Good/bad, fact/myths about shampoos and what we are really buying.
Have you ever thought about what shampoo really does to your precious locks besides cleaning?
You feel guilty using 99-cent shampoo because it’s really bad for your hair. And everybody knows the $24 salon variety is so much better, especially for chemically treated hair, right? Wrong!
Price has nothing to do with it, and I tell you this at the risk of getting angry letters from professional hairdressers and salon owners.
Fact: All shampoos are 80 percent to 90 percent water. The rest is detergent with a few drops of fragrance, additives and preservatives.
Fact: There are basically two kinds of detergent: anionic (harsh) and cationic (gentle).
Fact: The only part of the shampoo bottle that’s regulated by the Food and Drug Administration is the list of ingredients. Manufacturers can make any claim they like on the unregulated portions of the label. Sometimes the hype has merit, but often it has none.
The secret to shampoo intelligence is to know your detergents. Pay little attention to anything on that packaging except for the list of ingredients. Water (or some fancy name for good old H2O) will always be the first ingredient. Next comes the detergent. Examples that you might find include:
• ammonium lauryl sulfate – very harsh
• ammonium laureth sulfate – harsh
• sodium lauryl sulfate — still harsh
• sodium laureth sulfate — mild, great choice
• TEA lauryl sulfate – gentle, good choice
• TEA laureth sulfate – gentle, also a good choice
Myth: Shampoo builds up on hair so you need to change brands occasionally to counteract this.
Fact: Shampoo can’t build up on hair; however, conditioners and other products and chemical processes do, and you may need to use a stronger type of shampoo from time to time.
Myth: Salon-brand shampoos outperform inexpensive store brands.
Fact: Not true. Salon brands may have more fragrance, foam more or have more ingredients, but all of it goes right down the drain with the detergent.
Myth: High-quality shampoo can repair and nourish damaged hair.
Fact: Hair is dead and can’t be repaired. Any hair product can only provide temporary benefits to the look and feel of hair.
Myth: Baby shampoo (no tears) is great for adults because it is so gentle.
Fact: The detergent in baby shampoo is way too gentle and not designed for cleaning adult hair, especially when a lot of styling products have been used.
When purchasing shampoo, consider just two things: price and type of detergent.
Interestingly, the “rinse and repeat” instructions you will read on every shampoo bottle go back to a marketing campaign one manufacturer created to increase sales. It does that all right, and you can make your shampoo last twice as long if you skip “repeat.”
Shampoo frequently and rinse thoroughly. If your hair is dull and lackluster, the problem may be inadequate rinsing. Tip: Pour 1/2 cup white vinegar through hair during the rinsing process. This will remove all traces of the shampoo and leave your hair sleek and shiny.
With the money you save on the shampoo, buy a quality conditioner. Unlike shampoo, which washes down the drain, the quality of conditioner does make a difference.