We know the whole hair washing thing is important to do on the regular… but how regular is still up for debate.
Much like washing your face or brushing your teeth, washing your hair is something you just do. You don’t think about it or talk about it, it’s just part of your everyday beauty routine—but that doesn’t make the process of figuring out how often you “should” wash it any less confusing. Are you washing it too much, too little, or just right? How does your BFF successfully make her blowout last over a week, while your sister swears by a daily hair washing routine?
Here’s how to figure out the best hair washing strategy for your tresses:
1. Train your hair
Because of your excessive hair washing over the years, you have to train your scalp to produce less oil. Over-shampooing makes your glands work overtime to replace the oils you’ve stripped from your scalp. The only way your scalp will be able to produce oil at a normal rate again is by temporarily spreading out how often you shampoo for as long as you can stand it. In other words, get ready to feel like a greaseball for a while—but trust me, the process is totally worth it. Even with fine hair, I’m now able to wash my hair every few days without it getting all gross.
2. Know your type
How often you wash your hair depends on your hair texture. For example, fine hair should typically be washed either daily or every other day, while thicker or coarser hair can get away with being washed every few days or even once a week. You also have to take into account scalp oiliness, lifestyle and your personal preference (some people can handle the ick factor of an oily scalp better than others).
3. Simmer down on the hot water
Trust me, I know how hard it is to not wash your hair in hot water (it’s so relaxing!). Unfortunately, it’s terrible for your strands. When the water’s too hot, it opens the follicle and makes it prone to dryness and breakage. Your best bet is to shampoo and condition under lukewarm water, then finish off with a little bit of cold to amp up the shine factor.
4. Wash your scalp, not your hair
Many of us lather up our tresses from root to tip, when we should really only be washing our scalp. According to beauty expert Alexis Wolfer, doing so strips your hair of the natural oils that protect it from damage and breakage. Simply take a nickle-size amount of shampoo and gently massage it into your scalp, then rinse. Letting the shampoo trickle down the rest of your hair will give it a refresh without damaging it.
And when you condition, do the opposite: don’t condition your scalp, just your strands. Your scalp already creates enough oil to keep your roots conditioned.
5. Find products that are the cheese to your macaroni
Lastly, you need to find shampoo, conditioner and styling products that truly suit your hair type and lifestyle. It’s not as hard as it sounds, since shampoo lines already have their products organized based on hair type—the rest of the decision is left up to your personal preference. I’ve tried oodles of volumizing shampoos, and each one left my fine hair more hopeless than the last (and some of them just smelled awful). I finally found my soulmate, Juice Organics Volumizing Shampoo, and the rest is history. Take your time, experiment, and let your hair washing products find you.
Have you found the hair washing routine that works for you?
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Image: Hair washing photo via Shutterstock