Like most, when I was a little girl my mother washed my hair. One of the things I remember about those memorable hair days is that she used a ton of shampoo every single wash day. I’d be lying on the counter with my head leaning over into the sink and she’d pour handful after handful of shampoo onto my hair and while rubbing vigorously she complained “Your hair takes forever to get a good lather!”
Remember, this was back in the time that more lather was equated to cleaner hair. I always thought this to be true and concluded that thick, coarse, kinky* hair was more difficult to clean. As I grew we switched from countertop to leaning over the sink while standing on a stool. In this position, the nape of my neck was the first to be reached by the water flowing from the faucet and I noticed that when my hair did finally lather, it was in the back first.
By the time I began washing my hair myself, I learned that my hair actually wasn’t difficult to clean and that using a half a bottle of shampoo wasn’t necessary with every wash. The trick was to “clean” my hair before even adding any shampoo. I’d “wash” my hair with water first. By wash, I mean not only allow the water to rinse my hair thoroughly but I’d actually use my fingers to massage the water throughout my hair and scalp to remove and/or loosen any dirt or buildup. This would do the trick because once I began doing this, the first addition of shampoo would cause the best, most bubbly lather! Granted, back then the goal was to get my hair squeaky clean, but this still is an important step in my hair regimen now.
By washing with water prior to shampooing, it means that my hair requires less washes to cleanse thoroughly, which means less stripping is done to the hair. This is particularly important when using a sulfate-shampoo. Plus water is the ultimate moisturizer so this is actually a very healthy practice.
Other than weekly washes, water shampoos are important when I relax my hair. I recently began self-relaxing as many women do and I was asked how I am able to rinse the relaxer completely without having a friend help me. Well, the answer is water shampooing! I wash for as long as it takes to remove all of the relaxer crème from my hair. This is much better than adding the neutralizing shampoo because the shampoo only neutralizes the relaxer, it doesn’t actually remove the heavy crème from your hair. I know that water rinsing works because my relaxer comes with a color indicator shampoo and by the time I am finished rinsing with water and actually neutralize, the lather is white – not pink. After three shampoos, you can be certain that there are no traces of relaxer left in your hair.
So give it a try, wash your hair with water before you actually wash your hair and see if it doesn’t make a difference!
Originally posted 2012-05-16 19:00:02.