Tap to Read ➤

Shampooing the Right Way

Shampoos are designed to cleanse the hair and scalp, removing dirt and grime without stripping away too much of the natural sebum.
Prerna Salla
Shampoos contain cleansing agents, perfume, and preservatives. They may also contain conditioning agents that coat the hair shaft to make the hair appear thicker. Shampoos, especially those that do not include a conditioner, are specifically meant for the cleansing process.
They do not have much of a role to play other than cleaning the grime from your head. The conditioner, added to your shampoo, smoothens the scales, so that the hair doesn't tangle.
To identify a good conditioner, you may have to experiment a bit, and surely most people can figure the right one that suits them rather easily. Like shampoos are meant for cleansing your hair, conditioners have this innate quality of smoothening your hair and removing tangles.

Some Facts

pH refers to the acid/alkaline level of a substance. It is calculated on a scale of 1 to 14. Most shampoos range between a pH factor of 5 and 7. Medicated varieties have a pH of about a near neutral level of 7.3. Naturally occurring sebum has a pH factor between 4.5 and 5.5, and is mildly acidic.
Although bacteria cannot survive in this condition, maintaining this protective layer keeps the scalp and hair at their best.

Here are some of the tips that you could follow to make the best use of your shampoo:
* Always use the correct shampoo for your hair type. You might have to experiment to find your hair type, and consequently choose a shampoo that suits it.

* Don't wash your hair with soap. They are highly alkaline and will upset your hair's natural pH balance by stripping out the natural oils.
* Always read the instructions on the bottle before purchasing your shampoo. Don't go in blindly for brands. Some shampoos need to be left on the scalp for a few minutes before rinsing. This is especially the case with medicated shampoos.

* Buy small sachets of different shampoos to test which brand is most suitable for you.
* Don't wash your hair in the bath. Dirty bath water is not conducive for cleaning hair.
* Clean your hairbrush and comb regularly. Combs and brushes lying on the dressing table tend to accumulate dust. A good idea is to wash combs while you are waiting for the conditioner to seep in, after you have shampooed your hair. This way you make the most of the time available. You could also wash your hair bands at this time.
* Change your shampoo every two weeks. Hair has a tendency to develop resistance to certain ingredients in the shampoo after some time. It is best if you choose mild shampoos for maximum benefit.
* Don't throw away a shampoo that doesn't lather. The amount of suds is determined by the active level of detergent, and also depends on the hardness of the water in your area. Besides, you could use that shampoo for cleaning other things like expensive crystal, T-shirts, etc.
* Many shampoos are labeled "pH balanced". This means they have the same pH level as your hair. Use this type of shampoo if you have colored hair. They are not necessarily for normal hair. As long as you condition your hair after shampooing, it's fine.

In Conclusion

Don't rely on advertisements that promote a certain product extensively. Instead try it on your hair and then take a decision. It is best to use a product that's formulated for your particular hair type. Like most hair stylists mention, don't brush your hair when it's wet.
Instead, brush your hair before shampooing. It will free tangles, and loosen dirt and dead skin cells.

Wash your hair with lukewarm water, as hot water can dry out the scalp.