From an early age we are left to shampoo and condition our hair entirely on our own, and we do an ample enough job at cleaning the hair. However, there is a proper technique for washing hair that is lost on many people who go through life only needing to remove dirt and excess oil. For the person who wants to style their hair though, a proper cleansing technique can go a long way towards ensuring stellar results in front of the mirror.
1. Before you wash your hair, it is always a good idea to brush it through and remove any tangles. This will help maximize your washing experience and ensure that you are able to remove tangles with the least possible discomfort.
2. Begin by wetting your hair with warm water. You can do this while showering, bathing, or as a singular activity. Make sure that your hair is completely saturated instead of just damp before progressing to the next step. This will ensure the easiest application of shampoo.
3. A little shampoo is quite effective for cleansing unless your hair extends beyond shoulder-length. A slightly larger than half-dollar size amount is adequate for male hair and shorter female styles. Take your shampoo into both hands, and then place the hands in your hair starting at the roots and begin to scrub. A deep scrub with fingernails is rarely called for and is a bit more torturous than hair washing is intended to be. Scrub with the soft pads of your fingertips instead of using the nail. Work outward from the part and down to the hairline above the ears, neck, and forehead. Repeat the process for any areas you feel need a second massage.
Please note that it is not necessary to bunch the excess length of your hair up on top of your head for cleaning. This part of your hair is rarely as oily as the roots and will be sufficiently cleaned with gentle massaging as it hangs naturally. Piling the hair up for washing only leads to extra tangling and less manageability.
4. Rinse your shampoo out thoroughly. Double check the quality of your rinse by running the palm of your hand through your hair from root to end. If you feel or see any residue on your palm, direct more water towards the area of your scalp where the shampoo is lingering.
5. If you have hair prone to knotting, now is a good time to run a wide tooth comb through your hair to remove any snags created during your shampoo.
6. Apply conditioner now and allow it to soak into your hair. There is no need to place the conditioner directly on the roots but rather focus it on the length of your hair. I usually let the conditioner soak in while I soap up or shave.
7. Rinse out your conditioner, and once again verify that any residue is removed from your hair.
8. Allow your hair to dry and style as desired.
Standard Textbook of Cosmetology. Dubuque: 1957.