There’s nothing more frustrating than hopping out of the shower only to realize you didn’t properly rinse out the hair mask/serum/oil you applied. A problem that can only be remedied with another shower (the horror) or resorting to wearing a hat for the next few days.
But here’s the thing. I’m tired of this happening to me every time I decide to do something good for my scalp — a ritual if you will. This is exactly why I tapped certified trichologist Penny James of Penny James Salon in New York to explain more about hair serums and how to properly wash them out of your hair.
It depends on the serum
Right now, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of hair serums on the market. James says that the easiest serums to remove are the ones that are lightweight and made of high-quality natural ingredients like coconut oil, seed oil, or sunflower oil. A quality hair serum, like our Fortifying Hair Serum, can restore scalp health, enhance shine, and prevent hair damage while keeping existing strands lustrous and vibrant.
“The hardest serums to remove are silicone-based serums,” she adds. It might go without saying, but be careful, a lot of brands out there sneak these synthetic ingredients into their formulas. While they aren’t toxic, silicones can weigh your hair down, create build-up over time, and make your hair look flat. However, if you are going to use a silicone-based serum then James suggests making sure that it’s water-soluble.
When to wash
Of course, your scalp type matters as well. If you are prone to an oily scalp, make sure to wash the serum out within a few hours. But if your scalp is dry (or you suffer from dandruff), you may benefit from leaving the serum overnight — just make sure the ingredients are lightweight and all-natural! Heavier hair serums may absorb into your pillow or face so not only do you not get the full benefits but you also increase your risk of breakouts.
The correct way to wash serum out of your hair
There’s an art to washing serum out of your hair as many serums on the market are difficult to remove.
James recommends using a shampoo that lathers well, like a sulfate shampoo, as the lather will help wash the serum out of your hair. It’s important to rub the shampoo between your hands for several seconds so it emulsifies before massaging it into every square inch of your scalp. Then, lift your hair when rinsing to make sure that the water is evenly saturated across your scalp. To minimize breakage, massage as slowly and gently as possible — using your fingertips, not your fingernails. Another way to get deep into the scalp and massage the product out is by using a scalp brush. Finally, rinse and repeat that entire process to guarantee a proper clean!
To achieve the best results, we recommend a weekly hair oiling ritual to hydrate the scalp and soften the strands.
Guest Editor Iman Balagam is a freelance journalist who specializes in wellness, beauty, and lifestyle content.