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How to Wash Your Hair Correctly

A woman washes her hair

Washing your hair is one of those things you do almost every day but rarely think about. If you haven’t been thrilled with your hair lately, you might not be washing it correctly. From scrubbing too frequently to using too much shampoo, here are the dos and don’ts of hair washing to help you achieve healthy and beautiful hair.

Do: Create Your Own Routine

A woman towel drying her hair
Alliance Images/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to hair care, everyone’s hair is unique and requires different types of care. Authentic Beauty Concept Advocate + Stylist Justin Toves-Vincilione recommends that everyone finds their own unique hair care routine to get the best results when washing.

Some people may have dry and frizzy hair, while others may have oily and fine hair. It is important to understand your hair type and build a hair care routine that works for you. This involves using products that are specifically designed for your hair type, as well as incorporating practices that will benefit your hair type.

If you have oily hair, for example, you may need to wash your hair more frequently and use a clarifying shampoo to remove excess oil. On the other hand, if you have dry hair, you may benefit from using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to help restore moisture and prevent breakage. And if you have curly hair, you may need to use a leave-in conditioner or oil to keep your curls defined and bouncy.

Hicober Microfiber Hair Towel

Regardless of your hair type, these towels will help you dry frizz-free.

Don’t: Wash Too Frequently

Someone holds their hand under water in a shower
l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock.com

The frequency at which you wash your hair depends on your hair type and lifestyle. People who have oily hair usually need to wash their hair every day, while those with dry hair can usually go several days without washing. That being said, washing your hair too frequently can strip it of natural oils, making it dry and prone to breakage.

“Washing your hair every day is almost always a bad idea,” said Toves-Vincilione. “To avoid an overly dry, oily, or imbalanced scalp, try to shampoo no more than three times per week.”

If you are unsure how often to wash your hair, start by washing it every other day and adjust accordingly. If your hair feels too oily or too dry, adjust the frequency of your hair washing.

Do: Use the Right Shampoo

A woman buying shampoo

According to Toves-Vincilione, choosing the right shampoo is essential to maintaining healthy hair. By choosing a shampoo that is formulated for your hair type and lifestyle, you can help ensure that your hair looks and feels its best.

For instance, if you have blonde hair, you’ll want to choose a hydrating or replenishing shampoo to help nourish and protect your hair. You may also want to use a purple shampoo to help neutralize any brassy tones that can develop over time, especially if your hair is colored. Olaplex Toning Shampoo is a great choice for blondes, as it is formulated to keep blonde hair bright and strong.

Olaplex No. 4P Blonde Enhancing Toning Shampoo, 8.5 Fl Oz

Highly concentrated purple shampoo cleanses, tones, and repairs while keeping hair hydrated from roots to ends.

If you have curly hair, it’s best to choose a cleanser that is formulated specifically for curly hair. Curly hair is often prone to dryness and frizz, so a moisturizing cleanser can help keep curls defined and bouncy. There are many great cleansers on the market for curly hair, including the DevaCurl No-Poo Original Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser. This product is sulfate-free and designed to gently cleanse and condition curls without stripping away natural oils.

DevaCurl No-Poo® Original Zero Lather Cleanser For Rich Moisture, Fresh Rose, 12 fl. oz.

This lightweight cream conditioner hydrates to help fight tangles, control frizz and leave curls feeling soft and defined.

For color-treated hair, it is important to choose a cleanser that is designed to enhance color vibrancy and shine while also protecting your hair from color fade. Authentic Beauty Concept Glow Cleanser is a great choice for color-treated hair, as it is formulated with a blend of plant-based ingredients to help nourish and protect hair.

Authentic Beauty Concept Glow Cleanser

This pleasant color-preserving cleanser seals the cuticle and leaves the hair radiant.

Don’t: Use Too Much Shampoo

Someone uses shampoo
Alena TS/Shutterstock.com

Using too much shampoo can actually do more harm than good for your hair. Not only can it leave your hair feeling heavy and greasy, but it can also strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and damage over time. That’s why it’s important to use the right amount of shampoo when washing your hair.

As a general rule, a quarter-sized amount of shampoo is sufficient for most people. However, if you have particularly long or thick hair, you may need to use a bit more to fully cleanse your scalp and strands.

Tea Tree Special Shampoo

A popular shampoo ideal for all hair types, especially oily hair.

Do: Focus on the Roots

A man washes his hair

When washing your hair, you want to focus on the root area first, says Toves-Vincilione. This is where you’re most likely to have the most oil and buildup, so it’s important to ensure that this area is thoroughly cleansed.

To do this, apply your cleanser or shampoo directly to your scalp, working it into a lather with your fingertips. By focusing on the root area first, you can help to remove any dirt, oil, or buildup that may be present, leaving your scalp feeling clean and refreshed. This can also help to promote healthy hair growth, as a clean scalp is essential for maintaining healthy hair.

Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush

This helps to deeply cleanse your hair during the washing process.

Once you’ve cleansed the root area, it’s time to move on to the ends of your hair. However, it’s important to be mindful of how much product you’re using on the ends of your hair. The ends usually need less product, since they are less prone to oil and buildup than the root area.

It’s also worth noting that different hair types may require different amounts of product on the ends. For example, if you have particularly dry or damaged hair, you may need to use a bit more product to help hydrate and nourish your strands. On the other hand, if you have oily hair, you may need to use less product to avoid weighing down your hair.

PATTERN Beauty Hydration Shampoo

Great for curly and coily hair.

Don’t: Use Harmful Ingredients

Bottles of shampoo
Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

Many shampoos contain ingredients that can actually cause more damage to your hair in the long run. Toves-Vincilione cautions against using products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These ingredients are known to be harsh on the scalp and can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and brittle.

Mineral oils and parabens are other ingredients to look out for and avoid. Mineral oils can clog pores on the scalp and prevent the hair from absorbing nutrients, while parabens have been linked to potential health risks.

Washing your hair correctly is important for maintaining healthy and beautiful locks. By following these dos and don’ts from an expert stylist, you can achieve the hair of your dreams.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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