hair chat. shampoos

I have many people ask me to talk about shampoos. There are so many different kinds of shampoos that range in prices so it can be hard to determine which is the best for you. I did quite a bit of online research and in no way can say that I knew all this info before I wrote this post. So don't feel bad if this is all new to you because some parts were for me as well!

  • Shampoo is meant to remove dirt, sebum (a.k.a. oils), and product buildup from your hair. But there are dozens of different brands to choose from, and even more types within those brands. The same goes for conditioners. Conditioners are meant to add shine, protect hair from drying out and allow for easier combing.
  • Some cheap shampoos contain foaming agents that can dry out the hair. This is good for oily, limp hair. But if your hair is sun-damaged, chlorine-damaged or color-damaged then you should invest in more expensive shampoo.
  • If your hair is colored, you really should consider a shampoo that is specially designed for colored hair. This is because the shampoos are made to be more gentle on your hair & will contain ingredients to preserve color.

The many names of ingredients on bottles can be confusing. But it's true the right ingredients make all the difference. Rather than pay attention to the names on the bottles, pay more attention to the ingredients. Does the shampoo include a mild cleanser like sodium laureth sulfate or a stronger one like ammonium lauryl sulfate? This is something I do not pretend to know much about. HERE is a site that talks about the ingredients if you want to know more about them!

Since a lot of you are moms... I thought I would include some info about children's shampoos. Forget the cute bottles and pretty colors. That is the last thing that should concern you. Instead, look at the product. You want it as free as possible from coloring and fragrance. Those ingredients are not necessary and just because a product claims to be mild, does not make it so. Look at the ingredients!

I also found this info about dandruff/dry skin on the scalp... The best remedy for dandruff is to rotate three over-the-counter dandruff shampoos -- one containing salicylic acid (to exfoliate), one containing selenium sulfide (to soothe) and a third containing pyrithione zinc (an anti-inflammatory) interspersing them with regular shampoo. A trio of treatments is most effective because if you use only one the fungus could adapt and become immune to it. When the seasons change, my scalp gets dry. I will normally use head and shoulders at least once a week to prevent it from getting too bad.

Choosing a shampoo according to your hair type is a good way to start out your shampoo search!
  • Coarse hair is usually porous, which means it quickly absorbs moisture and other chemicals applied to it. Coarse hair is sometimes the result of over processing. Thus if you often perm, color or straighten your hair you may have course hair. Usually coarse hair is dry. Because of this, you'll want to select a moisturizing shampoo that will help infuse more moisture in your hair. This can also help tame fly aways, common in coarse hair.

  • Generally if you have fine hair you'll want to stick with light shampoos and conditioners. You don't need to use a heavy shampoo. Most gentle shampoos work well. You can usually wash your hair every day using gentler shampoos. You might also consider a clarifying shampoo once a week to help lift residue so your hair doesn't get too weighted down. The biggest problem with fine hair is overpowering it with too many products. This can make fine hair even limper than normal.

  • If you have colored/processed hair, you want to be sure to select a shampoo that won't strip your hair color. It is possible to have dry ends but oily roots if you have processed hair. The trick here is cleaning hair with a good shampoo then applying some form of moisturizer to the ends of your hair. Fortunately there are dozens of color protection shampoos that help preserve your color but still add moisture to your hair.

I can't tell you each what shampoo would be best for you. I don't use anything but salon professional shampoo & conditioners so I am not going to name store brands for you to try. But I suggest is that you determine your hair type then do some research on what kind of shampoos will be best for your hair! You can always see if the inexpensive shampoos and conditions work for you and if they don't, or your hair is still not doing what you want it to do, then try salon product!


Jessica said...

How often do you recommend washing your hair? I have heard that I shouldn't wash it every day, and some girls I know go every 3 days. But is there anything wrong with washing it every day? My hair just doesn't do well the second day, unless I used rollers the first day.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. I would love some examples of brands. The aisle at Wal-Mart is so full of different ones it makes me crazy when trying to select one.

Jess :) said...

I'm a major stickler when it comes to shampoos. I DO NOT use anything but salon/professional ones, but often struggle to figure out which ones are best. I tend to go back and forth between Graham Webb and Aquage Seaextend. Neither one have any sulfates in them!! Anyway, thanks for the awesome post. I'd be interested to see what you use, but I'll just chat with you about that later!!!!! :)

Mrs. Jenk said...

I have another hair idea- can you tell us the names of some of the most popular cuts so we can ask for them better at the hairdresser. I asked for a cut this weekend and got something totally different.

...::Heather @ Mrs. Southern Bride::... said...

Loved reading this. What professional brands do your recommend?

Anonymous said...

I would also love to know some examples of some good ones to try! What is your favorite?

Leslie said...

I love all of your hair care advice!! Keep up the great work :)

Sara said...

Thanks for all the info Julee. Now I can try and find a good shampoo!