Do you know that most people are tragically unaware of the fact that they’re using the wrong shampoo? Recently, I’ve been chatting with one instagram Rapunzel and when I asked her what’s the trickiest thing in her hair journey, she mentioned the sad truth:
“The most difficult thing is to find your shampoo soulmate”
Picking a shampoo which has good cleansing properties but doesn’t dry out the hair length could be a confusing endeavor. Step into the hair care aisle of any beauty store and you’ll be bombarded with options. Hydrating, strengthening, smoothing, color-safe, thickening – how do you match the lingo on the bottle with your scalp?
Do not freak out! We’re here to help you.
The following tips will definitely make your shopping more pleasant and less frustrating!
Choose Shampoo Based On Your Scalp Needs
Always choose shampoo considering your scalp needs first! Shampoo is meant for your scalp and hair roots, conditioner is designed to address the needs of your hair. Let’s say if you’re prone to oily roots, you may need a less moisturizing and deeper cleansing shampoo. And alternatively, if you have a dryer or a more tight scalp, you likely need something more moisturizing
Ditch Silicones In Your Shampoo
Although the choice to use silicone-free hair products comes down to personal preference, we strongly recommend you to go silicone-free when it comes to shampoo.
Silicones can actually clog up your pores making hair follicles more fragile. Water-insoluble silicones can easily build up, which makes scalp look dirty. Therefore, you may end up washing it more often than necessary.
However, silicones are quite safe for hair length and you can actually benefit from them if you have high porosity hair
Most common non-water soluble silicones are those ending in “cone”:
- Stearyl Dimethicone
- Pheryl Trimethicone
- Ceteraryl Methicone
Don’t Demonize Sulfates
Sulfates are a main character in the “not poisonous, but also a disaster for certain hair types”, never-ending story.
In fact, sulfates can be useful for some scalp types. Even if you’d like to go “sulfate-free”, make sure you deep cleanse your scalp with a sulfate shampoo at least once per month to avoid nasty build-up
A rule of a thumb is to have two shampoos on your bathroom shelf:
– Shampoo formulated with mild surfactants for every day usage
– Deep cleansing shampoo with sulfates, so that you can remove buildup once per month
Avoid Short Chain Alcohols
Short-chain alcohols have a natural tendency to evaporate quickly, and when applied to the scalp, they can strip away natural oils, leading to dryness. This drying effect can be particularly problematic for individuals with already dry or sensitive scalps.
They can be harsh on the skin, potentially causing irritation and sensitivity. A dry scalp, when exposed to these alcohols, may become more prone to redness, itching, and discomfort.
It’s important to differentiate between short-chain alcohols (bad alcohols) and fatty alcohols (good alcohols). Fatty alcohols or long-chain alcohols are derived from fat (usually from coconut or palm oil), and they do not act like ethanol or isopropanol. In fact, long chain alcohols act as emollients and moisturize your hair and scalp.
Short-chain alcohols (bad alcohols):
- Ethanol alcohol
- Ethyl alcohol
- Propanol alcohol
- Alcohol denat.
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Isopropanol alcohol
- Benzyl alcohol
Say No To Parabens
Parabens are a class of compounds called esters, used as preservatives in beauty products. You’ll find them in everything from shampoo and shower gel to face creams and serums, where they help to keep active ingredients stable and free from ha bacteria, fungus, and yeast growth—which is especially important in jars and pots that allow for finger dipping.
Parabens have been around for years, but their safety has been called into question because they mimic estrogen. In 2004, British scientist Philippa Darbre published a research paper that seemed to find traces of parabens in breast cancer tissue samples.
While there wasn’t enough evidence to fully prove a link between paraben use and increased cancer risk, the paper did prove that parabens can pass through the skin barrier and into our bodies.
Avoid Formaldehyde And Formaldehyde Releasers
Formaldehyde and its releasers can be harsh on the skin and scalp, leading to irritation, redness, and discomfort. Individuals with sensitive skin or pre-existing scalp conditions may experience heightened reactions.
Some people may develop allergic reactions to formaldehyde and its releasers. These reactions can manifest as itching, swelling, or a rash on the scalp, neck, or face. Prolonged exposure increases the risk of sensitization.
Common formaldehyde-releasing preservatives found in shampoos include:
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Diazolidinyl urea