On the shower and shampoo side, you have your own certainties. Thousands of hours on the counter spent rubbing your scalp in addition to conscientiously reading the indications on the back of the bottle. However, from the height of his titles and his experience, on the tennis side, Roger Federer always uses a coach to improve his forehand. Why not you for your hair? Did you know, for example, that a long, hot shower is not recommended for your scalp?
We are not here to forbid you to take those long hot showers with their well-known relaxing properties. Nevertheless, it is our responsibility to alert you to their consequences in terms of hair care. This type of practice deserves to be rarefied for the maintenance of healthy and hydrated skin and hair. But that’s not the only thing you can do to change your morning hygiene ritual.
In order to know the best ways to optimize the daily shower, we called on Dr. Yoram Harth, certified dermatologist, medical director of MDhair. Here are 10 things to know about how to shower to ensure stronger, softer hair, a robust scalp and hydrated skin.
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1. Lower the temperature
Reminder of the obvious. No, it is not necessary to take an icy shower, even if it stimulates circulation. But you shouldn’t take a hot shower either. Instead, try to situate yourself in between, to find a happy medium. “Hot water opens the cuticles of your hair and scalp, allowing the active ingredients in your shampoo to cleanse the scalp and absorb the active ingredients in your products,” says Dr. Harth. Most importantly, a lukewarm temperature will not strip the skin and hair of natural, necessary oils and moisture.
2. Limit the duration
Just like temperature control, time management is essential. You can take the most conscious lukewarm shower, but if you linger in it for 20 minutes, you risk drying out. Ideally, you should shower for five minutes, and no longer than 15 minutes.
3. Choose the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type
What works on fine, dry, curly hair may not work, if at all, on thick, voluminous, oily hair. You should therefore ensure that each shampoo and conditioner you choose delivers on its promise of addressing the particular needs of your hair nature. Look for products suited to your hair type and goals. Brands like MDhair offer targeted products for hair regrowth, while others like Prose have a much wider range, from curls to dry locks to oily scalps. (Also consider whether you keep your hair short or let it grow).
“It is also essential that this shampoo is free of sulfites, parabens or alcohols. These harsh ingredients can dry out the hair and scalp, slow hair regrowth, and make it more dry and brittle. Synthetic fragrances and dyes in shampoos can cause allergic scalp reaction, increased inflammation and slow hair regrowth. Using fragrance-free and dye-free hair regrowth shampoos can help reduce scalp inflammation and create a better environment for hair follicles.”
4. If you live in an area with hard water, get a filter
“Hard water contains high amounts of calcium and other minerals that can build up on your hair, making it feel extra greasy even after washing,” says Dr. Harth. “A water filter for your shower head will remove minerals and help provide more effective washing and shinier hair.”
5. Throw in the towel
Two reasons to get rid of your synthetic sponge: it’s an ecological disaster in addition to being a collection of bacteria.
The first option is to change to natural sponge (easier to clean – you can even put it in the dishwasher – not to mention that it decomposes more slowly and can last a few months). The other option is to use a moisturizing soap bar, or simply use your chest hair to lather up your shower gel. It’s up to you to choose what suits you.
6. Shampoo and Condition First
Many of us rinse out conditioner moments after applying it, probably because that’s what we do with shampoo. But not so fast, leave the conditioner on your hair for at least a few minutes, so it can nourish and soften the strands (and the scalp too!). Start your shower ritual with hair care, so you can take care of cleaning the body while the conditioner does its job.
7. Wash your face last
Don’t think too much about it, just wash your face last, after rinsing out the conditioner. This ensures that no clogging ingredients have taken up residence in the pores of your face after rinsing your hair.
8. Remember: hair care is scalp care
“The optimal shampoo should do more than just clean the hair,” Dr. Harth explains. “Thick hair needs a healthy scalp. A shampoo that can help balance microflora, reduce inflammation and stimulate the hair follicle will result in thicker, better-looking hair.” Think of your scalp as the ground from which hair grows. You need the soil to be fortified and nourished so that it can nourish the plants, just as you need to nourish your scalp for the germs in your hair.”
“When it’s shampoo day [which isn’t every day], focus on washing the scalp rather than the full length of the hair,” Dr. Harth continues. “When you wash your roots, the hair shaft and ends will also be cleansed as the soap is rinsed out, so there’s no need to focus on anything other than the scalp.” Sure, you might need to rinse out shampoo, sweat, and dirt, but wherever you wash, be sure to flush out shampoo with conditioner.
9. Moisturize your face and body while the skin is damp
The purpose of moisturizing serums and lotions is to draw moisture into the skin and lock it there. Then some ultra-hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, need moisture to work the skin-plumping magic. It is therefore best to apply your moisturizers soon after showering, while the skin is still damp. Products will make better use of said moisture to keep the skin soft and firm. (Yes, it can make applying the lotion a bit awkward, but that’s the way it is).
And start with your face: By applying your face products first (before body lotion, and certainly before hair products), you’re less likely to accidentally transfer comedogenic ingredients from styling products and body creams. the body in the pores of your face.
10. Be gentle with your wet hair
It’s not for nothing that wet hair looks longer: the water weighs it down, while being absorbed by each strand. “This absorption causes the fibers and bonds that make up the hair’s cortex (outer covering) to break down, which straightens and elongates the hair,” says Dr. Harth. “These broken bonds weaken hair strands and make them more sensitive.” This is why it is important to never brush wet hair. “Use a wide-toothed comb instead to gently detangle them. Never scrub your wet hair aggressively either. This leads to frizz, tangles and damages your hair. Instead, use a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt and dab to absorb excess moisture.”
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