You might think you’re a hair-washing pro, but do you really know the ins and outs of washing hair? And after Gary Barlow’s recent and shocking hair care revelation, we know what you’re probably thinking: ‘do I even need to know?’. But the short answer? Yes – if you want, healthy-looking, luscious locks. Read on to find out 10 important things about washing hair.
Washing hair: What you need to know
The temperature counts
If you want to really clean your hair, make sure the temperature of your water is warm. This will help to open up the hair cuticle, improving the penetration of your shampoo. And as much as you might enjoy very hot water, avoid it: it can irritate your scalp. If you’re after sleek, silky tresses, finish your shampoo and conditioning session with a blast of cold water, which will help to close the hair cuticle.
Over-washing doesn’t help
Over-washing your hair can strip your scalp of its natural oils, which means your tresses can be left feeling even more dry. Instead of washing daily, try to leave at least a day in between each wash, or longer if you’re not engaging in a really vigorous exercise. Do use a dry shampoo, like the Toni&Guy Casual Matt Texture Dry Shampoo, to keep hair feeling fresh in between washes.
Give yourself a massage
When shampooing your hair, concentrate on your scalp and work in a circular massaging motion (try to avoid simply spreading shampoo on the top of your hair – your scalp is what you need to cleanse). Using a massage technique will help to get rid of dead skin cells on your scalp, leading to a healthier-feeling scalp – plus it’s a relaxing, indulgent treatment too!
Be careful when brushing wet hair
You’ve probably heard that brushing your hair in the shower is a bad move, because it can damage your tresses. Well, there’s some truth to that: when your hair is wet, the strands are more prone to breakage. However, you can help limit damage by applying conditioner to your lengths and ends, before gently combing through with a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product through your wet strands before rinsing.
Use a complete shampoo & conditioner system
You might think that mixing up your shampoo and conditioner is a great way to get an additional benefit boost into your hair wash routine – but actually, that’s not the case. Shampoo and conditioner formulas are created to work as a system: it’s the combined usage of a matching shampoo and conditioner that work in tandem to address a particular hair need. And, despite what you may think, you’ll need to use these products over a period of time to truly reap the rewards. Boring as it sounds: always read the bottle. The advice listed is there to guide you towards optimum results, which equals healthy-looking hair. Try the Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, the shampoo helps protect normal hair from daily wear and tear, and nourishes making hair softer and 5x smoother*.
Too much product can be counter-productive
You may feel inclined to use a heap of shampoo and conditioner on your hair, but more product doesn’t equal a better cleanse or condition – you only need a small amount of hair product. Using too much product can actually weigh your hair down, leaving it looking limp and flat. The general rule? A small scoop, about the size of a 10-pence piece, is usually enough (those with thicker or more hair may need a little more).
Start with a rinse
Even before you shampoo, start by rinsing your hair with warm water, to open up the hair cuticles. Damp hair absorbs shampoo and conditioner more effectively, so ensure your hair is thoroughly wet before applying product.
Water hardness makes a big difference
As well as water temperature, the hardness of the water that you use to wash your hair can make a big difference to the texture of your tresses. Unfortunately, in the UK our water is quite hard, which isn’t great news for our mane: hard water tends to make your hair scales stand up, resulting in them feeling rough. But you don’t have to let hard water ruin your tresses! Using a clarifying shampoo every now and then (try once a week) will give your hair a deep clean and help to counteract the effects of hard water.
Gently does it
Don’t scrub your scalp or rub your hair too vigorously whilst in the shower. Just like how brushing wet hair can damage your strands, over-scrubbing or rubbing wet hair can have a negative effect, too. Instead, if you want your hair to feel squeaky clean, shampoo twice before your condition.
Your shampoo doesn’t need to lather
A fully-lathering shampoo doesn’t necessarily mean it cleans hair better than a shampoo that lathers less. Although it may not feel like it, shampoos that lather less clean just as well as the ones that create lots of suds. Really, it’s down to personal preference: how much lathering do you like?
Did you enjoy learning about washing your hair? Good! Then head over to How To Wash Your Hair page for more expert tips and guides!
*To experience comprehensive benefits, use with Dove Daily Moisture Conditioner. Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner system versus non-conditioning shampoo.