The Once-a-Week Routine That Will Save Your Hair

While each product featured is independently selected by our editors, we may include paid promotion. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission. Read more about our Product Review Guidelines here.

In a previous post, I mentioned that certain products are like "facials for the hair." It was then that POPSUGAR Beauty Editor Lauren Levinson suggested we go down the rabbit hole and investigate how to give your hair a facial. Because let's get real: the most we probably pamper our manes is during those 10-minute preblowout scalp massages. Otherwise, it's wash, slap on conditioner, and rinse.

While many salons offer hair treatments, you may not be totally confident on how to do a thorough cleaning at home, so we developed a four-step process based on our own hair care successes and routines that will get you on track to a seriously healthy, lustrous mane. Sure, there might be other processes out there, but this works wonders for us. Try it once a week — we bet you'll be hooked! Source: Shutterstock

Step 1: Clarify
Shutterstock

Step 1: Clarify

Just like you'd exfoliate your skin or get extractions to clean clogged pores, you should begin by clarifying your scalp. Buildup from hair spray, dry shampoo, and other products you might have accrued over the week need to be removed! If your hair is naturally on the oily side, this will help tone that down, too. Try Fekkai's Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo ($20) or some good ol' fashioned apple cider vinegar ($15).

"Split your clarifying shampoo between your hands, then apply directly to the scalp," said Frédéric Fekkai stylist Jerome Gaultier. And unlike a treatment you'd leave on for 10 to 20 minutes, being quick is key. "Rinse [the clarifying shampoo] quickly, or you risk drying out the ends of your hair," said Gaultier. He also suggests leaving clarifying products on the scalp for no more than a minute.

Daily Washing Tip
Shutterstock

Daily Washing Tip

Instead of creating friction with your hair by rubbing back and forth, like one normally does with shampoo, focus on massaging the product from your scalp to the nape of your neck, to help get rid of buildup throughout the week.

Step 2: Condition
Shutterstock

Step 2: Condition

Sure, conditioning isn't rocket science. When you wash your hair, you probably include a hydrating helper, too. But one practice that needs to be reiterated? You should avoid the roots of your hair, because if too much product gets in the way, it will weigh down on the scalp.

An easy trick? Create a ponytail with your hands in the shower, and focus your conditioner on that tail section alone. Anything leftover on your hands should be pat onto the crown of the head. Leave on for five minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Step 3: Brush It Through

Step 3: Brush It Through

Stimulating the scalp is essential during a hair-cial, so do yourself a favor and get a brush that's made for getting through wet strands. It will make sure all product has been distributed evenly throughout your mane and help break up excess residue.

Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash Brush ($23)

Step 4: Condition and Protect

Step 4: Condition and Protect

After rinsing out your conditioner in the shower, you'll want to apply a leave-in conditioner to help smooth — and soothe — your strands. And UV protection is crucial here, especially for protecting your hair color (natural or not).

Instead of going for two different products, I'm loving Fekkai's Apres Soleil Cream ($20), a new launch from the brand. It literally means "after sun," but I prefer to use it before stepping foot into the sunlight to help protect my color. It works on wet or dry hair, and it salvages dry, brittle ends due to a day at the beach or too much heat styling.

Frédéric Fekkai (yes, the man himself) told me that the sunflower seed oil used in his Soleil collection was inspired by what a farmer told him: it's great for blocking UVA rays, and since sunflowers (and other plants like olives) move with the sun, it's guaranteed to protect your hair throughout the day. Plus, it adds a beautiful sheen to the hair.