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How to shampoo your hair the right way

Shampooing and conditioning your hair is not a big deal but it has to be done in the right way in order to make sure that the hair is washed properly without strain.

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Lovely, shiny and healthy hair will never go out of fashion. Styling comes later but basic hair care like washing and conditioning your hair are the first steps to hair care. Washing your hair does not take more than 15 minutes but these 15 minutes, if utilised properly, in every two or three days can make a world of difference in the health of your hair. Shampooing and conditioning your hair is not a big deal but it has to be done in the right way in order to make sure that the hair is washed properly without strain.

Dr. Saumya Shetty Hegde, Dermatologist at Roots skin clinic Chembur lists out Dos and Don’ts of shampooing


  • Comb your hair gently before shampooing
  • Use lukewarm water for washing your hair
  • Wet hair before using the shampoo.
  • The amount of shampoo you use will depend on the length of your hair. Take a one-rupee coin size shampoo on your palm.
  • Mix the shampoo with a little water and apply to your hair
  • Start with the base of the scalp and work the top and then towards the tips of the hair
  • Massage gently with your fingers
  • If the instructions on the shampoo bottle say that, you have to leave it in the hair for few minutes then do so. For example, some dandruff shampoos recommend leaving them on hair for three minutes.
  • Wash gently with lukewarm water
  • Apply conditioner to the tips of the hair only
  • Leave the conditioner for some time
  • Wash with water
  • Dry hair by patting them gently with an absorbent towel
  • Wait for hair to dry a bit before combing damp hair
  • Start coming from the tips of the hair and detangle as you go up it will reduce breakage


  • Don’t shampoo tangled hair
  • Don’t use hot water to wash your hair
  • Don’t leave the shampoo for long on the tips of the hair as the tips old hair and they tend to dehydrate quickly
  • Do not scratch the scalp or rub it too vigorously
  • Do not dry hair by rubbing it
  • Don’t comb in too wet hair
  • Don’t apply shampoo twice unless you have oiled your hair. Too much shampoo will dry out the scalp.

Choosing the right Shampoo for the hair

There are many kinds and types of shampoos in the market and therefore it is important that you select the right shampoo for your hair. Here is a basic guide to select the right kind of shampoo for your hair.

Step 1: Identify the hair type
Hair can have different textures such as thin, thick, curly, and wavy. Also there are three types of hair: thick, medium and fine. The first step is to identify the type of hair you have. You can do it yourself by examining your hair in the mirror. Or better still you can consult with your hair stylist and he or she will be able to tell you the kind of hair you have.

Step 2: How is the scalp
The type of scalp you have goes a long way in determining the type of your hair. Scalp can be oily, normal or too dry. If you feel that you hair needs shampooing every other day then you have an oily scalp, and if you can go without shampooing for about a week then you have a dry scalp.

Step 3: Finding the right Shampoo
When going out in the search of the right shampoo always remember that shampoo is for the scalp and the conditioner is for the hair and choose accordingly.

For oily Scalp:

  • If you have any oily scalp then look for shampoos that
  • Have labels mentioned the words volumizing, strengthening, or oil balance. These shampoos remove the excess oil
  • Do not buy shampoos that have hydrating moisturising or smoothing written on them.
  • Clarifying shampoo is also a good choice

For Dry Scalp

  • Don’t buy strengthening or volumizing shampoo.
  • Choose moisturising, smoothening , hydrating shampoo
  • Look for ingredients such as menthol and tea tree as they help in removing the flakes

For fine and flat hair

  • Chose a daily volumizing shampoo that removes the excess residue and leaves the hair squeaky clean.

For thick Frizzy hair

  • A moisturising or smoothening shampoo will be the ideal choice.

For curly and dry hair

  • Curly hair is more prone to breakage and dryness therefore a moisturizing shampoo should be your choice to detangle the hair and reduce breakage.

Normal hair/ combination hair

  • Choose a balancing shampoo for normal hair, a one that does not dry the hair or moisturizes too much.

Coloured Hair

  • There are special shampoos for coloured hair that protect the colour on the hair by forming a thin layer on the top of it so that the colour remains shining and bright for a long time.

When shopping for shampoo, buy a shampoo with fewer ingredients. The lesser the ingredients the better the shampoo is for your hair. Sulphates are important ingredients for over the counter shampoos as they give the foam and help clean the hair but look for shampoos that have sulphate content.

Some tips:

  • If you have an oily scalp then spend some time working the shampoo into your scalp. This will help in breaking up the oil and give better cleaning.
  • Do not conditioner your scalp.
  • Even if you have a dry scalp shampoo every 2-3 days to improve the health of the scalp.
  • Be generous with the amount of shampoo you use especially if you have thick hair because thick hair trap in dirt and oils and shampoo might not reach the scalp.

Is conditioner essential?

Absolutely yes! Conditioner is essential no matter what your hair type is. Remember that conditioner is for the mid shaft to the tips of the hair and not for the scalp; therefore selecting the conditioner is not the same as selecting the shampoo. You can have oily scalp but dry ends or a dry scalp with curly ends. Keep the following things in mind:

Apply conditioner after every shampoo

  • Don’t use leave in conditioner for oily hair
  • If you are using regular conditioner make sure that you wash it completely and do not leave any residue in the hair.
  • You can mix and match shampoos and conditioners

Dry Shampoo

Dry Shampoos are perfect for oily and limp hair. Dry shampoos is great and can be used to get rid of oil on the scalp and/ or add volume to the hair.

How to use Dry Shampoo

  • Comb your hair and cover your shoulders with towel to protect the clothes.
  • Shake the dry shampoo bottle well
  • Spray on the hair on sections by keeping the bottle 20cms away from the scalp
  • Let it work for 2-3 minutes
  • Massage your scalp
  • Brush thoroughly

Just a word of caution do not use dry shampoo every day, as it will make your hair brittle.

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