So naturally being a stylist my plan is to share as many tips as possible on how to get your most fabulous hair. I’d love to tell you that the only thing that matters is your styling ability and how well you can wrap that hair around your wand but the truth is the best your hair is ever going to get is determined by your starting point. The hair wash.
You might be able to pull off a mediocre or even great hair style for the day but if you’re not washing your hair properly you’ll more than likely wake up with an oily scalp and non workable hair. Let’s be honest… there are so many things flying around the internet these days the whole hair washing subject is really quite confusing. I’m all for washing your hair as little as possible but must say I never really got on board with the no hair washing trend. You still need to clean your scalp as though you would your body. With a few great tips, I think you will be able to wash a little less often, a little more thoroughly and get a much more desired result to prep your hair for all of those beautiful styles we’re going to learn together. Think of it as building a foundation before you decorate.
So over the years, I’ve had several die hard daily washers who with guidance and a little determination were able to move their scalp scrubs from every day into a two or three-day routine. If you’re not a daily washer but still feel like your hair isn’t reaching it’s optimal potential we can help you fix that too! Whether it be your scalp is too dry, too oily or your scalp is ok but your hair throughout the mid-lengths is weighed down and doesn’t hold a style we are going to figure this out!
Let’s Start with the basics:
We all produce something called sebum which is the natural oil that is produced by your sebaceous glands. The amount you naturally have depends on a couple different things such as your hormones and family heritage. The purpose of washing your hair is to remove sebum, hair product and daily external factors from your scalp. That being said as sebum is produced by your body it also has positive benefits for your hair. Sebum actually acts as nature’s natural conditioner and if you wash your hair too often you end up stripping your scalp which in turn will end up working double time to produce more as it’s really meant to be there. That’s why some who have an oily scalp can’t understand why a daily wash still leaves their hair feeling gross. Mix the washing too much or for some not often enough with the added factor that you might also be using the wrong shampoo and conditioner and we’ve got some problems.
Hair washing doesn’t need to be difficult. Let’s look at it this way… shampoo is for cleansing your scalp, and conditioner is for repairing/treating your hair. That’s the simplest way to word it and will hopefully help you pick your products easier. So, if you have a dry scalp but normal hair you can pick up a moisturizing shampoo and a normal color treated repair conditioner. You don’t need to use the same category in a line to get great results. As a side note, 99% of professionally branded companies have gotten on board with all of their products being safe for colored hair and encourage your colors to last while also offering repair from whatever damage might have occurred during your last service. Most of these companies are also paraben free, phthalates free, sulfate free, not tested on animals and all of the other things that we find important when picking our products. This definitely makes things easier for us when you walk up to a shelf with 500 pretty beautiful smelling bottles of potions to choose from. Ok so back to the moisturizing shampoo. If you have a dry/itchy/flaky scalp my recommendation would be to grab something that will give you a great amount of moisture. Bumble and Bumble makes a beautiful invisible oil shampoo (link below) that will do wonders for your scalp while adding a little shampoo to your locks while you rinse. With the proper washing technique and allowing the shampoo to sit on your scalp a little longer than perhaps you have in the past you can kick the flakes and itchiness and eventually move into more of a balancing shampoo. I use one by Amika (link below) and it’s my go-to cleanser these days.
Im going to run you through the steps on how you should wash and rinse your hair and list a couple of products below. If you are still totally lost at what you should be using you can also send me an email and I will do my best to help give you a mini consult!
Squeeze a small amount of shampoo (between a dime and a quarter dot) into your hand and emulsify the shampoo between both of your hands by rubbing them together. This activates the shampoo and preps it to work on your scalp.
Apply shampoo to your scalp focusing on the top and front half of your head. Massage the shampoo into your scalp with your fingertips and small circular motions just like your stylist would. This is meant to loosen oils/sebum/hair product/dust and dirt from your scalp. You might not experience very much sudsing during your first shampoo, this is normal! This doesn’t mean add more shampoo it means rinse and repeat. Next, you repeat the same step adding a small amount of shampoo to your hands, emulsifying and then focusing on the top and back half of your head. Many miss this area and don’t cleanse it properly as it’s a harder place to reach. If at this point you are starting to experience better sudsing you can leave the shampoo on your scalp for 1-2 minutes (bring some of those bubbles back up to the front) to allow the conditioning properties in the product to work their magic. I personally recommend 2-3 washes and do this waiting trick on wash number 3. Having thicker hair it takes me minimum 2 almost always three washes to receive any sort of suddsy bubbles. Rinse your hair thoroughly but don’t worry too much as you will be doing a long rinse after your conditioner.
*if you are blonde and use a blue/purple shampoo this is when you would do that and might choose to replace your third wash with your tinted shampoo*
The conditioner. I looovvvveeee all conditioners and treatments. Being a colourist and working with a service that strips hair nutritionally I am such a fan of weekly treatments and using a great conditioner with each wash. As I mentioned before shampoo is for cleansing the scalp and the conditioner is meant for your hair repair so keep that in mind when you go to apply your conditioner or mask. With a loonie ish size of product in your hand again emulsify it by rubbing your hands together. Gather all of your hair between your hands and start working the conditioner from the bottom up. Think of your “oldest” hair which is the bottom half as the part that needs the most repair and focus on this area. You can then gently run your fingers through the higher sections with what is left over. If you have a clip or elastic feel free to clip your hair away and go on with whatever else that you need to do in the shower. Leave in for 3-5 minutes or as directed on the bottle.
Rinse, Rinse, Rinse, Rinse and when you think you’re done rinsing you rinse some more. Leaving any shampoo and conditioner in your hair could make it feel greasy and weighed down and that leads to you wanting to wash it sooner than it needs to be which is the whole reason I wrote this in the first place. So wash less but better and more thoroughly and not only are you saving yourself time but you’re also saving your scalp and locks while you are at it! Most likely every time you wash your hair you are also using hot tools after to dry and style it so let’s try and save your strands where we can.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and like I said if you have any questions or still can’t figure out how to pick the right product send me an email! I’ve got your back. firstname.lastname@example.org
xoxo, Emily J
Products Mentioned Above as well as some other favs!
Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil Shampoo
Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil Conditioner
Amika Balancing Shampoo
Amika Nourishing Mask
Amika Triple RX Conditioner
Amika Treatment Pack