The Right Way To Wash Your Hair

Wet hair before shampooing

“Water is the first step of loosening up oil, dirt, and product build-up on your hair,” says Fugate. Cairns also notes that water is vital for getting a rich lather. “Most shampoos are similar to a concentrate so water helps to dilute it so you’re able to easily spread it across the scalp.”

Start shampooing at the roots

Oil is produced at the scalp so you want to make sure you start up there first. “Start at the hairline and massage back towards your ends,” says Fugate. You’ll want to rinse it through the ends but “don’t focus on them,” adds Cairns.

Scrub your scalp—not your hair

“A vigorous scrub is great for scalp health but can be too much for strands,” says Fugate. “You don’t want to rough up the cuticle.” Cairns explains that you want to “massage” the shampoo into your stands, not “scrunch” it.

Rinse shampoo twice

Your conditioner won’t be able to do its job if you have leftover shampoo lying around. Cairns recommends rinsing twice—focusing on the back of the head and nape of the neck—to make sure all residue is gone. She also advises ringing out hair thoroughly before applying conditioner so as not to dilute it.

Keep conditioner off the scalp

“No matter your hair type or texture, keeping conditioner on your ends tends to be best,” says Fugate. Cairns recommends applying conditioner to your ends and then using your fingers like a comb to rake the product through the length of hair to distribute and remove tangles.

Rinse conditioner with cold water

Both experts recommend using warm water for shampoo to help open up the cuticle and allow for a deep clean and rinsing out conditioner with cold water to seal in nutrients and smooth the cuticle for shiny, smooth hair.


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