Thursday, July 13, 2006
Products: Shampoos, Conditioners & Hair Masques. Advices how to use them
Like I have said before, everyone has something to sell. There is ever feasible product imaginable out there just waiting for you to either benefit from or spend your money on. Here are some basic tips and problem-specific solutions. Your hair is a direct reflection of what's going on in the inside. And since it takes so unbelievably long (half inch a month growth average) treat it well once it does grow out.
Shampoo: The main function of a shampoo is to remove the oils secreted by the scalp. It also should easily remove product build up without stripping the hair of its natural oils completely. Here the many different types and their specific functions:
Baby Shampoo: These products are very soft and do not contain any harsh chemicals that may irritate the skin and eyes. BUT! my friend told me that these shampoos have a pH of 8, same as the eye, and that is why it doesn't sting your eyes. However, she said leave it for the babies. It doesn't give your hair what it needs. You need a shampoo that has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5
Violet Shampoo: These shampoos contain pigments to filter out the yellowing in gray and blonde hair. I use one of these to take the "brassiness" out of my hair between colorings. They can be drying if they contain lighteners, which most of them do.
Clarifying Shampoo: This is a good product to remove product build up and excess oil. It contains no conditioning agents so I would advise to condition a little after if you want to get a comb through your hair without damaging it.
Pigment Containing Shampoo: you can be familiar with Henna containing shampoos for brown hair and Violets for blondes. Along the same lines as the Violet Shampoos but for darker hair to enrich the color or lengthen the color between salon visits.
Conditioning Shampoo: These products contain added conditioners to simplify the washing showering process. Great for men and children but I don't use these. I need heavier conditioners.
Moisturizing Shampoo: These products contain agents that moisturize rather than stripping. I use TIGI Bedhead moisture maniac PLUS a moisturizing conditioner by ABBA, called Moisture Scentsation. And even a few times a week I use a Lange protein additive with the ABBA conditioner. I also like a detangler, but we'll get to that later.
Dandruff Shampoo: These are coal tar shampoos and medicated products that ease the flaking and itching of this condition. I find this product to dry out the hair. I had to use a Neutrogena coal tar shampoo for about three weeks due to some winter itching. My hair got so dried out. Also, I have heard that if you accustom your scalp to the constant use of this product it can become "addicted" to it. This has not been proven.
Volumizing or Body Shampoo: This product contains agents that cause the hairshaft to swell. It will not give you added thickness however. It contains little or no conditioning agents.
Conditioner: The function of a conditioner is to coat the hair shaft to smooth down the damaged hair shaft, provide protection from curling irons and environmental elements. It can tone down frizziness and ease combing wet hair or brushing dry hair. Personally, I can NOT function without some sort of conditioner. I have fine hair so I can't use a really heavy product or it weighs down the shaft. I have to use a moisturizing conditioner and a protein complex once or twice a week. Here are some typical conditioning formulas.
Instant Conditioner: This is really good for normal or slightly damaged hair. It is a light formula that quickly conditions the hair leaving it looking healthy and protected. This is not a good choice for fine hair. It can weigh the shaft down creating "flatness" and build up resulting in the need for a clarifying shampoo. Do not over condition.
Finishing Rinse: This product is good for very fine, limp hair. It does not weigh down the hair shaft unnecessarily and doesn't have a high build up rate. Although it will not provide enough conditioning properties for overly damaged or dry hair.
Conditioning Packs/Masques: For excessive damage from over-processing or wind and sun damage, chlorine damage and heating elements. This is a good choice to provide deep conditioning for extremely damaged hair or for an every once in a while pack to treat dry hair. If you're hair is breaking you may need moisture although from too much protein you can have breakage as well. Additionally, too much moisture can make the hair feel soggy and really stretchy. But then again so can damage from harsh chemicals. I know this seems confusing so visit a knowledgeable stylist to help you with your hair woes.
Pigment-containing Conditioner: These are additional to the pigment containing shampoos for added depth of color. I use a violent based conditioner very rarely. The formulations for darker hair are better than the ones for lighter shades as the lighter formulation may be drying. Henna conditioners are a good start for deep brown tones whereas walnut is better for darker shades.
Detangler/Leave-in Conditioner: Life'd be very difficult for me if it were not for detanglers. As a child I always had a detangler and even started using the Johnson&Johnson baby detangler in the last two years all over again. It is cheap and I only use a small amount. It does not irritate the scalp and is gentle enough for a baby. It helps for that extra oomph when I need the additional detangling properties without the extra expense. Good for the gym and after swimming! Although my stylists hates when I use it, she will have to live with it - or give me free products.