Shampoo and Conditioner: Everything You Need To Know [The Ultimate Guide]

Shampoo and Conditioner Ultimate Guide - Everything you need to know

Lather, rinse, repeat— for most of us, washing our hair with shampoo and conditioner is something we do on autopilot without much thought. But it turns out, an intentional hair-cleansing ritual is essential for your hair’s health, wellness and beauty.

You don’t need to buy fancy gadgets or spend hours in the shower to upgrade your hair-care routine. It’s all about mindfully selecting the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair, and then tailoring your hair-washing routine to YOUR unique needs. Read on to discover how to properly wash and condition your hair (while actually enjoying the process!).

What Does Shampoo and Conditioner Do For Your Hair?

Shiny, healthy hair starts in the shower! Shampoo and conditioner have very different benefits for your hair, so it’s best to always use these products together.

Shampoo cleanses and purifies your hair by removing oil, product build-up, and dust and dirt from the environment. This is why your hair often feels lighter and has more volume after shampooing.

Conditioner nourishes, smooths and polishes your hair’s cuticle. The result is softer, sleeker hair that’s easier to comb and style. Conditioner is SO important for re-hydrating your hair and balancing out the potentially drying effects of shampoo. For this reason, it’s recommended to apply conditioner after EVERY time you wash your hair.

What is the Correct Way to Wash Your Hair?

On a busy morning, it’s tempting to just slap a palmful of shampoo on your hair, scrub away for a few seconds, and call it good. But taking a few extra moments to correctly wash and condition your strands will pay off with softer, healthier and more manageable hair.

Properly washing your hair helps ensure you look and feel your best every day. With the right tools and tricks, it can become a beautiful self-care ritual instead of yet another chore. Follow these steps to correctly wash your hair:

Step #1: Prepare. Make sure to use a high-quality, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Before hopping in the shower, remove any hair accessories and thoroughly comb through your hair.

Step #2: Lather. Wet your hair with warm water (avoid hot water, which can dry out your hair). Apply a dime-sized amount of shampoo to the palm of your hand. If your hair is very long and/or thick, use a quarter-sized amount instead. Starting at the nape of your neck and working up to the crown of your head, apply the shampoo to your roots and gently scrub your scalp to create a lather.

Step #3: Massage. Lean your head back, take a deep breath, and massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers. (This is key for supporting healthy circulation and faster hair growth!) Once your scalp feels squeaky-clean, work the lather down through your mid-shafts and ends.

Step #4: Rinse. Thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of your hair with lukewarm water. Don’t rush this step-- it’s SO important to get all the suds out of your hair! When the water runs crystal-clear, then you’re good to go.

Step #5 (Optional): Repeat. If you don’t wash your hair every day, repeat Steps 2-4.

Step #6: Condition. Squeeze out excess water from your hair and apply a quarter-sized amount of nourishing conditioner from mid-strands to ends. Comb the conditioner through your hair with a wide-tooth comb or wet brush, leave in for up to 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Step #7: Cool Rinse. Give your hair a final rinse with cool water. This seals the cuticle and boosts your hair’s natural shine.

Step #8: Dry. After your shower, squeeze excess water out of your hair with your hands. Then pat your hair dry with a soft cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel, and use your wide-tooth comb or wet brush to remove any tangles. Air-dry or blow-dry your hair, and style as desired.

how many times a week should you wash your hair

How Many Times a Week Should You Wash Your Hair?

Regularly washing your hair is a non-negotiable for keeping your hair, scalp and skin healthy and clean. Even folks with super-dry, curly hair need to remove dirt and impurities on a regular basis. (So the “no poo” method isn’t actually a good idea.)

However, the frequency of washing your hair depends on your hair type, texture, and personal preference. Use the suggestions below as a jumping-off point, and adjust as needed until you find a hair-washing schedule that works for you.

Wash your hair every other day if you have fine, limp and/or oily hair.

Wash your hair every 2-3 days if you have “in-between” hair that’s not super-dry or super-oily, or if you have straight hair that is also chemically treated or heat-damaged.

Wash your hair every 3-4 days if you have very thick hair, waves or loose curls.

Wash your hair once a week (or even less often) if you have curly or textured hair that tends to be dry.

As a general rule, your hair should feel soft, clean and manageable in between washes. It’s okay for your roots to be a bit greasy the day before you wash your hair (bring on the hats and dry shampoo!), but you should not have dandruff or an itchy scalp.

If you experience these problems, experiment with your hair-washing routine until you figure out the right frequency for your hair type.

What’s The WORST Shampoo For Your Hair?

When it comes to the shampoo you use on your hair and scalp, it’s important to select a high-quality product with the best natural ingredients. Since shampoo is a product we all use on a regular basis, using the wrong shampoo could strip away your hair’s natural moisture, create damage and frizz, and even lead to hair loss over time.

Make sure to AVOID these hair-wrecking ingredients when you shop for shampoo:

  • Sulfates: These harsh chemical detergents create an ultra-foamy lather when you wash your hair. But they don’t actually make your hair any cleaner-- and they strip away the natural oils that keep your strands soft and shiny, leading to dull, dry, and frizzy hair.
  • Parabens: These preservatives are frequently added to extend the shelf life of shampoos and other beauty products. Parabens can irritate the delicate skin on your scalp and are linked to numerous health conditions.
  • DMDMh: Also known as DMDM hydantoin, this cosmetic preservative works by forming formaldehyde in the product. DMDMh can cause irritation to the scalp and skin, as well as trigger allergies in certain individuals.
  • Unsustainably or unethically sourced ingredients of any kind.

So, what should you look for in a shampoo? Simple, holistic ingredients made from natural plant extracts, oils and minerals that will nurture your hair’s health and beauty from the inside out. AIIR Sapphire Shampoo and Conditioner are infused with black rice protein, quinoa, sage and sustainably sourced real sapphire to cleanse, heal and nourish every strand from within.

best way to shampoo and condition hair

What Is The Best Way to Wash and Condition All Hair Types?

Every hair type is unique, and your shampoo routine should be too! Just making a few small adjustments to your hair care routine can have a HUGE impact on the way your locks look and feel. Read on to discover the best ways to wash and condition your hair type:

Shampoo and Conditioner for Curly Hair

Curly hair tends to be dry because it’s harder for oils from the scalp to travel down the hair shaft. However, it’s important to wash curly hair on a regular schedule to remove environmental pollutants and keep your scalp healthy.

Consider using a sulfate-free shampoo every week (or every 2-3 weeks for tighter coils), followed by a nourishing conditioner. To keep your hair fresh and clean in-between shampoos, try co-washing, or cleansing your hair with just water and conditioner.

Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry, Damaged Hair

When it comes to healing your hair, the most important thing you can do is avoid ALL products with harsh detergents, sulfates, parabens, alcohol and other drying chemicals. Wash your hair several times a week (more often for naturally oily hair, less often for naturally dry hair).

Make sure to apply conditioner from your mid-shafts to ends and let it soak into your hair for at least 5 minutes. If your hair is extra-dry, consider using conditioner before AND after you shampoo for an added boost of moisture. And don’t forget the weekly deep-conditioning treatment!

Shampoo and Conditioner for Color Treated Hair

Color treated hair is naturally more fragile and requires special care. It’s essential to make sure that your shampoo and conditioner are safe for color treated hair. Not only will this help prevent damage to delicate hair, but it will also extend the life and vibrancy of your color!

Shampoo and Conditioner for Oily Hair

If you have oily hair, you might be tempted to grab the harshest shampoo you can get your hands on and start scrubbing away at your scalp twice a day! But don’t do it-- this could actually make the problem worse.

Instead, remember that cultivating healthy hair is all about finding balance. The more you strip away your hair’s natural oils, the more sebum your scalp will produce. But when you switch from daily (or twice-daily) shampoos to washing every other day, your scalp will adjust and actually begin producing less sebum.

When you shampoo your hair, put extra time and attention into massaging your scalp with your fingertips or a gentle scalp massager tool. Make sure to wash twice-- the first wash loosens the oils and dirt, and the second wash deep-cleans oily hair. Apply conditioner only to the ends of your hair, not the roots. And in-between wash days, there’s no shame in dry shampoo or a good protective hairstyle! Bring on the braids, buns and beautiful hats.

Shampoo and Conditioner for Thin, Fine Hair

Does it feel like your hair always falls limp and flat, no matter what you do to it? A few simple upgrades could help you achieve that beautiful volume you’ve always wanted.

Shampoo and condition your hair every other day with lightweight, volumizing products. Skip the heavy moisturizing shampoos designed for curly hair, which can weigh fine hair down. Make sure to apply conditioner from mid-strands to ends (never on your roots). And don’t skip that volumizing blow dry!

Can I Use Shampoo and Conditioner Every Day?

Generally speaking, most people don’t need to wash their hair every day. Over-washing can actually cause your scalp to produce MORE oil, dry out your ends and make your hair dull and prone to breakage.

However, if you have ultra-fine, oily hair and you get regular trims, you can probably get away with a daily shampoo. It’s always recommended to ask your stylist about the best hair-washing schedule for YOUR specific hair type. (And never, ever skip the conditioner!)

P.S. If you choose to wash your hair every day, make sure to choose a gentle shampoo and conditioner that will nourish and hydrate your hair rather than stripping away natural oils.

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Turn your routine into a ritual™ with Sapphire Shampoo & Conditioner from AIIR Professional

What Is The Best Way to Wash Hair Extensions?

Your hair extensions don’t need to be washed as often as your natural hair because they aren’t directly exposed to the oils from your scalp. It’s best to wash hair extensions when you notice product build-up, or about every 30 wears. Correctly washing your hair extensions will keep them sleek and beautiful for longer! Follow these steps to cleanse your hair extensions:

Step #1: Get ready. Start by removing your hair extensions (you should never wash them while they are clipped-in to your hair) and combing through them gently to remove any tangles.

Step #2: Pick the right products. The products you use on your hair extensions should be just as high-quality as those you use on your natural hair. Make sure to select a shampoo and conditioner that are free of sulfates and safe for use on hair extensions.

Step #3: Reverse wash. Hair extensions are prone to dryness, so it’s important to use conditioner before AND after shampooing. Apply conditioner to each weft, then gently massage shampoo through the strands. Use light strokes and avoid harsh scrubbing.

Step #4: Rinse and condition. After washing the hair extensions, rinse them thoroughly in lukewarm water. Then apply conditioner from top to bottom, leave it on for 5 minutes, and rinse it out.

Step #5: Air dry. Remove excess water with a soft microfiber towel, brush through the extensions with a wide tooth comb or wet brush, apply a small amount of hair oil to combat frizz, and allow the wefts to air dry on a flat surface.

Will Shampoo Dry Out My Hair?

Correctly washing your hair with shampoo (and following up with conditioner) will not dry out your hair-- instead, it will leave your hair feeling soft, clean and healthy.

However, over-washing your hair can strip the hair’s natural oils and cause dryness. If you are washing your hair every day and find that it feels dry, consider washing every other day instead. Make sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo like this one. Also, don’t forget to include a weekly deep conditioning treatment or hair mask in your self-care routine (try coconut or grapeseed oil for natural moisture and shine).

Is Shampoo Bad For Hair?

Shampoo is not bad for hair, but it’s important to choose a shampoo that supports your hair’s health and beauty rather than ruining it! Because we use shampoo on a regular basis, the effects of a low-quality shampoo are more visible than the effects of other hair care and styling products.

TLDR: If you want to upgrade your haircare, the BEST place to start is with your shampoo and conditioner!

Look for a shampoo that’s free from sulfates, parabens, DMDMh and gluten (if you avoid it in your diet). Instead, your shampoo should feature natural plant-based ingredients that deliver the health and vibrancy your hair deserves! For your conditioner, look for a product with natural moisturizers such as coconut or jojoba oil.

What Is the Best Shampoo and Conditioner?

AIIR Sapphire Shampoo and Conditioner are the best shampoo and conditioner for all hair types. These holistic moisturizing products enhance your hair’s natural radiance, body and shine.

Inspired by the belief that cleansing and nourishing our hair should be a beautiful self-love ritual, and not just another item on our to-do list, AIIR Sapphire Shampoo and Conditioner are the perfect products to upgrade your hair care.

AIIR Sapphire Shampoo is infused with sage and quinoa for naturally healthy and vibrant hair. Sage purifies the hair by removing build-up, enhances shine and stimulates healthy hair growth. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids that repair damage while strengthening and protecting your hair.

shampoo infused with sage

Used as a medicinal herb for centuries, sage delivers benefits to your scalp to enhance manageability, improves texture and creates shine.

shampoo infused with quinoa

Quinoa has one of the highest known plant-based amino acids that helps to strengthen and renew hair.

AIIR Sapphire Conditioner nourishes and heals hair with nutrient-rich black rice protein-- delivering amino acids and Vitamins E and B for softer, sleeker, more manageable strands. Both the shampoo and conditioner are infused with real sapphire, the stone of wisdom and strength, to recharge your inner strength and support balance in mind, body and soul.

conditioner infused with black rice

Black rice helps to repair damage while also providing strength, smoothness and frizz control.

shampoo and conditioner infused with sapphire

Known as a symbol of royalty, wisdom and peace, sapphire helps you tap into your inner strength with every wash.

Washing and conditioning your hair with AIIR Sapphire Shampoo and Conditioner is a wonderful way to create time for yourself, release mental tension before or after a long day, and find your center while nurturing your hair.

Best of all, AIIR Sapphire Shampoo and Conditioner are vegan, cruelty free, child labor free, and free of all sulfates, parabens, gluten and DMDMh. These products are safe for all hair types and textures, including color-treated hair, keratin-treated hair, and hair extensions. AIIR Sapphire Shampoo and Conditioner are the best shampoo and conditioner for healthy, radiant hair, a balanced lifestyle and a holistic self-care routine that nourishes mind, body and spirit.

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