Asia Pacific or East Asian Hair

How to Wash Long Hair – Salon Quality Asian Home Routine

This 3 times-a-week haircare routine (after working out) will enable you to have a healthy head of hair you can wear up or down according to your outfit. I have adapted this hairwashing routine for home use but from my observation I believe this is similar to a salon’s.

You will need

  • Large paddle brush
  • Shampoo
  • Wide-toothed shower comb
  • Large claw clip
  • Conditioner
  • Optional: Hair mask or leave-in conditioner (eg Garnier 3-in-1 Banana & Shea Hair Food Mask)
  • DIY hair oil (1 shots camellia, 1 shot castor and 2 shots coconut oil mixed and shaken in bottle)
  • Hooded hair towel
  • Detangling comb (eg Denman 3-row comb)
  • Roots volume spritz (eg Susanne Kaufmann Hair Light Conditioner Volume)
  • End conditioning oil (eg Aussie 3 Miracle Oil Reconstructor Lightweight Treatment)


  1. Brush your hair out using a large paddle brush.
  2. Step in the shower and wet your hair thoroughly. Shampoo your hair. This is the first shampooing which will remove dirt and sweat from the scalp. Massage your scalp and rinse off thoroughly.
  3. Shampoo again. This time it is to clean the hair itself and you will find the shampoo lathers so much more easily, and it is because the scalp is clean already. Massage your hair and rinse off thoroughly.
  4. Squeeze conditioner onto your hand and apply to the middle and ends of the hair shaft. Have a large claw clip and a chunky wide-toothed combed ready and always leave these in the shower cubicle ready for when you do your hair washing. Comb through the conditioner to detangle and to distribute the conditioner evenly. Wind the hair up into a bun and clamp it with the claw clip.
  5. When you are showering and scrubbing your body for 1-2 minutes, leave the hair up in the claw clip. After you rinse off your body soap, you may remove the claw clip and rinse off the conditioner thoroughly, again using the wide-toothed comb to help remove the excess product.[1]
  6. Once you step out of the shower, quickly and firmly dab the hair dry in a rough way first. If your hair is in a poor condition and has split ends, you should also apply a leave-in treatment to the ends. I use a tablespoon’s worth of the Garnier 3-in-1 Banana & Shea Hair Food Mask, mixed with a droplet of Aussie 3 Miracle Oil Reconstructor Lightweight Treatment. If you don’t have split ends you may skip the leave-in treatment. I do this each time I wash because my hair has been colored but you can do the treatment once a week if your hair is undamaged, short or medium.
  7. Wrap hair in a hooded hair towel. You can also make this yourself using microfibre super absorbent toweling fabric. If you cannot find something like this to buy, I got both of mine in a charity shop or thrift store but I have seen them on sale in a chemist too. If not blowdrying i.e. allowing your hair to naturall dry, take the hooded hair towel off after 10 minutes. To prevent flat, lanky hair, spray Susanne Kaufmann Hair Light Conditioner Volume to the roots and the shaft. It’s very expensive at £26.00 for 150ml but it will last a long time and it does the job very well. You don’t have to style your hair or think about it any more until the next wash. This is a 2-in-1 solution for detangling and volumizing. Comb your hair through with Denman 3-row comb and allow hair to air dry.
  8. If blowdrying, leave the hair in the wrap for 20 minutes or 80% dry while you get ready, get changed and do your makeup. The treatment will have a lot of time to be absorbed and work on your hair while it is drying naturally with your own body heat. Do not blowdry everyday. It is a treat but is damaging for the hair too. I know. It’s a contradiction in terms, like chocolate. I like to blow dry about once a week, one more if there is a special occasion or event.

[1]ASIAN HOT TIP #1: Rinsing with rice water as a final step is my top Chinese hair secret. It’s been practiced for thousands of years. It is the cloudy water which you collect after you wash uncooked rice grains. You can use it even after it’s fermented as it is full of nutrients. When you wash and rinse rice, collect the water in a jug. Keep this near the shower when you wash your hair and rinse with it.

*ASIAN HOT TIP #2: Camellia oil in the DIY hair oil concoction has been used for thousands of years by Chinese women. Camellia oil or tea seed oil is cold pressed from seeds of the evergreen camellia shrub cultivated in Japan and China. There are five types of this shrub, and extracts from each have different properties. Coconut oil is my South East Asian contribution because it is cheap and widely available, yet very rich and nourishing. Castor oil stimulates hair growth.

I use this versatile DIY oil on both hair and rub the excess into my elbows, nails and cuticles. If dabbed on a cotton bud and applied to upper eyelids, it also becomes an eyelash serum. Camellia oil is an ingredient used in traditional Chinese cosmetic recipes. It is the secret of beautiful, healthy, glossy and silky smooth hair. It gives that healthy Asian hair appearance. A key point is to apply the oil only when the hair is dry. Remember water and oil do not mix. If you apply when the hair is wet, it will stay looking greasy and wet. You don’t need that.

If you enjoyed this post, please share! As usual I would love to hear from you. All comments and feedback are welcome. If I have missed out on anything, please let me know.

Ivy Ngeow was born and raised in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. She is of Chinese origin and the author of numerous short stories and two novels, Cry of the Flying Rhino (2017), Proverse Hong Kong, winner of 2016 International Proverse Prize, and Heart of Glass (2018), Unbound UK. A qualified professional makeup artist, she trained at the Illamasqua School of Makeup Art in Piccadilly, London, in April 2013. She is a mother of two and keen on the beauty, health and fitness lifestyle. Asian Secrets Revealed: How to Look Utterly Awesome at 50 (or better than you did at 30) in 8 weeks will be her first non-fiction ebook.

#heartofglass #cryoftheflyingrhino Tweet me: @ivyngeow


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My name is Ivy.

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