When I started my hair journey, I hated shampoo because it made my hair feel like a scouring sponge. I discovered alternative no-poo methods which were great and have written about before.
Now, 1 year and 7 months later, I can say that Shampoo in the bottle as you know it, is not the enemy. I love to Poo after my hair has been in a protective style for weeks and just to be on the safe side, when my hair is out, every four weeks or so to keep Product Build-up away.
Yes, most shampoos are harsh on hair because they contain detergents/surfactants called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These chemicals cleanse deep, and for this reason, your hair may be left very brittle and dry.
Sulfate-free shampoos contain milder surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine in place of SLS/SLES. I’d especially recommend them to people who need to wash their hair often, like swimmers.
You don’t need to shampoo every three days or every other week, but no matter your preference, these pointers will help you make the most of ‘Poo days- with or without sulfates. 🙂
You can reduce the harsh effects of your shampoo by diluting it with water. Get an applicator bottle or even a regular bowl. Put in a little amount of shampoo and add water (not too much!) and shake the bottle or shake up with your hands (if you’re using a bowl)- and you’re ready to wash!
Gently focus on your scalp
Have you ever heard- Shampoo is for scalp and Conditioner is for hair?
When you’re shampooing, the focus should be on your scalp. If you focus your application on the scalp, it will be well cleansed and the shampoo will still get to your hair strands. You don’t need to scrub your hair as it lathers and you definitely don’t need to scratch your scalp in the process.
This is simply the act of applying oils or conditioners to your hair before shampooing to prepare it for the harsh manipulation to follow. I vouch for plain oil pre-poos.
Science says coconut oil is the best for pre-pooing because of its ability to be absorbed into the hair shaft. 8 hours is also said to be the optimum time for your coconut pre-poo. I use coconut oil when I have it, and when I don’t- olive oil. And except I’m pre-pooing overnight, 3-4 hours is just good for me.
If you haven’t got the time to pre-poo, just add oil to the amount of shampoo you’re ready to use. You don’t have to dilute it with water. My favourite oils for this are Castor and Olive.
Make sure you Deep Condition!!
This is a MUST! The cleansing process strips your hair of its moisture and natural oils. Some people prefer to Deep Condition their hair before shampooing, to add a little more moisture so that the hair feels less stripped afterwards. Others prefer to DC on clean hair after a wash, to replenish lost moisture. Either way, both methods work. So choose what you like, and make sure you do!
So guys. How do you make shampooing worthwhile? What works for you and what doesn’t? Feel free to have your say in the comments!
You know you could always email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next post,
P.S. The focus of this article is really on the regular SLS/SLES Shampoos. If you find that your sulfate-free shampoo or even conditioner strips your hair, you could follow the pointers too. But if they work fine, doing their jobs without stripping your hair down, you’re fine using them alone.