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Hair Care Routines

Preventing damage

Hair is 'dead', and we cannot permanently repair any damage that happens to it. You only get one chance with your hair!

This is why it is so important to treat your hair properly, so as to prevent damage. One essential part of this is to adopt a good hair care routine, along the lines described below. Another is to keep chemical treatments like perming and bleaching to a minimum, as they can weaken the hair. Weak hair is easily damaged.

Choosing your hair care products

If you are to get the best possible results from your hair care routine, you need to choose the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. How are you to decide which is your hair type?

Normal hair

Your hair is normal if:

  • it is neither greasy nor dry
  • it has not been permed or color-treated
  • it holds its style well
  • it looks good and healthy most of the time.

If your hair matches any of these criteria, you should choose a shampoo and conditioner that are designed for normal hair.

Fine/greasy hair

Your hair is fine or greasy (or perhaps both) if:

  • It tends to be limp
  • it looks flat and lacks volume
  • it is difficult to manage because it does not hold a style
  • it soon gets greasy again after shampooing.

If you have hair of this kind, you will almost certainly have had problems with it. You will know all about the way in which greasy hair clings to itself and to your scalp, how the excess oil weighs the hair down and spoils your style, and how dust sticks to the grease so that your hair seems to be dirty only a day or two after it has been washed. You know that your hair's condition is due simply to your sebaceous glands being particularly active. But you can help it to improve.

Remember, sebum produced by your scalp does not spread itself over your hair by magic, or out of spite! It is spread by direct contact of the hair with your scalp. And something as simple as passing your fingers through your hair speeds up the transfer of the grease. So, after you have styled your hair, avoid fingering it or running your fingers through it. You can thus slow down the rate at which sebum collects on your hair, and it will not get greasy again quite so soon.

You should also wash your hair with a good cleansing shampoo specially designed for greasy hair, and use a special conditioner for greasy hair. This will improve the feel of hair that is greasy at the roots and dry at the tips, as well as protecting the hair from damage.

Dry hair

Your hair is dry if:

  • it looks dull
  • it feels dry or rough
  • it tangles easily
  • it is difficult to comb or brush
  • it has been treated chemically (permed, bleached or colored)
  • it is liable to split ends
  • it is dry and frizzy.

If your hair matches any of these criteria, you should choose a shampoo and conditioner that are designed for dry hair. All these are just guidelines to help you choose the shampoo that is right for you.

Some people like to wash their hair every day or even more often, and choose a 'frequent use' shampoo. Most of today's shampoos are suitable for using as often as you could wish. This means that frequent users can choose products of the right type for their hair, and know that they can shampoo as often as they like.

People with hair and scalp problems like dandruff should choose shampoos that are specifically designed to treat their particular condition.

Regular hair care

Washing your hair

Everyone needs to wash their hair! But perhaps because everyone does it so regularly and so often, it is easy to forget how much damage you can do to your hair just in the simple shampooing and drying that has to be done over and over again. Here are some step-by-step guidelines for preventing unnecessary damage to your hair and keeping it healthy and shining.

1. Let your hair hang naturally while you wash it, either standing in the shower or with your head leaning over the bath.
2. Rinse your hair throughly with warm water to prepare it for shampooing.
3. Pour some shampoo into the palm of your hand. You will have to judge how much shampoo to use - you need enough to create a lather which will cover all of your hair.
4. Lather up the shampoo in your hand, and then apply it to your hair. Starting from the scalp, work the shampoo into your hair by gentle but thorough massage with your fingertips. Remember to keep your hair hanging naturally.

How not to...

How not to wash your hair: piling it up ... on top of your head ...

How not to wash your hair: piling it up ... on top of your head ...

... and over-vigorous rubbing ...

... and over-vigorous rubbing ...

... leads to a mass of tangles!

... leads to a mass of tangles!

About the right amount of shampoo for long or medium-length hair

About the right amount of shampoo for long or medium-length hair

5. Rinse, letting the water run through your hair whilst you caress it downwards with your fingers. Be careful not to rub your wet hair too fiercely, as it is at this stage that hair is very easily damaged by friction.

Always rinse your hair under running water ...

Always rinse your hair under running water ...

... and keep on rinsing until it is absolutely clean

... and keep on rinsing until it is absolutely clean

Conditioning your hair

1. Make sure that you have rinsed all the shampoo from your hair.
2. Pour some conditioner into the palm of your hand.
3. Apply the conditioner to your hair and work it in gently but thoroughly with your fingertips - it must be spread evenly over your hair. Leave it to work for a minute or two.
4. Rinse off the conditioner, again allowing the water to run through your hair whilst you caress it gently downwards. Again, be careful not to rub your wet hair.

Drying your hair

1. Using a clean, dry towel, carefully pat your hair dry.
2. While your hair is still damp, gently loosen out any tangles using a brush or a wide-toothed comb. Comb in downward strokes, starting near the tips and working your way upward towards the roots. This will help to keep the hair from splitting and breaking.
3. Apply a styling product such as a mousse or gel if you like, but don't use too much.
4. If possible, allow your hair to dry naturally. Sometimes it may be impossible for you to find time to allow your hair to dry naturally, and you have to use a hair dryer. If so, here are some tips about using a dryer:

  • Only use the dryer on damp, towel-dried hair. Don't blow-dry hair when it is dripping wet!
  • Use the dryer cautiously, on the lowest speed and the lowest heat setting.
  • Keep the dryer moving constantly over your whole head. Don't concentrate the heat in one spot, as this can dry out the moisture from your hair and even damage it permanently.
  • Always switch off the dryer before your hair is completely dry.

Drying hair correctly: again, don't pile it up, and don't rub it!

Drying hair correctly: again, don't pile it up, and don't rub it!

Gentle use of a wide-toothed comb prevents  tangling and damage

Gentle use of a wide-toothed comb prevents tangling and damage

More gentle combing: correctly washed and conditioned hair does not tangle

More gentle combing: correctly washed and conditioned hair does not tangle

Almost done

Almost done

[Image Routine 11]

What we all aim for: smooth, healthy-looking hair that shines radiantly

We hope you have enjoyed reading this book and that it has proved useful in helping you to understand hair science and hair care products.

To those of you who are or intend to be stylists and technicians, on behalf of Procter & Gamble Haircare Research Center we wish you success in your chosen career. And to all of you, we wish good luck with your hair!

 

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