|Posted on September 18, 2009 at 8:42 AM|
Let’s start with the basics.
What is the most vital styling product you use? Any guesses? Mousse? Hairspray?
Nope. It’s your shampoo and conditioner. Shocked? Most people are. The purpose of shampoo is to clean your hair, of course, but it can basically make or break your hair. A good shampoo should cleanse your hair, but not rob it of essential oils. Sounds simple right?
Conditioner is always necessary. Shampoo opens the hair shaft to cleanse. Conditioner closes the outer layer to help prevent damage, add shine and detangling hair. Please, for the sake of Pete, do not skip your conditioner! Even if you hair is very fine or naturally on the oily side, there is a conditioner for you.
Ok, now for the good stuff… I’m not going to tell you that you have to spend a weeks worth of pay to have a good shampoo & conditioner. There are many many many affordable products out there. But be aware that sometime you do pay for what you get. Common sense tells you not to use dollar store shampoo. Just don’t do it. I love Bed Head Headshot. It isn’t cheap, but it is absolutely worth it. A good affordable line of products is Tresseme. You can find the line almost anywhere and is a great product. General rule of thumb, heavily scented shampoos tend to use more alcohol to make the scent more prominent. More alcohol = more drying to the hair. More drying = less shine, icky ends.
You know how when you switch to a new shampoo your hair feels so great and then maybe halfway into the bottle you’re back to blah again? It may not be your shampoo. Sometimes a deep cleansing of the hair is necessary to rid the hair shaft of products and oil buildup. This is simple. Mix a tablespoon or so of baking soda in with your normal shampoo and wash as normal. The baking soda breaks down all the gunk. Now don’t forget to deep condition!
Scalp and hair needs are different for everybody. You my try many different combos before you find your perfect product. Don’t give up; sometimes it’s just trail & error.
Ok, now that you’re armed with your awesome shampoo, let’s lather up. Oh wait, back up… Before you shampoo, before you even step into the shower, detangle you hair. Brush it one good time before you hop in. Removing tangles helps reduce breakage and stimulates the scalp. When you later up, concentrate on your scalp first, not just your hair. Massage the shampoo into your scalp. I know you thinking “Duh. That’s what the bottle says” but how much time to you really spend on your scalp? Remember, healthy scalp, healthy hair. Gently work the shampoo through the ends of your hair. Gently, as the hair is the most fragile when it’s wet. And repeat, if necessary. Why a second shampoo? The first cleanses the scalp the second the hair. If your hair feels properly cleaned you can skip the second shampoo. As an extra bonus- all the massaging you’ve done to your hair helps increase hair growth!
You’ve shampooed, you’ve rinsed, and maybe you repeated. And now for the conditioner… This is vital. Use a small amount of conditioner. Work the product through you ends and then move up to the scalp. The ends need more conditioner, where as the scalp needs less. If you have the time to leave in the conditioner in a few minutes, you hair will surely benefit. Healthy conditioned hair shines and bounces. Use this to your advantage, you sassy thing, you!
Wow. You look great already! Now that your hair is clean & conditioned, gently, remember gently towel dry it. Take the towel in one hand and squeeze the water out. Use a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair. Do not use a brush. Always use a wide tooth comb to minimize breakage.
Voila! Now go do something fun and show off your awesome hair!