends of your hair where you gently rub the shampoo around and rinse.
How often should you shampoo? That is entirely up to you. If you feel like your hair is dirty then wash it. I was my hair every time I shower. It is good hygiene to wash your hair. So you don’t have to skip a shampoo because you’re afraid of drying out your hair. I covered that earlier. But, you always want to use conditioner. I will cover how to condition your hair in the next post.
Last let’s discuss what type of shampoo you should be using. I must first confess; I am a bit of a product snob. I believe that if you want a professional result in on your heir then use a professional product. The type of shampoo you use will affect how hour hair looks, feels, and responds to styling. There are so many kinds to choose from that you really should ask your stylist what they recommend for your hair. Then try different ones out.
Tip: a professional product bought from a professional in a salon is 100% satisfaction guaranteed! If you don’t like it you can return it. Even if the bottle is 1/2 gone. So don’t be afraid to try out different brands till you find the one that works for you.
Certain products or store brands have good qualities and some are not so good, even if they make big claims. For example, Pantene Pro-V has large amounts of protein in it. After repeated washes you will notice that your hair will start feeling rough and brittle, it will become more easily tangled and hard to brush. This is because the protein is building up on your hair. Hair can only handle so much and then it just starts to make your hair brittle. So if you use this shampoo and notice a build-up on your hair I recommend to buy a clarifying treatment and then buy a different shampoo.
I can’t forget to include that 2-in-1 shampoos are worthless. They defeat the purpose of the conditioner. Remember the soap molecules? They do the same to the conditioner as they do to dirt. Your hair needs conditioner.
This is how to judge the quality of shampoo. Check to see how thick or watery it looks and feels. It should not be watery. If you have to squirt a huge gob in your hand just to get a lather then you need different shampoo. You should get by with a quarter-sized drop or less if you have short hair. A Professional shampoo may cost more but it should last longer because you will be using less.
One more thing; Not all stylists are created equal. You can tell a lot about a stylist by the way they wash your hair. A professional experience should feel amazing and last longer than a few seconds. Next time I will share the secrets of conditioner so check back, there are a few things to know about that too.