For some of us, taking care of our hair is an absolute nightmare. Something or the other is always going wrong and the hair might end up being too dry, too greasy, or too frizzy. If you are someone who goes through this ordeal quite regularly, chances are you are not approaching shampooing the right way. So here are a few mistakes you absolutely should avoid.
1. Using the Wrong Shampoo
This may be surprising to some, but using a shampoo that is not suited to your hair or scalp type is quite a common occurrence. Why does this happen? Well, it is because people do not know what their scalp and hair type is. So let us break it down for you (you can read more about finding the right shampoo for your hair type on our blog).
The shape of your hair follicle determines your hair type or curl type. The flatter the follicle, the curlier your hair. Conversely, the more circular the follicle, the straighter your hair. There are 4 hair types: Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly, and Type 4s are coily.
But why does this matter? Curlier hair tends to be more dry and brittle and requires more moisturisation. If you use a shampoo targeted at curly hair on your poker-straight hair, you will weigh it down. To learn more about curly hair, head over to our blog.
Like the skin, our scalp can be oily, dry, or balanced. Our scalp could also be behaving differently depending on the products you are using. It is possible for an oily scalp to become dry and flaky and for a dry scalp to be nourished.
Not sure about your scalp type? Here’s a simple way to figure it out:
If your hair clumps together and you find that your hair becomes greasy in a day or two, you have an oily scalp. An oily scalp requires balancing and light moisturisation. With such a scalp, you may find that you have to shampoo more often.
If you have an oily scalp, Faith in Nature’s Rosemary Shampoo would be a good option. Rosemary soothes yet stimulates the scalp and balances it.
If you have noticed dry white flakes in your hair and experience dryness and occasional irritation, you have a dry scalp. A dry scalp requires more nourishment and moisturisation. You should also shampoo your scalp a lot less. Do not wash your hair more than 2-3 times a week.
If you have a dry scalp, opt for Faith in Nature’s Meadowfoam & Hemp Shampoo. Hemp is rich in vitamin E and helps balance and nourish the scalp while Meadowfoam is rich in antioxidants.
Your scalp can also be sensitive and easily irritated. For such a scalp, Faith in Nature’s Fragrance-Free Shampoo is a good option. It is free from any artificial fragrance, essential oils, harsh sulphates, and other ingredients that may irritate your scalp.
- If you have a normal balanced scalp, lucky you! You can then opt for a shampoo that matches your hair goals - volume, shine, anti-frizz, smooth etc.
2. Not Wetting your hair enough pre-Shampoo
Every strand of hair needs to be soaked deeply in water before you start applying shampoo. Why? Because shampoo does not lather without any water and you won’t get an effective cleanse. Of course, everyone’s hair is different so it may take different amounts of time for the hair to get wet. Be sure to run your fingers through your hair to make sure it is completely wet before applying shampoo.
3. Using too much Shampoo
This is something we have all been guilty of. It is the same as using too much face wash. The result? Dry hair and dry scalp. Keep repeating this and you might end up irritating your scalp. Depending on your hair length this is what the amount of shampoo should be:
- Short hair: Size of a 50 paisa coin
- Medium hair: Size of a regular coin
- Long hair: Half a bank note
4. Skipping the Scalp
So here’s the thing: a shampoo is largely meant for your scalp as the shampoo cleanses the scalp, getting rid of buildup, sebum, dirt, and grime. If the scalp is not getting cleansed effectively enough, it can cause problems. Scalp buildup can cause flaking and hair loss. All that dirt, grime, product residue, and sebum can clog hair follicles. This clogging can further lead to inflammation.
5. Where You Should Shampoo
A shampoo is a cleanser and needs to be applied only on the scalp. Do not rinse your lengths and ends with it since you will just end up drying them out!
6. Not Rinsing your Hair Thoroughly
Certain shampoos are not as effective at cleansing as others and this could be for a variety of reasons. The shampoo might be a more nourishing and moisturising formula, for example. It could also happen that you’ve applied a pre-shampoo mask or oil and that does not come off in the first wash. In such cases, always rinse and repeat.
If you do not wash your hair thoroughly, it could result in scalp buildup and weigh your hair down, making it look greasy, limp, and flat.
7. Shampooing Too Fast
While rinsing thoroughly is important, so is applying the product evenly across your scalp and gently working it in. Do not hop in the shower quickly, slather on some shampoo, wash it off immediately, and move on. Let the product sit on your scalp for a while the way you do with a face wash.
8. Using the Same Shampoo
If your shampoo has silicones or other emollient ingredients in it, chances are there could be a buildup in your scalp. Use a clarifying shampoo ever so often to thoroughly cleanse and detoxify your scalp. Switch Fix’s Slay With Clay Shampoo Bar helps detoxify the scalp and gets rid of buildup. There is also the fact that your hair needs to change over time. This could be because of changes in the weather, your lifestyle, or your diet. So switch shampoos accordingly!
For example, you may have an oily scalp in the summer and as the weather becomes colder, the scalp may become dry. So if you were using a regular hydrating shampoo such as Faith in Nature’s Avocado Shampoo, you may feel like switching to a more moisturising formula such as Switch Fix’s Acai of Relief Shampoo Bar.
9. Using Hot Water
This cannot be said enough times! Hot water is the absolute worst for your skin, hair, and scalp. It can be irritating and drying. Always wash your hair with lukewarm water. Warm water raises the cuticle and makes the product more effective
10. The Cold Rinse
Instead of dousing yourself in hot water, you can try the opposite: a cold rinse. Cold water closes the cuticle, making the hair smoother, shinier, and flatter.
11. Rubbing Too Hard
We get it. A nice hard massage feels so good and relaxing. But do not do this while shampooing! Massaging wet hair too vigorously will make it very tangled and prone to breakage. Instead, use your fingertips to gently massage the shampoo in a back-and-forth motion (not circular motion).
Also, avoid piling your hair on the top of your head. It can lead to severe breakage!
12. You love Dry Shampoo a little too much
You slept in and now you have a Zoom call in 30 minutes. Your hair’s a greasy moody pile. What do you do? Your rub in some dry shampoo! Doing this once in a while is okay. The trouble starts when you go overboard. Overdoing a dry shampoo can cause buildup in your scalp which can further trap oil and dirt, clogging the scalp’s pores and maybe even leading to irritation.
13. You’re Either Shampooing Too Much or Not Enough
Depending on your scalp type, you need to adjust how often you are washing your hair:
- If you have an oily scalp, scalp buildup collects more quickly so be sure to wash your hair every 2 days.
- If you have a dry scalp, do not go overboard with your shampoo but don’t underdo it either. 2 to 3 times a week is a good place to start. Depending on how your scalp reacts, you may increase or decrease your frequency.
- For balanced scalps, again stick to the 2 to 3 times a week schedule and see how your scalp responds.
Everyone’s scalp is different and responds differently to products. At the end of the day, it is important for you to understand your scalp and hair.
Taking care of your scalp and hair is essential so it is better to avoid making mistakes such as using hot water, not rinsing your hair thoroughly, using too much dry shampoo, and more. The secret to healthy and happy hair is a good routine of shampooing, conditioning, masking, and making healthy lifestyle choices.
- Gauri Sindhu