Your hair’s freshly washed but it’s dull and limp. Why oh why does this horrible thing happen? Simple: because a hairwash isn’t just a hairwash – there are all sorts of factors that can tip the balance from lifeless to glossy. We’ll have a closer look at them in a minute – but a word before we start: don’t automatically blame your shampoo! Obviously you should choose one that suits the structure and needs of your hair (split ends, dryness, dandruff etc.), with all the necessary ingredients to pamper it. But if you want great hair after every wash, you have to develop a system that works for you every time. So don’t wash it more often than is really necessary, check whether the water in your area is hard or soft – and read on to find out more!
Develop a system
Before you wash your hair, brush it to get the tangles out, otherwise they’ll just become worse. When your hair’s wet, take a hazelnut-sized blob of shampoo and make a lather, first in your hands, then in your hair. Important: if it doesn’t lather up well enough, you’ll need to do this a second time. Massage the hair thoroughly, paying special attention to the roots, the hairline and the temples, where makeup and face cream tend to cling. You’ll know when your hair’s clean because it will squeak.
Don’t overdo it
If you wash your hair every day, think again. Fine hair needs to be shampooed about three times a week; for curly and thick hair, twice weekly should be enough. If you can keep the frequency down, you’ll avoid drying the skin of your scalp. As well as hair structure, the type of hair you have is an important factor: the oilier it is, the more often it will need washing. And if you use gel or wax, your hair gets lank quicker so you’ll need to wash it more frequently.
Hard or soft?
This can also make a difference. The calcium and magnesium in hard water can penetrate the hair, making it stiff and rough to the touch. Using a leave-in conditioner or cure is a good idea, especially for fine hair, as it makes it easier to comb. Soft water makes the hair more elastic and flyaway so you’ll need to use a styling cream to give it more structure and shape. And if you’re not sure whether the water in your area is hard or soft, look at the shampoo lather: if it lathers very easily, the water’s soft; if there’s less lather, or maybe even none, then the water’s hard.