How do I know?
Because most people I have come across in my life actually have no clue what they’re doing with shampoo or why they are doing it.
So, I suppose you want clean hair. That’s the basic gist of it anyway. I bet your mom taught you to wet your hair, squeeze a palm full of shampoo into your hand, and slap it in your hair, pile your hair on top of your head, and scrub the heck out of it. Rinse. Condition the same way. AmIright?
WHY are you doing that? First of all, did you know that shampoo is made for your scalp and conditioner is for your mids and ends? That’s right. Unless your hair is especially dirty or full of product build-up, it’s really not necessary to scrub all of your hair. Your mids and ends don’t actually get very dirty and they will get cleansed as you rinse the shampoo out. Instead: make sure your hair is very wet. Using a high-quality shampoo, squeeze a small amount into your hands, emulsify (rub the shampoo together in your hands) and using your finger tips, massage the shampoo into your scalp. DO NOT pile your hair on top of your head to do this. Just the scalp. Piling your hair on top of your head only creates a tangled mess. Scrub your scalp really well and make sure you get the nape area clean, that’s where most dirt, oil and sweat collects. No bubbles? Low bubbles? I’m getting to that. Rinse. REPEAT. Remember the old adage “lather, rinse, repeat”? The first shampoo breaks down dirt, oils, sweat and products in your hair, the second one washes them away. Always shampoo at least twice, three times (or as many as it takes to get a good lather) if necessary. I am personally part of the “I shampoo once or twice a week” club, and it is not uncommon for me to have to shampoo three times to get a good lather. If you aren’t getting a good lather, chances are you have some oil or product build-up and if you aren’t cleansing that away properly, you could be creating problems like dry scalp, dandruff, clogged follicles, bacteria outbreaks, and more. Remember, a healthy scalp grows healthy hair.
After you have shampooed properly, make sure you rinse all of the shampoo out and squeeze as much water from the hair as possible, then apply your conditioner to the mids and ends, avoiding the scalp as much as possible. Everyone needs conditioner, but you may need help choosing the right one for your hair type. Men, women, children, thick hair, flat hair, thin hair, EVERYONE needs it. Why? Because the shampoo has raised the pH of your hair and removed all the oils, and to keep your hair healthy, you now need a conditioner to replace the lost oils and lower the pH to close your cuticle. Most shampoos have a pH around 7.0-8.0. Water is 7.0, and your hair lives around 4.5-5.5. So, water alone will not close your cuticle. It is important to use a conditioner with a pH the same, or, preferably lower than your hair, to make sure your cuticle is sealed closed to hold in moisture, nutrients, and color pigments (if you have colored hair). Closing your cuticle also helps with detangling, and conditioner will provide extra slip. While the conditioner is in your hair, use a wide toothed shower comb, or WetBrush, to detangle your hair. Then, clip on top of your head and cover with a plastic cap (you can get about 50 processing caps from Sally’s for roughly $4.00). While the conditioner is working, finish the rest of your shower. Wash your body, shave, wash your face, or do whatever you like to do while you’re in there (no judgement), and then rinse the conditioner at the end of your shower. This gives the conditioner time to actually work and replenish your hair.
Style as usual!
(That’s another article, for another day).