Sunday, November 3, 2013

How to Wash Your Hair -- The Right Way

It sounds kind of weird to write this; we all wash our hair and have been doing so, somewhat successfully, since we were little. But the thing is, you can actually harm you hair by washing it incorrectly. Or you can simply wash it in a way that totally deflates any bounciness, or volume you might have been striving for. Whatever the case, it's always a good idea to go over the steps.

1. Start with a rinse.
Just like your laundry needs a rinse cycle before you add detergent, hair should be thoroughly wet before you add your shampoo. Hot water will open the cuticle, which is good for removing any dirt or product trapped in the hair. Another bonus: When your hair is rinsed in warm water, it loosens the oils through the scalp and opens the cuticle so it is able to absorb the oil in your conditioner.

2. If you have long hair, condition first.
Yes, really! I've been doing this for a while now, and it has helped me out a ton! If you have hair beneath the shoulders, protect fragile ends from drying out and further damage by running a small amount of conditioner through them and lightly rinsing, before any shampooing. Shampoo harms hair more than any other product.

3. Lather up (only at the scalp)
The best way to lather up is from roots to ends. The hair closest to the scalp is the youngest and will inevitably be the oiliest, while the end of the hair is the oldest and usually driest, most fragile part of the hair.

4. Be gentle!
Friction can permanently damage your hair’s cuticle, leading to breakage and frizz. Think about washing your hair like you hand wash your lacy lingerie--very carefully.

5. Don’t rinse and repeat.
We've all heard it before. But the truth? The whole "lather, rinse, repeat" thing? It's a no-go. Despite what the instructions on the back of your shampoo bottle may say, there’s no need to wash your hair twice. In fact, it actually hurts your hair, because the extra shampoo strips essential oils that your hair needs to look healthy.

6. Add conditioner from the mid-lengths to the tips.
After you've rinsed out your shampoo, squeeze some of the water out of the hair before you put in the conditioner. Then apply conditioner (only on the shaft and tips of your hair). The longer the conditioner stays on your hair, the better it absorbs. Another tip? About once a month, do a hair "mask": Apply conditioner as you normally would, but don't wash it out. Wrap it in a towel and let it sit overnight. Trust me--when you rise it out the next day, it'll be silkier and more smooth than ever!

7. Finish with a cold water rinse.
Cold water will shut the cuticle tight, sealing the outer layer, which will cause it to reflect the most light and give off the most shine possible.

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