The majority of us learn how to wash our hair when we are kids and never make changes to this routine. Or we grew up being taught to wash it every day, and then later learned to only wash a couple times a week. If you’re confused about the “right way” to wash your hair, you’re not alone. While there is nothing wrong with sticking to a particular hair washing routine, if that routine starts damaging your hair, you may need to think of a new plan. Your split ends and fallout may be because of your hair products, but it can also be caused by how you wash your hair. Here are some small changes you can make to your hair washing routine for healthier, happier hair.
The biggest tip is to not wash your hair every day. Most shampoos contain chemicals that can make your hair extremely dry and brittle if used daily. It is best to wash your hair no more than twice or three times a week to maintain health and optimum moisture levels. Before you jump into the shower, try steaming your hair. Soak a towel in hot water and wring out the excess water. Then wrap the towel around your head and leave it on for 20 minutes before jumping into the shower. This will help cleanse away the dirt and oil trapped in the pores of your scalp. After steaming, gently massage your scalp with your fingers to loosen up dirt and buildup and to release weak strands from your scalp.
We all know hot tools damage our hair, but did you know the same holds true for hot water? Heat from hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils and leave your cuticles open, allowing moisture to escape. When you hop into the shower, try washing your hair with cool or lukewarm water. This will help close the cuticle and lock in moisture, giving you shinier, smoother locks.
When the temperature is right, reach for a paraben and sulfate free shampoo. Both these chemicals can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, while also drying out your hair. Choose a shampoo without these chemicals and apply it only to your scalp. Rubbing shampoo on the lengths of your hair will strip it of its natural oils and leave your hair looking dry, dull, and lifeless. Take a quarter size amount and gently massage your scalp with your fingers. This will help cleanse away dirt from your scalp, improve blood circulation to your hair follicles and boost hair growth.
Before showering, condition your hair with oil. This is a great way to condition and moisturize your hair the natural way. Massage coconut, almond, or olive oil onto your hair and scalp an hour before you wash it. The oil will penetrate your hair shaft and nourish it from within for softer, shinier, frizz-free hair.
Before you start conditioning, towel dry your hair. It may sound tedious, but wrapping a towel around your hair after shampooing will help your head soak up excess water. The conditioner will get absorbed into your hair much more easily and prevent it from frizzing up.
You may think more conditioner is better, but you are wrong. Applying too much conditioner will weigh your hair down and make it look greasy. The same goes for leaving conditioner on for too long. Conditioners work instantaneously when the wet hair cuticle is swollen and open. Conditioner cannot penetrate further than it already has when you first apply it. Leaving it on for too long can actually make your hair greasy. Also, do not apply conditioner to your scalp as it will build up on your scalp and clog your pores, leading to reduced hair growth and increased hair fall.
Conditioning Tip: If you have curly, kinky, or dry hair, deep condition at least every two weeks. These hair types tend to dry up pretty quickly, so it is important to give them a little extra help every few weeks.
Some More Things To Keep In Mind
Healthy hair doesn’t stop when you exit the shower. When drying your hair, put down the terrycloth towels. These soak out moisture from your hair, thus leaving it dry and frizzy with an increased chance of breakage. Reach for a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt instead, which are gentler on your hair. As you dry, do not aggressively rub your hair. A majority of women either rub their hair vigorously with a towel or coil it up over their heads. Both of these methods can cause knotting, frizzing, and breakage. Use a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel and gently pat your hair to remove excess water. Then allow it to air dry the rest of the way. Do not reach for the blow dryer. Heat from blow dryers can cause split ends and damage just like other heat styling tools do. If you absolutely need to use a blow dryer, use it on a cool setting.
A great way to avoid losing too much hair is to detangle your hair in the shower. When there is conditioner in your hair, run a wide-toothed comb through the lower half to remove knots and tangles easily. When you are out of the shower, wait until your hair is about 70% dry to detangle it again. Hair is delicate and most prone to breakage when it is wet. Wait until it is semi-dry before detangling with a wide-toothed comb or a hair brush specifically designed for use on wet hair
For frizzy hair, always apply a leave-in conditioner after drying your hair. Applying a bit of leave-in conditioner or a smoothing serum will make dry hair smoother and sleeker. Just make sure you grab one that is alcohol-free. However, do not use too many hair products. Overusing hairspray, mousses, gels, etc on your hair will cause the products to build up, clog your pores, and ultimately lead to hair fall.