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How to Wash Your Hair the Right Way

May 26, 2018

5 Min read

Shampooing seems simple enough: Pump, suds, rinse, repeat. However, to maximize your hair’s health, you may want to rethink these four steps. The following dos and don’ts of how to properly wash your hair outline the best ways to shampoo and nourish your hair, as well as common cleansing mistakes to sidestep.

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Do find the right formula

All hair cleansers are not created equally—and they’re certainly not formulated for all hair types. This is one reason we created Prose: to make custom hair care products that address your hair and scalp’s specific needs. Our shampoos offer a wide range of active ingredients in formulas customized just for you: i.e. to protect color, to regulate sebum production, to add volume, or to soothe an irritated scalp. Choosing and using a shampoo that addresses exactly what your hair needs makes cleansing a more effective and efficient process—and keeps your hair at its healthiest. It’s also worth noting that all of Prose’s shampoo formulas are sulfate-free. We believe sulfates in a cleansing product are often unnecessarily harsh, stripping oil and color molecules from the hair.

Don’t apply your shampoo in one spot

As kids, when we first learned to shampoo our own hair, we were typically taught to pump a dollop of shampoo (step one, above) into our palms, slap it on top of our heads, then move it around with our fingertips. And when a shampoo contains sulfates and lathers up, we can usually get away with this because all that foam makes it fairly easy to move the cleanser around. But, sulfate-free formulas don’t suds the way we’re used to and are, therefore, trickier to distribute. This means careful placement—from the get-go—is to wash your hair the right way infographic

A simple strategy: After wetting your hair, apply a line of shampoo across your 4 fingers and tap hands together (you can also add a little water to activate.) Place fingertips into scalp targeting your oiliest (or itchiest) spots: the crown, hairline and at your nape. Now, create a part on the opposite side of your head and repeat this process. Be sure to add water to help create the suds-y property. Finally, take your fingertips and gently massage the shampoo into your scalp (where we typically need the most cleaning) and rinse, allowing the shampoo to run through the rest of your hair, grabbing buildup, grime and excess oil as it goes. Unless it has been more than a week since your last shampoo, you won’t need to repeat this process. However, if it has been a minute since you’ve washed your hair a second shampoo is recommended as the first shampoo will remove dead skin cells, oil and product buildup while the second will properly cleanse your hair. But typically, one shampoo = plenty.

Do use a detangler

Before you hop in the shower, be sure to detangle using a ball-tipped hairbrush. You can also pair your detangling routine with a leave-in conditioner to help loosen knots and tangles. Then, post-detangle is the perfect time to use a pre-shampoo scalp or hair mask on damp strands. At Prose, your custom cleansing regimen also comes with a set of instructions, including how to wash your hair and exactly how to use your shampoo’s companion conditioner. For some, this means applying roots to ends. However, for most, starting conditioner about four inches from the scalp (eye/cheekbone length) is recommended to detangle and hydrate, without weighing down the hair or leaving roots too oily. Leave the conditioner on for the recommended amount of time to maximize penetration, then as you rinse, finish with a shot of cold water to seal your hair’s cuticle, the outer layer, locking in moisture and boosting shine.

Don’t over-cleanse

Just as you typically need not shampoo twice per shower, most of us should also not shampoo every day. OD’ing on cleansing can remove too much moisture from strands, leaving your hair dry and prone to frizz, as well as accelerating color fading. Many pros say shampooing between two and four times per week is plenty—and even less than that (more like once a week) if your hair is very coarse, curly or dry. On days when you do need a “wet restyle” after, say, a sweaty workout (but you just shampooed the day before), get in the shower and rinse your hair with water—or use a small drop of conditioner in place of your shampoo. This latter suggestion is called a conditioning cleanse and it will remove perspiration and revive your strands, without taking away too much moisture.

Do handle with care

Big, fluffy towels are great for drying our bodies post-shower, but they can be harsh on the hair. The friction they create as we rub them over wet strands can tear at hair and cause cuticles to lift, triggering frizz and enabling moisture to seep out. A better bet: Use a microfiber towel, or even a clean t-shirt. Both options absorb excess water, without roughing up the hair. Aim to leave the towel/t-shirt on for at least two minutes to take your strands from dripping to damp. Damp is preferable to sopping-wet when it comes to product application, as the latter dilutes a product’s potency. Damp hair also dries faster, so if you do blow-dry, you’ve just shortened the duration—and diminished the damage. However, if you have type 3 or 4 hair and are working to achieve a wash n go, products applied on soaking wet hair is key for moisture balance.


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The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

Comments [29]

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  1. I guess a vold shot of water might be ok for those who wash their hair in the sink, but 99% of us wash in the shower, and i’m Not finishing my show With a shot of cold water.

    1. Hi Michelle! A shot of cold water just helps to seal your hair’s cuticle, the outer layer, locking in moisture and boosting shine. Totally optional, though!

    2. Michelle, I’ve been doing the “cold shot” for yrs and it really helps give me shine. I have long curly hair and after rinsing with warm water i use more of a tepid or cool temp rinse (when im chicken). It still helps tremendously! Just go as cold as u can handle. It will still be beneficial!

    3. I was happily surprised when i read this is good for my hair, and it makes perfect sense to me! as a little girl, my mom taight me to finish my shower with cold water for the same reason- it closes the pores (after having opened and cleaned them)in the warm shower.

    4. I do it by sticking only my head under the shower. Summer it feels wonderful, in winter I keep it short.

  2. Hi Prose team!! I received my products and
    I’m in love!!! My hair feels dIfferent
    And healthier. I do have a question,
    Do tou guys have styling products? If not
    What products do ypu recommend ? I like to flat iron my hair 🤷🏻‍♀️
    Love you guys!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
    Oh and how can i reorder!
    Liliana Rue

    1. Hi Liliana! So thrilled to hear that you’re loving Prose, you just made our day! Concerning styling products, we currently offer three custom hair care products: a pre-shampoo mask, shampoo, and conditioner. But, our team is working on some exciting new products for this year. Send us a note at and we’ll keep you updated on any new additions. Since you’re loving your Prose so much, I would recommend joining our subscription program to reorder! You can choose when to receive your Prose, and you’ll receive 20% off every recurring order—along with free shipping and the same 100% satisfaction guarantee. Just head over to your Prose account, and click “Subscribe 20% off” to get started. Again, so glad to hear about your hair transformation!

  3. I cant wait to tey your products. I received them yesterday but am disappoinTed that there were no pumps in the boxes as promised.

    1. Hi Shannon! Prose boxes do come with pumps which are located at the bottom of your box. If you did not receive them, feel free to DM us on Facebook, or email – we’d be happy to send you a set of pumps!

  4. Hi’

    I used the shampoo and conditioner for the first time I have baby fine hair,
    and it has never felt or looked so beautiful. Really! Even after 3 days, I can still run my fingers through it.

    For me, it’s a miracle! I cannot use another product after washing and conditioning my hair with Prose.

    cannot wait for styling products and hairspray to be be manufactured from you.

    Please keep me informed, and send tips on keeping ones hair in perfect conditioin.


    1. Hi Sybil! So happy to hear that Prose has transformed your hair! Besides our custom hair oil, we don’t currently offer styling products. However, our R&D team is constantly working on exciting, new projects, so stay tuned! As for tips and tricks, we cover all things hair here on the blog, so keep checking in weekly for more interesting and informative content. Thank you so much for sharing your positive experience with us, you made our day!

  5. Hi prose team!

    I used your products aNd its the 3rd day and my hair is still SHINING, soft & moIstUrizE. These products are my staples. Im super exciteD with the results. I was reading one of the storiEs in an email you sent me that talked about thinning hair aNd certain inGredients to use. How can i incorporate those ingredients in my current regimEn?

    1. Hi Sandi! So happy to hear that you can’t get enough of your Prose! The ingredients mentioned in the email you read would be ones featured in our Prose formulas, so depending on your consultation results, they would actually already be incorporated into your products!

  6. I tried Prose yesterday for the fiest time and my hair feels great! UnfortUnately i threw out the pumps because i didn’t realize They were underneath! I will know next time:)


    1. Hi Kathy! So glad to hear that Prose has your hair feeling amazing! Whoops, yes they’re underneath your products. Feel free to reach out to our Customer Service team by emailing and they can send you a set of pumps!

  7. I am loving your products but haven’t used the Mask yet because i just feel too rushed in the morning. Can i apply before bed and leave in overnight?

    1. Hi Lisa! So glad you’re loving your Prose so far! Yes you can leave the mask in overnight, just be sure to rinse and wash it out in the morning!

  8. I received no information in my first order on how to shampoo or use the conditioner. I noticed in comments and your literature that information comes with your order?

    1. Hi Denice! Please email our Customer Service team,, and they’ll get you set up with your leaflet. Inside it will explain how to use your Prose along with displaying the ingredients that make up your custom formula!

  9. I just recieved my Prose instructions before my order. My CONDITIONer says to apply to lengths and ENDs, does that mean I dont apply to roots at all?

    1. Hi Alex! Yep, just apply to your lengths and ends, avoiding your roots. Looking forward to hearing about your hair journey with Prose!

  10. One word for thEse products Amazing! I was very skeptical at fIrst because i have 4c curly hair. But omg my hair was so soft and very moIsturized. The pre-shampoo mask smells Wonderful and i could see my curls Come back to lIfe, before i even used My Prose shampoo and conditioner. Most shampoos dry my hair out, no matter how much it says it want. I’m very impressed and my hair is no longer a dry and frizzy birds nest!

    1. Hi Carma! Wow! So happy to hear that you’re loving your Prose. What fragrance did you end up choosing? Thrilled that you’re finally having happy hair days and thank you so much for your kind words!

    1. Yes, Angela! You can always make a change to your custom formula’s fragrance. Just head into your consultation and make that selection within a day before your Subscription order’s charge date. If you have any questions, just let us know.