Wash & Condition

Should you shampoo and condition your hair?
The answer is yes, but there’s a little more to it.

 

What’s Shampoo & Conditioner For?

Shampoo cleans, conditioner moisturizes.

Scalp and Hair Type

The first thing you should know is your scalp and hair type: dry vs. oily. Knowing this helps you find the right shampoo and conditioner. How do you know?

If your scalp is really itchy or flaky, it’s probably dry. If your hair is super greasy, even soon after washing, or if you get acne around your hairline and scalp it’s probably oily.

Products

Good ingredients: natural stuff like coconut oil, argan oil, tea tree oil.

Bad ingredients: sulfates like ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). You’ll see these in the ingredients listing on the bottle.

Many shampoos have sulfates to make it foam and lather more. Quality, natural shampoos don’t have that crap. Which means they might not lather as much, but that’s ok.

Frequency

Washing causes stress and damage, so you don’t want to wash too often. For most longhairs once every few days will do you right. If your hair is super oily, if you workout or swim every day, or if you work a job where your hair gets grimy you might need to wash more often.


Technique

Is most important. For washing focus on the scalp more than the hair, use your fingertips to really massage the shampoo deeply into your scalp and roots. Rinse thoroughly.

Conditioner is more the opposite. Focus from the middle to the ends of your hair, not so much the roots. Rub it in gently and let it sit for a while, and rinse thoroughly.

Washing and conditioning regularly with the right products and proper technique will keep your hair looking great.


Anything to add? Specific product suggestions? Share in the comments.

Comments

  1. Just a tip, I use that German caffeine shampoo and it’s helped my hair grow and also stopped me balding. It leaves your hair a bit dry but after conditioning it feels great! I have an identical twin and he unfortunately has lost the battle and his hairline has fully retreated back, he refused to wash his hair and said it’s stupid. Poor bloke. Loving what you guys are doing, I’ve been growing my hair now for 4 years and I love it, keep up the amazing work 🙌

    1. Great to hear from you Thomas. Sucks for your brother but at least you are holding strong.

  2. Hi so I’ve been growing my hair for three years. I normally shampoo and condition scalp to tip and I see how shampooing root to tip is bad (my ends have been feeling straw-like for the past few months,) but is conditioning from root to tip inherently bad? I had dry skin and I have always assumed the conditioner could help my scalp to not flake as bad.

    1. Author

      Yo JB! That’s a great question. Personally I don’t like the results when I condition all the way to the roots.

      However everyone’s hair type and scalp type is different, so if you are liking the results you are seeing (especially with a dryer scalp) then stick with it! It certainly won’t be bad for your hair or scalp.

  3. I use Ogx beauty pure and simple Coconut Milk Shampoo. Then follow it up with Ogx beauty pure and simple Coconut Milk Conditioner. This product is made by Vogue Intl in Clearwater FL and yes made in the USA! I buy it at stores like Walgreens or CVS or Target. Ogx beauty pure and simple also makes products with Tea Tree Oil. All, or at least most of there products are Sulfate free. Both the Coconut Milk Shampoo and the Coconut Milk Conditioner also contains egg white proteins to strengthen the hair. I think some years ago Ogx beauty pure and simple was featured in Men’s Health magazine or maybe it was Men’s Fittness magazine, one of the magazines targeted to men. After a shower I allow my hair to air dry and do not comb or brush it at all. I might dab it with my towel but that is all. My hair growing long means freedom from the “conventional wisdoms” of our time. I think us long haired guys are doing right by challenging the “conventional wisdoms” of our time. The Hell with what people say, this is my hair and I choose to grow it long! I don’t choose to give others the power to run my life! Anybody agree with me when I say that I choose not to give other people power over my life? Also, one last tip, I shower no more than 3 times in a week. Since I have started taking less showers, my dandruff has cleared up. All the years I used and tried every single dandruff shampoo and treatment known to man and all I had to do was wash my hair less often! My damn dandruff has completely gone away! Hell Yeah!!

  4. I believe my long hair is oily cause after a day after taking a shower it starts getting greasy but my main concern is if im damaging my hair Wth the wrong shampoo and conditioner I use mane n tail shampoo and conditioner and I’ve been using it since August so I guess I need get off mane n tail and get with a better system?

    1. It’s always good to try new products and find what works best for you. Everyones hair is going to react a little different.

  5. Hey guys,

    If I don’t wash my hair when showering in the morning I tend to feel uncomfortable throughout the day.
    Is it ok to wash every morning if you prefer?

    However, on the flip-side, when I do wash my hair it goes super straight. I never use a hairdryer as it makes me hair very fluffy.
    Is there a way to introduce a bit of a natural wave or messier look to your hair after washing?

    Thanks!

    1. Author

      YO ADRIAN!

      What up man, thanks for writing in. You can shampoo every morning, but it’s not advisable. The reason why is it puts stress and damage each time. There are a few things you can try:
      1. Use your brushing as a cleansing routine.
      2. Wash with only water or only conditioner on most days; then actually shampoo 2-3 times a week.
      3. Try using dry shampoo.

      As for the look you’re talking about…try sea salt spray. Beardbrand makes a nice one.

      Hope this helps amigo. We can help with more details if needed but wanted to give you something to work with.

  6. An effective, natural shampoo and conditioner combo is African black soap and a dilution of apple cider vinegar (roughly 1:8 ratio ACV to water) as the conditioner.

    The black soap won’t suds as much as mainstream shampoos but it cleans well. Rinse the soap out with water then apply the ACV – taking care not to get it in your eyes – then rinse that out. You’ll know you got all the ACV out of your hair when you no longer smell it.

    I have found using this combo leaves me with smooth, shiny hair that combs easily. If you have oily hair like I do, you can use a little more of the black soap during the shampoo.

  7. My hair is currently in a transition waiting to be long enough for the viking braid. I have to use hair wax to hold my hair for now and I find it difficult to wash the wax away without using shampoo and conditional every end of the day. The hair wax also causes a lot of friction when I wash my hair. Do you have any recommendation on removing the wax? Also, I use booby pins to hold my hair on both sides so they wouldn’t “blossom” to the side, I am wondering if the bobby pin would snap the hairs in the long run…

  8. Hi Longhairs! I found this website looking for tips and support for taking care of my 2 year old son’s hair. It’s in the awkward phase right now, but on a 2 year old it doesn’t look so awkward. People are already mistaking him for a girl (he is oblivious. I have to grow thicker skin.) For myself, I’ve almost always had short hair. My mother never taught my sister and I how to take care of our hair. We always had thin, damaged, overly oily hair. So we kept it chopped short. Now, as an adult, I’ve been on my own hair journey, trying to grow my hair out. I have to say, recently I’ve been making herbal rinses to wash my hair with, and I’m liking it a lot better than store bought shampoo. Conventional hair and skin products are way to harsh for me now after training my hair and skin to produce less oil (by cleaning my skin with oil and always keeping it moisturized, washing my hair less, with oil based soaps, and now with herbal rinses instead). If any of you have an interest in herbal rinses, check out this website: https://www.hairbuddha.net/ Sorry for it being so directly aimed at women. It’s the only website I’ve found that really focuses on natural traditional haircare. BTW, El Moreno and El Rubio, your coconut oil quick tip is ON POINT! Thanks, guys, for forming this awesome community that I can direct my son to as he grows up!!

    1. Author

      Alexandra, glad to have you here! So glad you found us. Thanks for the tips on the herbal rinses, and wishing you luck in your son’s (and your) journey to long hair!

      Also, check out these posts on Little Guys With Long Hair.

  9. Would you guys recommend the Tea Tree Shampoo & Conditioner by Paul Mitchell? I’m just trying to find a good Shampoo & Conditioner for my hair. I have pretty oily hair within a day of washing it.
    Sincerely, Vince

    1. Never tried that stuff before but do know Paul Mitchell has got some solid products.

  10. I have found a shampoo and conditioner alternative it’s called shevooh, what it does is, it cleans the grimy stuff out of your hair while keeping the natural oils in. I use it every day except Saturday and Sunday, those days I use regular shampoo, you could also use regular hand soap

  11. I can’t thank you guys enough for all the attention and tips. I’ve decided to let my hair grow at the beggining of this year, and I can’t wait for it to arrive at my shoulders. Also, it’s good to know that I’m not alone hahaha, can’t stand my friends and family’s comments about my decision anymore.

    Cheers from Brazil! <3

  12. So I use always Head and Shouders and it seems to be I have to throw that away. Aaron Cook told me on Facebook. My hair is growing since january 2014 and Aaron hair is much much longer , nevertheless it grows one year longer. Tomorrow: shoppingtime!!

    1. Author

      Without doing a full product review, one product I’ve been quite happy with is “All ‘N One” brand argan oil shampoo and conditioner, you can find them on Amazon. I’ve been using for 2+ years and it’s been good.

      Thanks for writing in man!

  13. Do I need to wash my hair with shampoo before using a conditioner? And thanks for all the great information you really helped me 🙂

  14. I’m digging the blog. I’ve been looking for tips and advice about long hair, lots of great stuff.

  15. Thanks for the answer. You Guys are awesome keep up the good work!

    Greets
    Kai

  16. I’ve got some Questions. (English is my second language so sorry ^^ ) First one: Should i use Conditioner as often as Shampoo? So basically every time i wash my Hair? Second one is about the Coconut oil on the next page. After its in my Hair how long do i have to wait until i do the regular hair wash?

    Greets from Germany!
    Kai

    1. Author

      Yo Kai! Thanks for writing in from Germany man!

      You can use conditioner MORE often than shampoo. If you shampoo twice a week, you can use conditioner 3-4 times. Here’s a little more on that.

      As for the coconut oil. Let the oil stay in your hair for at least a half hour or an hour before washing it out. That will allow your hair to absorb it. Longer is ok too. Here’s a little more about coconut oil.

  17. Man, I’m glad I found this.

    I’ve been growing from an undercut for six months but my hair is pretty curly. Especially by my ears. Yeah, I look like a tall ugly bearded little Dutch girl right now. I only shampoo, maybe every three days and condition or water wash in between. I’ve been using Redken Work Hard mounding paste to tame the frizzies and it sorta works. But is there something better?

    1. Author

      Yo Rob! Glad you found it too.

      It’s kinda whatever the hell works to tame the frizzies. We haven’t used mounding paste, that sounds pretty heavy, but Redken also makes a “taming cream” that works really well. Also try a little coconut oil or argan oil. These are going to be good for your hair naturally without using the heavy chemicals.

      “tall ugly bearded little Dutch girl” -best line on this website so far

  18. Is there any shampoo that you recommend? I’ve been meaning to grow my hair out for ages now and about 4-5 months in, I think I’m nearing the awkward stage. My hair is really really thick and gets frizzy and annoying sometimes. right now it goes to my chin when wet, but since it’s really thick and wavy it only goes to about my ears and is huge. Any tips? You guys are freakin awesome

    1. Conditioner bro. Are you using it? As for shampoo, we don’t really endorse any specific brand but I will say don’t go cheap. You got to get yourself a high quality brand, it’s worth it. I use Nexxus.

  19. I wash and condition my hair every other day, I would go longer but I workout during the week and fear it will start to smell. Should I go longer or will every other day suffice?

    1. Every other day or 3 times a week is solid. I workout to and just make sure that when I do wash I really do a proper job.

  20. The company neuma has a line of products that are great. 100% sulfate free, and they’re even vegan friendly. If you’re into that sort of thing that is lol.

    1. Author

      Yo Trevor! We have heard some good things about it, but have not tried ourselves yet. We intend to research b/c we have heard so much. If you give it a try, let us know how it goes. Or if you want to do a full blown guest post about it let me know and I’ll hit you direct.

  21. I dry my wet hair with a soft tshirt- it is a lot more gentle than a towel. Also if I take hot showers, I try not to wrap a towel around my head when I get out cuz all that warm being trapped makes my hair frizzy af

    1. Author

      Thanks for the tip Kyli! Gonna try that t-shirt trick. Thanks for reading!

  22. I tend to shampoo/condition every day. I’ve tried washing it every other day, but I feel like my hair just feels gross on days when I don’t wash it in the morning. I also just noticed that my shampoo has sodium lauryl sulfate in it so I’ll probably look into getting something new.

  23. I shampoo twice a week, but I was my hair with water everyday and I let it air dry. Do you guys think thats bad?

    1. As long as it’s not getting to oily you should be all good. Make sure to condition though, you don’t want it to dry out.

  24. I got a shampoo bar that’s made of oils like coconut oil Argan oil. The brand is j.r liggets I think. But wondering if it’s fine that I wash it everyday with the bar? I have pretty frizzy hair i don’t know if that makes a difference

    1. Author

      Yo Ty. Checked this out and it looks like good stuff: natural ingredients, essential oils, no sulfates. Even so, you probably don’t want to wash every day unless you’re getting really grimy. Every wash causes a little stress and strain to your hair. Try every other day and see if you get the results you want.

      Hope this helps and thanks for writing in.

  25. Great info I started looking at the shampoos and soaps in my house and all of them have that sodium laurel sulfate. Even my special scent kill hunting soap. Needless to say I’ll be gettin some good stuff real quick. But how bad is it really? I Looked it up on wiki and I might be a dumb old farm boy but it sounds bad

    1. Hey Justin! You don’t need to completely fear it but we would say try to avoid it as much as you can with your hair.

  26. Nature’s Gate has some great natural shampoo and conditioners worth checking out. You might be able to find in your local, health food store or co-op; some main stream groceries also carry it in their healthy aisle.

    1. Author

      Guess you’ll have to grow it out again to test out this newfound knowledge. Thanks BRO!

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