- Ask any hair fanatic about her maintenance routine and she’ll likely throw out a slew of terms that include things like “pre poo,” no poo” and protective styling. Black women take their hair seriously; dedicated full days to washing and styling them whether at home or at the salon. So when we had a chance to chat with the hair experts at Living Proof about best hair cleansing practices, we were shocked to discover that we may actually be washing our strands all wrong, and causing for harm (and breakage) than good! According to Living Proof, here are six things you may need to re-consider when washing your hair:
- 1. Piling your hair on top of your head while shampooing.
This causes more tangles, more friction, and more damage. Instead, emulsify the product in your hands before applying to the scalp. Work shampoo into your hair in a zig-zag motion to break up the dirt and oil, and then you can move towards your ends.
- 2. Skipping conditioner.
No matter how oily or fine your hair is, DO NOT skip conditioner. Shampooing is an abrasive act within itself, while conditioning is meant to rehydrate, restore, and detangle the hair. If you’re skipping the conditioner, your hair will be quite tangled, causing you to aggressively work that brush through your hair and causing some serious damage.
- 3. Brushing hair that is soaking wet.
Your hair can stretch to 50% of its original length while wet. That means that if you’re battling with tangles, your hair is a lot more likely to break. If you need to brush your hair while it’s wet, use a wet brush, tangle teaser, or wide-tooth comb and always start at the bottom, working your way to the top.
- 4. Using cheap products.
Watch those ingredients. There are some less-than-desirable ones in the less expensive brands that fall under seemingly harmless names (i.e. sodium lauryl ether sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate).
- 5. Turning up the water temperature during your shower.
Using super hot water will cause the cuticle to lift. A lifted cuticle loses color faster and creates a more frizzy finished look. Rinse with cold water to seal the cuticle and create less frizz and more shine.
- 6. Not brushing your hair before you get in the shower.
This one is specific to those who CAN brush their hair while it’s dry (aka not our curly friends). Brushing your hair while dry reduces the amount of wet detangling you’ll have to do, resulting in less breakage.