How to Wash Hair Properly: Our Dos & Don'ts and Top Tips

A good hair washing routine is essential to keep your hair healthy and looking its best. Not only does it remove dirt and oil, but it also helps to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, promoting hair growth

Washing your hair incorrectly can cause damage, leaving it dry, brittle, or prone to breakage, and using the wrong shampoo can leave unhealthy build-up on your scalp. In this article, the Color Wow team will go through the necessary steps to properly wash your hair, ensuring that it remains healthy and vibrant.

Understanding the Importance of Hair Washing

Before we dive into the process of washing your hair, it is crucial to understand the importance of developing a proper hair washing routine. Your hair is a reflection of your overall health, and a clean and healthy scalp is essential for maintaining beautiful, supple, glossy locks.

Hair washing is not just about keeping your hair clean, but it also has several other benefits that you may not be aware of. Regular hair washing helps to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from your scalp, ensuring that it remains clean and healthy. It also helps to promote hair growth, reduce dandruff, and prevent scalp infections.

When you wash your hair, you are not just washing away the dirt and grime, but you are also stimulating blood flow to your scalp. This increased blood flow helps to nourish your hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

While washing your hair regularly is essential, overwashing or underwashing can have adverse effects on your hair and scalp.

Overwashing your hair can strip it of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. When you wash your hair too frequently, you are not giving your scalp enough time to produce the natural oils that keep your hair healthy and moisturised. This can lead to dryness, breakage, and split ends.

On the other hand, underwashing can lead to a buildup of dirt, oil, and product, making it appear greasy and unkempt. When you don't wash your hair often enough, the build-up of dirt and oil can clog your hair follicles, leading to scalp infections and hair loss.

clogged pore vs healthy pore


So, how often should you wash your hair? While everyone's hair is different, most people should aim to wash their hair every two to three days. However, if you have particularly oily hair or scalp, you may need to wash your hair more frequently. If your hair is dry and dehydrated or curly/coily, you might just wash your hair once a week. 

By developing a proper hair washing routine and finding the right balance, you can ensure that your hair remains healthy, shiny, and beautiful.

Choosing the Right Shampoo and Conditioner

color wow shampoo and conditioner bottles


Choosing a good quality shampoo and conditioner is crucial to ensure that your hair remains healthy and vibrant.

Of all the hair products you use, nothing matters more than your choice of shampoo for two reasons: 1) it is the product you use most frequently and 2) it is the ONLY product (other than a scalp treatment) that you massage directly onto your scalp.  

With so many shampoo and conditioning options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right ones for your hair type and needs. However, by understanding your hair type and knowing what ingredients to look for and to avoid, you can easily find the perfect shampoo and conditioner for your hair.

1. Identify Your Hair Type

different hair types

Does “hair type” really matter when choosing a shampoo? Some shampoos are marketed under the overarching idea that different hair types require different types of shampoos and conditioners. At Color Wow, we believe that identifying your hair type is the first step in determining what type of CONDITIONING  products to use.

But we have a very different philosophy about shampoos. 

Many shampoo manufacturers today advocate that if you have dry hair, look for products that contain moisturising ingredients like argan oil or honey.  

And for oily hair, choose products that are formulated to control excess oil production. Or, if you have fine hair, look for products that thicken it.

At Color Wow, we believe that these “multi-tasking” shampoos which have added ingredients like conditioners, moisturisers, thickening ingredients and defrizzing agents to target the needs of different hair types, can actually pose a threat to your hair’s health. 

Why do we believe that  popular multi-tasking shampoos, targeted to different hair types and formulated to do more than just cleanse, can be extremely detrimental to the health of your hair and scalp?

Here is our unique Color Wow stance on shampoo usage: We believe that the singular, critical  job of a shampoo is to leave your hair and scalp clean and fresh.  

color wow color security shampoo

If a shampoo promises to do anything more than cleanse  - like condition, defrizz, moisturise, thicken  - that shampoo formula has to contain ingredients (silicones, conditioners, thickening agents, etc.) that are engineered to stay behind.

Those “stay-behind”  ingredients are designed to cling to hair strands to enhance the texture. But, because shampoo is a product that you massage all over your head, they also stick to your scalp where they can build up, block follicles, cause inflammation and even hair loss!  

We cannot overstate the importance of using a shampoo that promises nothing more than clean hair! If there is one result you want to achieve from your shampoo, it is that your hair is left fresh, healthy and free of any residues or build up. 

Sulphate and residue-free, our Color Security Shampoo contains no silicones, thickening, conditioning or anti-frizz ingredients that can typically stay behind and weigh hair down. 

2. Understand Which Ingredients to Look for and Avoid

ingredients iconIf you have any scalp conditions, such as dandruff or psoriasis, of course you should look for shampoos that are specifically formulated to treat these conditions. And follow the advice of professionals.

If you often braid your hair, have weaves done, add extensions, or experience frequent shedding, you may want to use a specialty shampoo with ingredients that are designed to help strengthen hair at the roots and anchor strands at the follicle. 

When selecting a shampoo, it is essential to read the label carefully and determine what ingredients are present. Avoid products that contain sulphates, parabens, and alcohol, as they can dry out your scalp and hair. These ingredients can also strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.


Instead, choose products that contain advanced, sulphate-free cleansing agents like the Japanese amino acids in Color Wow’s Color Security Shampoo.  These are safe, gentle surfactants that deliver rich lather and deep, thorough cleansing. 

3. Avoid Natural and Organic Options

Popular notions of what is “safer shampooing” might entice you to use natural or organic products, with ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil, or lavender oil. 

At Color Wow, our expert chemists actually ban these specific natural ingredients (along with 80 other ingredients commonly found in hair care products) from our formulas because they can irritate your scalp and/or adversely affect your hair colour, turning it dark or brassy.

The truth is, “natural” and “organic” do not automatically mean “safer” or “more effective.” 

If you’re a DIY-er, perhaps you make your own natural shampoo and conditioner at home using ingredients like apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and coconut oil. Now, you might believe that  DIY products are both gentle on your hair, and also affordable and eco-friendly, but this is also a myth!  

Unfortunately, home-made shampoos may be harsh, acidic and dehydrating and deposit materials on your hair and scalp that may be detrimental. If you really want to safeguard your hair and follow healthy hygiene practices, then purchasing a high-quality, sulphate-free professional shampoo is one of the best investments you can make. 

bottle of white hair product liquid with flowers surrounding


Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is essential for maintaining healthy and vibrant hair. By knowing what ingredients to look for and avoid, and understanding the true pros and cons about natural and organic options, you can easily find the perfect products for your hair. 

For even more tips on how to pick the right shampoo, check out our guide. 

Pre-Hair Wash Routine

Preparing your hair for washing is just as important as washing it. Follow these steps for best results.

pre hair wash routine products and stylers

1. Detangling Your Hair

Before washing your hair, make sure to detangle it properly. Use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to remove any knots or tangles. If your hair is extremely curly, coily or frizzy, a pre-shampoo detangler like CURL WOW Snag-Free that gives your hair slip to prevent damage is essential before shampooing.

curl wow snag free

It is important to be gentle while detangling your hair to avoid breakage. Start at the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots. If you encounter a particularly stubborn knot, use your fingers to gently separate the strands before using a comb or brush.

2. Using a Pre-Shampoo Treatment

If your hair is dull and the colour looks dingy, brassy or greenish-tinted, it may be due to minerals in your household water source. Consider using a pre-shampoo treatment like a mineral removing spray to lift away metals and minerals. Apply the treatment to your hair before washing it to achieve fresher, brighter colour and softer, silkier texture.

color wow dream filter

3. Wetting Your Hair Properly

Before applying shampoo, make sure to wet your hair thoroughly. Use warm water to help open up your hair cuticles and allow the shampoo to penetrate deeply.

shower head with running water

It is important to avoid using hot water as it can strip your hair of its natural oils and leave it feeling dry and brittle. Lukewarm water is the best option for wetting your hair.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your hair is properly prepared for washing. This will help to keep your hair looking super healthy and glossy. 

The Hair Washing Process

color wow color security shampoo trickling into a glass

Now that you have prepared your hair for washing, it is time to move on to the actual washing process. Remember what we said about different types of shampoos for different types of hair?! That’s a myth! 

You simply need to use a shampoo that’s sulphate-free and that leaves no residues behind in your hair no matter what hair type you have. 

So if you have oily hair, don’t look for a clarifying shampoo that will remove excess oil and build-up...this will actually be too harsh for your hair.  And, if you have dry hair,  don’t use a moisturising shampoo to help to hydrate your hair and prevent breakage. 

A moisturising shampoo will leave behind ingredients that make your hair feel un-clean...even greasy! And could leave build-up on your scalp that blocks follicles, causes shedding and impedes healthy hair growth.

1. Applying Shampoo Correctly

apply shampoo correctly iconWhen applying shampoo, it is important to use the right amount. Too much shampoo can strip your hair of its natural oils, while too little may not effectively clean your hair. A quarter-sized amount of shampoo is usually enough for most hair types. Massage the shampoo gently into your scalp using your fingertips. This will not only help to clean your hair, but also stimulate blood flow to your scalp, promoting healthy hair growth.

2. Massaging Your Scalp
massage scalp icon

As you shampoo your hair, take the time to massage your scalp gently. This will help to increase blood flow to your scalp, promoting hair growth and a healthy scalp. In addition, it can be a relaxing and invigorating experience, helping to reduce stress and tension.

The Lather Test 

At Color Wow, we recommend using only sulfate-free cleansers which are less harsh than typical “detergent” based shampoos.

“Sulfates, including sodium lauryl sulfate, are synthetic detergents, originally developed for the laundry industry,” says Dr. Joe Cincotta, our resident hair expert here at Color Wow. 

“Eighty percent of color fade happens because of wash-out from sulfate-based shampoos that contain ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.”

When you are shampooing with Color Wow Color Security Shampoo, you may need to apply shampoo, massage and rinse two or three times before it lathers. You will notice fuller, richer, thicker lather with each subsequent shampoo, as more and more buildup and grime is removed from your hair and scalp. You know your hair and scalp are clean when the shampoo generates a rich lather.

3. Rinsing Thoroughly
rinse hair thoroughly icon

After shampooing, make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo. If you have long hair, make sure to lift your hair and rinse underneath to ensure all shampoo is removed.
 

4. Using Conditioner Effectively
woman with shiny hair icon

Conditioning is an important step in the hair washing process, as it helps to hydrate and nourish your hair. After shampooing and rinsing, when hair and scalp have been thoroughly cleaned and are residue-free, it's time to condition.Conditioner should only be applied from the mid-length to ends of your hair. DO NOT MASSAGE INTO SCALP.

Ingredients in conditioners do not easily rinse off. They are designed to stay behind so you do not want to create build-up on your scalp. Leave the conditioner in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it out with warm water.

For an extra boost of hydration, try using a deep conditioning treatment, like Color Wow Money Masque, once a week. Apply the treatment to your hair keeping it away from the scalp.

Following these steps will help ensure that you are washing your hair properly, promoting healthy hair growth and a vibrant appearance. 

color wow shampoo and conditioner products

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Remember, the right products and washing technique can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your hair looking its best, so check out Color Wow Shampoo and Conditioner products to help your locks look luscious all day long.

Take a look at our other articles with practical tips and advice on all things healthy hair:

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