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How To Use Shampoo Effectively

by Melissa Bell
5 minutes read

Hair cleansing is a regular part of any showering or bathing routine and many of us have been doing it for years, but anyone could get it wrong. If your hair does not look or feel as clean as it should after you wash it, it could be because you are using the right hair care product or the right method. Here are what you should be doing when shampooing your hair.

Lather the shampoo before applying it to the head

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You will only need about half a tablespoon amount of shampoo for every use, and less if you have shorter hair. It might seem like too little product, but it is enough for your entire head. The key here is to first lather the product in your hand, before applying it to your scalp.

Lathering the shampoo before applying will ensure that the product will be evenly distributed across the scalp. This will also help to prevent you from using too much shampoo per wash, which is not the proper way to use it. Silicon-free and sulfate-free shampoos will not lather up much, but that should be normal. You will only need to emulsify the product before using it, so it is fine to not have any bubble or foam.

Only shampoo the scalp

A popular misconception with hair washing is that you should wash the entire hair, from the root to the tip. However, that method of shampooing is not right and could cause damage to the tips of your hair. Instead, what you should do is just focus on shampooing the scalp, and let the remaining product disperse to the rest of the hair on its own.

When massaging the product into the scalp, you want to avoid using your nails or anything abrasive. Since our scalps are quite sensitive and vulnerable, any harsh scrubbing can cause irritation and inflammation. The best way to massage the scalp when shampooing would be to just use the tips of your fingers, and apply gentle pressure. You can also use the palm of your hands if you have long nails. Your motions should be small and gentle to avoid tangling the hair strands.

Shampoo twice for every wash

You may have heard of the phrase ‘lather, rinse, and repeat’, which implies that you should shampoo once, rinse, and then shampoo once again. It might be hard to believe the credibility of the phrase, but it is indeed the proper method of shampooing. Each shampoo cycle has its own benefit, which is why you should always do both in every wash.

When you apply the first shampoo, you are removing the dirt, oil, and other pollution and product residue in the hair. However, your hair may still not be completely clean after rinsing off the first shampoo, which is why you should do another shampoo cycle. The second time you shampoo, you are making sure that the hair is thoroughly clean, which keeps it healthy. It can also help in adding shine and a nice fragrance to your hair. However, it is important to note that you should only shampoo twice, and never over-shampoo your hair or you may cause more damage to the hair follicles.

Rinse thoroughly after shampooing

Photo by Armin Rimoldi from Pexels

Proper rinsing should also be considered if you want healthy hair because any leftover residue in the hair can cause your scalp to be itchy and irritated. It can also weigh your hair down and make it look flat. Every rinse cycle should be about 1 to 2 minutes long, which should be enough to rinse out all the shampoo. Avoid scrubbing and rubbing the hair when rinsing, and instead, just allow the water to rinse out the shampoo on its own. You can use your fingers to gently comb through the hair so that the water can reach every part of the hair.

The water you use can also have an effect, which is why you should always use lukewarm water when washing your hair. Many people think that hot water is better for people with oily hair, but it could cause dryness, so avoid using hot water for your hair. If you have hair that is thin or dry, you can try rinsing out the shampoo with cold water. It will not dry out the naturally occurring sebum layer of your hair, which is important for keeping the hair strong and healthy.

Pick the right shampoo for your hair type

When it comes to hair care, you must choose the right products that suit your hair type. Using the wrong shampoo can cause more harm than good, so really take the time to choose the right shampoo for your hair. Most shampoos will include labels of the packaging to determine which hair type the shampoo is best suited for. If possible, avoid shampoos that contain sulfate or silicon because those ingredients can damage the hair follicles and cause skin irritation.

If you have thin hair, it is best to choose a clarifying shampoo that is gentle on the hair follicles. For people with thick or coarse hair, shampoos that are moisturizing would be the best choice. If you have colored your hair, the best shampoo would be the one with color-safe properties. There are also conditioning shampoos made specifically for bleached hair, so that the hair will remain healthy and bright.


If you have any problems with your hair and scalp, you can try changing the shampoo you use and your shampooing method. Even the smallest change in your hair-care habits could have a huge effect on how your hair looks and feels. Implementing these tips could also help to maintain the health of your hair and your scalp.

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