What does it matter?
First, the purpose of cleansing is to remove build-up and allow the hair to breathe and absorb nutrients essential for healthy growth. Cleansing also allows the hair to return to a stable pH balance and in doing so reduce opportunities for breakage. The frequency of cleansing should coincide with the amount of build-up present. If styling with products that contain waxes, heavy oils or holding agents the hair needs to return to a stable pH in no longer than two weeks.
Where do I start?
Prior to selecting a cleansing method determine the current state of your hair. If to the touch your hair feels delicate (you just removed long-term braids, used a styling product that had a drying properties, etc.) you should use a hydrating shampoo. If your hair feels oily in a bad way, you should seek a gentle clarifying shampoo followed by a cream conditioner. Try to avoid products that contain parabens, EDTA, as stated in the What’s the Deal with Shea? post. My product suggestion is Onesta, their products are free of most of the harsh chemicals and additives found in many shampoos.
In another post we’ll discuss the actual method options for cleansing (there’s more available than wash rinse repeat). For now, the traditional way that most learn to shampoo is what we’ll reference to give some quick tips:
- Excessively rigorous manipulations are not necessary
- Use the pad of your fingers and not your nails
- Move from scalp to ends to avoid tangling (the opposite of how you comb to de-tangle)
- Avoid combing wet hair unless using a wide-toothed comb
- Once hair is clean separate hair into at least four sections and keep the ends that you’re not immediately working on tucked away in a twist and secure the twists with a clip until you’re ready to work. (Great if you’re styling from wet hair)
We know that last one may be a bit much for Dads on duty for the first time (think four ponytails but twist the hair down into buns, not too tight, let the clips hold them).
It may seem like things you already know, but this is where lots of damage takes place and extra work created by not giving this step the attention it deserves.Remember that shampoo is not your only option in cleansing. As always ask questions when things stop making sense.