Healthy Hair: Shampoo and Conditioner

Elizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine

You know not to lather, rinse, repeat. You know not to shampoo every day. But unless you're a professional hairstylist, you're probably still washing your hair the wrong way.

1. Look at how much shampoo you're using.
Now cut that in half. You should use a quarter-size amount. "Shampoo removes all of the dirt and oil from your hair, then it starts stripping away essential oils and lipids that prevent dryness and breakage," says Hawkins. Shampoos labeled moisturizing, curl-enhancing, or color-protecting are relatively kind.

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2. Do not vigorously massage your shampoo.
That roughs up the cuticle, causing frizz, flyaways, and miniscule tangles. Rub your shampoo between your hands, gently massage the roots with your fingertips, and smooth what's left on your palms over the length.

3. Rinse (duh), but don't condition just yet. Give your hair a few gentle squeezes first, since "excess water dilutes your conditioner and prevents hair from soaking up moisturizing ingredients," says Hawkins.

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4. Now condition. Use a moisturizing or color-protecting formula (ones with argan, avocado, or grape-seed oil are especially hydrating). "Apply it generously in long, fluid motions," says Hawkins. Wait two minutes before rinsing. It takes that long for conditioner to adhere to the hair.

5. Water, and the chlorine and minerals in it, fade color. And hot water fades color faster. Get a filter for your showerhead or turn the temperature down when rinsing your hair, and your color will look fresh longer.

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