How to make the best out of your hair – Part One

I have originally intended to write only one post on hair products, hair issues, and basically how to make the best out of your hair.  After a quick survey on twitter, I’ve been bombarded by hair problems that made me realise that I’d have to do more than one post (in fear of boring you to death by squeezing it all into one!)  So without further ado, here’s part one.


(You could stop giggling now, you’d be surprised at how many people still don’t do it right!)

Step 1 – Wet hair (I’m cringing because it’s so obvious!!)  The water temperature should not be too hot.  ALWAYS try to use a shower head, you’ll struggle to get your hair squeaky clean washing your hair in a bath.  (Bad hair day cause  #1!)

Step 2 – Pour a SMALL amount (50p size for medium length) of shampoo in to your palm, work it through your hands like a moisturiser, then apply it EVENLY through your hair and scalp, using your fingers to work it through in circular motions.

Step 3 – Rinse, and repeat step 2.  This is important – the first shampoo gets the dirt out, the second wash makes the shampoo’s active ingredients work.  You’ll also notice that if you use small amounts twice, you’ll do better than using one big blob.

Step 4 – Rinse, and TOWEL DRY your hair by blotting – not rubbing – with a towel.  This step is often left out, but you’ll notice the difference, as the conditioner will now be less diluted when applies.

Step 5 – Work a small amount (£1 size for medium length hair) of conditioner through your hands, and apply it to the midlengths and ends ONLY.  Your scalp produces its own oils, what I normally suggest to clients is to apply conditioner on the ‘ponytail’ part of the hair.  You might see a massive change in flat hair if you do it this way!  You could also gently run a comb through your hair, as the conditioner will make it easier to comb.  Try to leave it on for a few minutes.  This would also be the time you would use a hair mask/treatment once a week, or as suggested by your stylist.

Step 6 – Rinse out thoroughly, until you feel that squeaky clean feeling.  Try to do the final rinse with cooler water for extra shine.  Then towel dry again by blotting your hair with a towel.  For longer hair, try gently squeezing the hair with the towel.  I flinch whenever I see people vigorously rubbing their hair!  Your hair is at its most vulnerable when it’s wet, and rubbing it is just going to damage it.

It sounds like a lot of effort, but soon it will become second nature.  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences after trying this!

Now I need your input.  Feel free to comment on topics you’d like me to blog about.  I’m planning to cover common problems, styling tips, product suggestions, but it’s great to hear what people really struggle with!

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28 thoughts on “How to make the best out of your hair – Part One

  1. I love this. I usually only shampoo once and my conditioner goes onto dripping wet hair so I’ll change those two things. Also, what do you recommend for hair that is starting to break about 3 inches down from the roots from me dyeing it blonde too often? 😉

    • Glad you like it, Kirsten! The short answer to your question is using the right shampoo, conditioner, and treatment. You need to add protein to your hair to strengthen it, I will cover more of this in a next post, but try ranges like Redken’s Extreme, Kerastase Resistance or L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair. All of these ranges will strengthen the hair from within. And in the meantime, make sure that every time you colour, the colour doesn’t overlap onto already coloured hair – this will definitely weaken your hair.

  2. Love this, thank you Elbie!

  3. RachyLou says:

    Great post Elbie! I’m looking forward to the rest of them! With the conditioner tips, I always try to only put it on the ends but the rest of my hair is always SO snaggly. Is there anything I can do about that without drenching it all with conditioner? xo

    • My first reaction was going to be try to use a stronger treatment weekly, but after reading on twitter that you could only use unscented products because of your sensitive scalp, it’s obviously not as easy as that! If you’d seen a trichologist before, ask him for a prescription for a more nourishing treatment. If you know what ingredients you’re sensitive to, that might help in the search for an ultimate product! Have a look at this site for a complete A – Z of hair product ingredients:
      Hope this helps!

  4. Great post- thanks so much! I do actually do most of these things but shall try towel drying my hair before conditioning. My hair is in such bad condition coz I’ve been dying it for as long as I can remember, and recently had it stripped so that I could just let the roots grow and not put any more permanent colour on it! I’m using Kerastase shampoo and conditioner at the mo, as I can’t find a non-silicone, protein based product on the highstreet. Problem is, I can’t afford to keep using it and wondered if you know of any more affordable alternatives? Thanks Elbie!

    • I know it’s expensive, but I’m hoping that you only use a little! Kerastase IS a luxury brand, but it’s also very concentrated. When my hair was about collarbone length (and I’ve got a lot of it!) A bottle used to last me up to 6 months, and I wash my hair every third day.
      I know it’s only a bit cheaper, but try Redken’s Extreme Range. Word of warning, it’s SUPER strong, and while it does not always have the luxurious feel of Kerastase, but man, it strengthens the living hell out of your hair! If you’re still looking for a softening conditioner, try Redken’s Blonde Glam. Beauty in a Bottle.
      Also, on a side note, you get 50mls more per bottle of Redken! It’s down to personal preference in the end, I know, but if you have hair that needs a little more tlc, it’s better to invest in the long run 🙂

      • Thanks Elbie. I know you are so right. I only use a tiny bit of shampoo coz it lathers up a treat, but the conditioner doesn’t seem to work unless I use a palm full! My hair is always so tangled after using it, I can’t even get my fingers through it. I have to smother it in Moroccan Oil before I can touch it with a comb! I’d like to get the Moroccan Oil hair mask… any good?

      • I’ve heard great things about it, but haven’t used it myself. If you use a lot of protein in your hair, it’s fine if you use a moisture mask to soften and seal your hair. Kerastase does have a lovely mask, Redken’s masks are HUGE tubs and feels divine, and you could also try Pureology, Matrix, Aveda…

      • That’s great! Thank you soooo much! x

  5. Josie says:

    I love you Elbie. Full of such damn good advice!

  6. Elbie I am so exctited about these blogs! I can’t wait for the next one 🙂 What shampoos can you recommend for long, fine oily hair? I often find many shampoos leave my hair too oily, even when sticking to the recommened amount of shampoo. I don’t like washing my hair more often than every third day but I often have no choice due to the greasiness 😦

    • Hey Bug!! Look for ‘volumising’ shampoos, they tend to lift the hair from the roots, so the hair is not in constant contact with your scalp. Professional products that are pH-balanced will prevent the hair from getting a build-up, also try using a clarifying shampoo once a week for a super clean. Joico, KMS, Neutrogena all have clarifying shampoos, Redken’s Cleansing cream is brilliant, but has to be used in moderation. I now that in South Africa some salons don’t stock it for retail, just because it’s so strong. Hope it helps!

  7. Going shopping immidiately! Thanks Evie!

  8. Addie says:

    Oh, good tip about drying before applying conditioner – will definitely have to try that!

    Ok, any tips for making color longer (I only wash in cold water, but anything else?)

    Also, what are your thoughts on dry shampoo?

    • Reds have a tendency to fade quickest, I will cover this in a future post. Just make sure that your shampoo and conditioner are gentle to the hair. Some products, like Pureology, even offer a money-back guarantee if you’re colour doesn’t last longer that before!
      I love dry shampoo, it’s a great way of looking decent in between washes. I would not advise using it every time you need to wash though, as it might cause a build-up.

  9. theazwedding says:

    This is such a fab post. I’m an absolute nightmare to my poor hair- I wash it in the bath, use too much shampoo and conditioner, AND rub it dry- but I promise I’m going to do my best to change! By the way, is it true that you should change the shampoo and conditioner you use regularly?

    • I’m so glad I could help!
      I don’t think hair gets ‘tired’ of a brand as such, but some products could leave a build-up on the hair that might be removed by a different shampoo, and therefore feels better. If your hair feels dull, use a clarifying shampoo every week to deep-cleanse the hair (I have written product suggestions in an earlier comment)
      Also, make sure that the shampoo and conditioner are specifically made for your hair. This is another reason why products recommended by your stylist should be like getting a ‘prescription’, tailored to your needs.
      Another factor to remember is that every time your hair changes in any way, (going on holiday, having colour done, etc) your hair might need a different prescription.
      Sorry about the long reply, hope this helps!!

      • theazwedding says:

        That’s great, thank you. I’ve never found an issue with it feeling like that, it’s just something you tend to hear a lot! My hairdresser recommended Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner, which I adore. I’m glad I can keep on using it! x

  10. […] photography – but I loved the fact that she used a photo of Roo to illustrate the most! ♥ How to make the best out of your hair – I have been washing my hair ‘properly’ since I read this! Thanks Elbie! […]

  11. Oh I do it all wrong 😦 Big blob of shampoo, big blob of conditioner all over sopping wet hair, scrub hair dry… sorry! I will change my ways as of today!

  12. Charley says:

    After reading this I’m surprised I have such long and (fairly good condition) hair as I do all the big no no’s! The boy is shocked out how much conditioner I apply and I thought the two times shampoo thing was just a treat in the hairdressers, haha! I have learned the error of my ways. Elbie you are my hair master 😀 (though I will be honest, and I can’t see myself stepping out the shower in between shampooing and conditioning to towel dry, brrrr)!

  13. […] elbiehairandmakeup HomeAbout Elbie ← How to make the best out of your hair – Part One […]

  14. […] Making the best of your hair ~ easy stuff we sometimes over look […]

  15. Love this post Elbie! Really useful and I enjoy your style of writing.

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