Tips & Tricks
for washing your hair
So, it might sound basic enough! Rinse, Lather, Repeat! Well, the fact of the matter is that most of us just are not washing our hair correctly. Not only are we not doing it correctly, but most of us are not using the correct products either.
There are different shampoos out there for all the different hair types, hair conditions and different scalp issues.
This is where I am going to explain as best I can all the different products and their uses along with the best tips for cleansing and conditioning.
Different Shampoo Types
So basically shampoo is a detergent that helps water remove dirt, oil and product build-up on our hair. The natural pH of the hair and its natural oils are (4.5-5.0). As a society we are very contentious about the ingredients in our products and with the “shop bought” products having a host of damaging add-in’s, I will help you understand the importance of avoiding these.
SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and Parabens are the top two ingredients that you need to avoid and the good news is that most the brands will display with pleasure somewhere on their packaging that they are FREE FROM SLS or SULPHATE & PARABENS so that is the statement to look out for. (If you are unsure just have a quick check on the list of ingredients for sodium lauryl sulphate & any word ending in paraben, for instance methylparaben)
Different hair-care brands package their products differently but they all fall into a basic enough category. The most popular of these include:
Clarifying or Purifying
Repair for Dry or Damaged Hair
Blue or Purple / Neutralizing
We hear these descriptions for the different shampoos on a regular basis but do we really know what we need, not really! I will break it down as best I can to maybe help everyone understand what is best for them.
Clarifying / Purifying Shampoo
So it is pretty self explanatory I think! These types of shampoos are designed to remove the stubborn build-up of impurities such as dirt, heavy product build-up and oils from your scalp. This type of shampoo can also be used to help treat dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and other scalp disorders. Think of this as your exfoliator or deep cleanser for your scalp. The ph level is usually 3.5-4.5 which in my opinion means it will help regulate the production of oils and keep the hairs cuticle sealed.
these types of shampoos are used for people who have fine, flat, limp hair. They have active ingredients that plumps up the hair thereby temporarily swelling the hair and making it look fuller. These types of shampoo tend to have a pH of 5.5-6.0 which means the hair cuticle is left slightly open and this can cause friction and damage. In my opinion, this is not for everyday use especially for someone who has damaged or blonde hair.
Repair for Dry / Damaged Hair
Most of these types of shampoos will have a pH of roughly 3.5-4.5 and this is going to help the hair because it is going to seal the hair cuticle and prevent breakage. In my opinion, this is best for people who have harsh chemical services like perming and highlighting. Perming and highlighting hair can cause chemical action which damages the cuticle and leaves it open or sometimes broken. We can counteract this by balancing the pH with these shampoos.
Most good moisture shampoos (pH 4.5-5.5) will have water as their 1st or 2nd ingredient on the list and this says it all. The average hair is made up of 80-85% Keratin 10-15% water and 5% pigment and the water lies just under the cuticle so if the cuticle is damaged you are going to lose the water. These percentages change depending on how straight or curly your hair is naturally (straight hair having more water and curly hair having less) So in my opinion, a moisture shampoo is best suited to someone who has curly, frizzy, unruly hair or hair that has been dried out with heated tools and chemical services.
So this is a bit more specific as these types of shampoos are for people who are suffering from different types of hair loss. With natural ingredients, they stimulate the scalp and increase blood flow to the hair to encourage stronger hair growth. We sell some of these products in our studio and online store. Contact us by phone or email for more information on these products.
The best color protecting shampoos usually have a pH of 4.5 or below. They wont work if the pH level goes any higher. The same idea applies where the lower pH level of the product the better and tighter it is going to seal the hair cuticle and this is what is going to help your color last longer. Color is a molecule that sits within the hair and if the cuticle is open then the molecule will escape over time and bye bye colour!!
Blue / Purple Shampoos
This is the new trend because everyone is looking to achieve a “clean, white, icey” blonde now. So these are two different products and I am not sure if everyone is aware of the difference. They are used to neutralize unwanted tones in blonde hair.
Blue shampoo is formulated with blue pigment to neutralize warm brassy tones on blonde hair. Purple shampoo is formulated with violet pigment to neutralize yellow tones on blonde hair.
These shampoos are recommended as maintenance at home but not for every day use!! They generally have a very high pH level, with some exceptions, so as to open the hair cuticle so it can penetrate and do its job but the problem is the hair has been through a chemical service which also opens the cuticle, therefore it is very fragile and susceptible to damage, dryness and even breakage. In my opinion, if you are using this it is best to buy from a professional. This is not to be used as your regular shampoo and use a very good conditioner to seal your cuticle.
How to wash your hair!
So I am just going to give you a quick rundown of how to wash your hair because even if you think you are doing it correctly there may just be a simple step that you are leaving out and it could make the world of difference!
- PREP – Start by combing or brushing your hair to prep, this will help with de-tangling later.
- WET – Wet your hair with LUKEWARM water!! This is important because if the water is too hot or cold to start your scalp will tighten and your shampoo will not be as effective. Make sure your hair is saturated!
- WASH – The first wash is only every going the break down the barrier between the oil and water (we all know they do not mix) If you don’t get a lather once you have your product on, don’t panic and don’t apply more. Just add another splash of water and it will do the trick! Taking your shampoo, massage into your scalp! Using your fingertips only (not your nails) massage with moderate pressure. Remember you are washing your scalp and unless you have a major product build-up you should not be rubbing the shampoo vigorously into the lengths of your hair (this will damage the cuticle) As you rinse, the shampoo will pick up any day-to-day residue on its way down! It is ok however to use the lather if you wish to saturate the lengths but do not “scrub”!!!
- RINSE & REPEAT – Completely rinse the product from your hair using lukewarm water and repeat the wash process. The second wash requires less product so do not overload your scalp as this can be difficult to rinse. At this stage, you will massage your scalp for up-to 3 mins (YES!!!) This is important as this is actually the time it takes for your shampoo to do its job!! This is very important especially for those who are suffering from scalp issues or have dry damaged hair.
- CONDITION – So I am going to follow this up with a blog on conditioners soon and explain the differences between each different one. But until then just know you are conditioning your hair, NOT your scalp. So go ahead and apply from mid-lengths to ends only and comb with a wide tooth comb for the best result. Rinse as before, ensuring that all the product is removed as any product left on the scalp can cause itching and flaking that looks like dandruff.
- COLD RINSE – this is very effective for helping your scalp to close the follicles so it will not produce oil again to quickly. This is also proven to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. It will also seal the cuticle of your hair helping to keep your hair smooth and silky!!! YES PLEASE!!
- FINALLY WRAP YOUR HAIR IN A TOWEL, DO NOT RUB!! If you rub vigorously with a towel you are going to undo all the good work your just done with these steps!!
So these are the best tips I have and I really hope that this information helps. I have spent the last year researching products to retail to my clients and I am currently stocking all types of shampoos, conditioners, treatments and oils that are organic, vegan, essential oil based and milk & yogurt based.
So you can be assured I have studied these very closely and can offer the best products for all hair and scalp concerns. If you would like more info on the ranges I stock you can contact us and we will provide you with all the information you need. You can find me on facebook & Instagram by clicking the links below.
Until Then, Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful
Michelle Silke X