Have you ever wondered why sometimes your hair feels dry, or coarse and has breakage galore, but you don't know why? The answer could lie in your shampoo and conditioner. I know there is a lot of opinion on cheap shampoos vs. salon shampoos in that cheap shampoos work just as well, but from a hair stylist point of view, I'm here to tell you that they don't. Want to know why? Keep reading and all shall be revealed!
First, let's look at the ingredients in shampoo:
You'll see water, oils, and such, but the big eye opener is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. SLS is the "soap" of a shampoo. And surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly), SLS is found in laundry detergent. It's what gives the shampoo and detergent its sudsing effect. Can you imagine washing your hair with detergent? Doesn't sound very moisturizing!
The problem with SLS, is that it blows your cuticle wide open. And as your sudsing away. that delicate inner cortex of hair is exposed and is now being subjected to damage. If you have color treated hair, it's even worse because now all your beautiful color (and money invested) is being washed down the drain. So what can you do? When you look for shampoos, you'll want to find one where the SLS is the third or fourth ingredient in the list. And you will notice a difference. When you wash your hair the first time, it might not suds at all! But that just means, the shampoo is breaking up the dirt and oils in your hair and with a second wash, it will clean.
Now you might be asking, how will I save money if I'm having to wash my hair twice? With more expensive shampoos, you won't have to use as much product. The ingredients in a salon shampoo are designed with the less is more idea in mind. The shampoos and conditioners are not watered down and require much less product to get the job done.
What about conditioners? For the most part, conditioners are equal. Conditioners are made with a 4.5-5.5 pH balance. This is the natural pH of the hair, skin, and nails. So while the shampoo opens the hair cuticle just a bit to get it clean, the conditioner will close that cuticle back up with it's lower pH level. In my opinion, though, I do believe there are better conditioners than others. And some of my favorites are actually cheaper ones! As long as your hair feels smooth after rinsing, with no residue, then you will have found a good conditioner. It will also help if you rinse the conditioner out with cooler water. Cool water helps to seal the cuticle as well.
Here is a list of my favorites that I have personally tried and/or used on clients with no complaints.
Toni's List of Quality Shampoos and Conditioners:
1. Redken All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner
2. Enjoy Luxury Shampoo and Conditioner
3. Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Reconstructor Shampoo and Conditioner (currently using)
4. KMS Silk Sheen Shampoo and Conditioner
So, if your hair feels dry, is prone to breakage, or is even color treated, think about investing in a quality shampoo. As always though, use what works for you and your hair. Happy shampooing!
All photos courtesy of Google Image Search