If you're less than satisfied with the quality of your hair, if you have
a hair problem that seems irresolvable, or if you want gorgeous, healthy
hair, but don't want to spend a fortune, the first place you should start
Basic Hair Care. In fact, this the
starting place for everyone with any and every type of hair condition,
and hair or scalp problem. The secret to great hair isn't buying the most
expensive products available, it's practicing good hair care habits.
You've been caring for your hair for most of your life, but have you
developed bad habits without realizing it? Bad habits that are, in fact,
causing damage to your hair and scalp? Keep reading to learn all of the
basic hair care practices including how to shampoo, conditioner, and
properly dry your hair.
The 5 Steps of Basic Hair Care
Healthy, beautiful hair starts and ends with you. The habits that we develop as children can stick with us for our entire lives, especially if those habits go uncorrected. Many people do not realize the complaints they have about their hair are actually a result of their own bad hair care habits. For all types of hair, from dry and frizzy to tangled and poofy, start with these six basic hair care steps and see if your hair improves. If it doesn't, then it might be time to kick up or change your hair care products.
Step #1: Shampoo
You would think that everyone knows How to Shampoo their hair. Yet shampooing improperly causes a variety of problems that are easily avoided! To properly shampoo the hair:
Thoroughly saturate the hair with water.
Dispense a small amount of shampoo into the hands and rub together.
Gently massage the shampoo into the hair and scalp using the tips, not
the nails, of your fingers.
Rinse and repeat.
Shampoo Tip #1: Don't use hot water to shampoo your hair! Using really hot water can cause your scalp to dry out which can result in dandruff. Use warm water only to shampoo your hair. If you just love hot showers, use warm water first to shampoo your hair, then turn up the water and keep your head out of the water.
Shampoo Tip #2: Make sure you use the proper amount of shampoo. Most packaging says to use a quarter size amount of product. This is a general statement for the "average" length of hair, which is medium length (between the chin and shoulders). For hair that is shorter, use about a dime sized amount. For hair that is longer, use product that is about the size of two quarters.
Shampoo Tip #3: You really need to shampoo your hair twice. I like to refer to the first shampooing as the "break through" shampoo. The first shampooing is done to remove dirt, oil, product build up, etc from the hair, not the scalp. If you use styling products or go days without shampooing, you may notice that the first time you shampoo your hair, it's almost harder to do. The second time you shampoo, you should be more focused on massaging the scalp with your fingertips. Once you work up a good later, gently smooth the lather down the rest of your hair. Have you seen those commercials and movies where women with really long hair have it all piled on top of their head and are scrubbing away at it? Not such a good idea. Washing your hair in this manner can cause damage to the hair, breaking it, making it harder to grow long and harder to keep healthy. Visit the Kevin Murphy website and watch a few of his videos, notice how he shampoos the hair.
If you're already shampooing your hair properly and your hair isn't
quite as healthy as you would like it to be, then it's time to look to
your hair products and think about changing them. Visit our
What is the
Best Shampoo page to learn more, or visit our
How To Shampoo page to
learn more about how to properly shampoo your hair..
Step #2: Condition
The function of hair Conditioner is to neutralize any un-rinsed shampoo, close the cuticle layer of the hair, and replace vitamins and essential oils that your hair & scalp may have lost. Today, conditioners do much more and are manufactured to help our hair overcome a variety of hair problems.
After Shampooing, Gently squeeze excess water from your hair.
Dispense proper amount of conditioner into your hands, rub your hand
together, then apply to hair.
Wait one to five minutes (according to the
package), then rinse thoroughly.
Conditioner Tip #1: Just like with shampoo, you want to make sure you use the proper amount of conditioner according to how long, or short, your hair is. Check the recommend amount on the packaging, then use more or less depending on the length of your hair. If you notice that your hair feels more weighed down than normal, next time use a little bit less conditioner. If your hair feels dry or frizzy, try using more conditioner the next time you shower.
Conditioner Tip #2: Apply the conditioner according to the condition of your hair and scalp. If you have a dry, flaking scalp and are using a moisturizing/dandruff conditioner, make sure you work the conditioner through to the scalp to hydrate the skin. If you have longer hair and/or dry, split ends, apply some extra conditioner only to the tips of your hair. For all hair types, you should thoroughly apply the conditioner to the hair by gently combing it through the hair with your fingers.
Conditioner Tip #3:As with shampooing the hair, make sure you completely rinse the conditioner from the hair. To do this, gently run your fingers through the hair while running water over your hair to remove the conditioner.
Conditioning the hair is the most important step in most people's hair care regime. To get healthy, gorgeous hair, we recommend
choosing your hair conditioner first, then selecting a shampoo to match the conditioner. The only purpose of shampoo is to
cleanse and prepare the hair for the application of conditioner; this is why it's so important to proper condition your hair
with the right conditioner. For more on how to choose the right conditioner for your hair type, visit our
Step #3: Detangling the Hair
This is a step that many people miss, and it can cause lots of problems. After you shampoo and conditioner your hair, you should spray your hair with a leave-in detangler, also know as leave-in conditioner, to make the hair easier to comb through, or detangle. To separate, or detangle, the hair, you should be gently picking through the hair with a comb, regular or wide tooth, or a hair pick, starting at the bottom and working up to the scalp. You should never, ever brush through wet hair! Brushes cause an immense amount of damage to the hair, breaking it and creating split ends. While combing or picking through the hair may take a little more time to do, it is the best way to treat your hair if you want your hair to grow long and healthy and to prevent split ends and breakage.
Step #4: Drying the Hair
Obviously, the healthiest way to dry your hair is to let the hair air-dry naturally. However, for most people, this can be very impractical. Waiting for your hair to air-dry can take quite a long time, especially for those with longer or thicker hair. For women with longer hair, it can also create wardrobe problems, as the wet hair will usually result in a soaked shirt. The two options for quickly drying the hair are to use a blow-drier or to towel dry the hair.
To Towel Dry the Hair:
After you shower, gently wrap the hair in a towel and wait about five
Remove the towel, then flip it over. If the towel is large enough, there
should be a wet side and a dry side. If your towel is quite small or your
hair is quite long, you may want to get a second towel.
Apply the dry towel to the hair and gently squeeze the hair with the towel,
or blot at the hair with the towel. Never, ever scrunch the hair with the
towel, or frantically rub the towel back and forth over the hair. When you
do either of those things, it creates friction which causes damaged hair.
Be gentle with your hair, it's a delicate thing. With towel drying, you
will probably never achieve fully dry hair, but it can speed the process
To Blow-Dry the Hair:
Get a Thermal Protectant, most of these come in sprays that you
apply after you shower. We recommend
Paul Brown Hawaii Thermal Power.
Blow Dry in one direction with the Blow Drier pointing
down at your head at a 45 degree angle. Don't hang upside down, don't
move the drier back and forth. By pointing the stream of air down, you
are directing the hair all in the same direction. This helps tame
frizzies and fly aways and helps cut down on breakage. When you blow dry
up, or in several directions, the hair doesn't know which way to go; this
can cause frizziness, flyaways and breakage.
If the hot air is burning your hand/scalp/other skin, you are either holding the drier too close to your head (it should be 12 inches away at least) or it is too hot. Switch to a cooler setting if possible.
Step #5: Style Your Hair
This step can mean many different things to many different people. Again, this step will depend on your hair type and your hair's needs. From texturizing gels and paste to add shape to your hair to flat iron serums and glossing mists, there's a wide variety of products for every styling need. If you have frizzy hair you may want to try an anti-frizz serum or cream. If you have dry, parched hair there are leave-in hair oils that help nourish and heal your precious locks. If you haven't been able to achieve the hair you want with just practicing steps 1 through 4, experiment with step six and try out different styling aids. For hair that is severely damaged, whether from coloring, perming or flat-ironing or blow drying, you may need to use a Conditioning Masque or Hair Treatment.
If you've given the five steps a try and your hair doesn't seem to be improving, there may be some other underlying problem. Check out the links on the left for help with everything from hair types to hair products and scalp conditions. If you still can't find an answer for you problem, go to your trusted salon and ask your stylist to help you. Let them know about the good basic hair care habits you've adopted and what products you're using so they can recommend where to go from there. You can also drop us a line in our Email, and we'll try to help the best we can.
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