7 Criteria for Choosing Your Shampoo
Washing is an important step for the beauty and health of your hair. The issue of shampoo, a product to choose carefully, and not just for its pleasant scent.
1. Do not Damage the Hair
New-generation shampoos primarily eliminate sulfates, these chemical cleansers. Others use mild sulfates. Therefore, it's preferable to choose a shampoo with non-aggressive surfactants, avoiding sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate, the most aggressive in this family. "Formulas are evolving," specifies Denise Guillouet of L'Oréal Professionnel. Sulfates have been replaced by milder surfactants derived from coconut. They have good cleansing power without causing irritation, suitable for all healthy scalp conditions, including colored or straightened hair. Some products are also formulated with micelles (like makeup removers), which come together to remove dirt and sebum. Wash gently.
2. Wash Your Hair Every Day
Nothing hinders, as long as you choose a mild shampoo. That is, with very scalp-friendly cleaning agents. "One application is sufficient and with little product," adds Catherine Chauvin. If the scalp is oily, use a specific shampoo to maintain volume longer. Or, in a natural version, choose a neutral shampoo (very mild base) to which a few drops of tea tree essential oil are added. First test on the elbow bend to see if there is no reaction.
3. Beautify Long Hair
"It is not necessarily a good idea to choose your shampoo according to the length because it is not what will cure them," explains Denise Guillouet. Unless, if you have no scalp problems, in that case, we can choose a more specific shampoo for lengths. "In any case, it is not necessary to knead them as if you were washing clothes!" continues Catherine Chauvin, from René Furterer. This damages the hair and opens its scales. The foam flowing along the locks is enough to wash them. It is the care they need. Therefore, after washing, the application of a good conditioner or mask is essential, especially if the hair is long. This product will restore softness and detangle the hair fiber.
4. Cleanse and Treat the Scalp
The first role of shampoo is to wash the scalp! It seems obvious, but, as Charline Roussé of Biocoiff says, "you must choose according to the condition of the scalp, not the hair!". However, often, continues the organic hair specialist, the shampoo used does not meet the real needs of the scalp. "In the case of a scalp problem, the shampoo must treat the roots. For example, we will use a shampoo that regulates sebum or soothes (in case of irritation) once or twice a week, alternating with a mild shampoo," adds Catherine Chauvin. Hence the importance of having a good diagnosis: as it is difficult to see your scalp, you can ask your hairdresser, during a cut or a color, to give us information about the state of our scalp. We will know if it needs to be moisturized, nourished, purified, or simply gently washed. And we will avoid excessive irritation or seborrhea because the shampoo used is not suitable.
5. Use Natural Ingredients
Be it natural, based on plant extracts (shea, aloe vera, nettle) or labeled as organic, these shampoos are suitable for everyone. They effectively wash with plant-based surfactants, which are gentle and respectful like coconut betaine and SLSA (sodium lauryl sulfoacetate). By choosing this type of shampoo, you are sure to have a product that respects both the scalp and the hair and does not cover the lengths with an occlusive film. "But organic shampoos, for example, are not necessarily '100% vegetable' because labels allow a little chemistry," says Charline Roussé. To know what is in your shampoo, you must read the labels carefully, especially if you want a truly natural shampoo! These products leave the hair clean and soft, usually shiny, but also a bit dry and rough. A conditioner, applied shortly after, will be responsible for restoring the softness of the lengths.
6. Avoid Products that Produce Too Much Foam
"The more it foams, the more it attacks the scalp," says Nina Roos, a dermatologist. "A real mild shampoo should foam less: this low foaming power proves a low level of surfactants. Foam is a waste!" continues David Baco of Furterer. Moreover, little foam is less shampoo and less water to eliminate it. "This also allows better tolerance of the product," adds the formulator. Also, the claim of 'biodegradable formula' on the bottle is a real advantage to consider in the choice.
7. Do Not Suffocate Long Hair
Opt for a shampoo without silicone. These widely used molecules soften and coat the hair fiber. What can be an asset for rebellious, dry, or difficult-to-comb hair. But in the long run, as they do not eliminate or hardly eliminate, silicones end up suffocating the hair, which is losing strength. "The only active ingredients that protect the hair from moisture and, therefore, frizz, these silicones are eliminated better than before," explains Denise Guillouet. But above all, they are replaced by other molecules, polymers that smooth the scales. For David Baco, "silicones are still widely used for their coating properties, but they are not very 'environmentally friendly'. In other words, they are not biodegradable and are found in wastewater. Therefore, they should be avoided as much as possible.