Guest Author - Jason P. Ruel
It may seem like it is something simple to do. You clean your hair all the time. The question you should be asking yourself is: Am I cleaning it properly? There actually is a correct and incorrect way to cleanse your hair.
To begin, you need to have the proper supplies. You will need a towel to dry your hair. You will need a place to get your hair wet, also known as a tub, shower, sink, bucket, or body of water. You will need a cleansing agent such as a hair cleansing bar or shampoo. And finally, you will need a head of hair to cleanse. That last one is important!
You need to read the directions for the cleanser you will be using on your hair. In this case, I will be using the example of a professional shampoo. The directions say to apply a small amount to damp hair and massage in. Some may wonder what a small amount is. This is always a point of contention because every person’s idea of small is different. We will use United States coin money as our gauge to better understand sizing for this article. Small for our purposes will be a US quarter.
To start the cleansing process you will need to get your head of hair wet. Temperature doesn’t really matter, but to get a better cleansing action, warm water is better. After you have wet the hair, remove excess water with your hands. Too much water will dilute your cleanser before it is worked into the scalp. After your hair is damp to wet, apply a quarter size amount of your cleansing agent to your hand. Spread the cleanser between your two hands to evenly distribute it. Using both hands, start working the cleanser into your hair starting at the scalp and working outward. It is NOT important that you get cleanser to your ends because during the massaging process you will get enough cleanser on your hair ends to facilitate cleaning. Using the pads of your finger (not the fingertips) massage the cleanser in a circular motion into your scalp and hair. Continue to do this until you have massages thoroughly the whole head. Depending on your cleanser and its ingredients, you may or may not get a lot of lather. This is just fine. Now, you will rinse the hair. Under warm water, thoroughly rinse the cleanser out of your hair.
Most cleansers will tell you to rinse and repeat. This step is actually important to get a full cleansing of the hair. Your first cleansing will get rid of the surface oils and dirt, while the second cleansing will fully clean the scalp and hair to ensure that all excess oil and dirt are removed. For your second cleansing you will need only a dime size amount of cleanser. Just as before, spread the cleanser between your two hands and apply to the hair. Using the pads of your fingers, massage the scalp and hair working across the whole head. Once complete, rinse your hair using warm water. You can then move on to conditioning you hair (which is another article in of itself).
This is a general procedure to cleanse the hair. If you have more hair, thick hair, coarse hair, you may need to use more than a quarter size amount of cleanser. If you hair is also oiler than “normal”, you may need to use more than a quarter size amount of cleanser. The general rule of thumb is to use 35 cents worth of cleanser. Start with a quarter, and add a dime size amount if you need more. The first cleansing won’t lather that much, but your second one will.
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