Have we been washing our hair all wrong? Here's how to do it properly

Have we been washing our hair wrong this entire time? (Getty Images)
Are you washing your hair wrong? (Getty Images)

While there may be other 'adulting' skills we haven't quite nailed, washing our hair is one thing we've got down, surely?

But though many of us tend to stick to the same 'lather, rinse, conditioner' routine without giving it any further thought, experts have pointed out we may actually have been doing it wrong this entire time.

For example, TikToker and hair expert @kamikirschbaum (Kami Kirschbaum) used the video sharing platform to point out that our hair washing skills are falling short.

"There’s honestly such an art to hair washing, but we will start here," Kirschbaum explains in the clip while showing viewers what not to do.

Read more: Can you train your hair to need less washing?

Apparently, simply lathering shampoo onto your hair won't actually do much good – quite the opposite.

"Do not wash your hair like this, just rubbing shampoo in and hoping for the best. It will leave your hair super dirty," Kirschbaum explains.

Instead, she recommends scrubbing your hair using your fingertips. Really get in there.

Read more: As Emma Watson reunites with her pixie cut, her hair evolution through the years

"Wash like this," she continues while demonstrating the action. "Use your fingertips to scrub that scalp."

She also points out that just one wash isn't always enough.

"I always wash two-three times until I feel everything is squeaky clean," she adds (though not all of us will have time for this one...).

Watch: Are you washing your hair too often? Here's what stylists say

What the hair experts say

Since sharing the enlightening hair washing clip, the video has received over two million views, with many viewers pointing out that they have been doing things wrong this entire time. Alarming – but what do other professionals say?

Nicole Petty hair care expert at Milk + Blush agrees we should be ensuring we're really working the shampoo when we wash our hair.

“Getting deep into the scalp can help clarify your root area and work to exfoliate the scalp, removing dead skin and built-up grease," she explains. "And certainly, you shouldn’t neglect the base of your scalp when washing your hair."

However, Petty points out we should avoid scrubbing our scalps too intensely.

"Harsh scrubbing, especially when using fingernails, can not only risk damaging the hair follicles by pulling on wet hair but you may also inflame your scalp which can lead to flaking, soreness and even hair loss," she explains.

Instead, she says it's about finding a balance between treating your scalp gently while still getting in deep.

"Washing your hair should feel more like a scalp massage rather than an intense scrub," she adds.

To maintain scalp health, Petty recommends avoiding washing our hair more than two-three times a week as over-washing can result in a dry scalp, as well as causing your hair to become brittle and break more easily.

So if you're a once-a-day washer, it goes without saying it's time to re-think your routine.

"If you can, try using shampoos or conditioners that are rich in zinc and Biotin as these help prevent flaking and drying," she adds.

Read more: Princess Diana's hair evolution: From Shy Di to People's Princess

Experts share their hair washing tips. (Getty Images)
Remember these expert tips next time you wash your hair. (Getty Images)

In addition to regularly cleansing your scalp, Petty suggests incorporating nourishing scalp masks and deep conditioning treatments to your hair routine.

"Look for products that are high in vitamin B3 – this not only strengthens hair follicles, but restores a natural PH balance leading to a calm and healthy scalp,” she explains.

Skye Edwards, stylist at Gielly Green, has some further tips for improving our hair washing game.

"Apply the shampoo all over the head by rubbing it around your hands first then applying to the hair," she suggests. "Not putting it in one spot on the head and then trying to move it around."

The amount of shampoo we're using is important too.

"If you are using a salon bought shampoo, only use the size of approximately a 10p-50p piece," Green adds. "This is because you can use too much shampoo and overload the hair.

"Not all shampoo lathers as much as the majority of supermarket shampoos due to less detergent, but still clean the hair.

"Add more water and if it’s still not lathering enough then you need to shampoo again.”

So, next time it's hair washing day, you'll likely think twice about how you do it.