Friday, January 20, 2012

The Essentials: Shampoos and Conditioners

Ever hear to be on your P's and Q's? Well for today's purposes, I want you all to be on your R's and S's. You don't need to natural hair as this applies to all hair types! First up:

R: Regulate
The government does not regulate shampoos so it doesn't need to fulfill its promises of being volumizing and moisturizing. Therefore we need to READ the ingredients.

S: Sebum
Sebum is a collection of fatty acids which your hair naturally generates. In excess, it can make your hair look shiny or oily. Most conditioners are composed of sebum-like compounds which coat the hair shaft - hence the moisturizing effects.

R: Reconstruct
Good conditioners contain hydrolyzed protein, helping to strengthen the hair shaft.

S: Sulfates & Silicones
Basically sulfate strips. Silicone blocks. Now let me explain more...Sulfates are usually found in shampoos. They get a bad rap for being too harsh on hair and drying it out. But, shampoos are supposed to strip oil. It gets rid of the product build up. So it's kind of a good thing that it strips. HOWEVER when not mixed with less harsh cleansers, it can do some serious damage. Some think it's best just to stay away from sulfate and just find a different way to remove build up.

Back to silicone. Silicone is a lab-created product. It's an oil and if you look at a previous post, you know that oils form barriers. With conditioners, this barrier can help form something called slip which makes it uber easy to comb hair while wet. But make sure you use water soluble shampoos. The other kind just creates build up and is kind of pointless.

Now that you know a little more about shampoos and conditioners, you can stay on your R's and S's!

p.s. Has anyone heard of using beer as a conditioner? Apparently it helps to strengthen your hair (find more home-made conditioner ideas here)

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