Have you ever marvelled at the technique used by hairdressing apprentices to get the right balance of clean yet manageable hair when they wash yours?
Having your hair washed in the salon just hits different. Often, we get a lot longer out of our wash after a visit to our hairdresser.
But what makes a professional wash so superior to the routine we have at home?
Having shampooed clients by the thousand, our hairdressers and trainees are the perfect people to teach you how to wash your hair like a professional.
Not ones to gatekeep, we asked our team to share the secrets of their routine. They help us translate their technique so that you too can be a shampooing expert!
The first reason you’re likely to get longer from a professional wash is that hairdressers use a salon approved shampoo chosen for your hair’s specific needs. And finding the right product is a game changer.
Using the wrong product is more common than you might think, and while it might not sound like a big deal, it's prime suspect when looking into what's making our hair greasy the day after our wash, or why it feels like we can't get any moisture into our manes no matter how hard we try.
We've formulated our haircare range to help your hair feel salon fresh every day.
For an intense hit of moisture, we'd encourage the use of our hydrate shampoo and conditioner. For a lighter shampoo to encourage body, our hairdressers might suggest our volume range.
“Before I started, I didn’t realise I wasn’t washing my hair in the best way possible”, says Toni Partridge, now a Salon Stylist at our Stockbridge salon.
Toni has four years' experience in caring for clients. Amongst many other things, one of Toni’s main duties before she qualified in 2022 was to shampoo and condition our client’s hair, ready for our stylists to cut and blow dry.
Perhaps the next reason you're not getting as long from your at-home wash is that professionals tend to shampoo twice. Once explained, this makes complete sense!
“People often wonder why we do two shampoos,” says Toni. “The first shampoo will cleanse your hair of any dirt, oiliness, or product. The second will treat your hair with the benefits of the shampoo. For example, if we’ve chosen a hydrating shampoo such as Charlie Miller Hydrate, the first one cleanses the hair and scalp while the second gets to work at its particular job; which in this case will be to intensely nourish the hair and scalp”.
Toni has perfected her technique over the years.
“Wet the hair with warm water, rubbing your hands together slightly for activation and to ensure you’re applying it evenly”.
There’s no need to add shampoo to the lengths and ends of your hair.
Concentrate on the scalp and roots, and the product will work its way through as you rinse. Your first rinse doesn’t have to be super-thorough; you’re going to repeat the process.
You need only use a small amount of shampoo too.
A little goes a long way with professional products, so start with a 20p size for each shampoo, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. “You shouldn’t need more than a 10p size amount” suggests Toni.
For an experience more like your professional service, get to know their expert moves!
“I always start at the nape of the neck” says Sophy, a hairdressing apprentice at Stockbridge. “Then I work my way up the head, concentrating on the crown and then the front of the head, being careful to reach every part of the scalp”.
Toni agrees. “The crown and the nape of the neck are the areas people miss on their own hair most often”.
This tried and tested technique calls for a relatively firm hand. Using the fingertips to push in toward each other, interlacing and then repeating this motion. Do this for around a minute, then rinse.
Many of our clients tell us that having their hair washed - alongside a luxurious head massage - is their favourite part of the experience.
Great for nourishing and thoroughly cleansing the scalp, enhancing blood circulation in the head and neck area and strengthening the roots. It also simply feels like a luxurious treat.
Traditionally at Charlie Miller we introduce our head massage during the second shampoo.
You can try this at home on yourself, by lathering up and then concentrating on your pressure points.
Trainee Jodie gets many compliments on her head massages from clients. She recommends being firm yet slow.
“The five pressure points are at the front of the head, the temples the backs of the ears, the nape of the neck and then the crown. Work your way round with your fingers in this order, keeping the pressure, and making three circles with your fingers at each point. Go back round, pressing on each pressure point this time.”
You’ll probably find that the shampoo doesn't lather on the first shampoo, because it’s getting to work on the oils. On the second, you’ll feel a lot more foam. This is a great way to check if you’ve got your wash technique correct.
To truly wash your hair like a professional, condition the right way!
Use around a 5p size amount of conditioner on your lengths and ends. Again use more if your hair is thick or particularly long. Comb through gently, and then rinse after 3-5 minutes.
“Avoid your roots!”, warns Toni. “If you feel you need a little conditioner on the ends of a long fringe or around the hair framing your face, go ahead and apply it to them.”
It can be so easy to over rinse your conditioner, fearing a greasy blow dry, but your hair shouldn’t feel squeaky clean. It should detangle easily without feeling oily if you’ve got the balance right.
Toni warns us off wrapping our hair in a towel, as it can cause breakage. Instead, lightly dry with a microfibre towel then wrap it loosely.
“Always finish with your desired heat protector before you begin your blow dry. Skipping this stage can undo all of your hard work.”
Heat protectors create an essential barrier between your hair and your styling tool. Our Smoothing Blow Dry Crème protects up to 230 degrees, and keeps hair looking smooth, soft and frizz-free after styling. Again, a little goes a long way; apply 1 or 2 hazelnut sized drops through your lengths and ends, then onto your blow dry!
A professional and effective wash takes our trainees a few weeks to master, so don’t worry if you’ve not achieved the desired results straight away.
With a little practice, you could be shampooing and conditioning like a professional, encouraging your hair to be the best it can be and getting a few more precious days from your blow dry!
Alternatively, book online for a wash & blow dry in any of our city centre salons, and get some expert advice first-hand!
Need a recommendation on the right shampoo and conditioner for you? Visit any of our locations for some friendly, complimentary advice.
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