Hair Skin Care Shampoo

Shampoo should cleanse your hair of excess oil, dirt and styling products. However, while shampoo should clean the hair, it should also work to restore nutrients and moisture to the hair.

When shampoo lathers in our hair, it strips the hair of sebum, a protective layer in which dirt often gathers. This is extremely drying to the hair. To ensure that your hair stays lustrous and shiny after shampooing, it is essential to find the shampoo that is right for your hair type and your hair’s unique needs.

Types of Shampoo

No matter what your hair needs, there is likely a shampoo on the market to help. The following are just some of the shampoos you can likely find on the shelves of your local drugstore:

  • Baby Shampoos: Baby shampoos typically do not contain some of the harsh ingredients found in other shampoos, which prevents a baby’s eyes from stinging if shampoo gets into them. Baby shampoos tend to be extremely gentle, making them a good choice for adults with sensitivity issues.
  • Color-Enhancing Shampoos: Color-enhancing shampoos contain ingredients to keep color-treated hair from losing its vibrancy.
  • Curl-Enhancing Shampoos: Curl-enhancing shampoos provide extra moisture to tame curls. In addition, many contain ingredients to promote hair to curl.
  • Dandruff Shampoos: Both over-the-counter and prescription shampoos exist to help prevent dandruff.
  • Hair-Loss-Prevention Shampoos: Shampoos to prevent hair loss work by stimulating hair growth and by inhibiting Dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that is linked to the destruction of hair follicles.
  • Volumizing Shampoos: Volumizing shampoos use thickening agents to achieve an increase in volume.

Most shampoos come in liquid form and are stored in plastic bottles. However, there are solid shampoos available to help those with such conditions as scalp damage.

Shampoo Ingredients

No matter which type of shampoo you need, you’ll want to pay close attention to the ingredients listed on the bottle. All shampoos are basically detergents. The most common detergents, listed in order from worst for your hair to best for you hair are as follows:

  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • TEA Lauryl Sulfate
  • OAA Laureth Sulfate.

You can determine which detergent your shampoo contains by checking your shampoo’s label. Most often, the detergent will be the second ingredient, following water.

It is important to note that all of the detergents listed above are safe to use. However, if you have a special hair condition, such as dry hair or hair that is prone to breakage, you’ll likely want to invest in a shampoo that contains one of the higher quality detergents.

Making a Natural Shampoo

While there are a number of shampoos readily available on the market, some people like to make their own natural shampoos. While homemade natural shampoos tend to foam less than commercial shampoos, many clean just as effectively for a fraction of the price.

For a basic natural shampoo:

  1. Bring one quart of water to a boil.
  2. Pour the water into a container holding four ounces of castile soap flakes.
  3. Stir until the soap has dissolved.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool. When it has cooled completely, pour the liquid into a plastic bottle.

To make this natural shampoo even better, mix four to eight drops of any of the following essential oils with one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and pour it into the shampoo:

  • citrus oil
  • lavender oil
  • peppermint oil.

For very dry hair, take one cup of the basic shampoo recipe provided above and add 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Resources (2007). Choosing the Correct Hair Products for Your Hair. Retrieved October 25, 2007, from the Ezine Articles Web site: