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Friday, June 26, 2020

How to Properly Wash Your Hair

(As my own head is shaved, this content doesn't much apply to myself, but it may be helpful to the many of you with hair of far greater length than mine.)

Although it may seem very simple, the health of your hair depends in significant part on how you wash your hair. Many common practices intended for the greater beautification of the hair can actually abuse it more. What follows are some basic guidelines on what ought to be done instead.

Oiling of the hair in advance of washing it

Yes, it is an ancient world tradition, and it is followed by many people who present their luxurious hair for all too see. There are many commercially-available hair oils, but if you're more naturally-inclined, you may opt for extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil. To best use the oil, massage it into your hair the night before you plan to wash it . The next morning, your hair will feel good, and it will be more capable of enduring stress and torture from some of the harsh ingredients found in shampoo.

 Warm and cold water

Water temperature is a far more important consideration than most people suspect. Warm water is suitable for the actual washing of the hair. The last rinse after shampooing must be cold, as this closes the pores of the scalp and thus tends to negate their blockages from foreign substances. Additionally, using a cold water rinse loosens the hair shafts and adds a certain gloss to them. Hot water should be avoided completely, as it removes the natural oils from the scalp and also damages the hair shafts.

Go for nature-based shampoos

Shampoo is a basic necessity for keeping the hair clean. But what is commonly sold in stores in terms of shampoo is more or less a soap-like mixture of various chemicals. Furthermore, regular shampoo is notoriously drying to both the hair and the scalp, which isn't going to do any favors for either the condition of your scalp or the appearance of your hair. If you can, opt for organic shampoos or those otherwise listed as natural. These will be largely free of the harshest of chemicals and will prove much less brutal to your hair than what you might buy at the dollar store, for instance. Years ago, before the Internet and such, there weren't that many options for gentler shampoos, but now, all manner of companies offer natural hair-care products due to the enormous popular demand. There are many tiny companies who pride themselves on making shampoos that are as natural as they are effective. Yes, these may cost a bit more, but it's a case where the extra expenditure is justified by the more desirable result.

The shampooing procedure
Soak your hair first in warm water as a gentle but important pre-cleaning step. When you're ready for the shampoo, use two teaspoons as a rough guideline -- depending, of course, on the quantity of hair you possess and its thickness. Massage the shampoo in thoroughly, but don't leave it on for very long. The shampoo product must then be thoroughly rinsed off the scalp, this time using cold water, not hot or even warm. It's worth taking your time to make sure the shampoo is completely rinsed, as if it's left behind, it may interact with the sebum (natural oil) and ultimately result in dandruff.

Drying hair

The best way is to dry hair naturally -- not using a hairdryer, if you can avoid doing so. After washing the hair, sop up the excess water from your scalp and hair with a soft cotton cloth. Try to gently squeeze out the excess water from your hair, rather than merely rubbing the cloth over your scalp, as this will cause hair loss. Let the cloth work to soak the water from the hair and scalp. Air dry your hair in normal room-temperature air.

Massage the scalp

Frequent scalp massage is very helpful. Massaging your scalp gently but frequently enhances the quality of your hair primarily by keeping the blood flowing abundantly to the hair follicles so that the hair can be constantly fed with nutrients. This will in turn enhance the quality of the hair.

Combing your hair

Combing wet hair is a very bad idea. This leads to hair loss and damage to the hairs themselves, such as the dreaded split ends. So, when you do use a comb, wait until your hair is dry. It's best to only use a wide-toothed comb with smooth, rounded points on the teeth to avoid irritating or scratching the scalp. Also, the more rounded points will massage the scalp even further, again enhancing the circulation about your scalp. Always keep your combs clean to avoid scalp and dandruff infections.

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