If you’re like most people, you probably wash your hair on auto-pilot, not thinking much about it. And you’ve likely been doing it the same way since you were a kid, right?
You’ve probably put a little effort into picking your shampoo and conditioner, but that’s it.
Have you ever put any brainpower into the process? Do you know if you’re washing your hair correctly?
Is there a right way to wash your hair?
If you want your best hair, there’s actually a little more to it than just wetting your hair, lathering up with shampoo, and rinsing.
Washing the right way ensures minimal damage to your hair, hair follicles, and scalp.
We’ve outlined the most important things to consider below.
Choose your products carefully.
Don’t pick your products just because they smell nice or they’re on sale. Pick the right shampoo for your hair type.
- If you have thick, coarse, or curly hair, use a shampoo and conditioner with moisturizing qualities, like the LuxeOrganix Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.
- If you have color-treated, straightened, or processed hair, use a shampoo that won’t strip your hair every time you wash it. All of the LuxeOrganix shampoos and conditioners will not strip your treatments. They’re safe for perms, colored, and keratin-treated hair.
- If you have fine or thinning hair, or are prone to being greasy, use a shampoo that nourishes your hair and scalp to promote healthy hair growth and bring balance to your scalp pH, like our Biotin Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner.
Don’t know what kind of hair you have? You can always ask your stylist for advice.
No matter your hair type, you should avoid shampoos that contain sulfates. While sulfates help your shampoo lather, they strip your hair’s natural oils, leaving your hair prone to breakage and looking dull. All LuxeOrganix shampoos are sulfate-free.
The stripping of your natural oils can also lead to an over-production of those oils as your hair and scalp try to balance the dryness. Over-production of the oils means greasy-looking, flat, lifeless hair.
Sulfates can also cause irritation for some people, especially those with sensitive skin. That’s why anyone with rosacea, eczema, psoriasis or contact dermatitis should avoid shampoos with sulfates. Our Organic Psoriasis Shampoo and Body Wash is extra-gentle on sensitive skin. It helps clean your scalp and hair without any harsh ingredients, and it helps promote healthy skin.
Don’t wash your hair every day.
Don’t wash your hair every day. This can dry and damage your hair.
The optimal number of times to wash your hair weekly varies a little depending on your hair type. Oily hair may require washing every 2 to 3 days, but dry hair may only need washing 1 to 2 times per week.
For almost everyone, letting your hair go a few days between washes gives your hair’s natural oils a chance to do their thing and keep your hair healthy. Overwashing prevents this and may lead to an itchy scalp, flaking, and dull hair. You need those natural oils!
Try a co-wash.
Can’t skip your shampoo because you go to the gym every day? Try a co-wash.
Co-washing hair products are cleansing conditioners that moisturize and gently clean your hair and scalp.
Cowash conditioners are not meant to replace your shampoo. They’re meant as a go-between. You alternate between co-washing and shampooing to give your hair a break from your shampoo. It’s a great way to “skip shampooing” without skipping the part where you clean your hair.
The LuxeOrganix Cowash Cleansing Conditioner is free of harmful ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and sodium chloride. It’s proven to protect and enhance curly, fine, colored, and chemically straightened hair.
What’s your water like?
Most of us don’t think at all about the water we use to wash our hair, but it can make a difference.
Hard water contains minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium that can leave a film on your hair. This film can make it difficult to effectively clean and moisturize your hair, leave you with dull hair, change the texture of your hair, and make your styling products less effective.
Over time, hard water can dry your hair, leaving it more susceptible to breaking. It can also irritate your scalp and exacerbate eczema or psoriasis.
Most people have little control over the mineral levels in the water in their homes — especially if you’re renting… So, what can you do?
If you own your home, you could install a water softening system for your whole house. This would purify your water at every faucet.
And if you’re a renter, you could install a water softener shower head, which contains filtering cartridges to remove excess minerals and purify the water in your shower.
Either way, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes on your hair and your skin.
How do you wash your hair the right way?
We’ve spelled out the basic steps for you, below.
Wet your hair completely.
Use lukewarm, not hot, water. Hot water breaks the bonds in your hair, and that will eventually lead to hair damage (splits, breaks, frizzies). So keep your water warm, not hot.
And do not start out by immediately applying your shampoo. Instead, let your hair get fully soaking wet.
Depending on how thick or dense your hair is, this might take longer than you think. So let the water flow over your head for at least 1 minute, then run your fingers through your hair to make sure all of it is drenched.
While the water is penetrating your hair, massage your scalp with your fingertips to help loosen up any residual product, dirt, and debris.
Letting your hair get fully wet with lukewarm water helps open the cuticles, making it easier for your hair to absorb your conditioner when you’re done shampooing.
And soaking wet hair will help any shampoo, including sulftate-free shampoos, develop a rich lather.
Apply your shampoo.
Make sure you’re applying the correct amount of shampoo for your hair length. If you use too much, you might not get it all out. And using too little might not thoroughly cleanse your hair.
If you have short hair, aim for a squeeze of shampoo that’s about the size of a nickel. For shoulder-length hair, make it quarter-sized. If you have long hair, make it half-dollar sized.
Apply the shampoo to your entire scalp and crown. Focus on shampooing your scalp, massaging your scalp with your fingertips to help remove dirt and debris.
You don’t need any shampoo on the tips of your hair. The ends will be cleaned later as you rinse the shampoo out.
Don’t use your nails when cleaning your scalp. Your scalp is sensitive and scrubbing with your nails can cause irritation, tears, and infection. Massage with gentle pressure using your fingertips (no nails!) and palms for about 3 minutes. Think of how your hairstylist does it and channel your inner stylist.
You also want to avoid circular or harsh back and forth movements while you massage the shampoo into your scalp. These movements can tangle your hair and damage hair follicles.
Rinse your hair with cooler-temperature water. Cool water will not dry out the sebum, which is an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands. It coats, moisturizes, and protects your skin. It’s also the main ingredient in your hair’s natural oils.
Spend at least two minutes rinsing your hair to be sure no soap remains.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is leaving shampoo in their hair. This is what causes buildup. The leftover shampoo also attracts and holds dirt. Nobody wants that!
Always use a conditioner.
Never ever skip your conditioner. Your hair, especially after you wash it with shampoo, always needs a conditioner.
Apply your conditioner from the mid-strand down to the ends of your hair. You don’t need to put conditioner on your scalp, it might make it appear oily.
Then, let your conditioner sit on your hair for the recommended time (this is usually spelled out for you on the bottle). Some conditioners need to sit for 2 to 3 minutes, while a deep conditioner, like the LuxeOrganix Bond Integrity Protein Hair Treatment or Coconut Oil Deep Conditioner Hair Mask, might require 5 or more minutes.
Don’t leave your conditioner in for longer than recommended or it might be harder to rinse out completely. Again, leaving residue behind is not a good look. And leaving conditioner on for too long can actually cause your hair to break. It’s called over-conditioning.
While you let the conditioner soak in, you can use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair if you want. Be gentle with this and start by combing at the bottom and working your way up as your hair is combed.
Rinse again, thoroughly.
Just like with your shampoo, rinse for at least two minutes. A good rule of thumb for rinsing is to always rinse longer than you think you need.
Channel that inner stylist again – what would your hairstylist do? You want to be sure you get it all out.
Once you’re done washing your hair, get a soft towel and GENTLY squeeze or pat your hair dry.
Never rub, wring, or wrap your wet hair into a tight turban. Wet hair is fragile and this will break it.
If you can, use a microfiber towel or a soft t-shirt. The rougher the fiber in your towel, the more damage it could cause to your hair. So think soft!
Now you know!
There is a right way to wash your hair. And now that you know it, your hair will thank you.
If you take the time to choose your products carefully, invest in a water softener, wash your hair gently, and condition it, you can help your hair be stronger, healthier, softer, and shinier.
Some Helpful Videos On the Subject
Like What You Just Read?
In case you were wondering, the following products were mentioned in this blog post.