How to Properly Apply Shampoo and Conditioner

by Grace Phan

Hair washing is likely second nature as you let your mind wander, planning outfits or lunches as you lather, rinse, repeat. But stop a minute and consider your hair's needs -- overwashing or overconditioning could leave it dried out or weighed down. Adjust your hair washing routine for healthy locks that you will want to flaunt.

Items you will need

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Butterfly clip
  • Shower cap
  • Towel
Step 1

Wet down your hair with warm running water. Use your fingertips to work the water through from root to tip, opening the cuticle and rinsing dirt and oils from your scalp.


  • Wash your hair less often to allow your natural oils to condition your hair. Oily hair may need to be washed daily, but take a day off when possible, and spritz your roots with a dry shampoo instead. Normal to dry hair can be washed two or three times a week.

Step 2

Pour a quarter-sized amount of shampoo into your hands, or double that amount if your hair is longer than shoulder length. Use a shampoo formulated for your hair type. Oil-based shampoos without sulfates are best for dry hair, while volumizing shampoos give a body boost to fine and straight hair.

Step 3

Massage the shampoo into your scalp using your fingertips. Start at the nape of your neck, which collects the most buildup, and work your way toward the crown of your head. Only lather the roots of your hair.

Step 4

Gently run your fingers through your hair from root to tip. This will distribute the shampoo through to the ends without drying them out. Rinse your hair with warm water. Gently squeeze the ends of your hair to remove excess water, and prepare for conditioner.

Step 5

Pour a quarter-sized amount of conditioner into the palm of your hand, and gently pull it through from the middle to the ends of your hair. Avoid the roots since they can get weighed down with conditioner. Fasten your hair to the top of your head with a butterfly clip if it is long, and throw on a shower cap if it is short, to allow the conditioner to be absorbed for three minutes. If you have dry hair, choose a deep conditioner with ingredients such as argan oil and shea butter. Opt for a lightweight formula free of silicones, which could weigh your hair down, if you have fine hair.

Step 6

Rinse the conditioner from your hair using cool water. This seals the cuticle to make hair shiny and lock out frizz.


  • Reach for a microfiber towel, instead of a regular towel. Microfiber towels are gentler on hair, and will not cause split ends.

About the Author

Grace Phan is a trained hairstylist and aesthetician with a penchant for natural and DIY beauty. At the age of six she was skimming from her parents avocado supply to whip up face masks, and hasn't looked back. A graduate of the Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics, she loves working with all hair textures and skin types to create routines that can be practiced at home.