The 411 on Hair Washing: How To Wash According To Your Hair Type

Hair Washing 101A person’s hair is considered their crowning glory. It is one of the first things other people notice about you. The entertainment industry often makes such a fuss about how celebrities wear their hair. Often, the most sought out celebrity’s hairstyle will even be copied by their fans!

The condition of our hair defines how we treat ourselves. A person’s diet, for example, is reflected in their hair. People who are fond of eating fried foods and fishes like tuna and salmon tend to have oily scalps. Clearly, the appearance of your hair says so much about what you are like as a person, and this is why it is important to keep hair clean and healthy-looking.

One way to do that is by washing it. Some do so with shampoo and conditioner while others do away with the former. Some don’t wash at all and just leave their tresses’ condition to nature! But no matter what you choose, washing one’s hair is one of the most important (and personal) hair care routines.

But what not everyone knows is there are different ways to wash your hair, depending on your type and texture. Straight hair should be treated differently from curly hair, and vice versa. This is because each hair type has different characteristics that affect its sebum production, appearance, and texture.

This is why it is important to know how one’s hair stands on the spectrum. Having this knowledge enables you to take care of your locks more meticulously and carefully.

But when it comes to the topic of washing, the first question, usually, is…

… just how often should you wash your hair?

Some claim that you shouldn’t shampoo your hair daily because this could lead to breakage, dandruff, or a higher likelihood of catching lice. But, as mentioned above, it all really depends on the condition of your hair and scalp, as well as hair type and texture.

For example, folks with oily scalps and hair will benefit with a daily dose of shampooing. This is because sebum, the natural oil in hair, builds up too fast and must be washed out. Otherwise, it will bog down the hair and cause it to look limp and lifeless.

But, generally, the guidelines for washing remain the same for all hair types:

  • Bathe with cold water instead of hot, because the latter saps out moisture from hair.
  • Refrain from scrubbing the scalp when washing hair. This may irritate your scalp.
  • Choose the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type.
  • Use conditioner correctly: apply the product, detangle strands, and leave it on for five to seven minutes before washing.
  • Comb it correctly post-wash: with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers. Wet hair stretches more easily than dry hair, and stretching will lead to hair breakage.

Though these guidelines apply to almost every hair type, there are still nuances and specifics that must be discussed. Below, we have gathered tips and tricks for washing your hair, as suited to your hair type.

Type One: Straight Hair

For many straight-haired individuals, oil buildup becomes a problem real fast. This is due to the fact that sebum flows more freely downward with straight strands, as compared to curled ones. This is also what gives straight hair its trademark gloss.

But more often than not, oil buildup causes hair to look matted, on top especially, and greasy. To combat this, wash your hair daily or if you prefer, every two days to wash away the excess sebum.

Additionally, choose the products that help add bounce to your hair, since straight hair tends to fall flat and limp. Consider buying volumizing shampoos and conditioners.

With these tips, straight hair care is pretty much a breeze.

Type Two: Wavy/Curly Hair

Wavy/curly hair is characterized by loose s-shaped curls. Unlike straight hair, the curls on the strands cause this type of hair to not reflect as much light, leading it to look dull.

Wavy/curly hair also dries out pretty fast since, as mentioned above, sebum finds it harder to flow naturally on curled tresses. Dryness is especially aggravated if you use hair straightening and/or perming products to enhance the look of your hair.

Since oil does not build up that easily, wavy/curly haired girls can wash every three to four days. Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to combat frizz and dryness.

Keep in mind to use wide-toothed combs to detangle your hair when wet. This is to help preserve the shape of your curls and refrain from inflicting additional damage on already dry and brittle hair.

Type Three: Coiled/Kinky Hair

Coiled/kinky hair is characterized by tight curls resembling coiled telephone lines. Because of the tightness of the curls, hair appears bigger and fuller. This type of hair usually manifests in people of African descent. (Check out our top picks on flat irons for African American hair)

Since hair is thicker, people with coiled/kinky hair do not need to wash as often as the other hair types. This is because sebum buildup is slowed down. A washing once a week (or less!) will suffice because washing every day will cause it to dry out.

Common problems associated with coiled/kinky hair include breakage and dryness. Fight this with shampoos and conditioners that work specifically to detangle hair. Additionally, use products that moisturize the strands to keep them healthy and shiny.

What you need to keep in mind, though, if you have this hair type, is to rinse very thoroughly. Since your hair is big and thick, shampoos and conditioners might leave residue on your scalp that cannot be washed off with a quick shower. Make sure to massage your scalp for optimum removal of product residue.

Video: How to Co-Wash Your Hair

So, there you have it.

Washing your hair should be easier now, as long as you know what type of hair you have. This will also help you be more vigilant about the products you put on your hair.

However, remember that these are only the suggested ways to treat your hair. There will always be exceptions, such as people with coiled hair who have oily scalps. What you can do is make sure that you have all the information you need before making a decision. When in doubt, consult a professional hair stylist.

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