Beauty & Wellness

8 Common Hair Washing Mistakes That Are Making Your Hair And Scalp Age Faster

How to wash your hair properly

Washing our hair’s a deceptively simple task. For most of us, the process mainly involves using shampoo and conditioner, but even then, it’s enough for some bad habits to form. Case in point: putting conditioner right on our roots, combing our hair when it’s wet, rubbing it dry with a towel…the list goes on.

And over time, these habits do cause damage to the hair and scalp. But before you begin fretting, it’s not too late to nip those habits in the bud. We know how important our tresses are to us, so to help you out, here are 8 common hair washing mistakes that we make, along with ways to correct them.

1. Scratching your scalp with your nails

After a long day out in Singapore’s sweltering weather, It’s common to come home with an itchy scalp. As a result, we tend to go ham once we hit the shower – by scrubbing away at our scalps with our nails.

While this does bring about some sweet relief, doing so actually damages your scalp more than you realise. It can cause flaking and inflammation, and may even result in wounds and scabs. That in turn results in more itchiness – so really, you just get trapped in this never-ending cycle.

What to do instead: Use your fingertips instead of your nails. It’s much gentler, and it’s less likely to hurt the scalp.

2. Brushing your hair when it’s wet

Our hair gets tangled after every hair wash, and the urge to immediately brush it out after is so real. But do keep in mind that your lovely locks are much weaker when they’re damp, making them more prone to breakage.

What to do instead: Having tangle-free hair after a rinse is an almost-impossible feat, but you can still keep the knots to a minimum. Brush it out right before you hop into the shower – that way, your hair is silky smooth, and you can skip the post-wash comb-through.

3. Washing hair with hot water

Ensure that your water temperature isn’t too extreme before washing your hair

Running a hot shower feels like a godsend on tense and sore muscles, but do avoid extreme temperatures when washing your hair. Too hot, and it opens up the hair cuticle, which dries it out and makes it more vulnerable to breakage. The lack of moisture also means that your hair is more prone to frizziness – something you don’t want in a climate as finicky as Singapore’s.

What to do instead: Use lukewarm water instead. It’s warm enough to dissolve any build-up, and it’s also just the right temperature to open up your hair cuticle to allow the goodness of your shampoo to penetrate and work its magic.

Once that’s done, switch to cool water. It’ll close your hair cuticles, which will seal in the moisture and give your hair a shinier, smoother look.

4. Washing hair as soon as you step into the shower

Many of us begin shampooing as soon as we start our shower, but this actually isn’t the best course of action. Shampoo doesn’t work as effectively when the hair’s only half-wet – that means it won’t lather properly, and you’ll have some funky buildup lying atop your scalp.

What to do instead: Before reaching for the bottle, be sure to run the shower over your head for at least 30 seconds. It’ll help get rid of the topmost layer of residue, and prep the hair for the shampoo.

5. Putting conditioner on your scalp

If you’re one of those who do this, it’s time to curb it ASAP. Our scalps naturally produce enough sebum on a daily basis, and piling even more conditioner on top of that will have you running the risk of clogged follicles, which inhibits hair growth and amps up the sebum production rate.

What to do instead: Only run your conditioner through the ends and the mid-section of your hair. These areas tend to be drier and will thus require an extra shot of hydration.

6. Using shampoo just once

Shampoo bottles state “rinse and repeat”, but while most of us make do with a single rinse, there’s actually some value to the statement.

In a country as sweat-inducing as Singapore, oil and sweat accumulate on our scalp extra quickly. That, along with product residue, means there’s a load of gunk on your head, and you’ll need an extra wash to ensure that your hair is completely clean.

What to do instead: Be sure to do a second wash and concentrate your lathering efforts on the scalp to get rid of as much build-up as possible.

7. Lathering for less than 30 seconds

Working up a proper lather is an important step to ensure a scalp that’s properly cleaned out.

Singaporeans are inherent fast-paced busy bees that are quick in almost everything we do. That extends to the amount of time we spend shampooing our hair. Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of rinsing it off just a few seconds after pouring it onto our heads.

Think of it this way – spend too little time lathering up, and it’s akin to a quick wipe across a dirty plate. As much as we want to be done ASAP, we need to invest more time in lathering to ensure that we get rid of as much grime as possible.

What to do instead: The recommended amount of time to spend on your scalp is 3 minutes, but anytime between 30 seconds to a minute is enough to do the job. It doesn’t just wash away dirt, it also increases blood flow to the scalp and brings more nutrients up to the hair follicle.

8. Rubbing your hair dry with a towel

There are countless scenes on the big screen where the hot, bare-bodied lead actor runs a towel through his hair. But before we jump to follow suit, we need to know that drying our hair that way is actually more damaging than we realise.

Doing so ruffles up the cuticles of your hair follicle, which overall spells out more frizz and damage. Additionally, hair is already more fragile when wet, and the rough nature of the action will simply cause it to break off.

What to do instead: If you have the time, simply let your hair air-dry. Alternatively, gently dab your towel on your hair, or squeeze the water out.

Getting healthier hair with PHS HAIRSCIENCE

Washing our hair may seem like an easy task, but there’s more to it than just the usual shampoo-and-condition routine. In our bid to be as efficient as possible, we’ve developed a bunch of habits that can actually harm our hair in the long run.

Whether we’re scraping our scalp with our nails or putting conditioner at the roots, most of us commit at least one of these hair washing mistakes daily. That, coupled with the unrelenting tropical climate, tends to wreak havoc on our hair health in the form of dandruff, hair fall, and the like.

But while we can’t change the weather, it’s never too late to switch up our habits. Proper hair washing practices are a good start, and with the right products, it’ll go a long way in ensuring that our hair remains in tip-top condition.

That’s where the PHS HAIRSCIENCE Daily Regime comes in. Consisting of three simple steps – the Double Cleanse, Moisturise, and Treat – it’s an effective way of keeping your scalp in prime condition. All products are made with plant stem cells and botanical essences – without any icky chemicals like parabens to cause even more damage. 

The Soothe range is powerful yet gentle, and they instantly alleviate scalp issues like itchiness while also providing enough nutrients to the scalp. To begin your journey towards healthier locks, here’s what you need to do:

Start the process with the Double Cleanse step, where you’ll first be using the ADV Nutrition Shampoo ($48) to thoroughly remove dirt from the scalp. Follow that up with the ADV Soothe Shampoo ($48), which will gently cleanse the scalp and treat any existing dryness.

After that, apply the ADV Nutrition Conditioner ($48) to your hair to nourish and hydrate your parched locks. You can then finish up with a spot of ADV Soothe Tonic ($108) to boost your scalp health – think of it as the serum of your scalp-care routine, to provide nutrients while simultaneously strengthening the scalp. 


And these products aren’t all they have. They’ve also got a huge range of other products that tackle everything from hair loss to chemically-damaged hair. Each item is high in concentration, so rest assured that they’ll grant you tangible results – and quick ones at that. 

If you’re keen on trying this out, check out their full range of products by dropping by any of their outlets here. Alternatively, those who prefer online shopping can hit up their online store, or make their purchases via websites like Lazada, Shopee, and Singapore Airlines’ KrisShop.

Additionally, those of you jetting off in the next few months or so can pick up a daily regime travel-sized set with any purchase from 6th to 16th February 2020.

Find more information about PHS HAIRSCIENCE here

This post was brought to you by PHS HAIRSCIENCE.
Photography by Olivia Tan. 

Farzana Fattah

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