First, water. Unless you've just been dragged from a frozen lake or are trying to shake the affects of a truly horrible bottle of wine, not too hot please, especially if your hair is coloured; hot water will fade the colour and dry out the hair.
Shampoo. The noun, not the verb. There is indeed a very significant difference between good salon shampoo and the five dollar a bottle stuff. Those who have heard me rant about this before know how I feel, so I'm going to restrain myself ... a little. Those who think shampoos are all the same likely think all rice is the same — or orange juice — or pasta — or snowflakes. If you're one of them, bless you, but pay attention, will ya?! Cheap shampoo is like being kissed on the cheek by a scruffy old man when you're a 16 year old female. Good shampoo is like kissing a 16 year old female on the cheek when your a scruffy old man.
If you have short hair, scrub til you're pink, if that's what moves you; but if your hair stretches out to below your beautiful chin, please remember that only the scalp needs scrubbing, not the hair. Nobody likes to be roughed up, so leave the long hair down, don't bring it up on top and rub it all into a big, soapy, tangled ball. Apply the shampoo, scrub gently with your fingers somewhat underneath the hair, then, once you've got suds, simply squish them down through the rest of the hair. A sound coming from your hair that's somewhere between a growl and a purr means you did it right. If you suddenly hear the TV go on, you might want to re-think things.
Get the shampoo off as soon as it's done its job — which isn't long. The longer it stays in, the more it strips out colour and natural oils. I know there are people who claim shampoo actually helps the condition of the hair. If you could see the expression on my face right now, you'd know how I feel about that.
I know it may seem a little silly to get all excited about shampooing when you're supposed to make sure it's over with in two minutes, but think of it this way: great kisses are like that. You're daydreaming about it, getting a little excited, getting your pucker all warmed up — and in less than a minute, it's done! There's a lot of beautiful experiences in life that last only a moment, and that's just fine, so long as you're fully there for them and make the getting ready part just as juicy.