Shampooing With Care


Shampoos are designed to cleanse the hair and scalp, removing dirt and grime without stripping away too much of the natural sebum. They contain cleansing agents, perfume, preservatives, and conditioning agents that can coat the hair shaft to make the hair appear thicker. The conditioning agents smooth the cuticle scales so the hair doesn’t tangle, and help eliminate static electricity from the hair when it dries.


Shampooing and conditioning is required everyday for straight hair to maintain a silky, glowing effect. It is seen that Curly hair gets more voluminous due to its frequent rinsing, thus, it is good to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner in alternative day.


 

The pH Factor


The letters pH refer to the acid/alkaline level of a substance. It is calculated on a scale of 1 to 14. Numbers below 7 denotes acidity, those over 7 alkalinity. Most shampoos range between a pH factor of 5 and 7; medicated varieties have a pH of about 7.3, which is near neutral.


Sebum has a pH factor of between 4.5 and 5.5, which is mildly acidic. Bacteria cannot survive in this pH, so it is important to maintain this protective layer in order to keep the skin, scalp, and hair in optimum condition.


Many shampoos are labelled “pH balanced”, and this means they have the same acidity level as hair. Individuals with fragile, permed, or coloured hair should use a shampoo of this type. However, for strong hair in good condition a pH balanced shampoo is unnecessary, provided shampooing is followed by conditioning.


 

Shampoo Success


Always use a product formulated for your hair type – dry, normal, greasy, or chemically treated – and before shampooing brush your hair to free any tangles and loosen dirt and dead skin cells. Use lukewarm water, as hot water can be uncomfortable.


Wet the hair, then apply a small amount of shampoo and gently massage into the roots, using the pads of your fingertips; never use your nails. Pay special attention to the hairline area, places where make-up and dirt become trapped. Allow the lather to work its way to the ends of the hair. Don’t rub vigorously or you will stretch the hair.


When you have finished shampooing rinse thoroughly until the water runs clean and clear. Repeat the process only if you think your hair needs it, again using only a small amount of shampoo. Finally, blot the hair with a towel to remove excess water before applying conditioner.


If you suffer from dandruff, beware of strong anti-dandruff shampoos. Try an organic product first and if the problem persists consult your doctor or a trichologist.



Shampoo Tips

  • Use the correct shampoo (and not too much) for your hair type. If in doubt use the mildest shampoo you can buy. Dry hair needs a shampoo comprising of lecithin. Lecithin is present in egg yolk. Under nourished hair needs a protein based shampoo like egg shampoo. Greasy hair requires a protein based shampoo embodied with lime, sulphur or cedar base. A mild, non detergent shampoo is ideal.
     

  • Don’t wash your hair in washing-up liquid, soap, or other detergents; they are highly alkaline and will upset your hair’s natural pH balance by stripping out the natural oils.
     

  • Read the instructions first. Some shampoos need to be left on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing.
     

  • If you can, buy small sachets of shampoo to test which brand is most suitable for your hair.
     

  • Never wash your hair in the bath; dirty bath water is not conducive to clean hair, and it is difficult to rinse properly without a shower attachment or separate jug.
     

  • Always wash your brush and comb when you shampoo your hair.
     

  • Change your shampoo every now and then; hair seems to develop a resistance to certain ingredients after a period of time.
     

  • Don’t throw away a shampoo that doesn’t lather. The amount of suds are determined by the active level of detergent. Some shampoos have less suds than others but this has no effect on their cleansing ability. In fact, quite often, the more effective the product, the fewer the bubbles.

 

Shampoos are available in different formulas to suit all hair types and conditions. Make sure you choose one that is right for your hair and use it as often as necessary to keep your hair clean. Rinse out the shampoo thoroughly.


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