Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with too many options when picking the right shampoo?
Most of the time, all you need is an effective moisturizing shampoo for luscious bouncy hair! Read through this quick guide on what to look for in a moisturizing shampoo and things to avoid.
What Does a Moisturizing Shampoo Do?
A moisturizing shampoo helps the hair to maintain a healthy pH level. Hair’s natural pH is slightly acidic. It is between 4.5 to 6. However, when we subject our hair to a different treatment, we push it towards an alkaline side. It could be due to bleaching, coloring, ironing, or even constant usage of shampoos with high alkalinity. Cuticles of the hair open up. It can result in hair getting brittle and breaking. Sometimes, it can even cause dandruff and flakiness.
A moisturizing shampoo restores the natural pH balance of your hair. It is mild and gentle on the scalp. The shampoo cleanses the hair and scalp without stripping off the natural oils. It will reduce frizz and excessive dryness.
How is it Different From Hydrating Shampoo?
Hydration is treating your hair with water, amino acids, vitamins, and humectants. Humectants can be natural ones like aloe vera, honey, glycerin, or artificial ones such as sodium lactate and glycol. These elements penetrate the hair and pull water, hydrating the hair. Hydrating products are supposed to be used occasionally.
A moisturizer locks the water in the hair. It usually contains oils and butter that coat the hair cuticles. It helps in making hair smooth and silky. The oils act as moisture sealers.
What To Look For In A Moisturizing Shampoo?
Sulfates are excellent cleansers. They clean the dirt and grease on the scalp by producing lather. They are necessary for getting rid of dandruff and oily scalp. But they leave the hair frizzy and dry. It will deprive the hair of its natural oils.
It is advisable to use a sulfate-free shampoo.
If you have to use a sulfate shampoo, use a conditioner that repairs your hair. Otherwise, a sulfate-free shampoo is sufficient for mild cleansing and preventing damage. It helps in retaining the moisture without being too harsh to the scalp.
Ability to detangle
This property is also called the “slip” factor. The shampoo should lubricate your hair enough that it becomes easy to detangle the knots and pass the comb through smoothly without any pain. Not many shampoos can achieve this, but it is a significant determinant of a good moisturizing shampoo.
Essential hair oils are used as ingredients in shampoos and conditioners. They are necessary for a healthy scalp and hair. Moisturizing shampoos also use essential hair oils. Essential hair oil has to be diluted with a carrier oil. Some essential hair oils are rosemary, peppermint, sandalwood, lavender. These need to be mixed with carrier oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, apricot seed, or avocado oil. The essential oils could be anti-bacterial or may consist of essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants. They can even unblock the pores and invigorate hair growth. Always check for essential oils while choosing a shampoo.
Shampoo Ingredients To Avoid
Shampoos remove sweat and dirt from the scalp and prevent the accumulation of sebum. For the very same reason, they consist of surfactants and anti-microbial agents.
In addition, shampoos also contain preservatives. The preservatives release formaldehyde, which acts upon the germs.
Despite possessing useful properties, these agents can be harmful to the hair and scalp. While choosing a shampoo, look for the label. Avoid these mentioned ingredients to reduce the damage caused to hair-
Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine (DEA &TEA)
DEA and TEA are foaming agents that produce lather. Every shampoo should have this quality. Lather helps in spreading the shampoo evenly across the scalp. It helps lift the dirt and grease from the scalp, which water cannot achieve by itself. But, when DEA and TEA combine with other chemicals, they become carcinogenic. Excessive absorption of these chemicals can lead to skin problems.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS & SLES)
SLS and SLES are cleaning agents. They are commonly used in detergents, floor cleaners, and dishwashers. Their primary function is to remove dirt from the surface. In the case of shampoo, they remove filth and sweat from the scalp. However, they also deprive the hair of its natural oils. As a result, hair becomes frizzy and breaks easily.
Parabens are preservatives. They are used in a lot of cosmetic products for their anti-microbial properties. They prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. But, they disrupt the functioning of the estrogen hormone in the body. Hence, they are hazardous and should be avoided.
It often appears in the shampoo labels as dimethicone or simethicone. It is a conditioning agent. It locks moisture in hair and gives it a smooth texture. But continuous usage can result in silicon deposition on the surface of the hair. It further prevents moisture from penetrating the hair.
Also known as PEGs, they are used in a wide range of cosmetic products. They are thickeners used to make the shampoo viscous. They get contaminated during the process of manufacturing. When combined with other chemicals such as ethylene oxide, they become carcinogenic.
They are gelling agents. They help the shampoo to spread evenly and lead to better absorption. They are also known to make fragrances last longer. If the product has “fragrance” listed as an ingredient, it is most likely to possess phthalates.
Phthalates can interfere with reproductive health and disrupt the functioning of sex hormones.
Apart from keeping these points in mind while purchasing a shampoo, consider the alternate options. It is always better to switch to organic or ayurvedic shampoos. They make use of natural plant extracts that will not harm the hair. You can always be assured that these shampoos are what they claim to be. The reason being, they undergo meticulous testing before receiving certification. These shampoos are mild and effective. They enhance hair growth, prevent premature greying, and supply moisture without damaging the hair.