How to Properly Wash Your Hair: 7 Best Practices
All of us learned how to wash our hair at a young age. However, the basic guidelines that we learned as children aren’t always applicable once we grow older. As adults, we have plenty of shampoos and hair products to choose from, along with a variety of hairstyles that need extra care when cleaning. There are suddenly a lot more rules when it comes to washing our hair.
Washing our hair is such an integral part of our everyday lives. Besides shampooing, washing and drying, it’s also important to apply the right treatments and products to make your hair look smooth and silky. The following best practices will teach you how to wash your hair properly:
Step #1: Shampooing and Conditioning Your Hair
There are so many shampoos and hair conditioners on the market, all available in different price ranges. It’s difficult to determine whether the expensive brands are better than the affordable products. You can consult with your hairstylist for some recommendations, but ultimately everyone has their own preferences. The best way to know is to try out different shampoos and conditioners until you find one that suits your hair perfectly.
Using the right shampoo can have a significant impact on your hair. A gentle cleansing shampoo helps to keep your hair moist and soft, giving it a silky appearance. It’s also important to use conditioner, especially when you have curly hair. The conditioner can clean your hair without stripping it of natural oils, which results in smoother textures.
Step #2: Cold Rinsing Your Hair
Warm water feels good on the scalp. However, did you know that rinsing your hair with cold water after shampooing and conditioning will smoothen it out? Cold water seals the hair cuticles, which make your hair strands lie flat, giving your hair a smooth, silky appearance.
You can heat things a notch higher by using apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair for even smoother results. Simply mix apple cider vinegar with water. Then, pour the mixture over your head and let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing again. The mix flattens your cuticles, giving you smooth, silky hair that’s a real stunner.
Step #3: Use Natural Oils & Hair Products
Using natural oils before or after shampooing can do wonders for silkier and smoother hair. Some popular examples include olive oils, coconut oils, and castor oils. For the best results, warm the oil in a double boiler and then apply it on your hair. Cover it with a plastic wrap and then wrap with a towel. Leave it for approximately an hour to let the oil penetrate the hair strands.
Afterwards, shampoo and condition your hair as usual. The result is that your hair will feel a lot softer than usual. You can also apply oil treatments after shampooing your hair. For instance, you can use Argan oil, a type of natural oil that is full of vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids and minerals. When you use this hair product regularly, your hair will look shinier, bouncier and healthier.
Another useful hair product is basically anything that contains hydrolyzed keratin. If you look closely, you might find that your shampoo and conditioner use this ingredient. Keratin is a necessary structural protein. It works to restore strength in hair that has been damaged. Being hydrolyzed means keratin can easily penetrate your hair and repair it from the interior. Products with this ingredient improve the structure of your hair, making it smooth and silky.
Step #4: Hair Drying
When drying your hair, use a gentle dabbing motion. Do not rub the hair to keep it from tangling. Rubbing creates friction, which roughens up the hair cuticle and increases frizz. Instead, use a cotton t-shirt and simply wrap it around your head. Then, squeeze the water out. This gentle procedure dries your hair without creating frizz or tangles. A cotton t-shirt is preferable to a towel since the former’s smooth fabric prevents friction and does not fluff up your hair cuticles.
Step #5: Blow Drying Hair
Blow drying is a vital step after washing your hair. To achieve excellent results, let your hair air-dry until it is about 80% dry. Use a heat protectant before starting to blow it dry. Do not use the hottest setting on the blow dryer, because this can cause severe heat damage to the hair. Divide your hair into portions while ensuring each part is evenly dried.
To effectively blow dry your hair, point the blow dryer downwards with the air blowing in the direction of the hair cuticle. Dry it from the roots to the ends. Do not keep the dryer on one section for too long. Instead, keep it moving to avoid focussing so much heat on one part at a time. Once the hair is dry and smooth, use the cool setting on the blow dryer to blast your hair with fresh air for a minute. This will seal the cuticle and give it an extra shine.
Step #6: Combing Wet Hair
When you have long hair, it can get a little messy after you take a shower. To effectively detangle your hair, use a wide-toothed comb while the hair is still wet. You can also use a brush specifically designed for wet hair. Start from the ends and work your way towards the scalp. Be gentle with your movements. You don’t want to hurt yourself or damage your hair with too much force.
Step #7: Sleeping on Silk Pillows
Some people like to take a shower right before they go to sleep. In these instances, you should be mindful of the material composition in your pillow. Cotton is an excellent fabric for drying hair, but it is not as good for keeping your hair moisturized. Instead, silk pillowcases keep your hair smooth, since they don’t absorb moisture and oils from the hair. Besides, they are super comfortable for laying your head.