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Guide to Washing Hair the Right Way

Guide to Washing Hair the Right Way

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Washing hair, can someone get it wrong? You will be surprised to know so many of us fail to adapt to the art of cleansing hair. There is so much beyond the loop of – apply, lather, rinse, repeat. If you have wondered why your hair feels so good after getting it washed at a salon, perhaps the professionals are rolling up their tricks. While shampooing hair might look straightforward, there is no one-fit product for every hair type.

Spoiler Alert: Effective scalp and hair cleansing demands building a good hair care routine, using the right products, and knowing how much to wash. As Monica Davis, hair stylist, told Healthline, “Applying proper hair washing techniques ensures you don’t damage your hair and follicles.” The correct way of washing hair also depends on the hair type and texture. This blog details how to wash your hair tailored to achieve squeaky clean, healthy tresses.

Hair Washing Tips – According to Hair Types

According to experts, every hair type needs a customized hair washing routine using the right products and methods. Here’s a lowdown of washing hair as per type and texture:

  • For straight hair – If you have straight hair, it tends to start appearing oily soon. It is recommended to wash hair every three days to keep it fresh and free of oil. Take dime-size sulfate-free shampoo and apply it along the hair length. Gently massage the scalp and let the shampoo lather. Rinse off and follow with a conditioner. Opt for a lightweight shampoo that prevents weighing down hair. If you have straight but frizzy hair, consider using a hydrating hair mask once a week.
  • Thin and flat hair – People with thin, flat hair often complain of their strands appearing limp and getting greasy soon. The oil and product buildup even tends to attract dust and dirt. If you are curious about how to wash your hair properly if it is thin, buy a sulfate and paraben-free volumizing shampoo. It cleans off the grime and dirt, boosts density, and makes your hair appear fuller. Add a quarter amount of shampoo on the scalp and gently massage it along the length. Let it lather and rinse off. Follow with a lightweight conditioner.
  • Color-treated hair – First, the products used for color-treated hair differ from those used for washing natural hair. It is recommended to avoid frequent shampooing as it might strip off the color. Always use color-protect shampoo containing antioxidants and UV filters that preserve color vibrancy. Also, using color-depositing shampoo or toners once or twice a month is crucial to neutralize the unwanted brassiness. Opt for a sulfate and paraben-free shampoo to prolong color preservation.
  • Curly and coarse hair – Coarse curls are often prone to dryness; hence, washing them frequently is not recommended. Using a curly hair shampoo is best to keep the hair bouncy and voluminous. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. If the hair feels dry, use a leave-in conditioner and scrunch with a curling cream. As curly hair is prone to trapping dust and dirt, clarifying shampoo is advised once or twice a month.
Read More - How to Clarify Curly Hair

Before figuring out how to wash your hair properly, it is essential to identify your hair type and get the right products. Depending on the texture, customize the shampoo frequency, and remember to be gentle with your hair and scalp.

Tips on how to properly wash your hair


While shampooing and washing your hair might seem like the simplest task, there are things you might be doing wrong. Here are a few tips that will help you gently cleanse and achieve your healthiest hair.

Not paying attention to the scalp

The well-being of your hair is directly related to your scalp. For example, product buildup and accumulation of dirt clog follicles that might hinder hair growth. A good oil massage can help lift off dead skin cells, boost circulation, and clean the scalp. As suggested by Anabel Kingsley, trichologist and president of Philip Kingsley Clinics, to the NY Times – “something slippery on the scalp reduces friction.” If you have dry hair, applying oil and leaving it on for an hour before washing is best.

Not using the right products

If you have figured out how to wash your hair, yet it doesn’t feel healthy, chances are you are using the wrong products. For thin hair, try a volumizing shampoo. If you have colored hair, use a color-safe shampoo. For curls, you can opt for an extra nourishing and hydrating shampoo. Also, irrespective of the hair type, it is best to add a clarifying shampoo as a part of your haircare army. It helps profoundly cleanse the scalp, slough off dead cells, and eliminate product buildup, leaving hair and scalp squeaky clean. Use gentle products that are free of sulfate and paraben.

We recommend trying Moehair Protein-Infused Shampoo and Conditioner, as it is formulated for all hair types and is sulfate—and paraben-free.

Shampoo too much or too little

Finding the right number of times you need to shampoo, depending on hair type, is crucial. The key to addressing how to wash your hair properly is how often you shampoo. Infrequent shampoo might cause product buildup, leaving the scalp dirty and prone to itching. Shampooing too much might strip off oil, leaving hair and scalp dry. According to Paul Winter, hair stylist and educator at Alterna Haircare – “If you have fine, oily hair, it is best to wash hair every other day. This is also the best practice for people with dandruff.”

Use cold or lukewarm water

While a hot water bath is relaxing for your body, it’s a complete no-no for your hair. Washing your hair with hot water strips off the natural oil, making it prone to dryness and damage. Here’s a secret hair stylist tip – wash your hair with lukewarm water, warm enough to open cuticles and rinse off the buildup. Before stepping out of the shower, use cold water to seal the cuticles. Subjecting your hair to hot water blasts open the cuticles, making strands brittle and coarse.

Not double cleansing on greasy hair

Shampooing hair just once might not eliminate grease, oil, and dirt clinging to it. If you have oiled your hair, it is best to double cleanse to ensure the scalp and hair are free of excess oil. The idea is similar to double cleansing skin to ensure every trace of debris and dirt is eliminated. Double shampooing means you apply shampoo twice, rinsing in between, followed by a conditioner. This simple practice is enough to give your greasy and oily hair a break.

Here are a few more bonus tips on how to wash your hair the right way:

  • Be gentle on your hair, and do not vigorously massage it while shampooing. Use the pad of your fingertips to scrub the scalp gently.
  • Clean and healthy hair demands shampooing not just the ends but cleansing the roots. Lather and massage the roots to remove buildup and eliminate clogged pores.
  • Don’t rush to shampoo and rinse. Take your sweet time to massage your scalp (3 to 5 minutes), which will wash off the dirt and boost blood circulation.
  • Not rinsing off the shampoo properly is a big no. If you have long, curly, and coarse-textured hair, be extra careful when rinsing to ensure all the shampoo is washed off.
  • Dry shampoo might sound very tempting as lazy day rescue, but be careful not to overdo it. The no-rinse cleanser traps oil and dirt from hair, but overuse might clog follicles due to scalp buildup.
  • Always follow up with a conditioner and leave for 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing off. Also, add a moisturizing hair mask once a week for fuller, healthier hair.
  • Gently dry your hair with a microfiber towel and avoid rubbing vigorously to dry it. Use a thermal heat protectant spray before using any heat-styling tools.

How to Wash Your Hair – Simple Steps To Follow

Now that you know what to do and what not to do, here are a few steps to help with a thorough and proper hair wash.

  1. Soak hair completely - Before applying shampoo, wet your hair thoroughly to wash off surface dirt and debris. This also softens the buildup on the scalp. Water helps form a rich lather that’s essential for washing off dirt, grease, and debris. It also helps uniformly spread shampoo across hair and scalp.
  2. Apply the shampoo — Take an appropriate amount, dime-to-quarter size, depending on length, texture, and density. Massage the scalp, start lathering, and gradually go down towards the ends.
  3. Focus on the scalp - Don’t vigorously rub along hair length; scrub the scalp. However, be gentle while rubbing the scalp to remove buildup and any clinging debris.
  4. Rinse, repeat if needed - After lathering for a few minutes, rinse off with cold or lukewarm water. If your hair does not feel clean, double-cleanse by applying shampoo again and rinsing. Make sure to rinse off the shampoo along the entire length.
  5. Apply conditioner or hair mask — Always use a conditioner or hair mask after shampooing hair. Apply the product from mid-length to the ends. Leave the conditioner for 3 to 5 minutes and the hair mask for 10 minutes before rinsing.
  6. Rinse with cold water — While warm water opens the cuticles, rinsing the conditioner with cold water seals or closes them. Rinse thoroughly with cold water after keeping the conditioner/mask on for the required time.

By the end of the blog, you may be as surprised as we were to realize that properly washing your hair is an art. Now that we have laid out everything you need to clean your scalp and hair, happy shampooing!


How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continually monitor the fashion and beauty space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

    • Current Version

  • May 7, 2024

Written By -

Upasana Kakati is a lifestyle writer with 7+ years of experience in writing in the beauty and haircare industry.

Edited By -

Saima Ahmed with 8+ yrs of experience, specializes in crafting engaging content focused on Hair care, lifestyle, and beauty.

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Ans- Hot water has a damaging effect on hair as it opens the cuticles and ends up drying hair. However, a combination of lukewarm and cold water is an excellent option. Using lukewarm water, open the cuticles and rinse the conditioner with cold water to seal the cuticles.