A great shower gets you clean, helps you feel refreshed, and improves the appearance of your skin and hair. But to enjoy all these benefits, you need to take the right steps. Discover a few essential tips for taking the best shower every time.
1. Use Quality Water
Many American households have hard water with a high concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium. The top reason you shouldn’t shower with hard water is that it makes your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash less effective.
If you shower with hard water, the excess minerals interact with the surfactants in your cleaning products and can cause a thin film to coat your hair and skin. A simple water softening treatment will improve your water and help your products work the way they should.
2. Shower Quickly in Warm Water
Hot water relaxes your muscles, but the high temperature can strip your skin and scalp of beneficial natural oils. For the best clean, shower in warm—not hot—water.
If you have very dry skin or a condition that affects skin dryness, such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, try to limit your showers to 5 minutes. You can still enjoy the occasional long shower, but for the health of your skin, make this the exception rather than the rule.
3. Distribute Shampoo Evenly Over Your Scalp
Another essential tip for taking the best shower is to distribute shampoo evenly over your scalp. For fine hair, use about a nickel-sized amount of shampoo. For very thick hair, the amount of roughly two quarters should work.
Focus on gently massaging the shampoo into your scalp for 30–60 seconds before rinsing. You don’t need to apply shampoo to the ends of your hair because the product runs down your hair and cleans it as you rinse. Don’t forget to wash the area near the nape of your neck, which can be easy to neglect—especially if you have long hair.
4. Apply Conditioner Correctly
Conditioner protects your hair and makes it softer and shinier. For the best results, use a conditioner made for your hair type.
Gently wring excess water from your hair before using conditioner. Apply the product to the ends of your hair only since your scalp produces oil that naturally coats your hair at the roots.
If you’re using a rinse-out conditioner, let the product sit on your hair for a minute or so before rinsing. If you’re using a deep conditioner, you might leave it in for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Wash Top to Bottom
As the conditioner works its magic, wash your body top to bottom. Give special care to the dirtiest areas of your body, such as the underarms, groin, and feet. Whether you use bar soap or body wash, choose a product that doesn’t cause skin irritation or dryness. You might need to use one product for your body and a different product for your face since facial skin is more delicate.