Jan 8, 2015

Ah, the torment of mixed signals: Should you wash or shouldn’t you? Hot or cold? Have you been scrubbing your hair too much, washing too often — or not enough?

When it comes to hair, we often receive confusing messages. We know our hair is delicate, but we also want it to look good, which means products and processing. When in doubt, think of this rule of thumb: Treat your tresses like your laundry.

laundry hair

Here’s how:

Wash sparingly. Let’s be real: We don’t wash our jeans after every wear. And you probably don’t need to shampoo your hair every day, either. To retain moisture, fight frizz and make your color last, shampoo less often.

But just because you aren’t shampooing doesn’t mean you can’t get your hair wet; those with especially dry, curly or frizzy hair might try “co-washing,” which is using only conditioner. Try Mizani Moisturfusion Silk Cream Conditioner Dry & Brittle Hair Treatment. Have fine hair? Add volume between shampoos with a dry shampoo, like Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender & Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo.

And guess what? If frizz and fineness aren't concerns, you can even skip the conditioner.

Use cold water. Washing with scalding water can dry out the scalp, triggering oil production. Instead, wash your hair in lukewarm, followed by a cold rinse to seal the cuticle for more shine. If there's a hair dryer in your future, make your cold rinse worth it by applying a serum, like Kérastase Discipline Spray Fluidissime.

Don’t scrub. Just like scrubbing a stain irritates delicate fabric, aggressively rubbing your hair back and forth can rough it up. Massage roots with shampoo, and gently comb in conditioner. Afterward, gently wrap a towel around your hair and squeeze slowly to remove water.

Avoid stretching. You wouldn’t hang a wet sweater on a hanger. Similarly, wet hair is stretchy, and thus more vulnerable. After removing as much moisture as possible, gently comb out tangles. Or, try brushing before washing. Still tangled? Try L’Oréal Professional Tendresse Kids Leave-In Detangler.

Beware high heat. Less washing means less hair drying — which is good news for your hair! Just like drying in the sunshine is gentler on clothes, air dry your hair as much as you can, and the apply a protective product before heat styling like Matrix Total Results Heat Resist Iron Tamer Smoothing Lotion.

If hair is too hot to touch after a pass-through with a styling tool, the heat is too much for your hair. Don’t worry – there are a number of ways to get, and maintain, that blow-out look without blasting it with a hair dryer. (We’re major fans of rollers.)

How often do you wash your hair? Tell us in the comments below!

Photo: Shutterstock



About the Author:Our goal is to create a beauty experience that’s personalized, educational and, most of all, fun.

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