Have you already found your perfect shampoo? In this search, there are those who wash their hair every day due to fatty hair, and those who do it once in ten days, because they have too dry hair. On the web, you can find both rave reviews, and a bunch of negative about almost every brand of shampoo.
Someone approaches the mass market. Someone for objective reasons, including ethical ones, is only looking for "organic" products. And some believe that professional means are best for their hair. How can one navigate the flow of contradictory information to a person who has long forgotten the school chemistry course?
First, let's figure out what happens when we head.
"Physiology" of washing hair
The basis of the shampoo detergent composition is a solution of one or more surfactants.
Surfactants - surface-active substances - that's why they are called that they can translate into water solution even insoluble fats. Getting to the contaminated hair, surfactant molecules reduce the surface tension of water. They penetrate between the hair and fatty contamination and when we intensively foams the shampoo on the hair, tear off the microdrops of fat from the surface of the hair. Now the fat is surrounded by surfactant molecules and can be easily carried away with foam.
However, in aqueous solution, the surfactant acts not only on the dirt on the surface of the hair, but also on the hair itself. Protein keratin, which forms hair, changes its structure and swells. Along with impurities from the surface of the hair, useful components are also carried away, which retained the protein fibers. Such a "trauma" badly affects the properties of the hair - they can be broken, broken, electrified.
In addition, in the washing process, surfactants also affect the scalp, degreasing and overdrying it.
And here there is a dilemma. If we want to completely remove grease and dirt, then we need to take a more rigid surfactant, but it will aggressively affect the scalp and the hair itself. If we take a soft surfactant, we can get an unsatisfactory result of washing - the fat will remain on the hair. The ideal shampoo is one that allows you to reach the golden mean.
What can we expect from a good shampoo?
Requirements for quality shampoo
For owners of any type of hair, it is important that the shampoo:
- gently washed the hair of grease and dirt;
- did not irritate the scalp and did not overdry it;
- restored the structure of hair, giving them beauty.
Many have their own, specific requirements. Therefore, there are countless shampoos. It is almost impossible to embrace all this diversity. What to choose?
Classification of shampoos
Each can have its own approach to classification. Here we will consider three main groups in which you can combine modern shampoos:
- "Budget" shampoos with a standard detergent composition based on SLES (sodium laureth sulfate).
- More expensive shampoos based on soft surfactants, "natural" or "organic" shampoos.
- Professional shampoos.
Shampoos based on sodium laurate sulfate appeared in the 60s of last century. However, then they basically used not more than once a week. And it's not surprising. After all, with all the advantages of this surfactant (availability of raw materials, low price, convenience in use, good effect), skin from it can become inflamed, and its frequent use can cause dandruff. Under the influence of advertising, our habits have changed - we began to wash our hair more often, and SLES in many shampoos remained the main component. Even if "healing" extracts are added to such shampoo, they will not play a special role, because their concentration is scant, and it is impossible to keep such shampoo for a long time on the hair. Therefore, the number of citizens whose shampoos from supermarkets cause problems with hair or scalp is growing. And the market began to offer alternatives.
For more than a decade there have been safer soft surfactants that are successfully used for gentle washing of the head: sodium laureth sulfosuccinate, sodium lauryl sarcosinate, sodium cocoamphodiacetate, sodium olefin sulfonate, sodium sodium miretsulfate, lauryl glucoside, cocoamidopropyl betaine, lauryltrimethylammonium chloride and others.
All these substances combine a higher price compared to sodium laureth sulfate. Some of these surfactants foam better, some worse. Correctly selected ratio of soft surfactants of different nature (non-ionic, amphoteric, cationic) allow achieving good detergency, foaming and the necessary viscosity. Therefore, shampoos based on soft surfactants, flavored with other additives that improve the condition of the hair or scalp, immediately fall into a higher price category.
Sometimes it is possible to meet such craftiness when they speak of surfactants on the basis of vegetable raw materials as natural, not specifying that the original components still underwent chemical transformations. But truly natural is the product that is taken in nature and used in an unchanged form.
Now it is fashionable to use all natural, so to somehow stand out against the background of others, some manufacturers claim the naturalness of such shampoos. It would be more honest to call them safe. After all, really natural surfactants, for example, saponins, are sufficiently poisonous (of course, this happens when they are swallowed and depends on their concentration) and also can irritate the skin.
In shampoos, claiming to be natural (and in fact with this concept most people associate the usefulness of the product) it is important to pay attention to the position of the declared natural extracts in the list of ingredients. If the names of useful plants are woven at the end, then this is again a marketing move. Perhaps, such shampoo will not harm (if it came up to your hair), but it is not worth to count on a special effect.
By the way, without preservatives, a natural product will not last long. Therefore, examine the label of this shampoo for lack of parabens, formaldehyde and other carcinogens.
Organic shampoos can contain both natural and synthetic components. Manufacturers of organic shampoos claim that their products do not degradethe state of both nature and hair and scalp. They contain almost completely biodegradable components that have a mild effect. Their detergent composition consists of non-ionic and amphoteric surfactants, which do not always foam well. Expensive extracts in their composition can really improve the condition of hair and scalp. So, the extract of olive leaves facilitates combing and is a natural conditioner. With other extracts, antioxidants can be added that improve the state of sensitive skin, or substances that enhance blood circulation and stimulate hair growth. Preservatives in such shampoos, for example, citric acid, do not have an aggressive effect. The smell of essential oils, which at the same time create a mood.
True, owners of fatty hair sometimes have to soap their heads more than twice, increasing the consumption of expensive organic shampoo.
Professional shampoo is designed to solve a specific problem quickly. He can attract a common man in his "title" and impress the result, while his effective action, as a rule, is short-lived. Perhaps someone uses the stereotypes associated with the word "professional" in order to sell it not only to the masters in the salons, but also to their clients.
Pick a professional shampoo should a specialist. Real professionals will tell you that these shampoos are not for regular use at home. Such a shampoo should wash the hair "up to the creak" in a hairdresser's. Therefore, the concentration of surfactants in it can be higher than in most other shampoos. But the higher the concentration of surfactants, the stronger its irritating effect. Other active ingredients that can quickly bring hair into a decent appearance, can, with prolonged use, on the contrary, worsen the situation.
As you can see, the selection of suitable shampoo for your hair is not a quick thing. Take a look at the labels on the package. Look for shampoo, after which your hair shines with purity and beauty, and the skin does not peel and does not itch. After all, choosing the best shampoo will still have the last word for your hair.