Shampooing your tresses is often a rushed hair care ritual, yet it's the most essential step toward healthier strands. Proper cleansing will invigorate and balance the scalp without stripping it, allowing hair to grow in thick and rich.

Pick Your Product

Select a shampoo based on your texture needs. Smoothing shampoos often silken strands with silicone, while volumizing shampoos deposit a fine layer of protein to support roots with more thickness. Clarifying shampoo can be used for a weekly deep-cleansing that removes buildup.

A safe bet for all hair types is a product formulated for color-treated hair, as it has gentler detergents and a higher concentration of conditioning agents, says Eva Scrivo, owner of New York's Eva Scrivo salon.

Know Your Coin

The biggest shampoo mistake is to slop a large amount of product onto the top of the head, which makes for an uneven cleansing and a difficult rinse. You also likely need a lot less product than what you're accustomed to using.

A nickel-size amount suits short hair, while a quarter-size is perfect for mid-lengths. Longer hair requires a larger half-dollar size, advises Eva Scrivo.

Shampoo Twice

Regardless of whether you have dry or oily hair, you need to shampoo twice in the shower for the best results.

"The first shampoo only moves the oils from your scalp and doesn't necessarily lather, the second removes the oil and will lather," says celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons.

Apply a bit of shampoo to the back of your head, a touch on the sides, and the last amount to the top of the head before gently massaging into scalp-stimulating suds. Dry hair types should also wash twice, but space shampoos to once or twice a week to better balance scalp chemistry.


Finish With Conditioner

After rinsing, comb conditioner from the middle of the hair shaft through the ends for even distribution. Wait at least a couple of minutes before rinsing, and then use a plush hydrocotton towel to pat hair damp.

Detangle strands by slowly moving the wide-tooth comb in short, downward movements so as not to tug at hair. Your hair is most delicate when wet, so be sure to touch with extra-gentle hands until your locks are completely dry.

Grace Gold has covered beauty for People, People StyleWatch, Harper's BAZAAR and AOL's She is the author of The Boob Job Bible: 10 Steps to a Sexy, Safe Breast Augmentation.  

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