Lather, rinse, repeat, right? Hold up right there. Sure, we all think we know how to care for our hair, but our professional colorist, Rachael, Manager of Education & Product Development, is here with some tips you might now know to keep your hair feeling healthy and your color looking gorgeous. (Hint: lather, rinse, repeat doesn’t even begin to cut it.) Here’s Rachael with how to wash, dry, brush, style and protect your hair...
THE BEST WAY TO WASH YOUR HAIR
First things first—if your hair is color-treated, you MUST use a color protecting shampoo and conditioner. This is key to protecting your color from fading. And the best way to actually wash your hair? You want to make sure you comb or brush out your hair prior to getting it wet to eliminate as many tangles as possible. For curly and coily hair, you can skip this step or just lightly finger comb through your hair. Next, wet your hair with lukewarm water. Apply about a quarter-sized amount of shampoo for medium length/textured hair. For thicker or longer hair you may need slightly more. Massage the shampoo in well, focusing on the scalp area. It’s best not to scrub the ends of your hair too roughly with shampoo but rather focus on the roots where more oil tends to build up. If you notice your shampoo doesn't suds up enough (this can happen if you don’t shampoo very often), add some water to your hair and massage it in again. This can get you a little more lather, rather than adding more shampoo right away. Rinse out your shampoo well and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. You don’t want to apply conditioner on sopping wet hair as the conditioner can slide off your hair rather than penetrating into the cuticle layer and absorbing into your hair. Rinse the conditioner out with cool water (as cold as you can go!). Cool water helps seal the cuticle layer which will help lock in your conditioner and also help protect your color. This is also all around good for your skin and scalp.
PRO COLORIST TIP: It’s always wise to leave a wide tooth comb in the shower to comb your conditioner through after it is applied to ensure it is evenly saturated. This will also make it easier to comb out your hair after you get out of the shower.
THE BEST WAY TO DRY YOUR HAIR
When it comes time to drying your hair after washing it, be mindful to not scrub or roughen up your hair too much with a towel. Use gentle blotting motions when drying your hair. There are some great towels out there that are specifically designed for drying hair that absorb moisture well, but also help control frizz and eliminate breakage. Check out one of our favorites—the AQUIS towel.
THE BEST WAY TO BRUSH YOUR HAIR
When you brush your hair, always start from the bottom and work your way up. If you have any tangles in your hair (usually in the mid-lengths and ends) you don’t want to start brushing from the roots which could cause even more tangling and is also stressful on the hair. Your hair is most fragile when it’s wet, but it can also be the hardest to comb through. I recommend using a Detangling Brush that is designed specifically for brushing out wet hair. This is especially great for fine hair textures. If your hair tends to tangle easily, be patient and take your time. Take smaller sections at a time before you move on to the next. It’s easy to get lost in a head full of tangles so focus on one area at a time.
THE BEST WAY TO STYLE YOUR HAIR
No matter how you style your hair (heat style or air dry), you always want to apply a leave-in product that has some form of nourishing or conditioning ingredients. Just like when applying conditioner, always remember to comb your leave-in and styling product throughout your hair. This will eliminate any areas from becoming too heavy and weighed down with product, while other areas may be too dry or frizzy.
THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOUR HAIR
Depending on your lifestyle and hair styling preferences, there are a few elements in protecting your hair that may be more crucial to you than others.
If you have color-treated hair
Unfortunately, all color-treated hair eventually fades, specifically the tone, meaning your hair color gradually turns too brassy or warm. That’s just the nature of hair color. However, there are things you can do to minimize any fading before it’s too late. First, you can use a Pro Boost: Seal treatment to lock-in your color post coloring, on the day of coloring. You can also use our Color Therapy color depositing hair mask that both adds color and tone to your hair and intensely hydrates it at the same time. The great thing about a color depositing treatment like this is that you will essentially always keep your color looking fresh since it adds pigment every time you use it. It will help minimize color from fading to a dull, brassy or flat color. This is a must have for color-treated hair!
If you heat style your hair with a blowdryer, flatiron, or curling iron
For people who heat style (which honestly is most of us) you MUST use a thermal protecting product. This will not only help style your hair, but it will also help protect your hair against heat damage. Also note that the more heat you use the faster hair color can fade, so this is even more of a reason to use a color safe heat protectant on your hair.
If you are outside a lot
A product that offers UV protection is key. Just like we protect our skin, we must protect our hair from sun damage. Make sure the products you use include some sort of UV protectant, including shampoo, conditioner and any styling products.
If your hair needs a treatment
Everyone can use hair treatments, regardless of how you style or wear your hair. Depending on the type of treatment you use and the texture of your hair, you can use a treatment based product every other time you shampoo, or every 5-6 times you shampoo. Honestly, there is no “right” answer—just base it off of how your hair FEELS. If it feels dry, use a hydrating treatment. If it feels weak or fragile, use a strengthening treatment. If it just looks dull and blah, use a shine treatment. Luckily, we have treatments for all of these needs. Check out our Pro Boost: Hydrate, Strength, and Shine.
So there you go—pro colorist tips on how to care for your hair from wash to dry and everything in between. Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions for Rachael, or any of our other professional colorists on our Color Crew!