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La Moda

Hair & Beauty Salon

 You are here: Shampooing

Image of shampooing
PLEASE NOTE: The information given on this site is for general information only. It should not be considered as medical advice. As with all physical and medical conditions you should always consult your doctor or health care professional.

Successful Shampooing
First, thoroughly saturate the scalp & hair using warm or cool water (hot water can to dry the hair & scalp out). Apply a small amount of shampoo, about the size of a 50 pence piece, to the palm of one hand & rub both hands together to evenly distribute the product. Now apply shampoo to scalp with the balls of your hands & tips of your fingers. The primary objective of shampooing is to clean the scalp, not wrestle with the hair, so concentrate on massaging gently & allow suds to be distributed throughout the hair, then rinse. It is not always necessary to achieve a lather on the first shampoo. Rinse and repeat the routine, although less product can be used for the second pass as. Unless the hair is exemely dirty or oily, you should not ever require a third pass.

The correct way to condition

After rinsing off shampoo, apply some conditioner in one hand & rub palms together to evenly distribute. Apply conditioner from the middle of the hair shaft out to ends. Do not massage conditioner onto scalp unless the scalp is dry. Comb through hair with a wdie toothed conditioning comb to distribute product evenly. Leave conditioner on hair long enough to help smooth the cuticle - it only takes a few seconds.

Rinse thoroughly - It's important to rinse shampoo & conditioner from your scalp. Gently lift the hair to permit the water to reach the scalp. Hair is thoroughly rinsed when it feels consistently clean as you run your fingers from scalp to ends. Some people believe a cold water rinse is best, although this has not been scientifically proven.

Shampooing frequency for normal hair depends on whether the hair is curly or straight. Shampoo & condition straight hair every day for a sleek, radiant look. Curly hair, however, becomes too fluffy if its washed too often, so its okay to shampoo & condition every other day.

Should you occasionally switch shampoos? Not really. Most Salon brands do not build excess up on the hair. They continue to work effectively as long as you use them? so there's no need to switch products (another myth defunked!). However, shampoo occasionally without using any conditioner or styling products to give your hair a rest.

Choose the correct products for your hair. Fine or thin hair can sometimes be more delicate & could benefit from a protein enriched shampoo & conditioner formula with a light level of conditioner. Curly hair may look dry & therefore can benefit from a regimen that includes moisturizing ingredients.

The Chemistry of Shampoos

People expect a lot from shampoos. Unfortunately, it is not easy to tell a good shampoo from a not so good one. Cost, fragrance & lots of foam are what most people look for in shampoo products. Lather and foam is of little importance, but rightly or wrongly they often get the most attention.

Foaming occurs when surfactant molecules gather around air instead of oil. The result is millions of tiny bubbles. Obviously, the air bubbles are using the surfactants that should be removing dirt & oil. We have all seen shampoo advertisements showing happy, beautiful people taking showers with their heads heaped high with mounds of lather. These images although wrong, have taught the public to associate lather with cleansing ability.

The truth is, lots of foamy lather only means too much shampoo was used. Excess foam equals waste. Sebum & other oils quickly destroy foam. Ideally, the head should have just enough lather to lubricate the scalp & hair. This will help your fingers massage the shampoo more effectively into the hair.

Fragrances & foaming qualities are not good ways to evaluate shampoos. Examine the hair's condition after several uses. Is it flyaway, is it hard to comb, does it seem limp, do colours fade, is the hair dry or the scalp itchy?

Carefully choose the shampoo to use.

The major types of surfactants are:
i. Anionic
ii. Cationic
iii. Nonionic
iv. Amphoteric

Identification & names are important in all professions, but for chemists, they are especially useful. Chemists try to choose names that provide information about the chemical. For example, Anionic & Cationic surfactants both end with "ionic" for a reason. These surfactants are a special type of chemical called an ion. Salt bonds are also important typse of chemical bonds in the hair. Salt bonds give hair many important properties & affect most chemical treatments. Although the term salt bond is used frequently in cosmetology, it is incorrect. These chemical bonds are actually called ionic bonds & they occur between ions. Ions and ionic bonds are really quite simple to understand. Ions are molecules that have a small electrical charge & can be positive or negative. They repel or attract each other. Opposite charges attract & like charges repel.

Table salt, Sodium Chloride, is an excellent example. Sodium forms positive ions & Chlorine makes negative ions. The opposite charges attract each other & make table salt. These charges are identical to those found in batteries or static electricity, albeit on a much smaller scale. Individual ionic bonds are very weak, but millions of them in combination are quite strong. Surfactants with a negative charge are called anionic. A surfactant with a positive charge is cationic.

Anionic Surfactants (Negatively charged ions) are the most widely used detergents in the cosmetology profession. They are inexpensive, simple to prepare, although excellent cleaners. They also rinse easily from the hair. A major disadvantage is that they can be harsh & irritating to the scalp. Frequently, other surfactants & ingredients are added to reduce skin irritation.

Cationic Surfactants (Positively charged ion) are rarely used in high concentrations in the cosmetology profession. Many types are dangerous to the eyes but are safe & useful in low amounts. Until recently, their positive charges prevented them from being mixed with negatively charged anionic surfactants. Newer types however, eliminate this incompatibility.

Look at the label, CAREFULLY.

Here is a guide to how gentle your shampoo is according to the surfactant used:
i. Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate - very, very, harsh.
ii. Ammonium Laureth Sulfate - very harsh but better than the above.
iii. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate - better than the above, but still a little harsh.
iv. Sodium Laureth Sulphate - gentle, a great pick.
v. Tea Lauryl Sulphate, good pick.

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