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What ingredients should you look out for?

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You shampoo your hair several times a week, if not daily. But is your shampoo the best for your hair type? Learn about different types of shampoo and hair needs so you can choose ingredients that make your hair healthier.

The goal of shampoo

Shampoo is usually a thick liquid. It is designed to cleanse your scalp and hair, and to remove dirt and excess oil from around your hair follicles. Shampoo is similar to soap, although the ingredients are gentler. If you were to use soap instead of shampoo, the ingredients would remove the outer protective layer of your hair. It would be a rough texture that would be difficult to handle even with hair products.

Benefits of shampoo

Your shampoo should help balance the pH of your hair. The right shampoo gives your hair three important benefits

Improves the condition. The right shampoo will make your hair look and feel healthier. Just keep in mind that you may need to lather, rinse, and repeat to remove all of the dirt and debris for the best results

Stimulate growth. A shampoo rich in vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and natural extracts will stimulate your scalp. This will keep your hair follicles healthy and encourage growth. Natural ingredients to look out for include lavender, almond, ginseng, lemongrass, jojoba, and prickly pear. These ingredients also provide a natural fragrance so you can avoid chemical fragrances that could damage your hair

Color protection. If your hair is colored, the right shampoo will prevent your color from fading that quickly. Your hair will pick up color when it is dyed, and harsh shampoos can remove the color from your hair.

Understand hair types

Dry hair. When your hair is dry it can break easily. You need a shampoo that offers additional moisturizing and nourishing properties. These shampoos contain oil and silicone to coat your hair and lock in moisture

Neutral hair. If your hair isn’t greasy or dry, you can use a gentle shampoo without a lot of additives to tear out the hair or add too much residue. If you are concerned that an everyday shampoo might be too much for your hair, you can use baby shampoos instead. Baby shampoo is gentle enough for everyday use.

Oily hair. If your scalp appears oily shortly after you wash it, you may need a special shampoo to remove more oil. Since your hair is already oily, these shampoos don’t have as many moisturizing ingredients and won’t weigh your hair down.

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Different types of shampoos

Your hair can be dry, oily, colored, bleached, fine, thick, or any combination of these things. Each shampoo has benefits for a specific hair type. To choose the right shampoo for your hair, you need to know several types of shampoos, including:


  • clarification

    . This type of shampoo removes buildup in the hair and scalp
  • Color protection. This shampoo is gentle enough for colored or bleached hair
  • Every day. A general shampoo that doesn’t meet specific needs
  • Moisturizing. This shampoo moisturizes dry hair that is prone to breakage
  • Oily hair. A shampoo that helps remove excess oil and reduce the appearance of an oily scalp‌
  • Two in one
    . Shampoo and conditioner combined in one
  • Volume giving. Designed for fine hair, this shampoo will make your hair look thicker than it really is‌‌

Some shampoos are for daily use while others you work in two to three times a week, depending on the needs of your hair. For example, if you have oily hair, you can use a special shampoo a few times a week. Daily use can remove too much oil from your hair and do more damage than good.

Treat dandruff

If your scalp gets too dry, it can lead to dandruff. If you have dandruff or buildup on your scalp, you may need to purchase a special dandruff shampoo to treat your scalp. With the many dandruff shampoos available, it can be difficult to know which is right for you. The active ingredient 1% ketoconazole is a good place to start

Ketoconazole is an active ingredient with antifungal properties to kill the fungi and yeast that cause dandruff. You can buy shampoos with low ketoconazole doses over the counter. For more concentration, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about a prescription

Other great dandruff shampoos have active ingredients like selenium sulfide and pyrithione zinc. You may need to try several different dandruff shampoos before finding one that addresses your specific concerns.

More tips on hair care

For the best results from your shampoo, take care of your hair in other ways, including:

  • Wash oily hair more often
  • Wash dry or colored hair less often
  • Rotating in a dandruff shampoo used to treat scalp problems
  • Use a conditioner on hair lengths for extra moisture and protection from the sun and other environmental pollutants‌
  • Cover your hair in the pool to protect it from chemicals like chlorine

sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology Association: “TIPS FOR HEALTHY HAIR”.

Mayo Clinic: “Ketoconazole (Topical Route).”

Minnesota School of Cosmetology: “6 Benefits of Shampoo and Conditioner”.

University of Michigan: “Shed”.


© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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