The Shampooing Mistakes That Are Aging Your Hair

Turns out, there is a right way to lather up.

Don't underestimate that power of a good shampoo routine. Following a few simple rules will help your hair age gracefully—and not a moment too soon. Whether it's using the right temperature water, a shampoo that's specifically formulated for your hair thickness, or even taking your time when you hop into the shower, paying attention to how you treat your strands when lathering up can make all the difference. Here are the biggest shampoo mistakes that can age your hair.

Woman Shampooing Hair in Bath Tub
Getty/PhotoAlto/John Dowland

Not Using the Right Shampoo

Shampoos are no longer one size fits all. There are countless brands, varieties, formulas, and price points to choose from. Start by finding a formula that's suitable for your hair thickness (fine, thick, etc.) with hair type (curly, straight, color treated, etc.) coming secondly.

Using Water That's Too Hot

We know it's tempting, especially during the chillier months, but resist the urge to crank up the heat on that stream. Warm water is a good rule of thumb, though some hair professionals swear by a cold rinse at the end to close the hair follicle. If you can take the chill, go for it. Otherwise, you should be covered as long as you keep the water temperature relatively mild.

You're in a Hurry

If you're an in-and-out shower person, you might be damaging your hair. Take the time to get hair completely wet, make sure to get a good lather going, and don't be afraid to go for round two if you find that hair still has a dirty feel to it. To that end, if you have trouble getting a good lather going, hold off on adding more shampoo until you've tried adding more water. Quickly dash your head under the water stream, then continue lathering. If your strands are thoroughly wet and you're still having trouble gaining suds, then it could be time to add more shampoo.

You Use the Same Shampoo Year-Round

Just like our skin, our hair needs can change with the season. Maybe it needs more moisture during the winter months or requires fewer washes. Reevaluating the best shampoo and process seasonally will help keep your hair happy and healthy year-round.

You Wash It Too Often Or Not Enough

There's no surefire washing schedule to keep to—it's all subjective. One head of hair might be at its most healthy when it's washed daily with a gentle shampoo, while another only needs a weekly or bi-weekly wash. One thing is for certain, overdoing it on the dry shampoo or jumping on the no-poo bandwagon without doing your research can damage hair, resulting in lackluster, flat, or even thinning hair. Both dry shampoo and no-poo options can plug up the scalp, which damages hair at the root—never a good thing.

You're Too Rough

When hair is saturated, it's at its most fragile. Whipping a brush through wet strands, or going gangbusters with the scalp brush while you're lathering up can do damage. Prep hair before showering by gently combing through prior to hopping in the shower. You can even arm your hair with a prewash like Aquis Prime Water Defense Pre Wash, which fortifies hair against damage caused by the swelling and stretching that happens when hair is wet.

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