Dr. Angela Reports…How to Wash Your Hair

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Dr. Angela here and let’s talk about just how simple it is to wash your hair?  Washing your hair seems like one of those things you learn as a young child and shouldn’t have to think about.  Guess not!  How you clean your hair makes a difference on how it looks and how strong it is.  Our last blog (How Often Should You Be Washing Your Hair?) discussed how often to wash it, but now we get into the nitty gritty of how to actually do it!

Start with untangled hair
Brush or comb your hair before your even get into the shower.  While you are washing, you don’t want to pull on the hair and stretch it.  This can damage the hair or pull it out of the follicle.  If you have dry hair, you may want to put natural oils, like argan oil, on your hair before you brush it to help it untangle easily and to protect the natural oil.  Doing this may allow you to skip conditioner entirely.

Rinse with warm water first
Thoroughly wetting the hair will rinse the large particles of dirt  and loosen the oil that you want to remove.  You want to use warm water because it opens the cuticle to absorb oil or moisturizers in your shampoo or conditioner.

Choose products tailored to your hair type
Just like you wouldn’t put any old product on your face, you shouldn’t just grab any shampoo.  They are made with specific ingredients for different types of hair.  I consulted with my hair guru and celebrity stylist, David Ellis, on his recommendations for shampoo and conditioners.  Curly hair tends to be dry, so needs more moisturizing products that won’t weigh down the curls, like Moroccan Oil or Living ProofColor treated hair also needs even more moisturizing products, like Joico  or Living Proof.  Oily hair does well with a basic shampoo.  You can usually use a shampoo with sulfates.  Sulfates are strong detergents, so they break up the oil and make the shampoo lather, which is great, but they can be harsh on your hair and skin if your hair is not oily. If you have had a Brazilian blowout, the sulfates make the cuticle open up and rougher, which makes the hair frizzier but have more body.  On relaxed hair, sulfates can make the cuticle lay down, so the hair is shinier and smoother.

Don’t use too much product
You only need between a dime nd teaspoon size of shampoo.  Using too much can strip your scalp of your natural oil.  Lather the shampoo starting at your roots and let it run down the rest of the hair.  You want to focus on the area that is producing extra oil, the follicles and scalp.  Rinse the shampoo thoroughly until it is “squeaky clean”.  Depending on how hard or soft your water is, this can take a little longer in the shower, but will be worth it to get off all of the residue and have softer hair.

Condition sparingly
Many people over condition their hair.  You only need a small amount and should apply it to the mid-shaft  and the ends.  If you apply too much or to the roots, it can make the hair limp and flat.  Also, squeeze the water out before applying the conditioner to get the best absorption where you want it.  Do a final rinse with cold water to rinse all of the residue and close the cuticle so the hair will be shiny.

Handle with care
Scrubbing the hair doesn’t necessarily make it cleaner and it can tangle or pull the hairs, which are more vulnerable when they are wet.  Don’t use circular motions that can tangle the hair.  Also squeeze the hair and towel dry gently, but don’t rub it because this can break the hair and rough the follicle causing the hair to be frizzy.

Taking the time to wash your hair thoroughly  can make it look fuller, shinier and have more body and it just plain feels good!

Shop Dr. Angela’s recommendations by clicking the images below.  

Feature image borrowed from Pinterest/allure.com

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