When it comes to keeping clean and keeping your hygiene in check, nothing beats a soothing shower. There are two schools of shower lovers: The quick, speed wash where the bare essentials are washed from head to toe in under 10 minutes or the long, luxurious and leisurely soak that pampers mind, body and soul. Though everyone is familiar with these two styles, it’s the strategic shower that beauty editors practice every time they step under the spray. It may seem that taking a shower is pretty straightforward, but if you want to make your shower regimen more effective, ultra-cleansing, hair-nourishing and complexion-perfecting, you can optimize the look and feel of your strands and skin with a few new grooming rules.
Before the shower even starts running and the water hits your skin, an effective shower routine starts with prepping the body with brushing. Combing through your hair distributes natural oils from the scalp and detangles dry hair, while exfoliating your body with a dry brush gets blood flowing before you hop into the tub.
While most people may begin with their face, you should cleanse your hair first and foremost. A thorough rinse will loosen up any dirt and oil prior to shampooing and then you can squeeze a dime-sized amount of shampoo into your locks, working it into a rich lather. Don’t forget the back of your neck, as this often-neglected spot is where most of your hair’s natural oils collect.
Once you’ve rinsed out all the product, squeeze (don't wring!) your hair to remove any excess water, and finish with conditioner on the lower half of your locks.
After thoroughly rinsing your hair free of any shampoo and conditioner, begin on your body. Stick to ultra-hydrating cleansers and avoid traditional soaps when possible since soap can often be drying.
A rushed step for most, shaving is one of the banes of most women’s existence in the shower. The key to avoiding cuts and ingrown hairs is a sharp razor and to replace dull blades every five to seven shaves. Never, ever store your razor in the shower because that can lead to dulling or rusting. Skin prep is just as important before this step, since you should be using an actual moisturizing shaving cream, not just your body wash.
Hair, body, face. It’s the order that cleansing should always be done — no ifs, ands or buts. As soon as you step into the shower, your pores begin to open, making this prime time for cleansing. If you wash your face prior to shampooing and conditioning, however, excess product runoff can clog those open pores and cause breakouts, which is why it’s best to leave your face for last.
As women, we accumulate a ton of products for just about everything under the sun. To make your hygiene routine work better, it is all about planning and maintaining a product schedule. Things like clarifying shampoos, hair masks and exfoliation should be incorporated once a week into your shower for the best head-to-toe clean.
When exiting the shower, don’t sabotage your clean by rushing your post-shower routine. Pat your skin dry with a clean, soft towel and apply a moisturizing body lotion to your skin in your steamy bathroom. Try to avoid throwing and twisting your hair up into a towel turban since this can cause breakage and frizz.