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Shampoo: The right shampoo type and the proper shampooing frequency

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shampoo


Shampoo plays such a key role in a naturals hair journey. It has cleansing properties, riding hair and scalp of dirt, dandruff, sweat and product build up among others.

The focus of this post will be;

  • Shampoo types
  • Proper shampooing frequency
  • Shampoo alternatives

Shampoo types

  • SULFATE SHAMPOO
  • SULFATE FREE SHAMPOO

Sulfate Shampoo

Sulfates are in a lot of products we use for cleansing ,even toothpaste. This is because Sulfates are really effective cleansers and they foam/lather so well. Lets be honest who doesn’t love foam?, how do you even trust something is clean without seeing foam👀.

The downside of Sulfate rich shampoos is that they strip your hair and scalp of moisture ,sebum and lipids. As a result they leave your hair dry, lifeless and tangled.

In addition sulfates have been found to cause scalp irritation in some people.

Steer clear of sulfate shampoos if you have coloured or dyed hair(sulfate is a strong cleanser and will really dull your colour or strip your hair of the colour overtime)
They should also be a no for anyone with a sensitive scalp , dry hair , fine hair or thin hair. It may bring your hair more damage than good.

The easiest way to tell if you are using a sulfate shampoo is to check the ingredients.

Sulfate ingredients;

  • Sodium laurel sulfate
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate
  • Ammonium laureth sulfate
  • TEA laureth sulfate
  • Sodium myreth sulfate

Sulfate Free Shampoo

If you have really dry hair and a sensitive scalp it would be best to go for shampoos that have been clearly indicated sulfate free.

This is because they are more gentle to your hair and scalp and can be moisturizing as in the case of moisturizing shampoos.

Sulfate free shampoos make use of alternative cleansers (mainly from plant extracts) , that are more gentle on your hair and scalp. Therefore ensuring that you don’t lose moisture or natural oils.

Alternative cleansers in your sulfate free shampoos;

  • Lauryl glucoside
  • Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate,
  • Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
  • Sodium cocoyl glutamate
  • Sodium cocyl isethionate

(glucosides, taurates, fatty acid isethionates, glutamates, aminoacid sulfosuccinates, powders and clays )

I am particularly fond of shampoo bars ,my favourite one is the Sheth Naturals Shampoo Bar. The bar makes use of Aritha powder and bentonite clay as the main cleansers.

shampoo bar


How often should you shampoo?

A weekly or biweekly(after every two weeks) approach is advised when it comes to shampooing . You don’t want to really over do it ,especially when you wash your hair with a sulfate shampoo, which can be really stripping.

Here is what you should consider about African hair, first the curly/coily/kinky nature of African hair makes it harder for sebum(oil produced by scalp/natural sealant) to travel up the strands and coat them ,which makes it even harder for hair to retain moisture.

Secondly African hair has a lower lipid content compared to other hair types, (lipids add to hairs moisture retaining ability)

When I started growing out my hair I used to shampoo my hair almost everyday with a sulfate shampoo, and this took a toll on the health of my hair. My hair was dry ,dull and broke easily.

If you are using a sulfate free shampoo you can get away with more washday days within the month, just Find a frequency that works for you!

Shampooing should always be followed up with a good rinse out conditioner to restore moisture and soften the hair ,this will help in detangling/combing and any other manipulation.

For some extra moisture and softness don’t forget to deep condition your hair. Be sure to follow this simple guide when you do- How ro deep condition your hair

Shampoo Alternatives

Co-wash

A co-wash(washing your hair with conditioner) is a great shampoo alternative .

Some rinse out conditioners have mild cleansing properties. They will be more gentle to your hair and scalp, and they will also add moisture to your hair.

However, a co-wash should not be a complete substitute of an actual shampoo. A conditioner may not fully get rid of product build up and may only add to it over time. Stick to a biweekly approach with shampoo and co-wash in between if necessary .

Clays

Clays and powders can be great shampoo alternatives, many naturals alternate between regular shampoos and clays. A clay like bentonite clay is a great cleanser ,it lifts dirt and oil from the hair completely resetting the hair from any build up.

If you use a sulfate free shampoo then ensure you have a clay to deal with any stubborn build up. You can do clays once every month, don’t overdo them since they are really effective cleansers.



Thank you for taking the time to read ,I hope this post has been of some help to you
Be sure to join me on my next blog post as I discuss some Washday hacks.

Tell me in the comments below what your experience has been like with shampoos.

Be sure to share this post with friends and family and check out my Instagram page @naturallymwangi

Mwangi Kanyua

Mwangi Kanyua

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About Me

I am Mwangi Kanyuah a beauty enthusiast and natural hair blogger based in Nairobi ,Kenya. I  believe in safe beauty practices that seek to embrace ,celebrate and enhance who we are .

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