We’ve all been there. That feeling you get when you’ve just gotten your hair washed and styled at the salon, and it feels brand new. Only for it to slowly fade back to “normal” once some time passes.
Now, there are two things you can do at this point. You either spend hundreds of dollars getting your hair professionally done, or you can learn how to wash hair “professionally” at home. If you learn how to do it, you’ll always have a great hair day, stay on top of your natural hair care routine, and be ready for any occasion!
How to Wash Your Hair Like a Professional in 10 Simple Steps
1. Start with clean, dry hair:
If your hair is already greasy or oily, start with a pre-shampoo treatment. Apply it evenly from the roots to the tips of your hair, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before shampooing. This will help remove any build-up on your scalp and make it easier to evenly distribute the shampoo.
2. Choose the right shampoo:
If you have oily hair, use a volumizing or clarifying shampoo to help remove excess oil. If you have dry hair, use a moisturizing or nourishing shampoo to prevent your hair from becoming further dried out. Avoid using shampoos with harsh sulfates, as these can strip your hair of its natural oils. That’s something you’d probably already know if you knew how to take care of curly hair, but it’s something that applies to all hair types!
3. Wet your hair thoroughly before applying shampoo:
This will help the shampoo evenly distribute throughout your hair. Apply a small amount of shampoo to your scalp, and be sure not to use too much shampoo, as this can cause your hair to become greasy.
4. Massage it in:
One thing that professionals do when they’re washing your hair is thoroughly to massage your scalp. With that, they loosen up any gunk or residue that might be hanging out on your scalp for too long. Not only that, but also drastically improves blood flow which, in turn, will help your hair grow even faster. This is a crucial step for everyone but especially for those that want to know how to take care of wavy hair. If you don’t clean your hair properly, it’ll be frizz city all day, every day!
5. Rinse the shampoo out of your hair completely.
Be sure to rinse until the water runs clear, as any residual shampoo can leave your hair feeling dry and stripped. This is something a lot of people miss out on. A good way to know if the shampoo is completely out of your hair is to check if you still have any slippery residue on your figures. If you do, keep running water through it until the residue is all gone.
6. Apply conditioner to your hair, focusing on the ends.
Avoid applying conditioner to your scalp, as this can cause your hair to become greasy. Let the conditioner sit in your hair for 3-5 minutes before rinsing it out. You could even leave it for longer if your hair is feeling particularly dry. There’s no harm in letting it sit for a while. Another tip is to take this time, and with a wide tooth comb, comb the conditioner through your hair. It’ll evenly spread the product throughout the hair, so all of your hair is nice and moisturised, and the product isn’t too concentrated in one area. It also makes it much easier to rinse it out that way.
7. Rinse the conditioner out of your hair completely.
Just like with shampoo, be sure to rinse until the water runs clear to avoid any residue being left behind in your hair. Some people prefer leaving a little bit of conditioner in their hair because they feel that it moisturises their hair a lot better that way, but for most people, it just leads to greater hair faster. So it is a better idea to use the conditioner as it’s intended to be used. Just apply, let sit, and rinse off! You can always add more steps for added moisture!
8. Squeeze excess water out of your hair with a towel.
Avoid rubbing your hair with the towel, as this can cause frizz and breakage. Instead, gently squeeze the water out of your hair until it’s no longer dripping wet. Here, the choice of towel matters too. If you’re still using those age-old terry cloth towels, throw them out of your bathroom immediately. There’s no part of your body those towels are good for. They just add frizz to your hair and weaken it, and can cause micro-tears in your skin! Instead of those, go for a soft cotton towel or, even better, a microfiber towel. They’re much gentler on your hair (and skin!) and will soak up all the water without damaging your strands. A super easy fix here is to grab a T-shirt, and once most of the water is out of your hair, throw that over your head and let it soak up any remaining water.
9. Gently comb through your hair afterwards
After your hair has gotten to the “damp” stage, with a wide-tooth comb to remove any knots or tangles. Be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up to avoid breakage. If you have particularly tangled or matted hair, you may need to be extra careful here so your hair stays as healthy as possible.
10. Allow your hair to air dry, or use a diffuser if you're in a hurry.
If you have time, allow your hair to air dry. This is the best way to avoid heat damage to your hair. If you’re in a hurry, however, you can use a diffuser on a low or cool setting to speed up the process. Be sure not to blast your hair with hot air, as this will just end up damaging your hair. If you have thinner hair, be extra careful with this step, as diffusers can sometimes make thinner hair look frizzy.
Once your hair is mostly dry, you can add any styling products you like. Be sure to use a heat protectant if you plan on using any hot tools on your hair. Start with small amounts of product and build up as needed. You can always add more, but it’s much harder to take the product away once it’s in your hair.
And that’s it! You’ve now washed your hair like a professional right at home. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll have healthy, beautiful hair in no time, and you’ll be the one giving people tips about what they should be doing with their hair!