I’ve always had long hair, well past my shoulders – and for the best part, past my boobs. But have I been washing it wrong my whole life?
Fun redhead fact for you – we have numerically less strands of hair on our head than blondes and brunettes, but each individual hair is thicker.
It makes for an incredibly long drying time – which is why I’ve always been so lazy with my hair washing. It just takes so darn long!
So, what if I told you you’ve been washing your hair wrong for, like, forevs. Think about it, when your hairdresser does that mind-blowingly relaxing head massage, your hair is always so sexy and bouncy after, right?
I get my hair cut two, maybe three times a year – and I definitely want my hair to feel as sexy as when Mel cuts it all year round, not just every six months.
Let’s get into the routine you should be keeping (and also probs should have started before you were 22).
Stop washing your hair
What? You said this post was about how to wash your hair!
I know, I know – and there’s method to the fear-inducing madness. In my teens, the thought of going to school on day-three hair was a definite no-go. There was no way I was getting called ‘chip-pan head’ for the rest of the year.
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten creative with my day three and four hair (and dry shampoo is amazing). It means I can leave it far longer between washes. Your hair produces more oil when washed frequently, meaning it looks greasy quicker.
During lockdown I washed my hair once a week, usually a Friday. It gets worse before it gets better. I’m currently washing my hair around twice a week, aiming for Monday’s and Fridays. Though when life resumes, that’s likely to change to Sundays and Thursdays to fit better with my ‘week hair’ and ‘weekend hair’ schedule.
Pick your shampoo
Got an oily scalp? Don’t go for hydrating. Got straight hair? Then you don’t need a shampoo for curly hair, do you. You wouldn’t just pick up any old face cleanser without checking it suits your needs right? (If the answer was ‘yes, I would’, then please take a long hard look at yourself and assess your skin).
Most recently, I’ve been using the Moerie mineral shampoo for normal hair (gifted). Since leaving it longer between washes, I’ve had less issues with my hair being too dry or too oily, so this works well for me.
The shampoo is made of 77 minerals, 18 amino acids and five vitamins using organic ingredients. It has a strong orange citrus scent that is super fresh, and something I really like about the range. My Dermalogica skincare has a similar fragrance.
Double shampoo your hair
Your first shampoo loosens the dirt from your hair and scalp, and the second rinses the grime and build up away. It’s like double cleansing your face, which I also recommend (I like the Dermalogica Precleanse, followed by their Active Clay Cleanser).
If your shampoo lather could give you a Santa beard – as fun as it may be – you should probably ditch it. It’s the chemicals that make shampoo lather that are the ones that dry your hair out.
Use a 2p piece sized dollop of shampoo each time before rinsing with lukewarm water.
Put a wring on it
Wring all of the water from your hair. Section it off and keep wringing – but don’t be too rough. Your hair is most fragile when wet, so wring gently.
Brush it through
Brush out your knots with a comb or, my personal preference, a Tangle Teaser. Start at the ends and work your way up slowly to the roots. Beautiful hair is a slow process. Brushing quickly and ferociously will only lead to breakage.
Use a mask (optional)
Here is your time to use a hair mask. I know, I also thought this would have been the last step, but it’s not. It’s now. I’ve written about some of my favourite hair masks here, but for this post I’m using my Moerie one to complement my shampoo and conditioner.
Section your hair into four, and work the mask from root to tip, brushing as you go. Leave for 15 minutes – now might be a good time to do your skincare, shave your legs, or read a magazine.
Remove the mask
Rinse the mask with lukewarm water.
The conditioner I’ve been using it the Moerie mineral hair care conditioner. With conditioner, focus on the ends, as your scalp produces natural oils, which requires less help from conditioner. This offers the same gorgeous citrus fragrance that makes me feel I’ve just stepped into a spa. Once you’ve conditioned, you can rinse. For those of you with oilier hair, a spray leave-in conditioner may be a better option. When I’m feeling lazy, I use the Palmer’s Olive Oil leave-in Conditioner.
Dry your hair gently
Don’t rub! Pat your hair dry with a towel. I wrap mine in the microfiber hair wrap I picked up at Oliver Bonas. It has a handy button and look fasten so that you can wrap your hair and potter about with no need to readjust. I’ll leave it until my hair is almost dry, and finish it off with the hair dryer on a cool setting. Always use heat protector, though!