If someone asks if you know how to correctly use shampoo and conditioner, you would think them a bit odd. But read on, and you just might learn something new about your mane, but how to keep it looking its best.
Hair is often seen as a symbol of personal identity and can play a significant role in how a person presents themselves to the world. For many, hair is an important part of appearance and can affect self-confidence and self-image.
In addition to diet, good hair care products and practices are key to the health of your hair. And because your hair is at its most vulnerable when it's wet, the shampoo and conditioner play a key part in maintaining it.
Are you using shampoo and conditioner correctly? 👩🔬
Two of the most common hair complains tend to be “dry ends” and “greasy scalp”. If you find that soon after having washed it, your hair is feeling dry and/or your scalp greasy, read on, as it’s possible that you’re using your shampoo and conditioner incorrectly.
Scalp and hair have different needs, and even different pH levels (that deserves its own post!), so they need to be treated differently.
The scalp is live regenerating tissue made up of skin cells, blood vessels, and hair follicles. It produces sebum, the main ingredient in body oil, with attracts dirt from the environment and needs regular cleansing, just like our face and body.
The hair, on the other hand, are strands of fiber that grow from the scalp. They are made of several layers of dead cells filled with a protein called keratin. The strands have no way to protect, moisturise or repair themselves, so they need special external care and treatment.
Because of this (big!) difference, cleansing should focus on mostly the scalp and roots, and conditioning on the strands.
Bubbles and beyond…
Shampoo has one main job – to cleanse. It’s typically composed of one or more surfactants, which are substances that lift dirt and oil from surfaces.
Because of this, and knowing that majority of the cleansing is needed on the surface which produces sebum, it stands to reason that shampoo use should focus on the scalp and hair roots in order to clean oil & grime that sticks so it.
The hair oil does make its way onto the hair strands, but generally only to the part near the scalp and not the ends (unless your hair is very short). This is why when you use your T.L.C. Nourishing Shampoo Bar, you should rub the bar on hair in the scalp area, separating and lifting the hair to focus shampoo application on the scalp. When you feel enough shampoo has been deposited, it’s time for an energetic scalp massage. Not only will that work up a rich creamy lather, but it will soften the skin and stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles, therefore encouraging hair growth.
Once sufficient attention has been paid to the scalp area, you can distribute the lather to the rest of the hair, which is plenty for gentle cleansing of any dirt that may have gotten onto the rest of the strands. Because of this, there is no need to rub the bar directly on hair beyond roots.
One exception to this is if you use lots of products on ends for example to protect from heat styling, to de-frizz or for extra shine, especially if using silicone products. In which case, feel free to be a bit more generous with getting shampoo on hair beyond just the scalp.
Shampoo chemistry is such that it's mostly designed to lift the oil and dirt and then rinse out, without drying your scalp or hair. If you are using the T.L.C. Nourishing Shampoo Bar, feel free to leave it on for a few minutes while you get onto other shower activities as it will give the numerous goodness-bursting ingredients, such as the MSM which is known to assist with stimulating hair growth, and the protein and humectants that nourish the strands, time to work their magic.
Conditioning the strands
Hair conditioner is made up of a blend of conditioning agents designed to treat the strands, rather than wash out completely after application. One of the way this is apparent is that conditioners they don’t bubble, but have more of a creamy, lotion-like finish.
Because of this, conditioner should be kept away from scalp as it can make it feel oily. After washing with shampoo and rinsing, wet hair thoroughly and rub the bar down the length of hair, avoiding the scalp and focusing on the ends.
It's designed to nourish the strands and work from the outside to leave residue that sticks to hair and helps seal the cuticle with both the types of ingredients it contains, and the pH level it aims to leave the hair at, which is different from the pH level of the scalp. GOOD HAIR DAYS Supercharged Conditioner Bar is specifically designed to be at a different pH level from the shampoo bar, as that's what works best for the strands.
Conditioner chemistry is such that it's designed to leave behind beneficial ingredients that will moisturise the strands, and stick to the surface to lock moisture in until the next wash. This is why hair feels silky when rising conditioner.
But, but, but…. Build-up!? 🤨
And no, you don’t need to worry about “build up” if using well formulated products. While the Good Hair Days conditioner bar is designed to leave a residue on the strands, that residue is easily removed by shampooing, the very next time you wash, thus starting the cycle again.
Hot tip 💫
It might feel comforting and relaxing, but hot water does neither your scalp nor strands much good. Just like with your face, you shouldn't wash your hair with too warm a water, especially if your hair is dry or damaged/chemically treated as it will dry it out even further.
In summary / TL;DR
⚡️ focus shampoo use on the scalp, massage into scalp and roots for cleansing and other benefits and spread the lather to gently cleanse your strands
⚡️ focus conditioner on the strands, starting a few centimetres from the roots in order to avoid any unnecessary oiliness of the scalp and roots
⚡️ use luke warm water on hair to keep both scalp and strands from drying out.