Shampooing: Moisturize or Clarify

Published: March 11, 2016

There are a few rather firmly held opinions about how frequently hair should be washed, in keeping it the healthiest it can be. The range runs from every day to only a couple of times a week. Turns out, it’s not so much how often you wash those tresses, but moreover, what product or products you wash them with that makes the biggest difference.

Moisturizing Shampoo Sessions
There have been a lot of women moving to the emollient hair cleaning form of one of the more cleansing conditioners in lieu of any shampoo, for at least every other hair washing session. Almost everyone has seen the late night infomercial to sell WEN hair whatchamacallit. Solution, serum, cleanser or something unnamed–it’s definitely not shampoo. The product is basically an over-marketed and overpriced formulation, which you can get the same results from by using your drugstore conditioner. All it needs in its ingredients is a level of detergent compounds. In alternating between this more moisturizing form of hair cleansing, you’re fortifying your hair, rather than stripping it, of its shine, bounce and resilience. How often you condition-wash will depend on your hair type and its condition. You’ll soon find what works best for your hair.

Key Cleansing Ingredients for a Moisturizer
For the best cleansing effects from a conditioner, look for one or more of these ingredients:

  • Stearalkonium Chloride
  • Cetrimonium Chloride
  • Dicetyldimonium Chloride
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate
  • Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine

In Keeping the Balance
If you get sold on a fairly regular hair care method of using conditioner to cleanse your hair in place of shampoo it’ll be important to intersperse some occasional cleansing sessions using a clarifying shampoo to kind of wipe the slate clean and eliminate gunky buildup that can occur over time. And if you ever suddenly find that your tried and true shampoo just isn’t working like it should–this is another indication that a clarifying shampoo is in order. Don’t blame your shampoo–it’s buildup that’s the problem.

The Deep-Cleansing You Get with a Clarifying Shampoo
Among the reasons indicating a need for washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo are regular or frequent cleansing by conditioners, sudden shampoo fail, and if you tend to employ a lot of products for styling your hair. Others motivating reasons would be if your water contains more than enough minerals–a condition also known as hard water–or if you’re in chlorinated water of swimming pools frequently. There are some hair types prone to be really oily that can withstand regular washing (even every time,) with a clarifying shampoo. These are a bit rare, though, and on average, most hair types will suffice with between one to two deep cleansing washes a month.

What Happens with Deep Cleansing
There are clarifying, purifying and chelating formulas which actually remove mineral residue that will undo accumulated dullness and product resistance. When your hair has been damaged or compromised by chemical treatments, you can use the gentler approach of substituting one cup white vinegar to four parts water for the stronger clarifying shampoo formulations. Wash and condition as normal, but follow by one cup vinegar/4 cups water, poured thoroughly through hair, and allowed to remain for a few minutes. Rinse with tepid water and you’re done.

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