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The salon secrets to properly washing your hair

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Photo: Getty Images/ esp2k

Getting your hair done is a treat to say the least. You get to have a professional snip your split ends away or perhaps give you a very on-trend haircut ahead of the fall season that’s quickly approaching. But the actual best part of the whole thing? The hair washing sesh.

Because TBH: No one washes your hair as well as the pros do in the salon. The shampoo and conditioner smell better, hairstylists get the best lather possible, and—the major perk—the scalp massage is out of this world, leaving your roots without a trace of oil and your lengths somehow not overly parched. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always secretly wanted to be able to wash my hair like that. So I reached out to a hairstylist and now I’ve got the secret sauce.

“I believe that hair washing makes a great style last longer,” says Janelle Chaplin, creative director of New York’s O&M salon. “Plus, today females are washing their hair less often—so when it’s time to suds up, it should be done correctly.”

So just how do you get that washed-in-the-salon goodness from the comfort of your own shower? The first step is all about how you shampoo. “I always say you need two shampoos: the first one to remove the world (like your cleansing wipe) and the second to cleanse your specific hair type,” says Chaplin. “Washing your hair is like washing your face—you ultimately need a clean scalp. You wouldn’t use just a makeup remover to wash your face, so why use only one shampoo to clean your hair?” And…there’s more.

The way that you shampoo is actually rather important, so you shouldn’t just slap shampoo on your scalp and hope that it gets to the right place. Instead, carefully massage it in “using your fingertips in a circular motion,” Chaplin says. You’re moving from the crown of your head outwards to the nape of the neck and the hairline in front. Or in other words: Pretend you’re a stylist and really indulge in lathering up.

When it comes time to condition your strands, it’s also a matter technique, according to Chaplin. “You only want to condition from the mid-lengths down,” she says. That’s because if you apply the formula to the roots, you’re more likely to have to suds up sooner.

The most important key of all, Chaplin tells me is that: “You must rinse very well,” she says. “Don’t leave any suds in the hair—make sure you wash out evenly around the head and not just the top. You have to rinse, rinse, rinse, and then when you think it’s all out, rinse some more.” So next time you lather and rinse (and rinse), channel a hair stylist—and you’ll be sure to reap the salon-approved results.

*This* is how often you should be washing your hair in the summer, plus how to wash it in the humidity for the least frustrating results

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