Updated: Oct 30, 2019
Lank hair? Greasy scalp? Itchy scalp? Let's talk shampoo, and shampoo technique and we might just fix that problem for you!
Let's start at the very beginning, just as Julie Andrews sang it in The Sound Of Music, it's a very good place to start. When you "do" your hair, you start with washing it (for the most part), and believe it or not, it's something us hairdressers see many of you doing wrong, well, maybe not that out-of-control-kinda-wrong, but there's most likely some tweaking some of you can do to get more performance out of your shampoo, more "compliance" out of your hair, your scalp will certainly thank you for it, and maybe, just maybe you will love your hair just that little bit more. Interested? Keep reading...
First on the agenda, shampoo...not the action (just yet), but the product. I'm going to keep it real, don't go cheap, you literally get what you pay for in this arena. The best, listen up now, the very best thing you can do is to go with your trusted stylist's recommendation. They work with hair, they're involved with hair all day and all week long, they KNOW hair. Yes, you own the hair on your head, but who do you think knows hair in general better? We know what it's made up off, like the very attributes that make up your hair, the percentage of it that's protein, moisture and lipids, and what that means to your hair especially if you color, lighten, flat iron or curl your hair. So yes, we're going to steer you in the right direction when it comes to shampoo, and while I'm at it, you should be buying it from your stylist too. For the love of everything good, don't go to the big box brands to buy your shampoo, or worse, online to buy something you think might work because...insert all manner of reasons here...for two very good reasons, just two. 1. we see a lot of people waste money on a lot of shampoo thinking it's "the one" only to discover, it's not, only to end up hating it and wishing it would wash itself right down the drain, right along with the hard earned money they spent on it. 2. If your stylist is talking to you about what's best for your hair, don't cheat on her. They earned the right to have you buy it from them, and let's be honest, really really honest here, yes, you *may* get it a dollar cheaper at one of those stores that doesn't know your name, but isn't your stylist worth that dollar? I mean, they know your name for one thing, your hair for another and oh, in many cases as is which with the Swish team, you support our education when you buy from us, but I digress, this is about washing your hair, the best way...carry on...I'll leave that topic for another day ;)
Okay, you're in the shower, you're going to wash your hair, so go along, get your hair wet, like really wet. This is a really important step, so seriously don't skip it. We hear stories all of the time about people getting their hair "sorta wet" to get the job done right, and "sorta" anything doesn't usually end with a win. A "sorta" win still isn't a win folks. So get your hair completely wet, and I don't care how thick your hair is, soak your hair down to the very roots of your existence, soaking wet. Next up, your pro product shampoo as recommended by your stylist!
Your hair is wet to the scalp, enter shampoo...It's the star of the show and it's all in how you use it as to its optimal performance. Pour it or pump it, if it's pro product, you really don't need that much of it. That's right, just a little goes a long way. Usually about a nickel size to a quarter size is enough to get the job done, and there are some pro shampoos out there that are so super concentrated you need even less than that, but and it's a big BUT, your hair has to be soaking, freaking wet in order for that product to work effectively (you get the picture now, I'll drop that lecture). Okay, so the product is in the small of the palm of your hand, now what do you do? Are you "sorta" rubbing your hands together to help disperse the product through the hair once it gets there? "Sorta" doesn't belong in this conversation, remember? Nope, the correct answer is to rub your hands together to "cream" the shampoo and to get it from the heal of your palm to your very finger tips. It takes about 8-10 hand rubs of fingertips to palm to really get that product exactly where you need it. Now for the good part that everybody loves when they get their hair washed, the scalp massage!
Scalp Massage Done Right
Get in there, don't be afraid, your scalp loves attention and stimulation! Fingertips are the best choice of medium, and rub, like, rub-a-dub-dub, RUB and massage. Move that scalp and "scrub" if you will, as you're exfoliating your scalp, you heard me, you're washing your scalp! Yep, you're removing the dead skin that's built up and hasn't been able to be freed for the forest of hair that's attached to it. No, don't pile your hair up on top of your head like they do in the shampoo commercials, all that really does is create a giant tangle for you to unravel later and it ultimately acts as a buffer between your scalp and those glorious scalp massaging fingertips of yours and no, don't worry about the hair getting washed, focus on that scalp of yours, that is, after all, the real reason you're "washing your hair". Your hair will get washed by default as the shampoo is rinsed away, those bubbles will slide down your hair and oooh, would you look at that? Your hair is washed too! Now, back to the scalp...cover every. single. inch. of. it. You hear me? Your shampoo should be getting around pretty well at this point, but wait, record scratch. It's not lathering up well? Wait what?!! You're using the right product, and utilizing the right technique, why, tell me, why is it not lathering up I hear you scream?!! Well, here's a fun fact that comes under the category of "that's good stuff to know": rinse and repeat. If the last time you washed your hair has been longer than 24-36 hours, rinse and repeat. You'll get a lather on the second shampoo that will give you that bubbly, I'm as-fresh-as-a-daisy feel you crave. If you wash every day, typically, one shampoo is enough, but if you go longer in between washes you'll most likely need to shampoo twice. The first wash will get rid of the surface dirt and grime, it's the second wash that will give you the deep cleanse, dead skin exfoliating, styling product removing cleanse you've been looking for. Oh, one more thing, just like you rinsed and rinsed to get your hair wet, now rinse and rinse to get that shampoo out, leaving your hair sparkly clean. You're awesome!!!
That's it. I mean, there's the topic of conditioning treatments and conditioners, but I'll save that for another blog post.