The Shape of Shampoo

We've all seen the shampoo ads ' a woman with long, shiny locks who emerges from her bedroom looking like she's just had a whole team of hairdressers attending to her. Beautiful hair is something most people want to achieve; here's how to get the most out of your shampoo routine.
Experts don't always agree about the best frequency for washing your hair; what it does boil down to is your individual hair needs. If your hair is especially oily, you may need to wash it daily, but for dryer hair, every second or third day is completely acceptable. To keep your hair fresh between washes, you can rinse in luke-warm water (not hot water as that will break up your natural hair oils) and use a natural hair brush to distribute the natural oils from your scalp to the rest of your hair. Dry shampoos can work in a pinch to soak up too much oiliness, but should be used sparingly. WHAT TO BUY Whether you wash daily or prefer to spread your washes out a bit to retain your hair's natural oils, buying the right shampoo is essential. Stay away from shampoos that contain sulphates and phosphates. These ingredients make the shampoo lather and spread better when mixed with water, but they also strip natural oils from your hair and can clog pores, which impair your hair follicles from producing new and healthy hair. Using products that strip your hair are a sure fire way to achieve dry and damaged scalps and hair that's lifeless, brittle and dull.   Instead, look for natural, organic ingredients that don't have any chemicals. While using a more natural shampoo means that it won't lather as chemically enhanced shampoos do, you'll soon get used to no bubbles. In addition to all natural base ingredients, a few others can help you choose the right shampoo for your hair type, such as:
  • Lavender ' incredibly helpful in the treatment of alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition that results in hair loss, usually at the top of the head or crown)  
  • Shea butter ' great for treating dandruff as it's a fantastic moisturiser. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is packed with minerals and vitamins. 
  • Gingko biloba ' stimulates blood circulation which help hair growth 
  • Avocado oil ' filled with vitamins and assists the hair follicles in retaining moisture. Amino acids in avocado oil also help promote healthy hair growth 
  • Olive oil ' improves hair elasticity, which helps prevent breakage and it help bring back the shine and reduce frizz 
  • Jojoba oil ' helps to unclog pores and is a great moisturiser 
  • Aragan oil ' easily absorbed oil that restores lustre and softens hair
  • Keratin ' can be found in many shampoos ' hair is made of keratin, which is a protein, so it makes sense to put this back into the hair ' however, coupling keratin with harsh chemicals will reduce its efficacy.
TIP: Mix one part Apple Cider Vinegar with two parts water and use it as a rinse once or twice a week ' leave in for about two minutes. Apple Cider Vinegar helps keep the pH levels in balance and closes up your hair follicles, which helps prevent damage.   TO CONDITION OR NOT TO CONDITION It's unusual to go to a hairdressing salon and not have conditioner slathered all over your hair before your stylist gets to work. So, the assumption is that hair stylists all agree conditioner is a must. It's important, though, to avoid conditioners with silicone - this actually strips your hair of its natural conditioning properties. How you condition your hair depends largely on the type of hair you have (dry, oily, thin, curly); a rule of thumb is that to put the majority of conditioner on the ends of your hair, avoiding your scalp and roots. Rather shampoo these areas, and apply conditioner to the rest. That way, you won't be messing around with natural oil secretion but will get to the ends and tips where it's needed.  TIP: Very often conditioner isn't completely rinsed out of your hair, leaving it slightly limp and with less volume. Conditioning before shampooing can help ensure your hair looks and feels healthier.  LESS IS MORE Most salon branded shampoos recommend a walnut-sized amount of shampoo for your hair, and this is true for all shampoos. Leaving any amount of shampoo on your hair after washing can cause your scalp to dry out and lead to dandruff or fungal issues. When shampooing your hair, rinse it extremely well. The same is true for conditioner ' you'll already use less if you don't condition the root and scalp area. DID YOU KNOW? Hair grows slightly faster in hot weather, simply because heat stimulates circulation. ITS NOT JUST ON TOP, IT'S INSIDE TOO As with every aspect of health and beauty, it's not just what you put on, its' what you put in. A healthy diet and regular exercise also contribute to beautiful locks. Take dry hair for example; anxiety causes dehydration in your body, and this will in turn affect your hair. As mentioned, your hair is made up of a protein called keratin (eat biotin-rich foods such as onions, cauliflower and kale) ' ensure you get enough of them through your diet ' it's always more effective to feed your body's needs from the inside. Smoking restricts blood vessels and can result in brittle hair, while dry hair could indicate a lack of zinc or iron. 

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