Test your shampoo smarts.

Maddy Zollo

If we ranked our beauty products from the most exciting to the least, shampoo would be down at the bottom of the list hanging out with deodorant and pimple cream: Slightly boring, but necessary. For most of us, washing our hair is second nature, but it’s always good to make sure we aren’t simply going through the motions from time to time. The foundation of a healthy skincare routine is properly washing our face, so it only makes sense that cleansing our hair is equally as important. We chatted with Jana Blankenship, founder of the Hudson Valley based hair and skincare brand Captain Blankenship about the correct way to shampoo. Next time you lather up keep these four pointers in mind:

Don’t Use Too Much Shampoo

While the exact amount will vary depending on your hair’s length, aim to squeeze a quarter sized dollop into your palm. For short pixies, do a little less, and for Rapunzel-length manes, a bit more. Rub it together between your hands, and then apply it all over the scalp, working your way down to the ends. Massaging in the shampoo for a few minutes not only feels great, but it also ensures you coat every strand. “Thoroughly rinse until the water stream is clear,” advises Blankenship to guarantee everything washes out. Follow with conditioner (but for super fine hair you can also try using it pre-shampoo).

Only Cleanse When It’s Really Needed

Try to avoid shampooing every day if possible. Dry shampoo (or a great blowout) is an easy way to stretch out your style between washes. Ideally, two to three times a week should suffice, but condition every time you get your hair wet to keep the ends hydrated. The main reason to avoid over-washing? “It can actually lead to greasier hair due to the overproduction of sebum,” says Blankenship. If you’re constantly stripping hair of its natural oils through shampooing, it triggers your head to over-produce oil. “I found that my hair has gotten used to washing one to two times a week and thrives with less shampooing,” she furthers, so it may be worth a try to cut back to see how your mane reacts.

Embrace Double Shampooing

This is especially the case if you have dry, thick or more textured hair. “The idea behind double shampooing is to pick a deeply cleansing shampoo to cleanse your scalp and roots and a hydrating shampoo to gently wash and moisturize the ends of your hair,” explains Blankenship. “This way, you remove buildup from the scalp and roots while not depleting the moisture from the rest of hair.” The only person that should skip back-to-backs shampoos: Fine haired ladies. Too much cleansing could potentially lead to breakage.

Choose The Right Formula

The haircare aisle can be overwhelming at times, but an easy rule of thumb is to steer clear of any formulations that have sulfates or harsh detergents in them since they can damage strands. “Look for shampoos with plant based cleansing agents that will gently clean your hair without stripping it of its beneficial natural oils,” says Blankenship. Also, some people claim it’s best to switch between shampoo formulas each day so your hair gets different types of nourishment, but that’s not necessarily the case: “I think consistency is best. Just as you don't change your face care routine daily, it makes sense to keep to a routine with hair,” explains Blankenship. Unless of course, you’re toning hair with a color-enhancing shampoo.