Shampooing and conditioning are two of the most important steps in healthy hair maintenance. Shampooing is important to rid hair of dirt, oils, and even lice. Conditioning keeps hair moisturized, soft, and strong.
Here are some tips to help you learn how to shampoo and condition properly:
- First, you have to buy the right hair products. Let's start with shampooing. You need to know what type of hair you have so that you can decide what type of shampoo you need. There are shampoos for oily, dry, damaged, normal, combination, and colored hair. You also need to figure out what you want your shampoo to do for you. Do you need volume, shine, moisture, dandruff relief? Once you get an understanding of the type of shampoo you need, search around for a good-quality brand. Remember that the more expensive brands are not always better. Look at the labels and compare ingredients before investing your money. Also remember that too strong of an oil-combating shampoo can convince an oily scalp that it needs to produce even more oil.
Now on to conditioner. Like shampoo, conditioners are made to complement your particular needs. Since you should know by now what needs you have, you can shop for the right conditioner to satisfy them. However, conditioners are a bit different than shampoos in that they offer various options like rinse-out, leave-in, deep conditioning, and everyday use. Again, you have to shop and compare to be sure you are choosing the right one. For example, dry hair may need a moisturizing conditioner, which is usually heavier than most formulas. Limp hair may want a rinse-out conditioner so that too much product is not left behind to weigh it down.
- To begin the actual process of shampooing hair, brush hair thoroughly before wetting; this prevents tangling. Saturate hair and scalp with warm water (not hot water, because it could damage your hair and irritate your scalp). Apply a quarter-sized amount of shampoo to palms and rub together. The best method is to start with the scalp and roots and gently massage down to the ends of hair. Gently run fingers through hair to be sure that the shampoo is evenly distributed, especially if yours is thick. Rinse by allowing the water to run from scalp to ends evenly. Do not bunch or squeeze hair; it could be damaging since hair is very fragile when it is wet.
As you rinse, your hair should feel lighter and cleanlier. If not, then shampoo and rinse again. Keep in mind that the amount of lather does not determine if the shampoo is working. Actually, the less lather the better, because the molecules of the shampoo are grasping more dirt and oils. Once the hair is rinsed thoroughly, you are ready to condition.
- The type of conditioner you choose will determine the way you condition:
- If it is a rinse-out conditioner, follow the same steps as you would to shampoo.
- A deep conditioner may require you to apply it for 15-20 minutes. It is best to wrap a warm towel around your hair while you wait to boost its effectiveness.
- When using a leave-in conditioner, apply a dime-sized amount and style hair as usual.
It is possible to over-condition your hair, causing it to be limp, dull, and encourage product build-up. A dime- to quarter-sized amount, depending on how much hair you have, should be sufficient.
- The frequency of shampooing and conditioning again depends on your hair type:
- Oily hair can be washed every day without harm.
- It is good to wash normal hair every day if you have an active lifestyle of swimming, sports, or exercising. If not, then once or twice a week is best.
- Combination hair (hair that is oily toward the scalp but dry along the outer length) should be washed daily along the scalp area but less frequently along the lengths. Condition the dry ends each time you wash, but avoid conditioning the scalp area.
- Curly tresses should be washed every other day so as not to disturb curls and prevent it from becoming fluffy. Curliness tends to prevent our scalp's naturally protective sebum from traveling the length of the shafts, which can lead to dryness.
- Dry, damaged, and colored hair should be washed every few days to prevent further damage from chemical overload and because of weakness when wet.
- With oily hair, be sure to find "oil-free" products. Scrubbing hair can cause you to activate your hair follicles, producing more oil. Be sure that your styling products are oil-free as well. If you are applying too much oil with gel, mousse, or hairspray, then that defeats the purpose of shampooing and conditioning.
Once you find the right shampoo and conditioner for you, stick with a good routine for healthy, manageable, and beautiful locks.