I not only spent decades as a hairdresser and beauty therapist but I also helped build a hair care line for a large salon chain many years ago when I was the General Manager.
I took my favourite shampoos and sent samples to a lab to be analysed, and I quickly learned that these highly priced items were incredibly cheap to manufacture. So why was it that these products that were so cheap to manufacture, were so very expensive for consumers to purchase?
Well it’s the same old story when it comes to price point with products. Put it in a fancy bottle and brand it as an upmarket line and you will pay $30 for a product that could be the same as a $5 product.
Years later I went on to create and manufacture my own hair, skin and body care range. When it comes to shampoo, there are a few things you should know. Basically a shampoo is nothing more than a surfactant, which means it is a detergent that cleans your hair and scalp much the same way as dishwashing detergent cleans your dishes. The stronger the surfactant, the more alkaline the product is.
With dishwashing detergent for example, it needs to have a very high level of surfactant as it needs to clean and remove high levels of grease, making it very alkaline. If you used that on your hair, it would really dry it out as it would strip away way too much natural oil from the hair and scalp.
I will give you a little hair dresser trick - if you need to get a dark or unwanted colour out of your hair, wash it repeatedly with dishwashing detergent and it will open up the hair shaft and remove a lot of the colour. If you have really oily hair, using a shampoo for oily hair means it will strip more oil out of the hair, but the trade off is that often it can dry out the ends of your hair. A little trick is to add a little conditioner to the ends of your hair and then apply the shampoo to the roots only. It will give the ends of your hair a little protection against the strong shampoo.
Only ever apply a small amount shampoo, as it never lathers up the first wash and never use more than a 20 cent piece amount size in the palm of your hand. If you keep using handfuls of shampoo to create a lather, you are just pouring your money down the drain. Rinse the shampoo out of the hair and shampoo again. You will find this time it will lather. If you get a good amount of lather, that’s enough, you don’t need to wash for a third time. Leave the shampoo in the hair for a few moments to absorb the oil and then rinse thoroughly. Apply conditioner only to the mid lengths and ends of your hair if it’s oily, never on the roots. If you have normal to dry hair, your shampoo type will be more gentle and less alkaline, making it more acidic. The easiest way to understand alkaline verses acid is that a very alkaline product will open up the hair shaft and an acidic one will close it down. A shampoo is designed to open up the hair shaft to clean it and a conditioner is acidic meaning it closes the hair shaft down making it smooth, shiny and tangle free. Shampoo your dry/normal hair the same way. If your shampoo lathers well the first wash, that’s enough. If it doesn’t lather the first wash, wash it a second time.
Alkaline type shampoos often will have ingredients and fragrances like lemon, lime, apple, witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, jojoba oil and things that remove oil.
Acidic type shampoos often will have ingredients like chamomile, almond oil, coconut and olive oil, honey and things that add moisture. Condition always unless your hair is super short. I will talk about conditioner in my next Beauty Blog. Always wrap your hair up in a hair wrap, as they absorb the excess moisture while you dry off your body.
Always use a brush or comb designed to remove tangles from wet hair. When your hair is wet it is in it’s most fragile state so be gentle. So when it comes to buying the perfect shampoo, I believe you need to try a range of products and work out which one is best for you. Try low priced products against high priced products and see the difference for yourself. I personally love to choose a shampoo where I love the fragrance. We are all consumer driven to pretty bottles and containers that fit the colour of our bathrooms and if you find something pleasing to the eye that is great on your hair thats awesome.
I also am driven by the shape of a bottle, is it a pump, or a squeeze bottle or tube? There are different product specifications that will drive you to a purchase, so it’s a whole lot of factors to take into consideration.
If you are a vegan you will only choose vegan products, if you are a purist you’ll only choose natural and more chemical free products. How often should you wash your hair? Try not to wash your hair daily, it’s just too damaging, unless your hair is super short of course. I love love love dry shampoo and I couldn’t live without it. On the second or third day when the roots are getting a little oily, simply spray it into the roots of the hair and it absorbs the oil. Allowing natural oil to accumulate on the scalp is healthy on the scalp and also on the hair strands themselves. So don’t wash your hair to death!
I love sharing all my tips and tricks with you. Be sure to subscribe to my channel and follow me on my socials and if you have any wedding lifestyle related questions email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can’t wait to hear from you 🧡 Sue
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