How To Properly Wash Your Hair For Healthier Strands

Your best hair day starts in the shower. While it may seem like a basic practice, there is a right and wrong way to go about cleansing your locks and scalp. Here are our best tips to getting the most out of your hair washing:

FREQUENCY

While it may seem counterintuitive, hair that is less-washed is healthier… and better looking! When you over wash your hair, you strip It of its natural oils, which can lead to breakage, dry ends, and an oily scalp. Your best wash frequency is dependent on your hair’s type and texture, though most experts claim that 2 washes a week is sufficient. If you are dealing with dandruff or other conditions, the typical recommendations may not apply.  To read more on hair wash frequency, click here.

WATER

Listen, we know there’s nothing like a long, hot, steamy shower… but as much as you may enjoy it, your strands don’t! Exposure to super-high temperatures will lead your hair to look dry and lifeless, while also fading color faster. There’s no proven “perfect” hair temp, but warm > hot is the way to go. 

In addition to water temperature, filtration is a major factor in your hair’s health. Hard water contains minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, that build up making it difficult for moisture (products) to penetrate. As a result, hair becomes brittle  and more susceptible to breakage. Look forward to a blog dedicated to the effects of hard water and how to combat it in the near future!

HAIR WETNESS

Before applying product, ask yourself: Is my hair wet enough? Could it be wetter?

While a once-over rinse might be enough moisture for some, thicker hair requires more time to really drench. Applying product when your hair isn’t fully wet risks the chance of the product not fully emulsifying  and not properly rinsing out. Over time, this can lead to build up on your strands and your scalp, making your hair look oily.

PRODUCT APPLICATION

Before you apply your shampoo start the lather in your hands by rubbing the product between your palms with a bit of water.  Instead of globbing the shampoo on the crown of your head and hoping for the best, intentionally place the product around the head in sections so it is evenly applied.  Add more water after you apply the shampoo to ensure thorough saturation.  Your scalp is a sensitive artist, treat it with gentle, thoughtful care… after all, a happy scalp means healthy hair. While cleansing, gently massage the scalp with light pressure in your fingers (no nails!). Not only does it feel great, but it also stimulates blood flow to the scalp, supporting hair growth!

 *Pro Tip: Use a scalp massager for a spa-level experience and deeper cleanse. 

While deeply cleansing the scalp is essential to shampooing, approach conditioning differently. When using conditioner, avoid the scalp, applying mid-shaft to ends only. Since conditioners are agents for deep hydration, they are more prone to clogging hair cuticles unless specifically formulated to be scalp friendly, like REVERIE Conditioner.  

PRODUCTS

You knew it was coming… That $5 shampoo/conditioner combo from the drugstore has got to go. Most drugstore products are formulated with sulfates, silicones,  synthetic fillers, artificial fragrances, and subpar ingredients. This might make them budget friendly, but they are far from friendly for your locks. That being said, your hair cleansing products don’t need to break the bank. When you’re shopping for your S&C, there are two main ingredients to understand and avoid: sulfates and silicones.

Sulfates are harsh surfactants - they are the cleansing agents that only focus on cleansing a surface. While they might sound harmless, they are incapable of cleansing the scalp deeply, leaving hair dry, brittle, and stripped of its natural oils. In addition, sulfates are derived from petroleum, and hence, are harmful to the environment.

Silicones are frequently used in products that promote “hydration.” They are cheap, easy to use and provide the superficial appearance of shiny, healthy hair. In reality, they create a waterproof barrier on your scalp and strands, making deep hydration nearly impossible. Read more about silicones here!

When it comes to ingredient lists, quality > quantity is the way to go. Shop for shampoos and conditioners that are formulated only with what your hair needs. Ultimately, this will save you money on quick-fix hair care products and, of course, make your hair and scalp feel much more refreshed. For a clean, natural, silicone and sulfate-free cleanse, try our Shampoo and Conditioner.

In addition to considering ingredients, your hair and scalp might occasionally require some extra TLC. Enter: scalp exfoliants and leave-in conditioners. 

Scalp exfoliants are a great solution for oily, dry, flaky scalps or heavy product users. They work by gently eliminating dry skin and build-up from the scalp’s surface while deeply cleansing the hair follicles, allowing natural oils to moisturize the hair. Restoring your scalp’s natural oils not only makes your hair look healthier and shinier, but also promotes healthy hair growth. Want to give scalp exfoliants a try? Try our award-winning exfoliating cleanser, Suna!

*Pro Tip: For super happy, hydrated locks, try a pre-shampoo oil treatment with Ever Recovery Oil.  Thoroughly coat the hair from roots to ends and leave in 20 minutes (or overnight for extra credit) before cleansing.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

RINSING

It’s time to rinse your product out, and this is no place to save time by rushing the process.

This step is particularly important because failing to fully rinse out cleansers and conditioners will leave you with build-up leading to scalp irritation and limp hair.  Thicker products are more prone to sticking to your hair and scalp, requiring more time to make sure they’ll leave zero residue. Treat your hair to one extra rinse-through of that glorious lukewarm water before ending your hair wash ritual.
 

DRYING & BRUSHING

Your hair might be clean, but your perfect wash is not over yet! Wet hair is incredibly sensitive and prone to damage if not handled with care. Proper drying will save your hair from frizzing, breaking, & appearing dull.

Towel Drying?

What NOT to do: Shake the scalp with a rough, dry towel and wrap it up onto your head until you’re ready to heat-style. This causes unnecessary stress on the hair which can lead to breakage.

What TO do: Gently wrap hair with a soft, microfiber towel until dry or simply scrunch out excess water and move on to styling products. 

While air-drying is ideal for ultimate hair health, using a dryer is OK when done properly.  Before heat styling you should apply a leave-in conditioner such as Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-in Treatment to protect against environmental, UV and heat damage..it also aids in detangling.  

Learn how to use the attachments that came with your dryer, they are life changing! Never touch your hair directly with the nozzle, if you’re using a diffusers its a different story, and try to keep your heat settings low to medium.  Do not use heat-drying as an opportunity to detangle your locks, as hair dampness + heat + brushing = major breakage and hair loss… not what we’re going for here. If you use hot tools, make sure your hair is fully dry before moving on. Steam in the shower is okay, steam from your straightener is not.

 

Brushing plays a key role in your scalp’s health and your hair’s appearance. Be sure to approach with care and use the right brush… Learn how to pick the right one here!

Like most things, a strong foundation and consistency are key to your best hair days. Take these tips into consideration and go forth with your strong, healthy hair!