Sunday, April 28, 2013

Getting your Hair clean: Shampooing your hair

Cleansing the hair is another important part of building your regiment. Washing your hair removes dirt, build up, dust and product from you hair and is a big step when deciding on what direction your regiment needs to go in. 
The first thing you will have to decide when picking your shampoo of choice is what are you personally looking for in your shampoo? 
Do you have dry brittle hair? Do you have itchy dry scalp? Do you have hair that tends to be oily? You must ask yourself these questions to determine the best suited shampoo for your own personal use. 
If you have dry and brittle hair you likely will need a shampoo that is moisturizing. 
If you have itchy and dry scalp you may need a shampoo that combats that and has tea tree oil. 
If your hair tends to be oily and greasy you will need to find a shampoo infused with aloe, fruit extracts and olive oil.
It is also a good idea to purchase a clarifying shampoo treatment that can be used once a month to rid of the excess oils and build up that regular gentle shampoos won't remove. 
This is something you will need to research, trial and error is really the only way to do that. 
Now you have decided what type of shampoo you will be looking for another decision you have to make is do you want one that is sulfate free? Or is that important to you? Now I am sure you have gone in the stores and noticed some brands boasting that they are sulfate free. What is a sulfate you ask? 
I will provide you a little background as to what a sulfate is and why a lot of people are opting to go sulfate free with their shampoo.

  • Sulfates which are usually written out as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), dium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) is a chemical used to provide foam and lather to many household items. Now I'm sure you are thinking that exactly what I want?! However this is an chemical that has been in the spotlight for causing issues with users
  • Sulfates tend to cause a lot of irritations to the skin, and scalp and a lot of people who have stopped using products containing sulfates have seen a lot of improvements 
  • Sulfates tend  to be very drying on the scalp and removes a lot of the natural oils your scalp produces and dryness of the scalp can also lead to dandruff, itching,  and boils on the scalp
  • Sulfates are also blamed for causing a lot of frizz in hair and users who stop using sulfate infused shampoos tend to notice hair is much softer and frizz free
  • Sulfates on color treated hair is a bad mix because color treated hair tends to be much more dryer and the detergent that are in sulfates tends to suck out any remaining moisture from the hair shaft
For me personally I aim to steer clear of shampoos that contain sulfates because I have noticed a difference when I use ones that are without. However if you opt to use shampoos that contain sulfates try to take a peak at the ingredient list and go for the shampoo that has it towards the end of the list because that means that it contains a much less concentration of it. 

So now you have chosen the shampoo you want to use and are going to cleanse your hair. Pre pooing is very helpful because it puts moisture in your hair and allows for more moisture to remain even after you have shampooed your hair. 
During washing there are a few tips to keep in mind.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo once versus twice because this can combat the dryness of using shampoo. Remember washing with shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils and you do not need your hair to be squeaky clean. Take your time on your first wash to concentrate on the scalp and roots of your hair then wash out.
  • Gently massage your scalp and let the shampoo do the cleaning. Do not bunch your hair up like you are in a Herbal Essence commercial it really is unnecessary and tangles hair and makes for a mean de-tangling session in the end.
  • Try to concentrate shampoo on scalp only and try not to apply shampoo directly on the ends of your hair. The ends of your hair are the oldest hair on your head and generally need a lot of moisture. Do not suck all the moisture away from it, allow the water to gently have the shampoo flow to your ends. 
  • If you have long, or thick hair try washing your hair in sections to reduce the amount of tangles. If you need to bring claw clips into the shower to separate your hair don't be scared! Do what you must. 
  • Try to limit the use of shampoo to no more then once a week
  • If you need to wash your hair a few times a week try using conditioner to wash your hair (co washing) to cleanse your scalp to combat drying
  • Immediately select your conditioner you will use after shampooing and apply it
Overall selecting a good product will aid in making wash day easy. 
For myself I use Creme of Nature that is infused with Argan oil and can be purchased at most beauty supply store or drug stores. 
I few other brands I have used and really liked are:
  • Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo (can be purchased at Honey Fig, Target, Beauty supply stores and Amazon)
  • Kinky Curly Come Clean (can be purchased at Honey Fig, Target, Beauty supply stores and Amazon)
  • Dr. Bronner Peppermint Liquid Soap (can be purchased at Honey Fig, Target, Grocery stores, American Apparel, Whole Foods and Amazon)
Next on my list to try are:
  • Sunny Isle YlangYlang Jamaican Black Castor Oil Moisturizing Shampoo (can be purchased at Honey Fig and Amazon)
  • Jamaican Black Castor Oil Moisturizing Shampoo with Shea Butter (can be purchased at Honey Fig and Amazon)
  • Blended Beauty Soy Cream Shampoo (can be purchased at Honey Fig and Amazon)
  • DermOrganic Conditioning Shampoo (can be purchased at Winners, Marshall's, Trade Secrets, and Amazon)

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