Have you ever come back from the hair salon and wondered how the hair stylist got your hair so lightweight, shiny, and clean? It’s a known fact that hair washes are so much better at the salon than when you do them at home yourself. Everything about getting your hair washed by a professional is better — the products, the technique, the scalp massage! Somehow, they always manage to leave your hair smelling and looking its best.

Trying to recreate that stellar salon hair wash at home can be a difficult task, and it’s easy to make a few mistakes if you don’t know the proper steps. Whether it’s not spending enough time scrubbing your scalp or not rinsing your hair thoroughly, there’s something keeping you from having that “just left the salon” look. Thankfully, our years of experience in the hair industry have made us masters of hair washing, and we’re here to spill our trade secrets. Here are 5 common hair washing mistakes that could be preventing you from having the hair of your dreams.

Not wetting your hair thoroughly

Did you know that in order for your shampoo to effectively work, your hair needs to be soaking wet? Most people don’t thoroughly wet their hair before lathering their shampoo on. To be sure that you’re wetting your hair enough, stand under the shower stream for at least a full minute until every strand is drenched. Just be mindful of what hair type you have, as the timing will be different for everyone. Those with dense hair may need to stay under the stream longer. If you don’t want to just stand around, it’s a good time for a mini scalp massage, or to lather your body with body wash!

And here’s a little side tip for you all: when wetting your hair, make sure not to use water that’s too hot either. We understand that a hot shower can feel relaxing after a rough day, but your hair doesn’t appreciate the hot temperature the way your muscles do. Hot water can actually pry open your hair’s outer cuticle layer, leaving you super vulnerable to breakage and dehydration.

Using too much shampoo

Knowing the perfect amount of shampoo to use when washing your hair is often such a mystery to everyone. Not using enough shampoo will leave your hair unevenly coated. Using too much shampoo in your hair will have you washing a lot of product (and money) down the drain. We want you to make the most of your hair products, while effectively cleaning your hair like a pro!

Try sticking to the coin method when washing your beautiful strands. For short hair, aim for the size of a nickel. For medium hair, use a quarter-sized amount of product. If you have long hair, you’ll want to use the size of a loonie! Once you have the shampoo in your hands, use your fingers to apply the product to your hair from the scalp down.

Skipping the scalp

Scrubbing your scalp is the key to having incredibly clean hair. Throughout the day, natural oil tends to build up in your scalp from sweat, products, and touching your hair. That’s why an effective wash begins at the scalp. At the salon, your hair stylist spends a lot of time washing your scalp for a reason — to remove any sort of buildup (and the massage factor doesn’t hurt either!)

Showing your scalp a little extra love in the shower will make the rest of your hair styling journey a breeze. We recommend you massage your shampoo into your scalp for about 3 minutes to fully and effectively remove sebum, oils, and product buildup. Shampooing for under 3 minutes could lead to flat, dull looking hair, and we definitely don’t want that!

Applying conditioner unevenly

We’ve discussed shampoo a lot, but conditioner is what leaves you with soft locks. It’s the trick to having a gorgeous finish, as long as you apply it into your hair evenly. We recommend keeping a wide-toothed comb in the shower to use during your conditioning stage. Brushing the conditioner through the ends of your hair will ensure it’s all being distributed evenly.

If you find that your hair becomes oily very fast, or looks weighted down, make sure to only apply conditioner in the bottom half of your hair. Avoiding the scalp while you condition will make sure the ends of your strands stay soft without the rest of your hair looking “greasy,” since the ends are typically prone to breakage and tangling.

Not rinsing enough

If you’re one to rush through the rinsing portion of your hair washing, you may actually be creating a problem rather than doing any good. A lot of cheaper shampoos and conditioners can leave residue in your hair, more specially the scalp, from the waxes and synthetic silicones they’re made with. We recommend rinsing your hair for at least one full minute after each step to ensure all the product is rinsed away.

A good shampoo and conditioner can really make a lot of difference in this stage, and maybe even cut your rinsing stage down in time. A well-trusted shampoo and conditioner can make all the difference in the way your hair looks once washed and styled, and even help you avoid all that unnecessary product buildup. A brand we love to use in our salon is Neuma! Every product of theirs is made with healthy, beneficial ingredients that’ll be sure to leave your hair looking and feeling amazing. Click here to shop our shampoo selection.

If you need a few more hair washing tips, or even just want to come enjoy a relaxing hair wash from the professionals, book an appointment at our salon. We want you to be happy with the way your hair looks, and the first step to that is making sure you’re washing your hair like an absolute professional. Happy washing!

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