Although all of us wash our hair everyday, or at least, every other day, many of us are not washing it in a way that benefits our scalps. Sure, it may seem like a total no-brainer for you to slap on some shampoo before working it in, but going on autopilot in the shower might be the reason why you’re doing more harm than good to your tresses.
To achieve a healthy head of hair, one golden rule to live by is to treat your hair the same way you treat your skin. In this article, we’re unveiling some of the common misconceptions you might not know about the basics of hair care.
1. BRUSHING YOUR HAIR BEFORE WASHING IT
You might not have known this, but combing your hair with a wide-toothed comb before a wash is essential to prevent shower-induced snarls. It’s great especially if you have long or oily hair; this tip helps to detangle knots, promote circulation, and of course, gather dead, loose hairs that might clog your drain.
2. WARM WATER BEFORE SHAMPOOING
We love indulging in a hot shower especially after a long day — but you might want to think twice about amping up the temperature in the bathroom when you’re giving your scalp a rinse. When it’s too hot, the water can dry out the scalp and make it feel very irritated. However, it has to be hot enough, around 40°C (slightly above body temperature) to break down the oils on your scalp easily.
3. AVOID RUBBING YOUR SCALP IN CIRCULAR MOTIONS
After watching a ton of those shampoo commercials, you’d figure that it’s common sense to rub your scalp in circular motions when you’re lathering in your shampoo. But that’s where you’re wrong.
You heard that right. When you’re lathering your shampoo in, avoid using circular motions, which can tangle your hair, and try smoothing the lather over in a straight stroking motion.
Not to mention, if you’ve been piling your hair up into a bird’s nest while lathering your shampoo, like the ones you’d see in the ads, then you might want to change your technique. Reason being: it can cause more knots, and the dryness of your hair, with the combination of the shampoo and friction of your hair, might cause you some serious matting problems.
4. STOP SCRUBBING YOUR SCALP
If you’ve been lathering your shampoo with your nails, then you’re doing it all wrong. Scrubbing your scalp doesn’t do your hair any good and it can, in fact, cause more damage and frizz. The right way: use the soft pads of your fingertips to massage the shampoo into the scalp.
5. DON’T FORGET TO CONDITION
Think of a conditioner as a moisturiser for your hair. Formulated with conditioning or moisturising agents, conditioners work to replenish hair’s moisture after some of it is stripped from shampooing. But before applying it, be sure to squeeze as much water out of your hair as possible to avoid diluting your conditioner which may prevent hair from soaking up the moisturising ingredients. Then, spread it out onto your palms before working it through from the mid-length of your hair to the ends and leaving it in for at least 2 minutes. Avoid touching your scalp with the conditioner unless you have a scalp conditioner that’s made for your scalp.
6. RINSING YOUR HAIR WITH COLD WATER
As much as we’d like to keep our shower knobs on high heat, rinsing your hair with cold water is the best way to lock in all that moisture after conditioning it. Not only does it seal the ends of your hair, but it also prevents dryness and damage throughout the day.
7. AVOID RUBBING YOUR HAIR WITH A TOWEL
Excessively rubbing your damp hair with a towel after your shower is a definite no-no and a recipe for disaster. And so if you’re guilty of doing it, it’s time to change your ways. When doing so, it encourages excessive hair breakage and hair fall which may also cause it to be extremely frizzy as it ruffles up the cuticles of the hair. Instead, squeeze your hair with the towel and wrap it up to let it dry.
8. DRY NATURALLY CURLY/WAVY HAIR WITH A T-SHIRT
Here’s a little trick of the trade for those with curly or wavy hair. Hair plopping is made known to be one of the popular tricks when it comes to maintaining your curls. The process involves plopping your wet hair onto a dry t-shirt after you’ve applied your styler and before you dry your hair, and wrapping it up into a turban. Why use a t-shirt you might ask? Well, t-shirts are finer and they don’t come with harsh fibres that will ruffle the hair’s cuticle as a normal towel would.
Alternatively, you can also dry your hair by scrunching your damp hair with a t-shirt to dry curly hair faster.