Sounds too obvious, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, I have many people come into my salon who can use some help on this. Here are a few simple tips to get the best results and avoid some problems.
1. Brush your scalp just before shampooing. Use a good, stiff brush to loosen dry skin and stimulate circulation. There’s a lot of bacteria in the floor of the jungle called your scalp, and brushing is essential. You needn’t stress your hair too much, especially if it is long – just get that scalp tingling.
2. Use a good shampoo. It really does make a difference. And by “good” I mean a professional shampoo. Most drugstore shampoos are waaay too strong and can dull hair and dry out your scalp.
3. Keep trying until you find a good shampoo for you! Just like lotion or facial cleanser, it’s an individual choice. Keep trying until you get one that is great! If you start with the pro shampoos, you’ll find one faster.
4. Rinse well. And then rinse some more.
5. Use a great conditioner, and leave a little in. The good ones don’t adhere to your hair and then build up. Leave a little in to get the best value from it.
6. Change conditioners from time to time. Even the ones that make you say, “WOW!” will give their best at the beginning of the relationship. Then your hair may benefit from another one – even if you alternate them.
7. Use your daily “moisturizing” conditioner, but sometimes use a “protein” or “restructuring” conditioner, especially if you have color treated or permed or weak hair. The results can be amazing.
8. If you live in the city (chlorine) or in the Midwest (hard water) get a shower filter. I buy one for $20 every 8 or 9 months from Farm and Fleet; a Midwestern Farmer’s department store. Nothing too ambitious – just cuts way down on metallic buildup – makes your skin happy, too.
9. Use a Clarifier once in a while, especially if you swim in chlorinated pools. Shampoo doesn’t do it – you have to use a product especially formulated to remove mineral build up. I’ll do another post on that subject alone, as I think it is important to give a good overview of what is available.
10. Last but not least – never, ever brush your hair when it is wet. Not to remove tangles, anyway. Use a comb. The brush will stre-e-etch the hair and maybe not break the hair….not today, anyway. But later it will break. Use the comb and the knots will stop the comb. Then you can tease it out without stressing the hair so much. This is huge! I have seen heads of hair go from brittle and dry looking, to thicker, shiner and much happier just from this one change in practice.