Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Why?
Gossip Curls Blog

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Why?

Did you know that shampooing your hair twice is one of the best things you can do to keep your curls healthy? Yeah, seems kind of obvious when you actually think about it right? Bottom line: There is actual science behind such a simple concept and of course, everyone has a different opinion, which leads to piles of misinformation, so we feel the need to teach people how to shampoo their hair properly.

Incorrect shampooing can contribute to many hair and scalp challenges and since hair can already attract dust, pollution, smoke and other environmental elements; shampooing properly is very important to ensure healthy hair and scalp.

 We recommend two shampoos back-to-back. The purpose of the first wash is to break up and remove the gunk (old product, dead skin, dust, dirt, and build-up) that’s sitting on your hair and scalp. Start with getting as much shampoo right down to the scalp.  Using the pads of your fingers, start gently massaging the shampoo into all parts of the scalp in an up and down motion.   Feel free to pull out your Flexy Brush or scalp massager and exfoliate those dead skin cells. If it’s a shampoo with no sulfates and has good ingredients in it, you may find it doesn’t lather too much, that’s fine. You will also have to take into consideration how thick and or dense your hair is, it might take a bit more shampoo on the first wash to reach the scalp, that’s okay too. Leave the shampoo in for 1-2 minutes and don’t worry about working the shampoo to your ends- that will happen as you rinse. Rinse it all out.

For the second wash, only use half the amount of shampoo and you will see more of a lather. Why? Because you’ve gotten all the product residue, and environmental pollutants out of your hair and now clean hair is exposed allowing the shampoo to perform. This wash nourishes your hair, deposits all those good ingredients and strengthens it now that it’s clean. If your hair is thicker, a bit more water might be required.  Again, start at the scalp and gently distribute and massage with your fingers until scalp feels clean.  Start to move the lather gently down into the ends and leave on for another 1-2 minutes.  

 Start your final rinse.  If you haven’t spent a lot of time massaging your ends, that’s ok.  The water will naturally work with the shampoo on its way down the length of your hair to cleanse.  Gently guide and squeeze the water through the scalp and hair until water runs clear and you can’t feel anymore lather.

Do not underestimate the final rinse! It is crucial. If you have any shampoo residue or lather left in your hair, your scalp will absolutely flake once it dries. You may notice (especially in the winter months) your scalp will feel drier as well so be sure to do a very thorough rinse.

 So quick recap:

  • First wash- focus on scalp, remove product build-up, dirt and excess oils
  • Don’t panic if there isn’t much lather
  • Leave it on for 1-2 minutes
  • Rinse
  • Second wash- half of the shampoo amount, 
  • Focus on the scalp and apply in a back and forth or up and down motion
  • Add more water for richer lather if your hair is thick or dense
  • Leave on for 1-2 minutes

It’s important to note that if you tend to wash daily you don’t need to do 2 washes.  Over-shampooing will strip your hair of natural oils and dry out your scalp. Most Curly Hair can go 2-7 days without washing.  Try experimenting with how long you can go without a wash.  It will take some time for your scalp to adjust to its natural scalp oil production but it will be worth it.  

A great shampoo will not only cleanse your hair and scalp, it is an essential first step for the healthiest hair possible!