Mastering the Art of Properly Washing Your Hair

It’s not as simple as lathering, rinsing, and repeating. Learn how to wash your hair correctly using the right products and techniques.

Dos and Don’ts of Hair Washing
It seems simple to shampoo and condition your hair. Lather, rinse and repeat. If you don’t pay close attention to your hair type, you may find that you make frequent healthy hair mistakes that can cause harm.

Your hair type and how often it gets soiled will determine the products and methods you should use. Here, a coiffure expert and dermatologist share their secrets for healthy, beautiful hair.

How often do you wash your hair?
You want to know the best way to wash your hair before you can learn how to do it correctly. Catalina Drouillard of Three Sixteen Hair Haven, Kihei in Hawaii, says that it depends on your hair type and texture.

She explains that “an oily scalp with good hair may require daily shampooing while coarse, dry hair could only require shampooing once per week.” “Most hair types can be shampooed every other day or every third day.”

You might also think that you are doing your hair a favor if you wash it as often as possible and get them as clean as you can. It is possible to wash your hair too often. Drouillard states that most people find it excessive to wash their hair every day.

She says that if your hair feels dry or brittle, you may be using the wrong shampoo for your hair. Avoid these bad habits that cause thinning hair.

How to wash your hair correctly
Drouillard advises that brushing your hair out of tangles before you begin will help to keep it from becoming matted when you shampoo in the bathtub. Massage your hair down to the scalp with your fingers after which apply shampoo. Allow the shampoo to run down the hair shaft, rather than piling your hair on top of your head while rubbing in the shampoo. It will prevent it from getting tangled.

Drouillard advises that you should avoid using water with a high temperature. This can cause brittle or dandruff hair.

Rajani Katta MD, board-certified dermatologist and author of Glow: A Dermatologist’s Guide to a Whole Foods Youthful Skin and Pores Diet, says that it’s also important to be gentle with the scalp. You don’t want to scratch your scalp. Use your fingertips, not your fingernails.

How much shampoo should I use?
According to Drouillard, you should lather and rinse your shampoo two times if your hair has become sweaty after you’ve exercised.

How much conditioner should I use?
Drouillard advises that after lathering your hair and rinsing it out, you should massage some conditioner into the hair. You can use only conditioners if you haven’t got oily hair. This will give you an extra boost of moisture.

She says that everyone with hair of any length should use conditioner every time they wash their hair. If you’re worried about limp hair, use a conditioner with a light texture. Do not put conditioner directly on your scalp.

Drouillard advises that you should rinse each bit of conditioner out to prevent it from weighing your hair down or causing buildup on your scalp.

A final rinse in cold water is a great idea, since it will close the cuticle, leading to smoother and shinier hair.

What to look for when choosing shampoos and conditioners
There are many choices for shampoos and conditioners. From drugstores to salons, the options are endless. Drouillard says that you usually get what your pay for when it comes to hair care. It may be worth it to invest a few extra dollars into the product.

She says that “pricier products are usually made of higher quality materials.” “But if your hair is healthy, I would not argue that your products aren’t great; your hair will tell you that.”

Drouillard says that just like the frequency of washing your hair, your hair type and texture will determine what shampoo and conditioner you should use. Avoid products that contain parabens or sulfates. They can be drying and damaging. She loves the Paul Mitchell Clear Beauty line. It is made from vegan, pure ingredients and comes in options for frizzy, dry, or broken hair.

She says that most manufacturers have different lines to meet various needs. If you have dry, color-treated hair that is broken or thin, then it’s best to find a shampoo and conditioner designed for your hair type. (Try these home treatments for dry hair.

Drouillard recommends that you avoid using a clarifying product more than once per week if your hair is very dry. She doesn’t recommend two-in one shampoo and conditioner products, especially if you have an oily hair. A conditioning shampoo will just add moisture to your oil instead of cleaning.

How should you dry your hair?
When you do that, be light because your hair might break when it’s moist. Rubbing it vigorously could cause breakage and toughen the cuticle, creating frizz. Be gentle when you’re doing this because your hair may break if it is wet. Rubbing it vigorously can cause breakage, and harden the cuticle causing frizz. Here’s the best way to learn about sleeping with wet hair.

She says that because hair is at its weakest after bathing, it’s not a good idea to tie it tightly right after. This can cause breakage of the elastic or ponytail holder. A turban towel like this one from Goal Room Necessities, which helps to absorb moisture and remains on my head while I dress and apply my makeup is my favorite thing.

Drouillard suggests blow-drying as little as possible. If you must, let your hair air dry as long as possible. Use a heat-protectant styling product such as Paul Mitchell Neuro Prime Blowout Primer, Aveda Sensible Injury Management or Aveda Sensible Injury Management.

You probably have dandruff
It can be a bothersome condition for many reasons, including irritation of the scalp or ugly flakes. Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue and other drugstore brands can help with dandruff. However, if the irritation is too severe, you should consult a dermatologist.

She says that for most people who experience extreme scalp flaking, the cause is seborrheic dermatitis, an irritation of scalp.

She says: “Even though it may appear that the scalp is dry, in fact it’s infected.” In this case, it is important to wash the scalp extra frequently in order to remove the oil.

Dr. Katta recommends applying medicated shampoo to the scalp (again, using your fingertips, not your nails), and leaving it on for 10 to 15 minutes before washing.

When to visit a dermatologist
Dr. Katta suggests that if you are not getting relief from dandruff using over-the counter shampoos, then it is best to consult a dermatologist for a correct diagnosis. Your doctor may prescribe a medicated product that is more effective than the one you have tried. You should also see your dermatologist for hair loss if dandruff doesn’t usually cause it, says the dermatologist.

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Sources

Catalina Drouillard is a hairstylist at Three Sixteen Hair Haven, located in Kihei.
Rajani Katta is a board certified dermatologist from Houston, and the author of Glow: A Dermatologist’s Guide to a Whole Foods Youthful Skin and Pores Diet.
Jessica Wu, MD will review your medical records on February 26, 2021


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