Expert Tips: Wash and Haircare

It all starts with shampoo and conditioner. Laying down the proper foundation is key for building any style. Choosing the right products is important and so is the technique. There’s more to it than just wash, rinse and repeat. Maximize the benefits of this crucial first step with these tricks of the trade. 

Hair typing Pick a shampoo and conditioner based on your client’s specific hair texture. Is it fine, medium or coarse? “For finer hair textures, use a body building shampoo and a lighter-weight conditioner. For coarser hair textures, use a re-moisturizing shampoo and conditioner,” says Anabel Kingsley, director of communications and trichologist at Philip Kingsley. “However, if your client has a problem scalp, such as dandruff, this should be soothed and treated with an antimicrobial shampoo.” Follow up with a conditioner specific to their hair texture.

Going deep “Deep conditioners and masques are beneficial to all hair textures—but they’re especially good for dry, porous, damaged or brittle hair that is breaking easily, or hair that lacks manageability, gloss and elasticity,” says Kingsley. “If a client’s hair has a heavy relationship with chemicals and heat, I suggest using a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week. For someone with naturally healthy hair, a treatment once or twice a month is enough,” says Lucas Doney, international trainer for Paul Mitchell. 

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Work it in “Don’t just glob shampoo onto the top of the client’s head and start rubbing it in. A steady massage is best,” says Brenton Lee, owner and hairstylist of the Brenton Lee Salon. Squeeze out a dime-sized amount into the center of your hand, and lather it up between your palms. Apply to the crown and gently distribute the shampoo towards the back. Make sure to rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear. “Insufficient rinsing of shampoo is one of the most common causes of dull hair,” says Kingsley. Smooth conditioner over your client’s mid-lengths and ends, but do not apply to their roots. Start at the ends, gradually working your way up. “It’s common practice to detangle at the roots, but starting at the top can worsen knots and cause breakage,” says Kingsley.

Switch it up “Changing up products with the seasons can help a client better manage their look. The climate has an effect on how certain shampoos and conditioners perform,” says Doney.  “Many people find that their hair becomes dry in the summer due to increased UV exposure and activities such as swimming,” says Kinglsey. Advise clients to use a pre-shampoo conditioner twice a week at-home to keep hair moisturized and nourished. In the winter, address an itchy flaky scalp with a targeted shampoo, scalp toner and exfoliating scalp masque.