Lather-Rinse-Repeat

As a professional hairstylist of 25 years, I have worked with every texture and type of hair. Always ensuring to educate my guest on how to take care of their beautiful locks at home, I always suggest that you shampoo "twice".


The reply from guests, "oh, I only shampoo once because I was told shampooing damages the hair."


WHAT! How can this be true?! Is it really a truth or a myth?


In all of my years as a hairstylist, educator in the cosmetology field, and after all the heads of hair that I have seen and touched over the decades, I have honestly never seen anyone's hair damaged from shampooing.


So where did this mis-information come from?


Let me explain..


As a consumer you're actually never taught "how to" shampoo your hair. Your just shown some shampoo and conditioner in an add on TV or a magazine(let us not entertain the idea your stylist gave you a shampoo and didn't explain how to use it), you purchase it and use it one time by way of one shampoo and your mind instantly tells you that you have the best feeling and the best smelling hair in the world now that you own this new shampoo. Right?


Days go on, weeks go by and then you say to yourself and your stylist, "hmmm. I think my hair is getting used to this shampoo."


WAIT! WHAT?


How can this be?


Although that statement can apply to many things in our lives, I guarantee it most likely doesn't apply to your ritual of shampooing. Hair cannot get used to a shampoo and conditioner. What happens is, your hair is getting build up from not shampooing properly, which is twice.


Um, once—doesn’t everyone shampoo once? Only the ones that having been educated on the benefits of Lather-Rinse-Repeat.


Shampooing twice in one shower instead of shampooing more frequently (i.e., once a day) will fix dull, greasy or dry hair problems for good. This solution seems so basic, so simple, that most almost refuse to accept it. All the more reason not to ignore the "rinse and repeat” instructions because it was all a ploy from shampoo companies to trick consumers into going through their products more quickly (and thus have to buy more).


Once you start lathering up your strands with any shampoo per usual (I am not soliciting brands as this technique goes for any brand on the market) you will notice the same effect you normally get. BUT... after rinsing it out, lathering up your strands again—you will immediately noticed that the second time is decidedly…latherier than the first. Have you ever noticed that you don’t get that bubbly hair-commercial lather (are you sick of reading the word lather yet?) but just assumed it was because you was using a shampoo with fewer detergents. Turns out you can get that satisfyingly foamy feeling—but only if you shampoo twice. Followed with conditioner and then let you hair air-dry per usual or with styling tools.


YES! I said it multiple times.. Lather-Rinse-Repeat is actually a real thing.


I don't care what type of hair you tell me you have. If you are not shampooing twice you're doing your hair and scalp a disservice and you are under utilizing that $40-60 shampoo you just bought to give you luxurious locks.


If you're not following this simple technique, then you will go on to fill your cabinet with multiple brands that you continue to say they worked at first, but then stopped working. What a vicious cycle.


The Game Changer


Shampooing your hair twice in the shower will never damage your hair. What you may have experienced or been told is that if you shampoo frequently thru the week(everyday) you may experience dry hair/scalp. Or you may even experience more of an oily scalp, which can occur with over stimulation or underlying hormone conditions. These things can be true to some extent but that is not always the case.


Excessive shampooing can over-dry your hair, most of the styling problems and difficulties women encounter come from having overly dried hair. So, instead of shampooing once a day (which I say is too much), you can just shampoo twice in one shower, allowing you to extend the length of time before your next shampoo.


In order to completely cleanse the hair and scalp properly you must utilize the benefits of what shampoos actually do.


So, "What do shampoos actually do Jeannie?"


Whether you are using a sulfate free shampoo or with sulfates, the facts remain the same about Lather-Rinse-Repeat. The logic behind this is that the first shampoo breaks down the oils and buildup in your hair while the second shampoo completely gets them out. Look at the hair the way you would look at a precious fabric. You don’t want to over-wash a delicate garment. You take care of it—the same goes with hair. It’s about washing your hair right so that you can go longer periods of time without shampooing.”


This technique is a game changer, no matter your hair type. (From my own experience, I’d recommend doing it with a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid over-drying.) Especially if you are color/chemically treated.


Lets just say you have a scalp issue. Oily or dry. If you tend to have scalp issues it is very imperative that you always shampoo twice and sometimes three. Even more important that you shampoo with the proper brand method for your condition. In my experience, if you shampoo the scalp first with a medicated shampoo/prescription and follow up with second shampoo of choice ie., volume, moisture, keratin etc... you scalp and your hair will see the long term benefits.


If you are color or chemically treated and worry about the ends of your hair getting too dry from using a medicated shampoo or if your hair is damaged or just naturally on the drier side, apply conditioner from mid shaft through the ends before you shampoo. That way the shampoo doesn’t touch the dry and damaged ends; it’ll only clean your scalp, leaving the ends alone. Not to mention there are new products on the markets that pre-treat the hair before shampooing that you can add to your regime.


The Method

To try it on your own strands:


  1. Start off by wetting your hair. The key is to make sure your hair is really wet well in the beginning.

  2. Pour a handful of shampoo on your palm, and distribute it only on the scalp.

  3. Scrub with your fingertips all over the scalp with enough pressure that you can actually feel your fingers massaging your scalp, for about 30 to 45 seconds.

  4. Rinse.

  5. Pour a smaller amount of shampoo only on your scalp (the amount should be determined by the density of the hair).

  6. Scrub for a minute.

  7. Rinse completely. (The soapy water that rinses out is enough to clean the ends.)

  8. Apply conditioner only to the ends.


You will notice after following this technique for the past few weeks or even the past few days your hair will look—or, more importantly, feel—better. If you find you still have oily/dry scalp issues after starting to follow your new regime, then we must chat in another blog about the factors that contribute. One thing I do know is that shampooing twice can help curve any underlying issues you may have been having.


I am hoping I can say you’ve learned to have a new relationship with your hair, like any relationship, takes effort to maintain. And in this case, it’s well worth the extra few minutes in the shower. Things will probably always be somewhat complicated with your hair, but I think your're ready to take your relationship to the next level and finally commit.

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