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Basic Hair Care (2)

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Shampooing:
 
shampoos       Does the water absorb immediately, or does it bead up on the surface for a moment before being absorbed? If the water absorbs immediately, you should use a shampoo for "normal to dry hair" because it has more moisturizing ingredients. If the water beads up at first, use a shampoo for "normal to oily hair". The spray test is usually performed to determine the hair's porosity, but works here because porous hair (where the water absorbs immediately) tends to be dry, while resistant hair (where the water beads up) tends to accumulate more surface oils.
 
      Once you've chosen your shampoo, you're ready to wash your hair. You need to completely saturate the hair with water. This is especially easy to do in the shower as you simply place your head under the spray. Run your fingers through your hair to make sure the water penetrates to the scalp. (If your hair is resistant, or particularly laden with dirt, oils and styling product, it can sometimes repel the water and only appear thoroughly wet at the surface.) Be sure to use warm water, which helps to open cuticle layer a bit and lets the ingredients in the shampoo be most effective, and don't squeeze or shake the water from the hair.
 
      Next, you need to use the right amount of shampoo. Most package directions for shampoo call for a "quarter-sized" (2.5cm circle) amount. These instructions are intended for hair of average length - somewhere between chin and shoulder length. If you have really short hair (shorter than chin length) you should use a little less (a nickel-sized [1.5cm circle] amount). If you have longer hair (length that is past the shoulders) use more (a half-dollar-sized [4cm circle] amount). Rub the shampoo between your palms and apply it to the scalp. Massage the scalp and shampoo until the shampoo forms lather, running your fingers through your hair to distribute the lather evenly then rinse your hair completely (until the water runs clear).
 
      Repeat the shampoo process, and note that the second time around the lather should be much thicker and foamier. This means that the dirt and oils that were initially on the hair have been removed (or dramatically lessened) and that the hair is clean. After a few times of shampooing your hair you'll recognize whether the lather is sufficiently thick to know if you need a second shampooing or not. If you do get a full, rich lather on the first go around, you don't have to repeat the shampooing.
 
      Step two to having healthy hair is conditioning, and again, using the right conditioner and the proper amount are important. If your hair was porous, try using a conditioner high in moisturizers. If it was resistant, you will probably want to go with a lighter formula.
 
      Before applying the conditioner to your freshly shampooed hair, you'll want to squeeze out the excess water from your hair, especially if your hair is long. The best way to do this is simply run your hands over your head and down your neck, pressing gently to force the extra water out of the hair. For very long hair, you can use the above method at the scalp and neck, then gather the hair into one hand and squeeze the remaining length between two fingers and slide them to the ends of the hair.
 
      Once again, follow the directions on the conditioner package to determine how much you need. Use less if your hair is short, and more if it is very long. Apply the conditioner to the palm of your hand and rub your hands together to spread it then apply the conditioner to your hair using a stroking motion. There is no need to apply the conditioner directly to the scalp, just to the hair since working the condition through the hair tends to spread it onto the scalp as well.
 
      Work your fingers through your hair to "comb" it through the hair from the scalp area to the ends. If you have very long hair, you may need to get a little more conditioner to completely cover the ends of the hair.
 
      Allow the conditioner to sit on the hair the length of time directed by the packaging. This is usually one minute for most rinse-through conditioners, though it may be as much as 3 to 5 minutes for some of the more moisture-rich conditioners. When the conditioner has been on for the required length of time, rinse it thoroughly from the hair. Again, while rinsing, run your fingers through your hair to make sure to remove all the residual conditioner, especially at the scalp area where it could result in an oily look once the hair is dried.
 
      Once again, be sure to rinse the hair completely, running your fingers through the hair to help push out the lather and make sure that you get all the shampoo off the scalp as well.
 
      Once again, be sure to rinse the hair completely, running your fingers through the hair to help push out the lather and make sure that you get all the shampoo off the scalp as well.
 
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