Is this a 60-second job, or a five-minute procedure? We checked in with a couple of pros and it turns out the answer may be a bit personal: “Shampoo and conditioning rituals can take as long as you like,” says Alterna Haircare brand ambassador Andrew Fitzsimons. If you have very long or thick hair, you’re going to clock out a bit later, says Fitzsimons, but as long as you get to the scalp and give it a thorough cleanse, you're good to go.
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Hairstylist Yusef Williams, who works with Rihanna, feels that “in order to get a proper shampoo and condition, it should take five or more minutes,” but that includes the time it takes to comb a conditioner through your hair and rinse it out. “This should give your hair longer-lasting cleanliness.”
To start, pour the cleanser (like Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, $34; sephora.com ) into your hands then use your fingers to bring it directly to your scalp. “If it doesn’t lather a lot, don’t go back to the bottle,” says Fitzsimons. “Add more water to the hair and emulsify.” Then run your palms over the length of your strands to distribute some of the shampoo. After rinsing, the “repeat” portion of “lather-rinse-repeat” is your call. “It’s not necessary if you’re using a quality shampoo,” says Fitzsimons, who recommends a wash without sulfates. “If you choose to cleanse twice, use a very small amount of shampoo.”If you’re wondering why the in-salon version of this ritual may take almost 10 minutes, remember that those pros are trying to give you an experience, says Fitzsimons. “And often stylists include a scalp massage.”