This article (written by Gail Morris) is bought to you by Rachael Jones. She enjoys writing about ways to Grow Hair Faster.
It is sometimes impossible to get just the right texture and feel to your hair. Sometimes it’s soft and silky but then it is too oily or gets rough. You are not the only one to struggle to find just the right combination of shampoo and conditioner that will make your hair flow and move like the women on television. Daily conditioner, deep conditioner, anti-frizz, detangler, shampoo, nutrition, vitamins, mousse, and heat protectors – it just is all too confusing.
Anyone who wants that silky shine has to start with the basics – daily conditioner and shampoo – and must have good knowledge of a few basics of hair care as well. Once you know how the hair grows and develops it is easier to better evaluate your own situation and control your frizz, tame your curl or just make your hair shine in the light.
Hair is important to both men and women. It is part of that first impression that is so important. It creates gender identity and is the only part of the body that is completely renewable without scarring.
When you are born you have all the hair follicles you will ever have in your life. Follicles are not added during life. As you grow and mature they do appear less dense because the skin size increases and the follicles are spread further apart.
Hair is made up of two different structures – one is living under the skin in the follicle and the shaft, which we care for with shampoo and conditioner, is actually dead cells. The hair cells inside the follicle actually divide (double) every 23 to 72 hours, which is faster than any other cell in the human body. This is one of the reasons that chemotherapy often leaves an individual bald – the chemical drug attacks cells that are dividing the quickest in the body.
At the base of each hair shaft is a gland that produces sebum – a natural conditioner. There is more of this sebum produced after puberty which explains why younger children do not often have greasy hair. As we grow older the production of sebum declines, which partially accounts for the increasing dryness and fly aways in men and women who have grey hair.
There are three layers to each hair shaft. The largest layer is the cortex at the center of the hair and the outermost layer is the cuticle. Most shampoo and conditioners affect the cuticle of the hair. And, each time we do something ’special’ to our hair – such as perming or coloring – we also affect the pH of the hair, which in turn affects the way in which the cuticle lies on the hair shaft.
Mystery solved! Now you know why hair can sometimes appear oily, dry, fly away or damaged. When we treat it with chemicals, soaps and conditioners we must also take into account the type of hair, the pH, the treatments and the current damage if we want to effect a positive change.
So which shampoo and conditioner is the best one to use for your hair type and circumstances? Before choosing a product you want to fully evaluate the type of hair that you have so you meet the needs of your hair. You can have curly, coarse, straight, limp, dry, processed/colored or oily hair. And it can also be a combination of these – straight, limp and oily or thick, curly and coarse.
There are some basic differences between hair that you should know before choosing your shampoo and conditioner. For instance, curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair because the natural conditioner produced at the scalp do not make it down the shaft as easily as it does on a straight shaft. For this reason people who have curly hair should use shampoos that are moisturizing, hydrating and creamy. Shampoos that contain wheat germ oil, nut oils or shea butter work well for hair that needs more tender loving care.
Hair that is curly or coarse should have conditioning done daily to keep it as healthy as possible. Conditioner should be the same as shampoos, moisturizing and hydrating. People who have curly hair are also benefit from an extra hot oil treatment once a month or may enjoy making their own deep conditioner at home. One homemade recipe uses a mixture of olive oil, mayonnaise and one egg. Heat the oil and mayonnaise slightly before whipping in the egg. Put it over the hair and cover the head with a disposable shower cap to keep in the heat. Keep it in place for 30 minutes and then wash it out.
People who have fine, oily or limp hair may find it challenging to get just the right shampoo and conditioner. Fine here is more susceptible to looking oily hours after a shampoo if the wrong conditioner were shampoos used. Natural conditioners produced by the follicles slide down the shaft very quickly which decreases the time it takes before the hair starts to look oily.
People who have straight hair should stay away from those which are creamy and head for shampoos that are gentle but marked for daily or frequent washing. With recent research and technological advances it appears that the ingredient panthenol is best for hair that is thin or fine. Experts believe that the panthenol penetrates the cuticle and makes the shaft swell and appear thicker.
Not all hair that is fine needs conditioners, especially daily. If you can comb through the hair is after your shower then you may want to condition only two or three times each week. If your hair is long enough tried to condition only the ends but keep the conditioner away from scalp. Some people find that a spray conditioner is lighter in weight and doesn’t create as much oil for fine hair.
Another challenge for women is hair that’s been treated – permed, colored or relaxed. When hair has been over-processed the hair will suffer from oily roots and dry shaft and ends. These mix makes it difficult to find the just the right shampoo and conditioner. You have to clean the roots and moisturize the ends. You can try using a shampoo designed specifically for normal hair at switching to a stronger conditioner, using it from the middle of the hair down.
People who have colored their hair will want to preserve the color for as long as possible. At the moment there are a plethora of shampoos and conditions that are “specially formulated” for hair that is then colored. Unfortunately, experts say that these are just another way to make money. You want to look for a shampoo that is gentle on the hair, such as baby shampoo.
Conditioners that work well for processed hair should be used primarily on the ends. Avoid conditioners that contain silicone because that chemical will strip the hair of color and change the way in which a perm wears. To preserve color even longer try shampooing only every other day and usage right shampoo when needed.
People who have dried damaged hair may actually have the easiest time choosing the right shampoo and conditioner for them. Avoid clear a shampoos and goes straight to the creamy, moisturizing and alter a hydrating ones. These help to smooth and de-tangle static. Remember to add moisture whenever possible. This means using a strong conditioner that is older hydrating or ultra-moisturizing. Remember, you cannot over moisturize dried damaged hair.
Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is the best basic care you can give to your hair. This is the underlying structure upon which a good defrizzing, detangling or mousse can sufficiently add structure, balance, bounce and shine to your locks.
Gail Morris owns Salon Mason Ohio where she provides clients with the information and care they need to look their best.
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