The Proper Way To Wash Hair

(c) 2016
(c) 2016

You may think washing hair is simple – apply shampoo, rinse, apply conditioner, rinse, and then done. As simply as it sounds, there are correct ways to apply shampoo and conditioner on hair so that you are not damaging your hair and boosting its health and appearance.

Wendy Rodewald from StyleCastor, spoke with hair professionals and stylist from New York to gather information about the right way to wash hair;

Step 1: Rinse first

Rinse hair until it is thoroughly wet before you apply any products so that the shampoo can easily be applied. Rinsing with hot water will remove dirt and product from the hair and warm water “loosens the oils through the scalp and opens the cuticle so it is able to absorb the oil.”

Step 2: Condition first (for those with long hair)

This step might sound odd but if you have long hair, it is best to apply a small amount of conditioner at the ends of the hair to protect it from damage and dryness. This method “will fill any holes in the cuticle with moisture, making it smoother and boosting shine.” After the application of conditioner at the ends of the hair, rinse lightly.


Step 3: Lather with shampoo at the scalp

Focus on lathering with shampoo at the scalp, and the back of the neck since the nape can easily be forgotten or less focused. Start lathering from the scalp and then down to the ends of the hair because the scalp is where oil is accumulated. The ends of the hair have little to no oil so most of the shampoo should be applied at the scalp.


Step 4: Rub gently

Harsh rubbing or scrubbing on the hair can cause the hair to break and become frizzy. Start from the roots and lather using “’vertical strokes with medium pressure’” in order to “’increase blood flow of the scalp and stimulate hair growth.’” It may be common and natural for us to wash our hair in a circular motion, but doing so will cause the hair to tangle. When rinsing the ends of the hair, use a “’straight stroking motion’” to prevent excessive tangles.


Step 5: Do not repeat

Some shampoo bottles instructs the user to rinse and repeat but there it is unnecessary unless the first rinse did not remove all the dirt and oils. Rinsing or apply shampoo more than once in a single shower will stripe away the moisture of the hair.


Step 6: Apply conditioner from mid-length down

After rinsing shampoo out from hair, squeeze the water out from hair and apply conditioner from mid-length to the ends of the hair. Then, clip hair up and continue with your regular routine of showering (body wash, shaving, etc.). This is to help you leave the conditioner in longer so that your hair can better absorb the moisture from the product. Do not apply conditioner at the scalp because the scalp will generate natural oils that will provide moisture.


Step 7: Rinse with cold water

Most of us do not like to shower in cold water but use cold water to rinse out the conditioner as the final step of the hair washing process. During steps 1-6, warm water is being used and therefore the cuticles of the hair are lifted, or opened, so that the shampoo and conditioner can get into the hair strands and do its job (clean and moisturize). The last step is to use cold water so that the cuticles can close to secure the moisture and “’will cause [the hair] to reflect the most light and give off the most shine.’”