Bad hair days—we’re all privy to them. But while we can’t predict the weather or humidity, or if our curling iron doesn’t feel like giving us the waves we deserve, we can at least make sure our hair is of highest quality when we exit the shower.
There are a slew of mistakes almost everyone (us included!) have made at some point, but they’re all easily fixable. Keep reading for 9 major things you’re probably doing wrong in your hair washing routine.
1. Washing Too Frequently
Everyone has different hair. While your friend with thin, oily hair absolutely needs to rinse hers every day, that doesn’t mean the same for you. People nowadays are washing their hair at a much less frequency, as to not strip natural oils, or even color for that matter.
2. Not Switching Up Shampoos
Much like our bodies react to medication or alcohol intake, our hair, too, builds a tolerance to particular products. If you notice your shampoo worked great the first few washes and suddenly you can’t seem to nail that effortless shine, it’s time to switch things up. Trust us, continuing to use the product and hoping it will suddenly work again won’t happen until you take a little breather. We suggest having 2-3 shampoos in regular rotation, switching off every five or so washes.
3. Not Using a Clarifying Shampoo
Ah, the most important overlooked step! [link] When it comes to washing your hair, your go-to shampoo and conditioner may not cut it. Kicking off your rinse routine every so often with a clarifying shampoo is a necessity. This powerful formula strips your locks of all the bad stuff (heat, hairspray or just general gunk in the air) that’s been bogging it down, and essentially gives your mane a clean slate. Applying this particular shampoo is what then allows your regular shampoo (and whatever other products you choose to use) to properly sink into your scalp or ends, or wherever you apply them.
4. Rinsing With Warm Water
Even if we know we’re not supposed to wash our hair with warm water, we tend to occasionally do so anyway. Especially after a long day, do you really think we want to jump into a cold shower? Well, hate to break it to ya, but if you crave a healthy shine once your hair dries, you’ll want to opt for the chill. Cold water closes your hair’s cuticle and forces its cells to lay on top of each other. This is what in turn gives you that all-natural glimmer.
5. Using Sulfates in Your Products
Sulfates prove that too much of a good thing really indeed exists. Ultimately, these surfactants intensify the abilities of the shampoo, stripping away what makes your hair oily and gross. But due to their power, they can strip away some of the good stuff, too. There’s also the (non-scientifically proven) rumor that sulfates cause cancer. Bottom line: Play it safe and stick to sulfate-free products. It’s usually listed boldly on the front of a bottle.
(via Carol’s Daughter)
6. Conditioning All Over
We know shampoo and conditioner go hand-in-hand, but more times than not, conditioning even a little bit isn’t necessary—and certainly not near your roots. Even the highest quality conditioners can make your hair greasy. If you plan to use, either apply to ends only, or do an occasional leave-in conditioning mask. The only time we suggest going to town on conditioner is following a fresh color treatment or after a ton of product (ie. hair spray) is applied to your locks.
7. Not Using a Tonic for Your Scalp
This is a commonly overlooked step, and it’s not the end of the world if you miss it—but it can help you greatly if you incorporate it into your routine. Spritzing on a tonic after your hair is thoroughly rinsed activates, cleanses and nourishes the scalp. This not only rids impurities but it also helps your hair grow faster.
(via Dr. Hauschka)
8. Assuming Higher Cost Equals Higher Quality
Even as we get older, we’re still drawn to trends, or what the cool girl at work raves about. It’s only human nature to stay on top of what’s hot. That said, when it comes to hair care, you’d be surprised how many lesser expensive products get the job done better than anything else. Remember, a lot of it has to do with packaging, or the name behind the brand or product. Don’t be fooled by all the hoopla. Try different things from different places and see what works for you. Ultimately, if the higher-end product works best for you, so be it. Just don’t assume this will always be the case.
9. Following a Family Member’s Hair Care Regimen
When we share a shower with a family member or partner, it’s easy to reach for their products out of convenience. But you must remember that just because their shampoo or conditioner works for them doesn’t mean it will have the same effect on you. When it comes to products like hairspray or dry shampoo, it’s typically fine to share, but with rinse items, it’s really best to stick to what’s tried and true for you.
If you have hair extensions, your whole wash routine will differ from people who don’t have them. Find out how often you should wash your hair with extensions HERE.