Throughout the years I went to the salon, I always thought that shampooing meant scrubbing the hell out of the scalp and hair, and that regardless to what you use, it will always leave the hair “dry” and “squeaky clean”. Before I started my journey, I had been using an SLS-free Shampoo, CD Black Vanilla, but when I went to the salon, they still used a harsh shampoo first. Once I started my journey, I gave up sulphates and used them once monthly. Now, my views about shampoo is very broad. This is mostly due to deceptive claims and one-sided views anyone can find online.
I have yet to find the right shampoo and can see myself soon giving up on the search and will probably go back to CD Black Vanilla as it was one of the best SLS-free shampoos I have used to date. Aloe Rid is the best clarifier I have ever used to date. Mill Creek Organics Shampoos are the best sulphate shampoos I have used to date.
Here are some things to remember about Shampoo:
-Just because is has sulphates, it does not mean it is harsh.
-Just because it is SLS free, it does not mean it is gentle. Also, it does not mean it does not have other kinds of sulphates in it.
-Shampoos have a pH. This is important because shampoos need to open the cuticles, but if the pH is too high, it can leave you with drier hair than you may have started with.
–All shampoos, whether liquid, creamy or bar, have some kind of detergent. It doesnt matter if it is derived from sulphates, beets, coconut, olive or whatever. I, personally, avoid shampoos with sugar beets because they are super harsh for me. The difference is how much detergent is being used per ounce and per amount of water. Regardless to how short the detergent make-up fatty acid and ionic chain is, or how much gentler its supposed to be, if a company uses alot of detergent, this is what causes a shampoo to work for some and not others. This is also why some sulphate shampoos appear to be gentler than some SLS-free shampoos.
–SLS-free shampoos usually have many variations of different kind of detergents while you can probably find that SLS shampoos have less variations and they are usually the same variations.
–All shampoos are meant to clean. You just have to determine how strong or weak you want your shampoo to be.
Here are some things to think about when using and assessing a shampoo:
-Shampoos are meant to clean, you must not forget that.
-All shampoos are meant to clean. You just have to determine how strong or weak you want your shampoo to be.
–If a shampoo leaves your hair too rough and clumpy, it may not be for you.
–No shampoo will leave your hair soft like a cowash cleanser. Shampoos are meant to clean (not clarify, unless specified). If it claims it is gentle, it should leave you with clean, mildly soft and mildly clumpy hair. If it claims it cleans, clarifies, is a first wash shampoo or removes impurities of any kind, do not expect much softness. To expect is to be disappointed. Just go with the flow, and determine from there.
-I find that you really only need to lather 1x when you poo. If between your wash days, you do not use much product, use a water based moisturizer and stay away from build-uppy cones and waxes on the majority of your hair, 1 lather is fine. It is usually the second that does you in. You do not need all those suds to make you think its getting clean. In chemistry class, I learned years ago that no suds means the detergent has attached to whatever it achieves to lift, and suds means there is not much to lift. Think about it.
-If you hair is mostly PS’d during the week, it is not touching much. Hair is not like our hands, feet and or body. Even when it is touching something, it is not touching much. Hair is prone to a dry environment (even it is isnt dry all the time) and while we treat it to be dry between wash days, we treat it as if it is dirty during wash days. Irony??
–Know your porosity. I have found that soap based cleansers kill my hair as well as most SLS-free shampoos. SMS does not dry out my hair, actually, I kind of like it in a sulphate shampoo, but sulphates have a way of depressing my hair over time so I prefer to keep them on a 1-2x a month basis. Shampoo bars I am finding to not be harsh on my hair.
–Look at ingredients. See where the sulphates/detergents factor in on the list. The detergent does NOT NEED TO BE the 2nd ingredient. One thing I like about Millcreek Organics is that SMS is usually the 5th and beyond ingredient. So you are getting quality, not sudsing action. However, SMS is a sulphate, so I limit its use. If there are softening ingredients, looks to see where on the list it is. If there are proteins, determine how you feel about them in other variations. For example, I want to try Silk Dreams Go Moist Shampoo, however, it has wheat protein and my hair and wheat protein (not amino acids) are like magnets when their like poles repel. My hair hates it in DC’s, leave-in, moisturizers, sealers and whatever else. I want to try it, but due to previous experience with wheat protein, I will leave it alone.
–Look at the product. I find that creamy cleansers are good for me, but can cause build-up over time. Creamy shampoos do not a shampoo make for me. Clearer shampoos, while announced to be harsher, are usually best for me. Shampoo bars make good first washes and clarifiers and are good when not abused. –
Most shampoo directions tell you to rinse and repeat if necessary. Think about it.
When you think about shampoo’s, think about their purpose and not what you immediately expect from it. When you find one, even if it is mediocre, if you have no objections to it, it might be a staple.
One Day, It Will Happen