Since a very young age, we have all been conditioned to believe that washing our hair requires two main products - a shampoo and a conditioner. However, have you been washing your hair the right way? Or, with the right products?
A number of factors have to be taken into consideration while washing your hair, if you want to maintain a healthy, clean scalp and soft hair. Let's get into the details.
How To Maintain A Healthy Scalp/hair?
1. Avoid Washing Everyday
Oils aren't bad. Your scalp contains essential oils that are required by it to stay healthy. Washing your hair too often can result in a loss of these necessary oils.
Your shampoo is meant to clean your scalp and remove the extra oil accumulated on it. But, shampooing your hair everyday can damage your scalp and hair. Limit it to 2-3 times a week.
2. Use Lukewarm Water To Wash Your Hair
Using lukewarm water to rinse your hair is important to allow your cuticles to open up. This allows your shampoo and conditioner to penetrate deeper into your hair and do their job effectively.
Using hot water to wash your hair can strip away essential oils. Avoid using hot water while washing your hair.
3. Massage Your Scalp Regularly
Pick your favorite oil and massage your scalp one hour before washing it. Essential oils target specific hair issues and massaging stimulates blood flow to your scalp. This strengthens your hair follicles and aids-in hair growth and a healthy scalp.
4. Always Use The Right Shampoo For Your Hair Type
This is not as confusing as it may sound. Different shampoos cater to different scalp/hair types. If you have a sensitive scalp, use a mild shampoo. In case you have dandruff, you can use medicated shampoos to help take care of the condition. If your scalp is greasy, use a shampoo that regulates sebum production.
5. Be Gentle (Avoid Dirty Nails And Scrubbing)
Always make sure your nails are clean (to avoid transferring dirt onto your scalp). And, do not scrub while washing. Scrubbing can cause breakage and damage your hair.
Ideally, you must gently comb your hair before washing it, to avoid it from getting tangled. If you have tight curls, consider sectioning your hair to make it easier to wash.
How To Wash Hair Properly - 6 Steps
Step 1: Wash Using Warm Water
Wet your hair with warm water. This will open up your cuticles, which will allow for your products to work more effectively. Your hair should be completely soaked in water before you apply the products. This also allows for easy application.
Step 2: Shampoo Your Hair
Thoroughly clean your scalp with a few drops of your shampoo (as recommended on the label). Start by gently massaging your shampoo into your scalp.
Avoid applying any product directly to your hair. The shampoo will work its way down to the roots of your hair by itself. Focus on cleaning your scalp as it contains the highest amount of oil.
Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly
Make it a point to rinse off the product thoroughly. You don’t want to clog your pores with residue!
Step 4: Double Cleanse (If Required)
If you feel that you haven’t washed your hair in many days or it's too dirty, double-cleansing is an option. However, this step should usually be avoided if not necessary, as shampoos can strip away essential oils from your hair.
Step 5: Condition Your Hair
Your conditioner in your hair care regimen is as important as the moisturizer you use as part of your skincare routine. Conditioners supply nutrients and keep your hair hydrated and soft. It also prevents breakage and allows for easy styling.
Avoid applying conditioner to your scalp. Start from your hair shaft and work all the way down till the ends of your hair strands. Leave your conditioner on for 1-2 minutes.
Step 6: Rinse Off With Cold Water
Now, it is time for your cuticles to close. You don’t want dirt and pollution to get in there! Rinse off your conditioner with cold water and let your hair dry naturally, if you have the time for that. In case you need to blow dry, avoid using heat and use a cold blower instead.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
The frequency at which you wash your hair depends on its texture and your lifestyle. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing your hair once a week if you have tight curls or textured hair.
For others, washing 3 times a week is the general rule. However, depending on your scalp type and concerns, you must talk to your dermatologist about how often you can possibly wash your hair.
For those of you who exercise regularly, washing your hair may feel as important as maintaining a daily skincare routine. However, it is recommended that even if you do exercise regularly, it is important that you skip washing your hair everyday.
You can consult your dermatologist or hair stylist on the various other methods of getting your hair to feel less greasy, post work-out.
Can You Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo?
The ingredients in your shampoo remove unwanted debris from your scalp. Not just that, they also target a number of hair concerns and address other scalp-related issues. It is recommended that you use a shampoo every time you wash your hair.
Washing your hair the right way is important to get rid of unwanted dirt and grime. Make it a point to wash your hair with lukewarm water, use the right products and do not scrub too hard while washing. Most importantly, don’t wash your hair everyday. This can strip away essential oils from your scalp.
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