Allow us to let you in on a secret. The biggest lesson in haircare that the pros want you to know? Not which is the best leave-in conditioner or how often to use serums. Instead, it's how to wash your hair. Properly.
Hold the eye roll. We’re not telling you that you’re doing the thing you’ve done thousands of times before wrong, just that, much like your burpee technique and your banana bread, there’s probably room for improvement.
So, if you think it's just a case of rinse, lather and repeat? Think again. WH spoke to the UK's leading trichologist and stylist who reveal exactly how you should be cleansing your barnet...
There really are only three golden rules you need to stick to when it comes to washing your hair like a pro
1. Massage, massage, massage...
You know that scalp massage that's the highlight of your trip to the hairdressers? It isn’t just relaxing. ‘Your scalp is a living, skin-shedding,oil-producing, sweating tissue that’s exposed to the same environmental pollution as your face, making regular cleansing a must,’ says trichologist Anabel Kingsley.
Take the time to massage your shampoo into a lather across the scalp, paying particular attention to the hairline and the nape.‘These tend to be dirtier than other areas, as they retain a lot of heat, which often leads to light sweating,’ adds Inanch Emir, hairdresser and founder of Inanch LondonSalon.
2. After exercising, always rinse your scalp
As for when your sweating is anything but light? Follow this golden rule from Kingsley: ‘After every workout, rinse your scalp with water. If you don't, sweat can crystallise on its surface, drying it out and hindering hair growth by blocking your follicles.'
3. Choose your shampoo wisely
Your skincare stash likely consists of various serums and masks that cater to specific issues. Your haircare should be no different, says hairstylist Larry King. ‘Your scalp and hair’s needs vary throughout the month, due to hormonal changes, stress, how much you exercise and mechanical damage from styling,' he says.
'This means you require different ingredients at different times to combat things like limpness, dehydration, or excess sebum (an oil produced by glands in the scalp),’ adds King.
Don’t know where to start on what shampoo best suits your hair type? We’ve got you.
Best shampoo for greasy hair
Oil-free shampoos that deploy clay will help to mop up excess oil. This contains oil-sucking kaolin and dandruff-banishing salicylic acid.
Best shampoo for damaged hair
For times when your hair feels parched and damaged (from heat-styling, for example, or wearing tight braids), go for this shampoo that's packed with fortifying biotin, protective green tea hydrating panthenol.
Best shampoo for coloured hair
Colour fading faster than your patience with people forgoing face masks? Avoid silicone-laced shampoos. While it’s true the ingredient can deliver shine, if overused, it leads to build-up, leaving coloured hair lank and lifeless. Packed with fermented rice water, the protein-rich formula fortifies hair so it’s better able to hold on to hydration.
Best shampoo for Afro hair
If you have Afro hair, you’ll know that dryness can be an issue – natural oils have a hard time reaching the ends of strands because of the way curls are formed. This hydrating shampoo is sulphate-free – a must, since this cleansing agent strips oils – and formulated with quinoa protein to form protective films around each strand, while babassu oil eases dryness.
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