The shampoo is a personal care essential that almost all people have most likely used at some point in their life. But you might wonder what shampoo does and how does it work?
You pop your shampoo in your wet hair, lather it up, rinse it out, and simply move on. But with all the discussion and debates surrounding sulphates and new sulphate-free shampoos, you may be wondering which ingredients in your shampoo do the actual job of cleansing.
We have done thorough research, and we are here to help break down the multilayered answer to this question for you.
How does shampoo Work?
The shampoo contains detergent, much like that, you would find in dishwashing or laundry detergent or even bath gel. These detergents function as surfactants. They decrease the surface tension of water and make it less likely to stick to itself and more able to bind with oils and soil particles.
It is said that a part of a detergent molecule is hydrophobic. This hydrocarbon portion of the molecule binds to the sebum coating hair and to any oily styling products which make our hair oily and greasy. Since detergent molecules also have a hydrophilic portion, the detergent will be swept away by the water when you rinse your hair, thus carrying sebum away with it.
What are Other Ingredients in Shampoo?
- Conditioning Agents: Detergents strip away the sebum that is present in your hair, leaving the cuticles exposed and susceptible to further damage. Your hair will get clean if you use soap or dishwashing detergent on your hair, but it might look limp, which lacks body and shine. The shampoo contains the right amount of ingredients that replace the protective coating on the hair.
- Protectants: Many shampoos contain additional contents which are intended to protect hair. The most commonly found additive is sunscreen. Other chemicals often protect against heat damage from hair dryers or curlers and chemical damage from swimming pools.
- Cosmetic Ingredients: Your shampoo might contain aesthetic ingredients that don't affect how well the shampoo cleans your hair but may make the shampooing experience more pleasant or affect the colour or fragrance of your hair. These additives also include pearlized ingredients, which add sparkle to the hair product and may leave a faint glimmer on your hair, the pungent scent of the shampoo and hair, and colorants.
- Functional Ingredients: Some ingredients are added to these hair products to keep it uniformly mixed, thicken it so that it becomes easier to apply, prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, and preserve it to further extend its shelf life.
- To Lather or Not to Lather: One last fun fact that you must know is that lather actually isn’t necessary to your hair-cleansing experience. Shampoos lather primarily because the users enjoy a good froth when washing their hair (or anything else). All the bubbles make hair, skin, and so on feel squeaky clean, which is truly never a good thing. Hence the many conditioning agents in your shampoo formulas.
How can you choose the right shampoo for your hair type?
You might think about what type of shampoo should be used by you. We must tell you that when it comes to choosing the right shampoo for you, you should consider both your hair and scalp type. The same rule goes for conditioners and hair masks. The hair type and current hair condition are the musts that you should consider while choosing the perfect hair product.
However, it is extremely important to look after your scalp when it comes to keeping your hair healthy. Chances are that if you have dry skin on your face, your scalp is going to be dry as well, and vice versa. Similarly, you will have an oily scalp if you have an oily face.
Some people have a greasy and oily scalp, but their ends are often dry. In such a case, you need to just treat your scalp with adequate products, and in the further steps of hair care, you will nourish your dry hair also.
Aggressive and harsh cleaners will not help you deal with oily hair. Just like your hair, the rules go for your scalp. If you over dry your scalp with harsh shampoos won’t help you with your problem. On the other hand– it can stimulate even more sebum levels.
It appears that a dry scalp is better than an oily scalp. However, In reality, there’s a big problem with the dry scalp as well. Apart from choosing a mild shampoo, be sure that you choose the shampoo with moisturizing ingredients which is made for the dry scalp.
People who have dry scalp and dry skin often have problems like itchy scalp, dandruff, or scalp psoriasis. If you are one of those, ensure to be extra careful not to dry the scalp even more.
If you are one of those people who are lucky ones to have a normal scalp, you should not forget to take good care of it. The mild shampoo will work best for you as well and will help you maintain your current hair condition.
How to shampoo your hair properly?
If you are wondering how you can shampoo your hair properly then, we must tell you that the proper way to wash your hair is to apply a small amount of shampoo into your palm, diluting the amount with water, and then rubbing it on your scalp. If you are concerned about your hair length, it will also cleanse with rinsing foam.
We guarantee that it is not mandatory to rub your hair length harshly for it to remove the dirt and oil particles from your hair. You can distribute the foam from your scalp down the hair length and it will be clean.
Does Over-washing Cause Hair Loss?
1) Since modern shampoos are relatively mild, washing your hair every day won’t cause hair loss itself.
2) It is normal to lose a few strands of hairs per day. It is considered as a part of the normal hair growth cycle and for the most part, it’s relatively unnoticeable. Even though over-washing your hair won’t cause it to fall out, all of the extra stuff that you do after your hair wash can.
3) Over-styling with heated tools like curlers and straighteners, especially if you use a hairdryer after washing it every day, is one of the quickest ways to damage your hair to a point where it is brittle and will break out.
The stress which is put on dry or “washed out” hair strands can weaken your hair to the point that it is more prone to breakage and falling out.
How often should I wash?
1) Oily hair: If you have oily scalp then you would want to wash your hair every day to prevent build-up unless you have very long hair or it's very coarse or curly.
2) Dry or damaged hair: If you are the one with dry or damaged hair you must typically shampoo every five to seven days. You must ensure that you don't overuse a clarifying shampoo, as it can strip the hair of the nutrients that it needs to be healthy and may allow it to become dry and damaged.
3) Wavy or curly hair: People with curly or wavy hair should shampoo every four to five days. If this appears to be longer of a stretch, you can shorten it by a day or two and see how your hair and scalp react.
4) Fine or thin hair: If you have fine hair you will need to shampoo as often as every other day to provide it with the moisture it needs to flourish and grow. Cleansing your hair also helps remove buildup and oils that can weigh fine or thin hair down.
5) Thick hair: Thicker hair tends to hold onto moisture, so washing once per week is more than enough.
Does washing hair from hot water lead to hair loss?
In simple terms, the answer is no. Washing hair with hot water cleans your hair and scalp more effectively than cold water does. It also strips away oil or the sebum from the hair, which can make your hair dry, dull and frizzy for some people. However, for many hair loss sufferers (especially males) it is a better idea to wash off the sebum oil from the scalp frequently because sebum contains DHT which causes hair loss.
It is most likely in men to have problematic levels of DHT than women because of the difference in hormonal balance between men and women. This is the reason why an oily scalp is more likely to cause hair loss in men than in women.
Ingredients To Avoid In Shampoos
SLSs and Laureth Sulfate are the ones you should be most aware of among the many types of sulfates. All of these compounds are used to produce all that nice and bubbly lather and are said to have the deepest cleansing effects. However, these contents can affect the hair negatively, especially for those who have sensitive scalp skin or hair.
When used in significant concentrations, alcohol dries the hair and scalp. When hair is extremely dry, it gets weak and starts breaking easily. Honestly, almost all shampoos these days contain alcohol, so you might want to avoid these alcohols which are listed as one of the first five ingredients. You should keep in mind that the closer is to the label’s top, the higher the percentage of the ingredient is present in the product.
Which is the best shampoo for your hair
Here we have the best shampoo for you if you want to treat your hair fall and make your hair stronger, shinier and nourished.
Anti-Hair fall shampoo protects your hair follicles from breaking and makes your hair thick and durable. To get a better result we will advise you to use this Anti-Hair fall shampoo for 60 days and within the course of this time, you will notice a change in your hair texture and hair fall.
Shampooing every day will not lead to hair fall. However, if your shampoo contains chemicals as mentioned in an earlier section, you might have to suffer from hair fall problems. You must consider shampoo free of Parabens, Sulphates, Fragrance and alcohol.
Image Courtesy: Touchups salon, The modest man