December 09, 2011

The Truth About Shampoo and Conditioner

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


Tere said...

great post, i really love this products!


Izzy said...

thanks for the helpful post! It's great to read some professional advice on this topic. I too have made the switch from supermarket brands to salon brands, and went from Redken All Soft to Kerastaste's Bain Satin. I found Redken to make my hair a bit frizzy, but after reading your post I found that SLS was the second ingredient in my Kerastaste shampoo. Just wondering what your opinion was on Kerastase. It does make my hair smoother and silkier than the other shampoos I've tried, but it's a bit worrisome that SLS is so high up on the ingredients list!
thankyou :)

Natalie Suarez said...

amazing! i adore this :)


Tracy, The Wardrobe Wanderer said...

To be honest, I've tried pricey salon brands, but for my hair, Tresseme (sp?) from Wal-Mart works just fine. But, since I have dry-ish hair, I go a few days in between shampoos and let it oil up a tad naturally, and I have no qualms with cutting my hair if the ends seem to be getting dry :)

Oh, and we're pretty close if you're in Sacramento! I was just there for Thanksgiving, as my husband has family there. I live about a half and hour from Chico.

Vale said...

Beautiful pics!!!i'm following you!!!if you like mine, do the same!!

Ebeth said...

Thank you! Such good info. Shampoo in general freaks me out. I try to use it as sparingly as possibly but sometimes that's just difficult! You've inspired me to check my ingredients and try a more all-natural route.


Rachel Shubin said...

I did not know that about shampoos and SLS! I will look for that when I am buying shampoos from now on. I'm in love with your blog, I am checking it all out!

~Wu Sister Rachel :)