If you’re a steady salon-goer, you know that a salon-quality shampoo is one of the best parts of being in the chair. Not only does a salon shampoo feel incredible after a long color service, but leaves your strands looking softer and feeling healthier than ever. Often, it seems impossible to achieve the same result with an at-home shampoo.
Wondering why you just can’t seem to scrub your scalp clean in the same way? The short answer: You may be doing it all wrong. Shampooing seems like a no brainer, but simple mistakes like choosing the wrong shampoo for your hair type or incorrectly applying a product can completely change the finished look of your hair.
We sat down with Yvonne Daly, Mizani artist and brand ambassador, who dishes on how to bring that salon-quality shampoo into your own shower.
How important is a quality shampoo?
When it comes to shampooing, you can think of your hair the same way you’d think of your face before applying makeup. If it’s not properly prepped, the look you’re trying to achieve may fall flat and fail to last.
“When the proper shampoo is used, the client can benefit from having their hair prepped in the best manner to create longevity of a style,” Daley explains. “Shampooing is the foundation in all of hair care. When done correctly, all other hair color services benefit.”
Learning to shampoo properly could be the key to stepping up your hair game. If you’re feeling a bit stumped, Daly offers some do’s and dont’s of shampooing straight from the salon.
Do: Distribute shampoo evenly throughout the hair.
It may seem natural to focus solely your scalp during a shampoo sesh, since the top of your head can seem to get the most oily. However, Daly says this is one of the biggest mistakes people make when applying shampoo to their strands. It can stop your hair from ever being completely clean.
“If shampoo is placed in just one spot at the top of the head there is usually a lot of product buildup in the hair. Not properly shampooing hair can lead to scalp issues,” Daly explains. “The scalp can be dry and flaky or have an access of oil buildup if it is not washed properly.”
After dampening hair with lukewarm water, Daly recommends using about a half-inch dollop of shampoo for short to medium length locks. For hair that’s a longer length, use a bit more product.
“Mix the shampoo with water in your hands and begin to emulsify before placing at the scalp. Make sure to distribute the shampoo through the entire head. Place shampoo at the top of head near hairline, part hair into a half ponytail and place shampoo at the crown of the head and also at the nape for even distribution.”
Once the shampoo is evenly distributed, work it across your head evenly.
Don’t: Scrub with your fingernails.
Some of us love a good salon shampoo because of how thoroughly the stylist cleanses our mane. After leaving the salon, it’s easy to believe that the answer to the ultimate shampoo is raking our fingernails through our hair with as much pressure as we can. While it may feel as though your stylist is using their fingernails to run the product through your strands, Daly warns that this is one of the biggest misconceptions about shampooing and should be avoided.
“This causes irritation to the scalp and should never be done,” she says.
Instead of using your fingernails, Daly recommends gently working the shampoo into your hair in a circular motion using your fingertips.
Do: Wash hair twice, according to the needs of your hair type.
The “lather, rinse, repeat” technique has been highly debated by salon professionals and regular shampoo users. With just a simple online search, you’ll find dozens of opinions on the matter. However, adding a second round of shampoo, Daly says, is essential to getting the best results. She personally recommends adding this step to your daily routine.
“The first shampoo cleanses the scalp; the second shampoo will make sure all product has been washed from mid-lengths and ends,” she says.
While Daly recommends a second shampoo to remove product build up, the technique used should remain the same. After applying a second shampoo, rinse your strands with cooler water. When the water runs clear and free of bubbles, the product is fully rinsed. Squeeze as you’re rinsing to help clear the shampoo from the hair.
Don’t: Wait too long between washes.
Let’s face it, people are relying on dry shampoo now more than ever to refresh their manes between shampoos. It’s convenient, easy and best of all: requires little effort in maintaining the length of your last wash. However, Daly warns that overusing dry shampoo could become a nightmare for certain hair types.
“If you have oily hair like I do, the only way to make it look clean is to wash your hair regularly. I find many clients that have very straight, fine hair are over using dry shampoo nowadays,” Daly says “Not properly washing the hair can leave product buildup.”
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, loading your hair with dry shampoo between washes may not be for you. We recommend investing in a salon quality shampoo formulated for your specific hair texture.
Do: Choose the right products for your hair type and texture.
Shampoos are definitely not created equal. Since different hair types have varying needs, it’s crucial to choose a shampoo formula that will benefit your strands. If you’re having trouble figuring out what shampoo is best for your hair type and texture, Daly recommends consulting a professional.
“A proper consultation with a licensed cosmetologist can answer any questions about what shampoo to use and how often to wash your hair. Every client’s hair is different and each person should have their own tailor-made plan on how to care for their hair,” she explains.
Now that you’re equipped with all there is to know about achieving a salon quality shampoo, bring these tips into your own shower and try them out for yourself.