We all want our hair care routine to help our hair live its best life. Whether that means coaxing out the bounciest curls or cultivating the shiniest waves, it all starts the same way: in the shower. No matter your hair type—or challenges—the right lather, rinse and repeat makes a world of difference. Yes, that’s right: You can wash (and treat) your way to shinier, smoother and more manageable hair—plus, a healthier scalp.
For most people, it takes trial and error to figure out the best routine—especially since there isn’t a universal approach for every hair type, texture, length, or style. Here’s how to discover the best hair care routine for your hair type and scalp needs—and which mistakes can sabotage even the best hair care intentions.
What is my hair type?
It’s a little simpler to look after your hair once you’ve identified your hair type. Another factor to keep in mind is your scalp—because, healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. Curious about how to know what type of hair you have? Essentially, there are three types of hair: oily, dry and normal. Deciding which is which is often based on the texture, quality and feel of the hair.
Oily hair: If you have oily skin, you are more likely to have an oily scalp (and hair). However, there’s a difference between having oily hair and hair that just needs a wash. Here are some signs that your scalp is producing too much oil:
- Your hair becomes greasy within a day of shampooing.
- You have an itchy scalp.
- You notice clogged pores and blemishes on and around the scalp.
- You feel like your hair is never clean enough.
Dry hair: Having a predisposition of dryness on the scalp can also mean parched locks—but there are other causes, such as overusing heat-styling tools, UV exposure, and hair bleaching, all of which can add to dryness and cause a higher porosity of strands. Here are some signs that your hair is not producing enough oil:
- You have frizzy hair.
- You have an excessive amount of split ends.
- Your hair breaks easily and is extremely rough at the broken parts.
- Your hair looks dull and flat.
Normal hair: If this is you, you won the jackpot. This means the pH balance of your scalp is normal (5.5 pH). Your hair is healthy and strong and stays clean for three to four days after washing. Some signs your pH balance is normal:
- You have shiny hair.
- You have smooth and healthy strands.
- You have little to no split ends.
What should a hair care routine include?
In order to know how to build a hair care routine, you need to know the main categories:
- Scalp treatments
- Leave-in treatments
But this doesn’t mean your regimen needs to have all of these components. It depends on your hair type, your lifestyle, and your concerns. However, one thing everyone needs is a good shampoo and conditioner. These are the foundation of every hair care routine, and it’s important that you pick the right ones. Please see below to find a tailored hair and scalp routine based on your concerns.