17 . May . 2019 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

Step 1: Shampoo ; Step 2: Conditioner?

Most think that washing hair is as easy as it seems, as quick as the two steps mentioned above! If you are following just these two steps to care for your hair, you are playing with its texture, its health, its life, and its look. You are actually restricting your hair from benefiting from all that it so genuinely deserves -a cosy massage, a clean bath, some comfy towel-patting and most importantly,after-wash care and conditioning.
A hair wash is much more than mere shampooing and conditioning; it’s therapy time for your hair. It is that time of the day/week when your hair prepares itself for the upcoming day, the forthcoming week, against all the odds of pollution, stress, dirt, and infection etc.
Remember, your simple steps and efforts on this front can go a long way in retaining the life and bounce in your hair. Wrong practices while washing, combing and drying the hair are predominantly the reasons why you spot hair falling in clumps in your shower, on your towel, on your comb and hair accessories.
If you are still wondering why we have dedicated this entire blog exclusively on hair wash tips, well, that’s reason enough to tell you, how important this is for your hair and its health. Hair wash tips can be classified into three stages – a checklist so to say, for before washing, during the wash and after washing. Each step is important for your hair in its own way, to let it breathe and grow, to stay fluffy and bouncy. Let’s have a look at it step by step.

1. Pre-wash oil treatment

Oiling before wash helps in forming a protective shield around your hair. It helps in reducing the wear and tear that happens during hair wash. This protective oil shield adds shine, moisture, helps prevent split ends and breakage. Coconut oil and olive oil have the potential to reduce protein loss in both undamaged and damaged hair.
A simple head massage of 10 minutes not just ensures the much-required circulation to your scalp, but also helps with the additional oxygen and nutrients supply to your roots. More importantly, your hair, after severe exposure to pollutants, chemicals and loads of stress, requires some ‘Me-time’ for itself to relax and get ready for another round of all your mishandling. Doesn’t it? Oil massage is the perfect way to pamper & care for your hair. Go for it then!

2. Rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water

After some pre-wash care, we come to ‘Care during wash’ stage. Start by rinsing hair with lukewarm water. Rinsing well before wash benefits in more than one way. Shampoo spreads better and evenly when hair is wet. To top it all, the quantity of shampoo required for your hair bath, in turn, goes down. Be careful. A big no to hot water at the rinsing stage. It can wipe out all your hair’s natural oils, leaving it dull and dry.

3. Shampooing the right way

Avoid applying your shampoo directly to hair; instead, dilute it with some water. (Dilute the shampoo taking in small bowl otherwise water will always run out.)One, this ensures that the shampoo spreads evenly throughout your scalp. Two, you end up using less shampoo than what you would have, had you applied it directly as a concentrated application.
The scalp is where dead cells and grease build up. So next time, when you shampoo, start with your scalp first, then on your hair, running it through the length. Squeeze some shampoo in your palm; mix with water and gently massage into your scalp using your fingertips.
Scrub your scalp with your fingertips. This will loosen up the dead skin and help grease them out. Wash your hair in one direction to keep it smooth and aligned. In other words, using back and forth strokes or circular actions to wash your scalp can cause tangles, breakage and even weaken the follicles. Never scrape with nails as it can cause abrasions and lead to infections.

4. Be gentle

Hair is in its most vulnerable shape and form when wet! Did you know this? We are sure you would have heard it, especially from your Mom or granny, when you would have just ripped off your towel from your wet head wrap or possibly raked your fingers through your hair roughly,or even combed it with your otherwise routine strokes. You may have heard a ‘No!’ alarm from them. Its with due reason, trust us.
Wet hair, being more delicate and fragile, is not going to take your rough strokes or raking lightly. It is only wiser to treat it with patience and additional care when wet. Don’t scrub or rub too hard as putting pressure on hair at this point of time could roughen up the cuticles and result in tangles. The same principles will hold good for drying too, which we will get to down the page.

5. Condition it right!

Quite a lot of people miss conditioning out of their hair care or hair wash routine. If you love your hair, then you should give it that, ‘Make me feel special’ moment, by using a conditioner.
As moisturizer is to your skin, conditioner is to your hair. Step one – Completely rinse out all the shampoo from your hair and scalp. Step two – Squeeze the excess water out of your hair and then apply conditioner. Remember never to apply conditioner on your scalp, as that’ll make the roots oilier than they are supposed to be or naturally are. Make it your golden ‘Hair wash’ rule – Shampoo is for Scalp and Conditioner is for Hair!
Use the same amount of conditioner as you did for shampoo. If your hair is longer and thicker, you may use a little more conditioner accordingly. Focus from the middle to the lower sections. The ends of the hair require moisturizing. Therefore, apply more conditioner towards the tips and leave it on for longer.

6. Rinsing again and drying

This step comes as the last in your hair wash regimen. By now the conditioner would have done its job. Rinse your hair under cool running water to wash off the conditioner. Cold water will shut the cuticle tight, sealing the outer layer and holding the moisture within. Plus it will give you a good feel at the end of the shower.
Now it’s time for drying and styling. Try to avoid vigorous towel movements because that’s just a recipe for hair breakage and damage. Just put your hair up in the towel and then there is no risk of water resting on your shoulders and causing you any discomfort.
Once you pull your hair down from the towel head-wrap, let it air dry. Alternatively, you may fan dry. Believe it or not, blow drying and other heat methods to dry and style do enough damage to your hair.
Do not comb your hair when wet. Just before it’s fully dry, you may style your hair quickly with loose clips and bands, leaving room for your hair to breathe, letting it dry naturally by the day and not subjecting it to too much of complex styles and too much pressure or stress. Pulling hair while styling and tying it tight can cause some serious issues in the long run.
So, these are some of our simple tips and techniques which can make a huge difference. Make sure you implement them and do let us know how your hair feels!
You do know what you are supposed to do after reading this?! Never mind, we will tell you one more time. Get going with our social media handle for more exciting and engaging stuff on hair and scalp care, our website and blogs for editor’s choice and expert articles. We will catch you on Monday with more.
If you have anything specific to ask on hair care, hair trivia, hair loss treatment, so on and so forth, feel free to reach out to us on social media, and we will get our hair doctors to to answer themAnd you can catch the solutions in our next blog.
You can also reach out to our clinics anytime, for a one-on-one hair and scalp consultation. Our trichologists will help diagnose your hair and scalp condition and prescribe for you the right treatment for hair loss and other concerns. Not just that you will also get great advice on how to lead a healthy balanced lifestyle leading to awesome hair!
That’s our mantra to you for a great hair day, everyday.

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