Is Shampoo Still Relevant?
Hair care is an overall term for hygiene and cosmetology involving the hair which grows from the human scalp.
Care of the hair and care of the scalp skin may appear separate, but are actually intertwined because hair grows from beneath the skin. The living parts of hair: hair follicle, hair root, root sheath, and sebaceous gland are beneath the skin, while the actual hair shaft which emerges: the cuticle which covers the cortex and medulla has no living processes. (use shampoo)
Damage or changes made to the visible hair shaft cannot be repaired by a biological process, though much can be done to manage hair and ensure that the cuticle remains intact. Scalp skin, just like any other skin on the body, must be kept healthy to ensure a healthy body and healthy hair production.
In this way
Hair washing as a term may be a bit misleading, as what is necessary in healthy hair production and maintenance is often simply cleaning the surface of the scalp skin, the way the skin all over the body requires cleaning for good hygiene.
The sebaceous glands in human skin produce sebum, which is composed primarily of fatty acids. Sebum acts to protect hair and skin, and can inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin.
This oily substance gives hair moisture and shine as it travels naturally down the hair shaft, and serves as a protective substance by preventing the hair from drying out or absorbing excessive amounts of external substances.
Sebum is also distributed down the hair shaft “mechanically” by brushing and combing. It is important to remember that in order to keep your hair healthy and voluminous you need to do a regular cleansing, toning, shampooing and conditioning of the hair. Then only can you expect healthy hair. Here are some hair care tips which will give you an over view of your hair care regime:
Importance Of Shampoo
How often you wash your hair should be based on how much oil your scalp produces.
• If your scalp is oily, you may need to wash it as often as once a day.
• If you have chemically treated hair, your hair may be drier, so you may want to wash it less frequently.
• As you get older, your scalp makes less oil, so you may not need to shampoo as often. But if you see flakes in your hair, you may not be shampooing enough. This can lead to dandruff and other scalp diseases.
Washing hair removes excess sweat and oil, as well as unwanted products from the hair and scalp. Often hair is washed as part of a shower or bathing with shampoo, a specialized surfactant.
The physical action of shampooing makes the grease and dirt become an emulsion that is then rinsed away with the water. This is known as the emulsifying action.
Try shampoos that do not contain sulfates or parabens. Sulfates are the chemicals that make shampoos lather up. Parabens are preservatives that cause irritation and eye problems after prolonged use. Both of these chemicals aren’t healthy for you or the environment so try to use shampoos with natural cleansers. Sulfates strip away natural oils as well as hair dye.
Choose a shampoo that suits your hair type.
• Curly or coarse hair probably wants frizz-minimizing and softening shampoo.
• Straight or oily hair probably wants a gentle shampoo designed for daily washing.
• Coloured or treated hair probably needs a shampoo that’s fortified with extracts or amino acids, because treating your hair is essentially damaging it.
• Dry hair probably needs shampoos with glycerin and collagen to help restore some moisture into the hair.
The majority of shampoos range between a pH factor of 5 and 7.
Medicated varieties have a pH of about 7.3, which is near neutral. Sebum has a pH factor between 4.5 and 5.5, which is mildly acidic. Bacteria cannot survive in this pH, so it is very important to maintain this protective layer in order to keep the skin, scalp and hair in optimum condition.
Many shampoos are labelled “pH balanced”, and this means they have the same acidity level as hair. Individuals with fragile, premed or coloured hair should use a shampoo of this type. However, for strong hair in good condition, a pH balanced shampoo is unnecessary, provided shampooing is followed by conditioning.
Always use a product formulated for your hair type (dry, normal, oily or chemically treated) and before shampooing brush your hair to free any tangles and loosen dirt and dead skin cells. Use lukewarm water, as hot water can be uncomfortable. Wet the hair, then apply a small amount of shampoo and gently massage into the roots using the pads of your fingertips; never use your nails.
When you have finished shampooing, rinse thoroughly until the water runs clean and clear.
Finally, blot the hair with a towel to remove excess water before applying conditioner.
If you’re aiming to scale back the amount of times you wash your hair per week, remember dry shampoo is your friend.
Use dry shampoo instead of washing your hair every day. It will help reduce the oil build up in your hair and gives amazing texture.
As opposed to washing your hair every day, dry shampoo will help to refresh your hair at the roots and the tips whilst helping you to retain all the essential moisture your hair needs.
The most important thing is to choose the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair texture and needs.
• Use the correct shampoo (and not too much) for your hair type. If in doubt use the mildest shampoo you can buy.
• Don’t wash your hair in washing-up liquid, soap or other detergents, they are highly alkaline and will upset your hair’s natural pH balance by stripping out the natural oils.
• Shampoos are available in different formulas to suit all hair types and conditions. Make sure you choose one that is right for your hair and use it as often as necessary to keep your hair clean. Rinse out shampoo thoroughly.
Massaging The Scalp
Giving your head an invigorating massage as you shampoo is a good way to encourage blood circulation and helps to detoxify the scalp.
Massage helps maintain a healthy scalp. It brings extra blood to the tissues, which enhances the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle. It also reduces scalp tension, which can contribute to hair loss, loosens dead skin cells and helps redress the over production of sebum, which makes hair oily.
Begin the massage by gently rotating your scalp using the tips of your fingers. Start at the forehead, move to the sides and work over the crown to the nape of the neck. Then place your fingertips firmly on the scalp without exerting too much pressure. Push the fingers together then pull them apart through the hair in a kneading motion, without lifting or moving them. When you have massaged for about a minute, move to the next section. Continue until your entire scalp and upper neck have been treated.
Use conditioner that matches your hair type, length, and treatment damage.
Conditioners are often used after shampooing to smooth down the cuticle layer of the hair, which can become roughened during the physical process of shampooing.
Conditioners can also provide a physical layer of protection for the hair against physical and environmental damage.
There are three main types of conditioners:
• Anti-oxidant conditioners, which are mainly used in salons after chemical services and prevent creeping oxidation
• Internal conditioners, which enter into the cortex of the hair and help improve the hair’s internal condition (also known as treatments)
• External conditioners, or everyday conditioners, which smooth down the cuticle layer, making the hair shiny, combable and smooth.
Glossy hair has cuticle scales that lie flat and neatly overlap, thus reflecting the light. Perming and colouring, rough handling and heat styling all conspire to lift the cuticles, allowing moisture to be lost from the cortex and making hair dry, lack lustre and prone to knotting and tangling. Severely damaged cuticles break off completely, resulting in thinner hair which eventually breaks. To put the shine back into hair and restore its natural lustre it may be necessary to use a specific conditioner that meets the hair’s requirements.
Using a conditioner can significantly improve the look of damaged or weathered hair by increasing shine, decreasing static electricity, improving strength and offering some protection from harmful UV rays.
Conditioners, should be applied to freshly shampooed hair that has been blotted dry with a towel to remove excess moisture.
Today there is a larg, number of conditioners on the market. The following list describes those that are widely available:
• Basic Conditioners:
These coat the hair with a fine film, temporarily smoothing down the cuticle and making hair glossier and easier to manage. Leave for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
• Conditioning Sprays:
These are used prior to styling and form a protective barrier against the harmful effects of heat. They are also good for reducing static electricity on fly away hair.
• Intensive Conditioners:
Use this type if the hair is split, dry, frizzy or difficult to manage. Distribute the conditioner evenly through the hair and then allow it to penetrate for two to five minutes, or longer if required. Rinse very thoroughly with lots of fresh, warm water, lifting your hair from the scalp to ensure any residue is washed away.
• Leave-in Conditioner:
Designed to help retain moisture, reduce static and add shine, they are especially good for fine hair as they avoid conditioner overload, which can cause lankness.
Provide a protective barrier against the effects of heat styling. Apply after shampooing but dont rinse off. These products are ideal for daily use.
These penetrate the cortex, helping to repair and strengthen the inner part of damaged hair. They are helpful if the hair is lank and limp and has lost its natural elasticity as a result of chemical treatments or physical damage.
• Colour / Perm Conditioners:
These are designed for chemically treated hair. After-colour products add a protective film around porous areas of the hair, preventing colour loss. After-perm products help stabilize the hair, thus keeping the bounce in the curl.
• Split-End Treatments / Serums:
Used to condition damaged hair. The best course of action for split ends is to have the ends trimmed, but this does not always solve the whole problem because the hair tends to break off and split at different levels. As an intermediate solution, split ends can be temporarily sealed using these specialized conditioners. They should be worked into the ends of newly washed hair so that they surround the hair with a microscopic film that leaves the hair shaft smoother.
Hair drying: tips
Moisture content is just as important to the health and beauty of your hair as it is to your skin. It’s what helps keep your strands nourished and elastic. While the correct use of a blow-dryer will not harm your hair, applying heat to your hair when it is already dried causes brittleness, breakage, dullness and dryness.
The secret of safe drying is good timing and the proper use of tools and products.
Don’t use heat-styling tools daily. Flat irons, curling irons and even blow drying can damage the hair shaft. Damaged hair is not able to retain colour the way that healthy hair can.
Press your hair with a towel to remove excess moisture. Rubbing your hair can rough up the cuticles of your hair and also break and tangle it. Follow by gently removing tangles with a wide-toothed comb, starting at the ends and working up to your roots.
Try not to blow-dry your hair immediately after shampooing. Ideally, you should allow your hair to first dry for 15 minutes under a towel turban. This saves effort and also cuts down on the hair exposure to the blow-dryer.
The best hairdryer for blow-drying:
When choosing a hairdryer, look for one that has separate controls for both temperature and speed. This allows you to turn the heat down as your hair is drying to minimize the liklihood of over-drying.
If you want the heat to be spread over a wider area, use a special flow diffuser attachment. The wider the attachment you use, the more the heat will be distributed. However, if you wish to dry your hair quickly, do not use an attachment.
Hair dryers are available with different attachments, such as:
• Airflow concentrators
• Comb nozzle attachments
A diffuser: is an attachment that is used on hair that is fine, colored, permed or naturally curly.
It works by diffusing the jet of air, so that the hair is not blown around while it dries.
The hair dries more slowly, at a cooler temperature, and with less physical disturbance.
This makes it so that the hair is less likely to frizz and it gives the hair more volume.
An airflow concentrator: does the exact opposite of a diffuser. It makes the end of the blowdryer more narrow and thus helps to concentrate the heat into one spot in order to make it dry rapidly.
The comb nozzle attachment: is the same as the airflow concentrator, but it ends with comb-like teeth so that the user can dry the hair using just the dryer without a brush or comb.
Using the hairdryer:
Hold your dryer about 6 inches away from your hair.
Dry the back and sides of your head first, and work towards the crown and front.
Start on a high speed and high temperature and, as your hair begins to dry, gradually reduce the heat. This will help you avoid over-drying and damaging your hair.
If you use a paddle and/or round brush for styling, choose one made of soft, pliable plastic and use it gently.
When your hair is almost dry, turn down the heat and reduce the speed of your dryer. Ideally, it is best for your hair if you leave it slightly damp.
Applying heat, even for a few seconds, to hair that has already been dried can dry out the moisture in your hair cells. This can cause brittleness, dullness, breakage and split ends.
You should keep the blow-dryer moving constantly to avoid applying too much heat in a single spot.
Whilst blast drying your hair, for more fullness, remove the nozzle and direct the dryer towards the roots whilst lifting hair away.
To keep hair flatter, use a nozzle to follow the shape of your head and move your hair around with a comb.
Adding volume & body:
If you have limp, thin or straight hair, try turning your hair upside down as you finish blow-drying for extra body and volume.
Bend over and, still using the hairdryer, let your hair hang down towards the floor.
Gently brush or comb your hair in this direction with the dryer following behind.
This will give your hair more lift and bounce and decreases the likelihood of tangles.
Brushes are wonderful styling aids, but you need to be careful when you use them.
Incorrect brushing, and the wrong type of brush, can cause widespread damage to your hair and scalp.
The role of brushing:
Brushes help to smoothen the hair by removing tangles and knots.
The way you brush your hair from the roots to the ends removes dead skin cells and dirt, and encourages the cuticles to lie flat.
Brushing also stimulates the blood supply to the hair follicles, increasing hair growth.
A brush is typically used on long hair while a comb is normally used on shorter hair; however, both may be used for either.
• A flat brush is normally used for detangling hair, for example after sleep or showering.
• A round brush can be used for styling and curling hair, especially by a professional stylist, often with a blowdryer.
• A paddle brush is used to straighten hair, flatten long hair, and tame fly-aways.
The effects of brushing will be different depending on the hair’s texture and whether the hair is wet or dry.
Straight hair typically looks smoother when brushed. Curly hair tends to expand when brushed while dry.
Brush your hair regularly before you go to bed each night as this removes the tangles. It is not good to brush hair when it is wet so avoid brushing wet hair. This will cause the hair to stretch and finally break. Use your fingers to dry your hair and use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush to gently remove the knots if there are any. After you have had a perm, never ever brush your hair. Instead comb hair gently with a wide tooth comb only.
Cleaning Brushes And Combs
Brushes and combs collect dirt easily, so it’s important you clean them regularly, or you’ll be brushing dirt and old product back into your hair. The best way to clean a brush/comb is to dissolve a tablespoon of washing-up liquid in a basin of water. Add a small amount of antiseptic and then quickly tap your brush or comb in it.
Afterwards, rinse with clean water.