Thursday, June 7, 2012

Keep It Simple, Sexy: Cleanse > Shampoo


Keep It Simple, Sexy
Use my K.I.S.S. Method to Build a Solid Healthy Hair Regimen

Hello Beautiful Ones,

The primary purpose of cleansing the hair is to remove dirt, excess oils, and product buildup from your hair. Cleanse your hair regularly to prevent dryness and also to prevent dirt and grime from building up on the hair shaft. Too much buildup can block the hair shaft from absorbing moisture. Also, bacteria can brew from a lack of cleansing and can lead to unpleasant odors.

Last time, I discuss conditioner washing or co-washing to cleanse the hair. This week, I will focus on washing techniques using commercial shampoos.

Let’s take a look at the K.I.S.S. Hair Regimen:

Ideally, this process should be done every 7-10 days…

Section Hair
Detangle Hair

Pre-Poo (Optional)

Cleanse Hair >>> Shampoo

Deep Condition Hair

Moisturize and Seal Hair

Protect Hair

I typically cleanse my hair once a week, or every 7-10 days using a commercial shampoo or by co-washing. Only when it is in an elaborate updo, I wash bi-weekly. I will not shampoo my hair more than that because I do not want to run the risk of stripping the natural oils from my hair.

Previously in the Section and Detangle step, I discussed sectioning and detangling the hair, followed by either braiding it  or twisting it. This aids in the cleansing phase, especially if your hair is medium to long in length. Women with TWA's do not have to worry about the Section and Detangle step. Braiding or Twisting the hair prior to your shampoo will decrease manipulation and  reduce the likelihood of tangling. Naturally, the braids will loosen while cleansing. If this happens, just pause for a second to re-braid your hair, then resume cleansing your hair. Braiding the hair and keeping it braided will offset the need to detangle hair during the later steps in the K.I.S.S. Method. Other benefits include the assurance that your hair strands are going in the same downward direction; away for the scalp. You do not want to use the method of scrubbing hair together with shampoo and hair piled all over your head. This can create tangles and knots, like a bird's nest, and can lead to breakage. The less stress you place on your hair during the cleansing phase can help to preserve the hair strand by not breaking the hair or damaging the hair cuticle.

Water temperature plays an important role when cleansing the hair. Warm water expands and lifts the hair cuticles, while cold water contracts and tightens hair cuticles. It is best to cleanse hair in warm water, not hot water. Hot water can damage the hair cuticle, causing the hair cuticle to drastically lift. This can cause them to crack and peel, resulting in dry,  parched hair.

It is best to wash hair in shower. You can wash in the tub or sink just make sure you braid hair first to decrease the amount of manipulation. Use a shampoo that is acid pH balanced and formulated for dry hair, since black hair tends to be dry. I recommend a sulfate-free shampoo for weekly cleansing and a gentle clarifying shampoo for monthly cleansing.

Cleansing Steps
  1. Adjust the water temperature to a warm setting.
  2. Tilt your head back and thoroughly wet your hair. Do not scrub your hair. Rinse for 1-2 minutes to free it of product buildup and residue.
  3. Now, use the pads of fingers to gently loosen dirt from scalp.
  4. Squeeze a quarter-size amount of shampoo into your hands. Distribute the shampoo throughout the braided sections concentrating on root and scalp area.  Do not focus on hair, because it can have a drying effect to hair. The length of hair will receive shampoo runoff.
  5. Massage cleanser onto scalp in a circular motion, allowing hair to move gently between your fingers. Do not pile hair on top of head or use too much manipulation- can lead to tangling.
  6. Allow shampoo to sit undisturbed for a minute. This will allow the dirt and debris to attract to the shampoo so they rinse away easily.
  7. Work the runoff lather along the braids or twist in a squeezing motion to penetrate the hair shaft to remove product buildup and dirt. Never scrub the hair.
  8. Tilt head back and thoroughly rinse the hair. Rinse well to remove any traces of shampoo.
  9. If your hair is really sweaty or soiled repeat steps 4-8. Be careful of over-cleansing; you don't want to strip natural oils from your hair.
  10. Next step deep conditioning (Discussed next week)

Next step... Deep Conditioning

I hope this information helps.

Good luck on your hair journey!


Hair Kitty Kitty

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