It’s not as simple as it sounds. There is a difference!
When washing your hair, it is best if you get in the shower. You may give yourself a back-ache and won’t be able to rinse properly if you wash your hair in the sink. Start by rinsing your hair to remove any leave-in conditioner or styling aids. Use a quarter sized dollop of shampoo and rub your hands together to distribute it. Put the shampoo on your scalp, not the ends of your hair. Work up a lather by massaging your scalp with your fingers and scalp brush. Don’t mix your hair all over your head; the more you do, the more tangled it will become.
You may notice that during the first shampoo, you won’t have much lather. That is because your hair is still dirty! Rinse well and then repeat, but this time, let the shampoo sit for a minute (especially if you are using a protein shampoo). Rinse, then press the water out of your hair. Never squeeze or pull your hair when it’s wet. Instead, smooth your hands down from the top of your head down to remove excess water, and important step before adding any conditioner.
Hot or Cold Water?
Honestly, it doesn’t matter because the effects are barely noticeable. However, experts say to wash hair in hot or warm water to help remove dirt and build-up and to rinse hair in cool water to close the cuticle and add shine.
Conditioners penetrate better on towel dried hair so remove excess water first. Be gentle! To protect your hair, smooth your hands down your head from the top of your head down to remove excess water. As your hair grows longer, gather your hair at the base of your neck with one hand, and once anchored, use the other hand to gently press the water out of the ends of your hair. Then, use a generous amount (half-dollar size dollop or more for longer hair) to make sure your hair is completely covered. Concentrate on your hairline, nape and the ends of your hair, where it’s needed most. Massage well, but DO NOT COMB THROUGH; it’s too damaging to your hair. Snap on a plastic cap and sit under a warm dryer for 10 minutes. Rinse well and follow with an instant conditioner.
Nicole Elizabeth Smith, the author of “Healthy Black Hair” (2003), is a freelance health and beauty writer and a graduate of Michigan State University. She and her son Zack live in Michigan. Currently, she is beauty editor for www.myhairbook.com [http://www.myhairbook.com].