For many of us our hair is our crowning glory but the way we lather up our locks in the shower could be causing more harm than help. Thankfully healthier, shinier, more vibrant hair is just 5 tips away!
Mistake #1: Detangling in the shower
I’ll be the first to admit, the slip of a creamy conditioner makes detangling my hair in the shower incredibly satisfying, that is until the tangled strands start to fall out in my hands. As much as you want to run your fingers through your newly clean locks – resist the urge! Invest in a detangling brush and do your detangling before your shower, I love Macadamia’s No Tangle Brush ($15). Wet hair is incredibly weak and much more susceptible to breakage and shedding, so in addition to the hairs that would naturally have shed during a dry detangling brush session, you’re also risking losing additional strands when you detangle in the shower. This is also the reason you should let your hair air dry a bit before brushing or blowdrying after your shower.
Mistake #2: Turning up the heat
In the colder months a long, hot shower feels oh-so-right… but for our skin and hair it is oh-so-wrong. Turning up the heat in the shower removes the natural oils from our skin, including the often-forgotten skin on our scalp, creating dry patches, itchiness, and dull strands. Shorten your shower time and start with lukewarm water to open the hair’s cuticle, which will help remove product build-up. After conditioning rinse with a cold blast (but ONLY on your hair) this will help to seal the cuticle and add lots of shine!
Mistake #3: Going from the root-to-tip
Shampoo and conditioner aren’t meant to be used from root-to-tip, think of them more as being like magnets where opposites attract. Shampoo is meant to cleanse so it should be focused on the scalp and the nape of the neck where we get oily and product builds up. Conditioner, on the other hand, is meant to add moisture and hydration and when applied to the scalp it can weigh hair down. Apply your conditioner from the middle of your hair and concentrate on the ends. If your hair is fine look for lightweight conditioners and if you have course, dry hair switch our your conditioner for a hydrating mask once a week.
Mistake #4: Over- and under-cleansing
There are many schools of though out there on how often we should wash our hair and while over-washing can indeed dry out our locks, under-washing can lead to product build-up and excessive shedding. If you have fine, straight hair chances are you get oilier faster than say someone with course curls, this is because your hair’s natural oils can easily move from the scalp to your strands. Step away from the dry shampoo and try to wash at least every other day, switching out your shampoo for a conditioner wash like Wen for every other wash so you don’t risk drying out your locks. To battle the build-up, I like to reach for a clarifying shampoo at least once a month. Klorane’s Shampoo with Nettle ($19.50) is great for battling an oily scalp and gently removing product build-up.
Mistake #5: Rub-a-dub… stop the scrub!
Wet hair is weak hair, and when you scrub away at your scalp to create lather you’re often unknowingly causing breakage and shedding. Using just a nickel to a quarter size of shampoo, gentle stroke your scalp in the direction of your hair from the forehead back to the nape of the neck using your fingertips. Avoid circular movements and scratching back and forth. If you are doing a conditioner wash, or a co-wash, or using a sulfate-free shampoo remember that you aren’t looking to create lather but rather just distribute the product, add a little water to help you slowly and gently massage into the scalp. This goes for drying hair as well. Don’t rub your towel all over your hair to dry your wet strands, instead ring out the excess water gently after your shower and blot your hair dry with your towel, or better yet avoid the towel all together and opt instead for a soft old t-shirt which will help prevent breakage!