This is a common question which remains ever unanswered simply because there is no perfect answer. Let’s see what could be the possible answers –
“Keep your hair clean and well nourished.”
“Use the right kind of hair care products in right quantities.”
“Follow a healthy diet that provides necessary minerals to bring shine and glow to your hair”
And there could be as many answers as the number of people you ask. However, all these answers are correct but none of these address specifics like
- Which shampoo should you use? Is ‘Garnier Fructis shampoo’ better or ‘Head & Shoulders Classic Clean shampoo’ or should I buy ‘Natulique Certified Organic Shampoo’?
- Which conditioner is good for you – ‘Pantene Conditioner’ or ‘TRESemmé Conditioner’?
- How much conditioner should you use?
- How often should you wash your hair?
- What particular foods should you eat? etc. etc.
Here, let me address the basic aspect of cleaning and nourishment.
The dilemma continues, passed on from generation to generation, “How often should I wash my hair?” Well, there is no straight forward, one simple answer that is true for all. The answer depends upon factors like the type of hair you have and the environment – climatic conditions, levels of air pollution – in which you live.
Whichever type of hair you have, the fact is that Shampoos and Conditioners are the lifeline for your hair. Or let me be more generic, cleaning and moisturizing your hair on a regular basis will definitely contribute towards good health of hair
So, what are Shampoos & Conditioners?
Without going into the scientific jargon and sticking to layman terms, Shampoos are hair care products, either in thick viscous liquid form or in the form of a bar soap (rarely) and their goal is to clean our hair and remove all the unwanted build-up.
There are various formulations of shampoos available in the market, each catering to a different type or different condition of hair/scalp. Cream based shampoos for dry scalps, clear shampoos for oily hair, sulphate free shampoos for babies and those allergic to sulphates, anti-dandruff, all natural, organic, plant derived, and the list goes on. It is advisable that before buying a shampoo you must know your hair type, match the ingredients listed with your type and then buy it.
While shampoos clean the dirt and grime of your hair, they also tend to remove the natural oils from your hair. That is where Conditioners step in. Application of conditioner to your hair after shampoo normalizes the excess effects of shampoo like dryness, frizz, etc.. These could also be the effects of regular usage of hair straightening irons, blow dryers, styling gels, etc. Conditioners bring back your hair to a normal state of look and feel.
Like shampoos, conditioners, too are different for different types of hair. Studying and understanding the texture of your hair is the right first step before zeroing in on a conditioner. If you have thin hair, pick a conditioner that will make your hair look voluminous; If you have thick and greasy hair choose a conditioner with less oil; and If your hair is dry than conditioner with moisturizer should be your choice.
What is the right way to Shampoo and Condition your hair?
This is how I have been washing and conditioning my hair forever and I have had no complaints, hence, am recommending this:
- Start by rinsing your hair. If you have oily hair/scalp, use warm water as that will loosen up the oil build ups as well as help in releasing dirt that may be trapped in your hair.
- Once your hair is wet, take an appropriate amount of shampoo (you decide the quantity), use your fingers and apply shampoo to the roots of your hair. Yes, the shampoo has to be applied to the roots first and lather up there before moving to the ends.
- Gently massage in the shampoo into your scalp in straight strokes and form the lather. Do not rub vigorously or in circular motions or else you may damage the cuticle or get your hair tangled in locks. Work up the lather to the ends in straight strokes.
- Rinse out the shampoo with normal temperature water and squeeze out the water from your hair. Apply conditioner only to the hair and not on the scalp. That is right, conditioners are only for the hair and not to rub into the scalp. Leave the conditioner in the hair for some time. Clip up and complete your shower.
- As the last step in your shower, rinse out the conditioner with cold water.
Here’s wishing you all healthy, lustrous and lovely hair!
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