How to Wash Your Hair Like a Pro, According to a Hairstylist

There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting your hair washed by a hairdresser—it's like they have magic hands. That light-as-air feeling you get after a good hair-washing is one that makes you want to swish your mane as you walk out of the salon (c'mon, that's not just us!). But we want that feeling every time we wash our hair at home, so we asked Syd Hayes to spill on the secret art of in-salon hair-washing.

Meet the Expert

Syd Hayes is a brand ambassador for BaByliss PRO, L’Oreal Paris’ UK hair styling expert, and celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin. He is based in London.

Keep scrolling to find out how you can re-create that feeling at home and which deep-cleansing shampoos to use.


"The first thing we teach apprentices to do in the salon is how to wash hair properly," Hayes tells Byrdie."It's so important!"

You need to start at the hairline, says Hayes. "Most women wear makeup and might not cleanse their hairline properly when they wash their faces at night," he says. In fact, acne cosmetica is a condition that often occurs along the hairline and is caused by cosmetics, causing spots to form, so take note. 

"Work down the hairline to the temples and then down to the nape of the neck. We all sweat and wear collars, so cleaning this area properly is crucial."

It's key that hair is really wet and that you use enough product to get a good lather over the whole head. "Work your fingers across your scalp in a figure of eight-motion to massage in the shampoo, and make sure to use the pads of your fingertips with a good pressure," explains Hayes. "You want to use a slightly faster pace than if you were massaging, and be sure to cover the whole scalp."

Rinse the hair, then if you have time or want a really thorough cleanse, apply more shampoo, this time using a scrubbing motion with your fingertips. "Washing your hair is all about cleansing the scalp! By really removing all the dirt and product buildup, you're allowing your scalp to breathe again."

Rinse a second time, and now apply your conditioner. "Don't apply to the roots, as this will just clog up the pores on your scalp again. Condition the mid-lengths and ends, then rinse."

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Masque Pre-Shampoo Treatment $6

This new pre-shampoo clay-based hair masque does the hard work for you. Work it into a dry scalp before shampooing—it draws out oil and grease.

Bumble and Bumble Bb Sunday Shampoo $27

For infrequent hair washers—or anyone who uses a lot of styling products—this weekly shampoo deep-cleanses the hair of any product, pollutant or dirt buildup, leaving it looking shinier and healthier, as if you've been to the salon.

Aveda Exfoliating Shampoo $34

Salicylic acid cleanses the scalp, while tumeric and ginseng invigorate. Milk thistle and millet seed help to soothe and calm tight or irritated scalps.

Christophe Robin Clarifying Shampoo $34

Christophe Robin's clever deep-cleansing shampoo gently draws out unwanted pigment if your newly dyed hair is too dark. It also eliminates residue to brighten highlighted or natural hair.

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Re-Balancing Shampoo $3

For oily hair types or anyone with dandruff, this shampoo contains a combination of three types of clay to cleanse the hair and scalp. They guarantee a feeling of freshness for 72 hours, which means you don't need to wash your hair quite so often. Result. 

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two $13

If you want brighter, lighter, fresher hair, look for shampoos that claim to be clarifying. This one contains chamomile, rosemary, aloe vera and jojoba to draw dulling impurities away from your mane. 

Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo $29

Another shampoo for irritated scalps, this contains rosemary oil, menthol, salicylic acid and ginger to refresh hair, soothe an irritated scalp and prevent dandruff. 

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