ELLE Australia
Haircare Beauty Damaged Hair Image Credit: ELLE Australia
Haircare Beauty Damaged Hair Image Credit: ELLE Australia

Are You Washing Your Hair Wrong?

A regular sudsing routine may be doing more harm than good

Kate Lancaster

Washing your hair can often feel like one of life’s biggest burdens. Just like wrestling with autocorrect or organizing your tax return, it requires time, energy and a whole lot of mental stamina. But in the end, you always do what’s best for your hair, right? Well, maybe not.

It turns out your locks may be dreading the wet, wash and dry process as much as you are. That’s because your strands are made up of keratin, which is protected by a natural biome layer to defend the hair’s inner cortex against water, heat damage and other environmental stressors. With each wash, that protective layer is stripped away, which means the keratin absorbs water and the hair becomes weak and susceptible to damage. “When hair is wet, strands stretch and swell, becoming more vulnerable – this is called hygral fatigue,” says Britta Cox, founder of haircare brand Aquis. “When we add heat and styling tools, weather exposure, pollution, and product build-up into the mix, we disrupt our hair’s protective ecosystem and are left with hair that’s dull, damaged, tangled and prone to breakage.”

But don’t stock up on dry shampoo and shower caps just yet. You should still wash your hair, you just need a new approach. The first step is to add a pre-shampoo product to your haircare routine, stat. As Cox explains, using a product pre-wash will protect your hair from potential harm. “It prevents waterlogging, maintains


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