Hair Washing 101

Ok guys, here it is.

One of my absolute favorite hair topics. I know it’s not so exciting for everyone, but it’s so important. It’s the foundation to any hair style. It’s your starting point…

No one needs to wash their hair everyday……

Yes, you read that correctly, no one. I understand that it’s a tough habit to kick. I’m not trying to change anyone, but if you want an easier life…. stop washing your hair every day and continue reading.

You see, your scalp produces oil naturally (how much depends on your skin type, hormones, age, and sometimes even medications). That oil protects your hair from the elements. When you wash your hair, you are stripping your scalp of its natural oils (that’s not all bad, no one likes the smell of hair oil). But your body still needs that oil, so it gets to work producing more. When you don’t wash your hair every day, your scalp doesn’t work as hard to make oil because it knows it’s safe for a little while. That’s why it takes some time to “train” you hair, but skipping washes IS possible, and most find that their hair condition improves.

So what’s the best way to wash my hair you ask? Wash twice, condition once (or none depending on your hair type.. we’ll get into that later) Wet your hair and take one pump, or a nickel-quarter size dollop and work it onto the top and front sides of your SCALP. Add water if you don’t feel it bubbling up, the first wash is just about loosening those oils and dirt. Most times I don’t feel a good lather on my first shampoo. Next, take two pumps or a quarter-silver dollar size dollop and work it in the same way. You should feel the lather now. Give yourself a good scalp massage, don’t focus too much on your actual hair but more so your scalp and more oily spots. Once you have a good lather, act like you’re going to put your hair in a ponytail and work the rest down to your ends… DO NOT scrub the ends of your hair in a back and forth motion. You only need the gentle squeezing motions of you putting in a “ponytail”. Make sure you rinse the second shampoo THOROUGHLY….. Then take your conditioner and start on your ends (make sure you squeeze the extra water from your ends first). Distribute it through your ends in a gentle combing motion with your fingers. Once you have your ends saturated, you can take what’s left on your hand and run it towards the top of your hair but avoid the roots. If you have fine or extra oily hair, actually skip putting conditioner anywhere other then your ends.

So what type of shampoo should you be using? That depends on your hair type and needs.

PROFESSIONAL shampoo is what you need, I promise you that. I know it’s not always in the budget, but if you change your shampoo, you change your life. I always tell the story of my Mom converting from “drug store” shampoo to professional. I lived at home and since I go a couple of days between washing, I didn’t notice my shampoo and conditioner was missing for a while. When I discovered it, it was in my moms shower. After going back and forth for a couple of weeks, my mom came up to my salon and softly whispered “I need some dirt”….. she always said that my Aveda smells like dirt….. I couldn’t believe she was asking for Aveda. She said she couldn’t believe the difference it made in her hair and scalp. To this day she still uses her “dirt”.

I recently did a “test” where I bought 6 “color safe” drug store shampoos and put them up against Aveda Color Conserve . The results were amazing (not going to lie, I was nervous when it got to the Aveda shampoo 😂). I will show the results below, and can you can view the full experiment on my salons Facebook page Signature Salon & Day Spa .

Now seeing that, let’s start with color treated hair. Not lightened hair, but hair that has actual hair color or anything that darkens or add tones to your natural hair. Usually as a rule of thumb, frosted or milky looking shampoos are usually more gentle and clear shampoos are more abrasive (you can actually see the only clear shampoo above didn’t hold up so well). Color treated hair truly benefits from less washing (usually means less fading). Again, professional shampoo will always be your best bet. There is actual SCIENCE behind a color line and it’s matching shampoo that make it last longer. That’s with any brand. Your stylist doesn’t just want to make retail commission and sell you anything. Using the shampoo of the color line you use makes a big difference. But if drug store is only in your budget, look for “color safe” or “sulfate free”. The Tresemè actually didn’t do too bad 🤷🏼‍♀️ .

Next up is blondes, or hair that has been lightened with bleach. You need love, you need nurturing, you need protein. Look for something that has the words “restructuring” or “strengthening”. Although I do not lighten my hair, I have been using Aveda Damage Remedy for 10 years and will never stop. I have “sissy hair” and it needs to be treated like it’s been bleached 😑. It has quinoa protein and a bomb-ass conditioner that glides through my lions mane. Also, if you tend to turn a little yellow, a purple shampoo once a week is a great treatment. I use Pravana Blonde, it’s a bit drying though… so I do my weekly conditioning treatment the day I use it. Shampooing isn’t a huge concern with blondes, just making sure you get it nice and clean….. conditioner is key with us. Treatments and more treatments on those ends is the secret to blonde hair health.

Now for volumizing. This is for the woman that need a lift. Not just for the day, for everyday. This is for limp, lifeless hair. Very few people actually fall into this category, even though it’s a popular concern with my guests. Volumizing shampoo (which is usually clear) HAS to be used with its matching conditioner. Conditioner is what can hurt fine, lifeless hair. Conditioners for volume are usually very light and won’t weigh your hair down. Sometimes, actually skipping the conditioner altogether may be your best bet.

Let’s talk about curly girls… if you have curly hair and you wash it everyday, you are killing your hair. Curly hair is hair that should never be washed everyday. They have these “co washes” now that are a cleansing conditioner. These are great for in between washes to remove some oil but leave moisture. Curly hair NEEDS moisture, focus on conditioner and treatments rather then shampoo. Just make sure your shampoo is formulated for curls or texture.

Finally, it’s time for the best shampoo….

This is that extra kick to move you out of the every day washing into the every other, or longer…. DRY SHAMPOO!! Dry shampoo is life changing. It’s how I went from every other day to every 4-5 days. My tip with dry shampoo is a “preventative” approach. I use dry shampoo at night before bed. I start on the second day. I don’t have a lot of oil at that point, but the dry shampoo is there, ready, for whenever the oil decides to show it’s ugly face. It’s easier to put it on before the oil starts, rather then trying to soak it up once it set in.

This is just scratching the surface of he shampoo world. There are so many other factors and hair types/concerns that can come into play. Always ask your hairstylist what shampoo and conditioner combo is right for you. Just like most things in the beauty industry, these are GUIDELINES NOT RULES. These are what work for me and my guests. If you have something you use that goes outside these guidelines, good for you… keep doing what you are doing. But if you’re looking to stretch your washing days, remember to get a good shampoo and SCRUB.

If you have any specific questions feel free to reach out to me.

If there is anything you want me to touch more in depth, let me know.

Happy hair washing 🤗

4 thoughts on “Hair Washing 101

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