Why you need moisturizing shampoo... and how to choose it!
If we're honest, most people have a bathroom cabinet or shower tidy that has two
or three half empty bottles of shampoo. Finding the perfect shampoo is like trying
to find the perfect lipstick. It looks great in the shop but when you get it home
and use it – somehow it's not the same… and so the hunt begins again!
Why do I need a moisturizing shampoo?
All shampoos share the same basic function of emulsifying (blending) dirt and oils
in your hair so that they can be easily washed out.
But if your hair is dry, the shampoo first needs to be gentle. You don't want to
lose any more of the hair's natural oil than you have to. The shampoo also needs
to be conditioning especially if your hair has been altered with harsh products,
chemicals or coloring…so that's pretty much all of us then!
Why chemicals and coloring damage your hair
'Normal' healthy hair is acidic and its' normal pH is 5 (on a scale of 0-14). Once
the pH goes over 7, the hair will be considered alkaline.
Things that can make the hair alkaline are
- Cheap, alkaline based hair care products
- Chemicals such as a perm, relaxers, color, bleach
- Heated hair stylers such as hair driers, hair irons, heated rollers
When hair is at its' normal pH, the outer cuticle is tightly closed, smooth and shiny. As the hair goes into the alkaline state and the pH rises and the condition deteriorates. The cuticles open, hair gets drier and it looses its' shine.
So if your hair is dry, frizzy, chemical or heat damaged, using hair care products with a low pH can help to bring it back into its' normal pH level – and a much better condition.
Re-hydrate your hair!
Be careful when choosing your moisturizing shampoo. Remember that your hair's natural pH is around 5. If you choose a product with a lower pH than that, it will harden your hair. Anything above it will soften it – but it softens it by opening up the cuticle, which you're trying to avoid.
Look for products with a pH from 4.5 – 5.5. That will bring your hair back to the pH that it should be.
If the label says that it has anti-static ingredients (trimethyl alkonium chloride or ammonihloride) to get rid of flyaway hair, that's what you're looking for!
What else is good?
In your moisturizing shampoo, you want
- Hydrolyzed proteins from wheat or another source
- Amino acids
Do you remember being taught to rinse your hair after shampooing, until it was 'squeaky clean'? While it's good to rinse your hair thoroughly, if it squeaks you've taken all of the natural oils out of the hair.
If this happens, re-apply shampoo and don't rinse quite so vigorously!
Be very cautious with any shampoos that are clear. Many 'anti build-up' shampoos are clear and this is because as a general rule, these have more detergent than conditioner. If you are recovering dry or damaged hair, limit the use of these to once a month until your hair recovers.
Moisturizing shampoos are usually creamy looking or pearlized and their formulation either contains gentler cleansers or a low ratio of cleanser to conditioner.
Do moisturizing shampoos really make any difference?
Some people say that because shampoo only stays on your hair for a short time, it doesn't matter what type you use. They argue that the conditioner is more important and that any 'damage' done by cheap shampoo will be balanced out by a good conditioner.
As we've seen from the pH of the hair, everything that you put on it is going to have an effect. Why waste time and money putting poor shampoo on your hair and then rectifying it with conditioner? That's like taking one step back and then another forward – so that you end up where you started!
It's better to take two steps forward by using a good moisturizing shampoo and a good conditioner.
Using them from the same brand is also very helpful as these products are often developed to work with each other.
Back to nature
Using organic and natural hair products can really help to moisturize your hair. This is because the chemicals in them are limited and so you're not using more chemicals to mend chemical damage!
Some great moisturizing shampoos
These are quite easy to find now as they are so popular but here are some to get you started!
1. Frizz Ease Curl Around Style-Starting Daily Shampoo
This is a good shampoo for curly hair. It's gentle enough to use every day and has (among other ingredients) silicone to minimize frizz.
2. Destination Nation Monument Valley Dry Hair Moisturizing Shampoo
This has wheat proteins, vitamin E and Shea butter to nourish and protect your hair. These products are free of paraben and petroleum (commonly found in shampoos) so are extra kind to your hair.
3. TIGI Bed Head Moisture Maniac Shampoo
This is moisturizing but not heavy and has a rich lather.
4. BioSilk Hydrating Shampoo
This gentle shampoo has botanical extracts, herbs and a gentle cleansing action for thirsty hair!
5. Jheri Redding Theraplus Moisturizing Shampoo
This helps to maintain the elasticity of your hair which can prevent breakage. It deeply cleans, replenishes and conditions dry or damaged hair.
6. Aussie Moist Shampoo
All of the Aussie range are great for moisturizing. This has Queensland Macadamia Nut – sounds good enough to eat!