It's amazing how many people wash their hair wrong... ok so it's not totally wrong, they use shampoo and it gets wet! That said, often your hair isn't actually clean....
One of the reasons professionals dislike shop shampoo is because they lather even if your hair is still dirty... yuk!
We all see the ads on TV showing the beautiful woman making rather dodgy noises in the shower with this huge lather on her head, this image, in most case is the only form of shampoo education they have ever had in their life. Apart from being half drowned in the bath as a child and getting shampoo in your eyes and up your nose!
So what are we doing wrong??
Let's leave the choosing of the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair out of the picture for a minute and concentrate on the science and technique, oh yes there's a technique!
OK, so let's think about this logically, hair will only lather if its clean. In the salon when talking about shampoo, this is the first thing we talk about. Remember running a bubble bath? Well it just doesn't work with dirty bath water does it? No way can you get that bath to bubble halfway through or at the end of the bath, it will only lather with clean fresh water. Hair is the same, if you apply a good quality shampoo to your hair that doesn't have loads of nasty chemicals in it to give you a super lather straight away, your hair usually won't lather. This is because the soap, sticks to the dirt to remove it when you rinse it. That's why we recommend a double cleanse. No matter how much more shampoo you put on your head, it won't lather any more, it's a total waste of product, rinse and lather again. Your hair will and should only lather when its clean. The typical long haired client who isn't an everyday washer, the one who goes 3-4 days without washing her hair and wears it up with dry shampoo and hairspray for the latter part of the week will lather her hair up to 6 times to make sure her hair is totally clean!!!! Now imagine she used shop shampoo and got the big lather instantly, imagine how dirty her hair still is!!!?? How does she know when her hair is clean?
Not cleansing your hair correctly can cause build up and dulling of your hair, so many clients begin their journey with us describing how greasy and lank their hair is. 9 times out of 10 their hair isn't greasy at all, it's the shampoo and conditioner they have been using, not cleaning properly and coating the hair in silicone... we will leave silicone for another day or this blog will become an essay!
The build up caused from this can take over 20 shampoos in a row to remove and mostly a deep cleansing shampoo will be needed for a whole week until its completely gone! If we know in advance we can book you in for a hair detox, which takes 30 mins but if we don't it's a shampooathon until we get most of it out and then over to you to do your bit at home!
Now we've sorted the shampooing out, let's talk about conditioner and hair masks...
So what's the difference for a start? One closes the cuticle layer down, the other penetrates the hair shaft and repairs and strengthens your hair from the inside.
If I had a pound every time a client told me they condition their hair by leaving the conditioner on longer with a great big proud smile on their face, I wouldn't be sat here writing this blog!
Sorry guys but leaving conditioner on the surface of your hair will do very little to repair your hair. If you imagine the cuticle layer of the hair is like the scales on a fish or the tiles on a roof, shampoo opens the cuticle so you can clean around and under it, into the nooks and crannies. Now conditioner, closes the cuticle layer, so it sits flat again. Closing the cuticle is so important even if you have fine hair, if you don't lay your cuticles flat, you will damage and break them when you're styling and brushing your hair and it won't shine, because the surface of your hair is rough not smooth. If you don't 'get on with conditioner' it's often because your using one too heavy for your hair type, so ask your stylist to recommend a lightweight one.
Does everyone need a mask? Sorry to break it to you guys but your hair is DEAD! It died a very long time ago, when it just grew out of your head. So how exactly does your hair get goodness? Your hair receives no noureshment unless YOU feed it. My former boss Nicky Lazou used to say "hair is like flowers, feed it and it will grow" this has always stuck with me, because it's such a simple way of putting it. Masks feed your hair, it can be tricky choosing a mask but ask a professional which you need, as getting it wrong can be a total waste of money and time! Hair needs protein, moisture, keratin or a combination of all three, depending on the condition of your hair and how much you abuse it. Hair also changes with the seasons so it may be that you need a slightly different combination in summer months or following a big holiday to get your hair back on track. The good news is... Masks are very cost effective and a tub lasts around year, sometimes longer.
Warning! Professional only guys! Why? Because most, if not all none professional (not from a salon) masks have such small quantities of the ingredients needed to make a significant difference to your hair, we are yet to find one that works. ALL the supermarket brands, including the celebrity endorsed products we have tried, have coated the hair to mask the damage. They do this by coating the hair with plastic like substances to give the illusion of a tight smooth cuticle layer that the light reflects off, making you think your hair looks healthier, when there is very little if any improvement. Also, if it worked, salon professionals would use it!
Top Tips For Getting Clean Hair
1) Use a shampoo & conditioner specifically for your hair type, prescribed by a trained professional.
2) Wet your hair thoroughly, I mean soaking!
3) Using a 10p -50p sized amount, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. Place shampoo around your head, don't just plonk a dollop on the top of your head, how do you expect behind your ears to get clean? Rub the shampoo in your hands and stroke some around your head, if you have thick hair, part your hair to get the shampoo to your scalp, the temples, crown and nape of the neck are spread out nicely and should give you a nice even lather and a clean head!
4) Use your fingertips to rub your head, the key here is to rub your scalp not your hair, your scalp is where all the sweat and dead skin is, so get rubbing! This exfoliates the scalp and stimulates blood circulation to the scalp and encourages growth. Rub your hair gently, remember it is at its weakest when wet, so don't over rub or it can take and break.
5) If it doesn't lather at all, it doesn't mean its not working, it means your hair is still dirty! Rinse and apply the shampoo again.
6) You'll know it's clean because you finally get the massive lather in the adverts and you will feel that your scalp is clean, when clean your hair will lather with just a 5p sized amount of professional shampoo because it's so concentrated.
7) If its hair mask day, squeeze excess water from your hair or towel blot so you use less mask and it absorbed easier. Apply your hair mask from root to tip and leave on the recommended time. When at home, wash your hair first so you can clean the rest of your body while the mask is working to save time. Once 'cooked' rinse thoroughly and apply your conditioner.
8) The condition, you should use way less conditioner than shampoo if your doing it right, rub a 10p size amount into your hands and smooth through your hair starting at your ends, leave on a few seconds and rinse out. You must really get your hands in your hair and move it to insure all the conditioner is out. There should be no slimy residue and it should feel free of product.
Now off to dry that super sexy clean hair!