Back to Basics - Shampoo and Conditioner
For most of us, we learned how to wash our hair on our own, because - common sense, right? Rinse, lather, repeat? Would you be surprised to know there is more to it than that? The way you approach your wash regimen when it comes to your mane plays a huge role in the health and over all behavior of your hair.
Does it really matter what kind of shampoo I buy?
Yes, yes it does. TBH- if you keep a short hair cut, don't color your hair, and are just blessed with amazing, healthy hair.. you may be the ONE exception to this. For the rest of you that color your hair, blow dry it, flat iron/curl it, or simply grow it long.. you have to put a little more thought and money into what you use. I always recommend buying professional from your stylist. They do their job to make your hair the best it can be and to help you feel better! They want you to have healthy hair to work with! I promise they will not steer you wrong. That being said, don't take their suggestion and go to TJ Maxx or CVS to buy it cheaper. Here's the reality of that: you may be saving a few bucks, but you aren't getting the product you think you are paying for. These stores are not licensed to sell these products and therefore come by them through unreliable means. Best case scenario is that it hasn't been tampered with but is expired. Worst case, it is an entirely different product in a bottle of the brand you think you are buying.
Professional brands don't have a habit of adding wax, or harsh detergents to their shampoos. Build up on the scalp and hair causes a multitude of problems, including dullness and hair loss. Strong detergents not only dry out your hair which causes frizz and breakage, but it will also dull your color faster. You pay good money at the salon for those deep conditioning treatments and perfect balayage blonde! Don't undo your stylist hard work with bad shampoo!
OK, I get it.. I have the right shampoo, now how do I use it?
Glad you asked! First off, no one NEEDS to shampoo everyday. Quick bit of science here-- your body has become accustomed to a freshly washed scalp every day, causing your sebaceous glands to say, "her scalp is going to get to dry, make more oil!!!". So, yea. That's why your hair gets greasy. You have to train your body, give it time to realize you aren't going to turn your scalp into a desert every day. Dry shampoo is a good way to cope through this transition. My favorite is Sebastian's Dry Clean Only. When I say it makes you look like you just washed your hair AND gives you beautiful texture.. girl. So do your best! See how long you can stretch your style, and how long you can stand dirty hair. When I first started this transition, I was shampooing every other day, now I am shampooing once a week! On the flip side.. usually it is best to shampoo once a week or every other week depending on your texture, oil production and lifestyle. I have yet to see a healthy scalp on someone to doesn't cleanse. Find a way to clean your scalp that works for you, this is not a one size-fits-all regimen and can require some trial and error.
The other important tip when it comes to shampoo is to keep it on your scalp! You shouldn't be scrubbing the ends and mid-shaft of your hair. Shampoo is meant to cleanse your scalp of build up. Your hair doesn't need intense cleaning, that will only dry it out and cause more issues. To keep the shampoo mostly on your scalp and roots, wet your hair thoroughly, emulsify the shampoo (usually no more than a quarter size) in your hands and apply directly to your scalp with your finger tips. It's easiest to pat shampoo onto different sections of your scalp and then start scrubbing. Feel free to shampoo twice if you feel you need it. Rinse out well!
But you can't mess up conditioner, right?
MMM... yes and no. Conditioner is food for your hair, it's important to find the right nutrition for your hair. If you have fine hair and struggle with getting volume, you don't want to get the most hydrating conditioner you can find. Again, I think it is important to trust your stylist with this recommendation. Same rules for buying through a licensed source apply to conditioner as well. There is a plethora of conditioners that accomplish everything from helping color last longer, to repair, to intense hydration. Figure out what your struggles are to determine which type works for you. For some of you, you may want to consider an at home deep conditioning treatment to do once a week to once a month. You are welcome to condition your hair daily. For those who were freaked out about going without shampooing their hair for a couple days, whether it be because you need a fresh style daily or you exercise hard core and sweat, try to just give your hair a good rinse and condition your ends. This will help you feel refreshed with out drying your hair and scalp out with shampoo.
Last but not least, it is best to keep conditioner off of your scalp and roots. For one, your scalp doesn't need it because of the natural oils you produce. Over hydration at the root can make it difficult to achieve volume and sometimes gives you a really greasy look and feel. Your ends are what get dried out and need that extra TLC.
Feel a little better about your new regimen? Hopefully you have already been doing some of these things, and if not, I encourage you to start! This is the first step in transforming your hair, believe it or not. If you are wanting perfect hair on the beach this summer, hair that will behave all day for your wedding, or hair that won't fade so quickly after having your color done, this is the best place to start, and to be frank, usually fixes the majority of the issues you are having with your hair.
Have questions? Feel free to comment or send me an email!