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Shampoo & Conditioner: What, Why & How Often

There is a myriad of perspectives when it comes to best practices for hair care. Some of the common considerations include how often to shampoo, what shampoo to use, whether or not to shampoo at all. What you must understand is that there is no right answer or magic number to ensure luscious locks and a healthy scalp. So in this article we will outline all the information you need to create your own hair care routine.

shampoo-conditioner

What are Shampoo & Conditioner?

Shampoo is an emulsifier which captures and traps excess oil, dirt and residue in the hair. When lathered into wet hair, shampoo collects these materials which are then removed through the process of rinsing. However, it is important to note that many of the oils that shampoo removes are the natural oils produced by the scalp which are necessary for healthy hair. Thus, once hair has been shampooed, it can be become dry and vulnerable unless it is conditioned.

While shampoo only cleanses hair, conditioner provides compounds, which protect and beautify hair. When shampoo is applied to remove sebum, residual styling products, dead cells, and dirt from hair and scalp it also leads to slight swelling of the cuticle layer, leaving hair more vulnerable to damaging environmental influences and heat. Thus, conditioner can reduce the cuticle swelling, leaving hair supple and moisturised. Ultimately. conditioners protect the hair until the next shampoo.

How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

As stated earlier, there is no one size fits all in the approach to hair care. The best way to determine your ideal hair care regime is to adapt it to your hair type. If you have fine hair, your hair has less volume and can therefore feel oily much faster. Thus, washing your hair 3 times a week could prove to be sufficient. It is also important to not over-condition with fine hair. By using too much conditioner, you can weigh the hair down too much.

For thicker hair, you can wait a bit longer between washes. Some experts suggest washing every few days as it takes much longer for hair to get oily. With thick hair and curly hair, opting for a smoothing shampoo could be beneficial.

How to Find a Good Hair Product

When choosing shampoos and conditioners, it is important to check the ingredients list. In recent years, many have opted to avoid harsh chemicals in favour of more natural alternatives.

Shampoos which contain essential oils and vitamins can be used to treat dry scalp, sensitive scalp and treated hair irrespective of age.