Personal Hygiene Series: Guide to Washing Your Hair

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Complete Guide to Washing Your Hair the Right Way

Washing your hair is something you’ve been doing for years, so why do you need to read an article about it? Well, chances are you’re making some common hair washing mistakes without even realizing it.

But that stops today. These hair care tips will make washing your hair easier and way more effective.

The best shampoos for every hair type

Shampoos and conditioners are not created equal. And since there are so many options out there and different hair types, it’s very easy to use the wrong product. Are you?

For all hair types

Even though sulfates are a popular product, you want to avoid them at all costs. That’s because they’ll dry out your hair. You also want to avoid parabens since they’re an endocrine-disrupting chemical that will mess with your reproductive health.

For fine hair

For fine hair types, you’ll want a shampoo that gives you volume and bounce without lots of grease and gunk. Products should say: volumizing, thickening, and fullness.

For thick hair

While volume isn’t your problem, unmanageable hair is. So, look for frizz control products that nourish hair with natural oils and Vitamin E.

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For wavy hair

Look for light cleansers that clean and moisturize hair and scalp without adding extra weight. You don’t need that!

For curly hair

To keep coils and curls in beautiful condition, look for shampoos with natural ingredients, like sunflower oil and amino acids to strengthen and nourish. Products should say: smoothing, polishing, frizz control, frizz protection and anti-frizz.

For short hair

Since oils can build up pretty quickly in short hair, you’re going to want to wash it more frequently.

But over-washing your hair can strip it of all its good natural oils, leaving it dry and unhealthy. So, look for shampoos that cleanse without stripping away natural oils.

For long hair

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Sexy Hair LSH Luxurious Nourishing Shampoo, 10.1 Fluid Ounce
Mainspring America, Inc. DBA Direct Cosmetics - Health and Beauty
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Long hair has one drawback: it can feel pretty heavy, and shampoos can add weight, too. So, avoid shampoos with silicone so your hair looks smooth and sleek without being heavy.

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For colored hair

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Matrix Biolage Colorlast Shampoo, 13.5 Fluid Ounce
Matrix - Health and Beauty
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Matrix Biolage Colorlast Shampoo & Conditioner Duo, 13.5 fl oz each
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Biolage ColorLast Shampoo and Conditioner 33.8 Ounce
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Keep your washing and conditioning to a minimum – twice a week is a good amount. This will help preserve your hair color longer.

You should also look for shampoos that are designed for your specific hair color. Think purple toned shampoos for platinum blondes, etc. Products should say: color protection, fade protection, color care, color safe and sulfate-free.

For dry and damaged hair

Avoid shampoos containing detergents. This will only add to dryness and frizziness, which is probably something you want to avoid for already damaged and frazzled hair.

Products should say: moisturizing, hydrating, nourishing, replenishing, softening, strengthening, repair, damage, reconstructing, fortifying and anti-breakage.

Oh! One more thing. Don’t mix and match your shampoos and conditioners. Stick to one brand. That’s because they’re formulated to work together.

The best water temperature for washing your hair

Once you have the perfect product for washing your hair, what about the water temperature in the shower? Of course, we all love a nice warm shower, but that may not be the best temperature for washing your hair.

In fact, you should always rinse out conditioner with cold water. And if you can bear it, you should also try to rinse shampoo with cold water, too. Why?

The cold or normal temperature helps to close up hair cuticles (the outer part of the hair strand). This helps to keep each strand moisturized. But when it comes to warm water, “[It can dissolve lipids and remove most of the conditioners that you added in,” according to a dermatologist, Kally Papantoniou, M.D.

So, avoid hot water when washing your hair. It just dries your hair out and washes away the nourishing ingredients you just applied to it.

7 tips to wash your hair like a pro

Ready to wash your hair like an absolute pro? They’re all pretty simple steps, but the results will amaze you.

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Nizoral A-D Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, 7 Fl. Oz
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Batiste Dry Shampoo, Original Fragrance, 3 Count
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Fanola No Yellow Shampoo, 350 ml
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$13.99

  1. Try an oil mask before washing your hair

Applying an oil mask to your hair a couple hours before washing it to prep hair and protect it from any chemicals in your products. It can also help to provide a boost of nourishment, too.

Top hair mask oils include coconut, castor and olive oils. You don’t have to do this every time you wash your hair, but twice a week is a good number to shoot for.

  1. Detangle hair before getting it wet

Before you step into the shower, take a minute to brush your hair through and detangle it. It’s much harder to do this when your hair is wet.

And waiting until you’re in the shower can lead to damage and hair loss. Remember: your hair is much more fragile when it’s wet!

  1. Soak hair first

Before you lather up with shampoo, rinse your hair and let it soak for a minute or so. This helps to open the pores in the scalp. And as always, cold or lukewarm water is best.

  1. You don’t need a ton of product

It’s easy to use too much shampoo and conditioner. But doing so is not only a waste of product and money, but it can also lead to build up. Yuck.

  1. Apply shampoo to the scalp – and the scalp only

You should only apply shampoo to the scalp, and not all of your hair. Be sure to distribute the shampoo evenly throughout the scalp.

And if you struggle with dandruff, take some time to gently massage your scalp to increase circulation and clear away the dandruff buildup.

  1. Rinse shampoo well

If you don’t rinse shampoo completely before applying conditioner, this too, will lead to build up and residue.

Worst of all, your hair will feel like a greasy mess even though you just washed it.

  1. Apply conditioner to the ends only

It’s a bad idea to apply a condition to your scalp and tops of the hair. That’s because your scalp produces its own natural oils and you can end up with too much oil in your hair.

Instead, gently massage a small amount of conditioner into the ends and allow it to absorb for a few minutes before rinsing it out with – you guessed it! – cold or lukewarm water.

These seven tips will transform your hair. Give them a try for fabulous, salon-approved hair.


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