Bringing up such a controversial topic, drumroll please.. Hair care, how to choose the right shampoo. Is there a right or wrong answer? I have found myself many times asking the girl in front of me in line what she uses on her hair, buy it.. and not work. I’m not gonna lie, finding the best shampoo can take some trial and error as every hair can either transform on a certain formulation or you can be left with unimpressed results. Not everyone has the same hair and even if you have similar textures - everyone reacts to formulations differently. Something that you always want to look for when purchasing a shampoo is a formula that supports your overall hair and scalp health, promoting healthy locks from root to tip.
Shampoo brands have definitely kicked it up a notch on how to effectively target your hair concerns. Good thing because I don't know about you but sometimes my hair has its own personality, one week it needs serious hydration as my scalp feels dry and ends are brittle to feeling like I need a little detox from all the product I put on my hair. Everyone has a different approach to handling their hair - take a look at some of my tips.
There are a few ingredients that you should actively stay away from if you want to maintain a strong and healthy hair care regime. Three that I always keep in mind are synthetic fragrances, alcohol and sulfates. There is no perfect formula but being more conscious of the ingredients that we are putting on our scalp is a step in the right direction.
As much as we want to mimic iconic hair commercials, sweeping your hair from side to side and loving how delicious your hair smells also comes with a price. Products that have fragrance to them contain substantially a high amount of hidden chemicals. These hidden chemicals can disrupt healthy hair growth, irritate scalp - leading to hair loss, and even intervene in overall health.
When you choose a shampoo that does not contain alcohol that means you are already welcoming more moisture to your hair care regime, hydration is essential if you have dry and/or brittle hair - gently cleansing with an alcohol free shampoo will maintain health and balance. Something to note is that there are good and bad alcohols. Good alcohols like Cetyl and Benzyl are known to thicken formulations and soften hair - it is able to do that because of its fatty properties that generally derive from vegetables, fruits and sea botanicals. Bad alcohols tend to have “prop” in their name, Propyl Alcohol can reduce moisture intake leaving hair feeling dry and brittle.
There are 2 used in hair care, sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. The sulfate in your shampoo is responsible to create a lathering effect to cleanse your hair - if your shampoo lathers easily when applied there is a good chance it contains sulfates. Sulfates are known for its deep cleaning agents but it comes at a price, if you tend to have a drier scalp/hair it can strip your hair from its natural oils leaving a even more dull and dry texture. I know for me it was hard to feel that a sulfate-free shampoo was cleaning my hair good enough as it wasn’t lathering as much, the more it lathered the more it was working? - was I the only one who felt that way? I’ve learnt though that this is an ingredient that you want to stay away from should you want your hair to head a path of eternal glory.
Shampoo is the first step in an effective hair care routine, it is important to note that shampoo is not only a cleansing agent but a step in attaining the results you want. As a girl living in Alberta - probably one of the driest provinces in Canada - anywhere where I can draw hydration in and avoid getting dandruff is a win for me. I am someone who feels the need to wash my hair every day, if not my scalp gets itchy. I recently picked up a bottle of Christophe Robin’s Hydrating Shampoo with Aloe Vera, 98% of it’s ingredients come from its natural origin which allows it to be ideal for frequent use. Because of its aloe vera component it promotes vitamins and nutrients to penetrate my scalp which leaves a fresh and nourished feeling. This item is great for all hair types needing a boost of hydration and comes in a shampoo bar for whoever is on the go!
Another great go-to shampoo is Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Shampoo. If you are looking for a fragrance-free hair shampoo that delivers results with a simple and clean formulation this is it! Goats milk is known for its rich protein and fatty acid components, allowing it to nourish your hair deeply and provides a natural shine.
As a curly girl myself, I know what it feels like to have dry hair - we tend to struggle to retain moisture because our natural oils don’t travel down our strands as easily as someone with straight hair. We have to give our hair care regime a boost every day to bring and retain moisture. I have just started using Iles Formula Haute Performance Shampoo, not only is it #bathroomselfie worthy because of its sleek look, but it's a sophisticated blend of key raw ingredients like vitamin B5 and pantothenic acid that quench thirsty strands and help with breakage. The light formulation on this shampoo is great for curly hair as it will not weigh your hair down and deliver a silky light texture for your curls to define. This shampoo is extremely calming and is paraben free, sulfate free, and cruelty free.
Sometimes our hair needs a little boost to regain its strength after using direct heat, colouring, and even hormone changes. Have you found yourself losing hair or feeling that your strands are looking thinner? Strengthening shampoos are a great way to regain what was lost - Grown Alchemist Strengthening Shampoo. A clean formulation with Eclipta Alba Flavonoids that awaken hair follicles to support health and growth. This shampoo also contains Avala oil extract, bringing fatty acids to noticeably strengthen roots and prevent hair loss.
Other forms of Shampoo.
Shampoos have drastically changed in the last few years, ranging from different consistencies such as powders, sprays, to on-the-go solid shampoo bars. Having this versatility allows you to get a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning or freshens you up before heading out to dinner with friends.
A fun way to perk up your hair in the morning is using a foam dry shampoo. Design Me Quickie.ME Dry Shampoo Foam is a rice starch base that allows to absorb excess oil and unwanted odors to leave it looking fresh and feeling clean. There is no sticky residue after applying and no water needed! This product allows you to go longer between washes and is great for all hair types.
Dry shampoo is a great way to reduce excess oil and bring life to flat unwashed hair. Captain Blankenship’s Dry Shampoo is a miracle worker. This brand prides itself in creating organic beauty products that have a direct link with nature. This dry shampoo is infused with organic essential oils of Geranium and Palmarosa, leaving a fresh beachy smell. It also has a combination of Arrowroot Powder and Kaolin Clay that help decrease the appearance of oil and add volume - looking like you just came back from your head shaking concert.
When opting for a dry shampoo always ensure that it is talc free - talc contains toxic chemicals, being a carcinogenic ingredient it is damaging to your overall health.