It is shocking how often a hairstylist has said that when a client washes their hair before their appointment, their hair is still dirty. Washing your hair seems like a straightforward task. Yet, many unknowingly do it wrong. Despite showing up with freshly washed hair, stylists often find that their clients haven’t quite nailed the art of proper hair cleansing. 

“A lot of the time, it’s a matter of the client needing to use the right product. Sometimes, it’s an issue about proper technique,” explained hairstylist Sara Baskerville.

Baskerville is the owner of TaylorMade Beauty Initiatives located in Murfreesboro, TN. She’s been doing hair for over a decade

“I provide washes for all my services, but I understand sometimes, clients have had to book with a stylist who doesn’t. So, they’ve gotten accustomed to washing their own hair. Other times, they think they’re saving time at the salon. But if you don’t wash your hair correctly, I then have to rewash your hair, which adds time to your appointment,” she said.

Why People Aren’t Washing Their Hair Correctly

One of the main reasons people wash their hair incorrectly, is because they don’t understand their hair type. Many individuals adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, using the same shampoo and technique regardless of whether their hair is dry, oily, curly, etc. 

“I learned that some clients aren’t using a clarifying shampoo. Please, please, please don’t be afraid to use one. When you only use a moisturizing shampoo, it’s like washing your hair with lotion. And, as Black people, we tend to use a lot of products. The only way to remove the buildup from those products is with a clarifying shampoo,” said Baskerville. “Yes, a clarifying shampoo can strip your hair if used too much or if you don’t add a moisturizing shampoo, but you want your hair to feel like your finger is rubbing against plastic; the sound.”

Baskerville also noted that some people rush through the hair-washing routine, which still leaves their hair dirty.

How to Wash Your Hair Properly

Baskerville says the way in which you use the correct products is also key.

“Clarify twice and then go in with a moisturizing shampoo. Sometimes you will have to clarify three times, but twice should be enough,” the salon owner said. “And no, washing your hair isn’t a complicated process, but you need to make sure when scrubbing your scalp, you’re doing it long enough to get up the gunk and debris in your hair.”

She realizes that most people only focus on their scalp, but she advised focusing on your entire head. And add a scalp massager or shower brush to help break up the dirt in your hair. But, she warns people to be gentle with themselves.

“Sometimes washing with hands can cause microabrasion if they’re washing too roughly,” she stated.

Before moving on to your conditioner, the hairstylist stresses rinsing out your hair thoroughly with cool water because a lot of product buildup comes from not rinsing your hair completely. Next, don’t be afraid to leave your conditioner in your hair. 

“Allow your conditioner to sit in at least 15 minutes under a heated dryer, but if you don’t have one, let it sit for an hour, especially for a curlier texture,” Baskerville said.