Everyone loves salon-fresh hair that is bouncy and swishy. Do you notice how much time the salon staff spends on massaging your scalp that leaves your hair feeling so soft and silky?
Washing your hair at home doesn’t give you such good results. You’ve not been washing your hair the correct way because you’ve been focusing more on the lengths than on the hair scalp.
Here are salon-approved steps to correctly guide you on washing your hair to get the hair of your dreams:
1. Use Warm Water to Wash Your Hair
Exposing your hair to steamy hot water can strip it of moisture and cause colored hair to fade. Hair surface can get more damaged with increases in temperature. (1)
On the other hand, cold water will close the cuticles of your hair and will not allow the shampoo and conditioner to dissolve fully in the scalp.
It’s better to use warm water to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as it opens the cuticle and washes away built-up product and dirt in the hair. (2)
After completing your hair wash, you can rinse off with a round of cool water as it will close your hair cuticles and leave a smooth surface that reflects light and makes your hair look shiny.
2. Choose a Shampoo for Your Hair Type
It is essential to use shampoo based on your hair type. (3) For dry hair, you will need a hydrating shampoo, and for oily hair, you will need a product that will remove the excess oil and sebum.
Never go by what information is on social media regarding shampoos and conditioners, but read the ingredients on the product label before buying your product.
a. Shampoo for oily scalp
Use a clarifying shampoo that removes the excess oil from your scalp. If you have an extra oily scalp, then opt for a super purifying treatment shampoo.
b. Shampoo for dry scalps and dandruff
For dry scalps, buy shampoos that hydrate, add moisture, and smoothen the hair. Their water content will be helpful for your dry scalp.
If you have dandruff on your scalp, buy a specially formulated shampoo to get rid of the condition.
Try shampoos and conditioners that contain onion in them. Onion is abundant in sulfur, which helps to get rid of dandruff and facilitates hair follicle regeneration.
c. Shampoo for fine hair
For fine hair, use shampoos with natural ingredients such as caffeine (4) and rosemary oil. Caffeine is known to stimulate the hair follicles and increase hair growth.
d. Shampoo for curly hair
People with curly or coily hair should use very hydrating and non-stripping shampoos to get rid of frizz.
e. Shampoo for colored hair
Use rebuilding and sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners to add much-needed care to your colored strands. (5)
3. Gently Massage Your Scalp and Roots
Start your hair wash by first soaking your hair in warm water to open up the hair cuticles and then massaging your scalp gently.
Apply the shampoo, applying minimal pressure to your scalp while massaging it for 1–3 minutes to boost blood flow to your scalp and stimulate hair growth.
A study was conducted on 9 healthy Japanese men where each of them got about 4 minutes of scalp massage a day for 24 weeks using a scalp massaging device. Results were evaluated based on the total number of hairs, thickness, and growth rate, and significant hair thickness was observed after 24 weeks of the scalp massage. It was concluded that scalp massage could be a natural, easy, and economical way to stimulate hair growth. (6)
4. Shampoo Along the Hair Direction
Most shampoo commercials tell you to shampoo in circular motions – this is the wrong way to do it. Instead, work the shampoo into the hair in one direction with your hands and down the hair shaft. Rinse it off also in the same direction.
Work more on the scalp (7) and roots and then on the length of your hair for optimal results.
5. Leave in Your Conditioner for 5 Minutes
While conditioning your hair, applying it from mid-hair down to the ends is imperative. Never condition at the roots as it will cause product buildup and weaken your hair.
While the conditioner is still on your hair, comb it out with a wide-tooth comb to detangle it, and then rinse off with warm water.
According to recent studies, the application of conditioner after shampoo is vital to protect the surface of the hair fibers and prevent damage from grooming and bleaching. (8)
6. Care for Your Hair After the Wash
Never brush your hair straight after a hair wash, as it can lead to shedding. Avoid rubbing your hair with rough towels; instead, pat it dry with a soft towel, allowing air to dry it naturally. Never use a hot tool on wet hair, as it needs to be fully dry before you apply heat.
An important part of after-wash care is also applying oil and massaging your hair and scalp. You can use coconut hair oil, or you can try one that contains onion as it is rich in sulfur, which helps to strengthen the hair and facilitates regeneration of the hair follicles.
General Queries Related to Hair Washing
How many times a week should you wash your hair?
You must wash your hair daily if your scalp is oily, itchy, or flaky and once every 2–3 days if it is normal.
Why should you wash your hair?
When you apply shampoo to the hair, it removes dirt, debris, odor, and oil from the scalp. The hair receives its oil from the sebaceous glands that produce sebum, which moisturizes the hair. Well-moisturized hair doesn’t break and looks frizzy.
Will not washing your hair regularly make it grow faster?
Not washing your hair on a regular basis is unhygienic and leads to a buildup of dirt, odor, and eventually hair breakage. It is a myth that dirty hair grows faster than clean hair, as dirty hair causes bacterial growth and scalp irritation.
What happens if you don’t shampoo your hair for 3 months?
Going without washing your hair for months could lead to buildup on the scalp, leading to damaged hair and no growth.
Does hair clean itself naturally?
Trichologist Anabel Kingsley, from the Philip Kingsley Clinic in London, says that hair does not clean itself. She goes on to say that the same logic applies to your hair as the face or underarms if you don’t wash it for a week. The scalp and hair will be coated with dirt, odor, and grease and will become flaky.
Own your hair and embrace its natural look. Always use shampoos and conditioners that suit your hair type, and never forget to wash it with warm water and finish off with a cold-water rinse.
Keep your scalp healthy and clean as it will lead to tresses that will shine brightly with health and vitality.
- Lee Y, Kim Y-D, Hyun H-J, Pi L-Q, Jin X, Lee W-S. Hair shaft damage from heat and drying time of hair dryer. Annals of dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/. Published November 2011.
- Mooventhan A, Nivethitha L. Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. North American journal of medical sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/. Published May 2014.
- D’Souza P, Rathi SK. Shampoo and conditioners: What a dermatologist should know? Indian journal of dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458934/. Published 2015.
- The effect of coffee residu extract on hair growth – iopscience. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/420/1/012079.
- Draelos ZD. Essentials of hair care often neglected: Hair cleansing. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002407/. Published January 2010.
- Koyama T, Kobayashi K, Hama T, Murakami K, Ogawa R. Standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue. Eplasty. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740347/. Published January 25, 2016.
- Trüeb RM, Henry JP, Davis MG, Schwartz JR. Scalp condition impacts hair growth and retention via oxidative stress. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6369642/. Published 2018.
- Zhang Y, Alsop RJ, Soomro A, Yang F-C, Rheinstädter MC. Effect of shampoo, conditioner and permanent waving on the molecular structure of human hair. PeerJ. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4636411/. Published October 1, 2015.