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Wash Less Hair Down The Drain With These Expert Shampooing Tips


Hannah Frye

Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

By Hannah Frye

Assistant Beauty & Health Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.

Image by Brat Co. / Stocksy

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Every beauty professional has their nonnegotiable steps. In our series, Like a Pro, we tap experts for the top three techniques they absolutely swear by. Here, you’ll hear from a variety of industry insiders on the fail-safe tricks they always keep in their back pockets. We’re all about simplifying your beauty regimen wherever you can, and sometimes the best routines are as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Ah, yes, the gut-wrenching feeling that happens when a few too many hairs wash down the drain. If this scenario sounds familiar, you should first know that shedding an average of 50 to 100 hairs a day is completely normal—so take a deep breath. 

Second, know that you can take steps to help ease some of the increased shedding, even while in the shower. To come, professional hairstylist and Aveda Global Artistic Director, Ricardo Dinis, shares the essential protocol for shampooing with less shedding. Here’s the 101.


Use a pre-shampoo scalp treatment

If you aren’t using a pre-shampoo treatment, you may want to start now. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for an oil-based treatment or a lightweight serum—both are great, but folks with oily roots may prefer a water-based formula. 

Dinis recommends the Aveda Scalp Solutions Exfoliating Scalp Treatment—a slick gel that helps remove excess oil, surface pollution, and product buildup, he says.

Keeping your scalp free of buildup is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to combatting excess shedding. Think of it like sprucing up your scalp to create a prime environment for growth and lifting weight off your roots, helping them thrive.

Plus, completing this step pre-shower ensures that your shampoo and any post-cleanse scalp products you use effectively reach the follicles. However, you’ll want to limit scalp exfoliation to once or twice weekly to avoid irritation (as you would with your face).


Find a shampoo with tea tree oil 

When shampoo shopping, look for tea tree oil on the ingredient list. “This natural ingredient provides antimicrobial properties to soothe the scalp and reduce irritation,” Dinis says. 

Other than providing a soothing sensorial experience, tea tree oil can help effectively cleanse away excess product buildup, oil, and dead skin that has accumulated on the scalp. 

What’s more, it helps to balance oil on the scalp, so you can go longer between washes–a major plus for those prone to oily roots after just one or two days post-wash. 


Massage intentionally

Finally, reevaluate how you’re shampooing your hair. Are you rushing through the process? Missing parts of your scalp entirely? Tugging on your roots? All of these mishaps may contribute to increased shedding. 

Instead, Dinis says, remember these simple tips the next time you’re cleansing: 

Try circular motions: Instead of rubbing your scalp with abandon, complete circular motions to work in the shampoo. “This boosts blood circulation and enhances the overall experience without causing unnecessary damage,” he explains. Plus, scalp massage has been shown to support improved hair thickness1 and reduce stress2 in clinical studies–so it’s worth the time spent. Focus on pressure points: “Pay extra attention to pressure points along the hairline and the base of the skull, using a gentle touch to ensure a relaxing massage,” Dinis says. If you’re going to wash your hair, you might as well make it a relaxing ritual. Only use your finger pads: You may think your fingernails help lift buildup, but this is really only going to irritate the gentle scalp skin. “Avoid using your nails and rely on the pads of your fingers to massage and stimulate the scalp, maintaining a gentle approach,” Dinis instructs. 

The takeaway

To reduce shedding in the shower, consider using an exfoliating pre-shampoo treatment alongside a shampoo with tea tree oil. Never pull on your roots, and always use your finger pads, not your nails, to work the product in. Easy! Not sure if your everyday shedding has crossed over into full-on hair loss? Here’s how to tell.  

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