We know what you’re thinking: You’ve had shampooing your hair down pat since before you could pick up a Mason Pearson brush. But there’s more to washing than your basic lather, rinse, repeat, says Brittany Chick, a hairstylist at New York City’s Marie Robinson Salon.
To start, “people tend to use too much shampoo,” says Chick. “You should only be using a dime-size drop.” Give or take a little, depending on the thickness of your hair, that amount is more than enough to work through your strands, starting at your scalp and moving towards your ends, says Chick. Use your fingertips—not strand-tearing nails—to work product into your scalp, behind your ears, and along your hairline (in short, the greasy places). Rinse before repeating the process using another dime-sized serving of shampoo. (The first go round gets rid of product buildup and gunk, while a second pass is more to ensure the actives in the shampoo have a chance to do their thing.)
Next, it’s time for conditioner, says Chick, which is a must regardless of hair type. To avoid weighing down strands, skip your roots and work a nickel-sized blob of conditioner from mid-shaft to ends, says Chick. Whether you’re using traditional conditioner or a conditioning mask—we like Verb’s babassu oil-based Hydrating Mask ($14; sephora.com)—leave the formula on for at least five minutes so that it fully penetrates the hair. Use the time to shave, scrub, or sing—staying in the enclosed, heated space will actually boost the nourishing effects of the conditioner, says Chick. Before rinsing, brush through strands with a wide-tooth comb. (Chick keeps a Tangle Teezer [$15; sephora.com] in her shower at all times.) Well-coated and conditioned hair equals strong, damage-resistant hair.
Congratulations! You’ve just washed your hair like a pro. Now go enjoy that shiny, bouncy, healthy hair.