Care Hair

Lather, Rinse, Condition… The Right Way

Shampooing is most important for hair but mindless application to lather and rinse can cause a lot of hair hassles. Gita Hari guides you on the right way to shampoo your hair.

‘Hair today, gone tomorrow!’ seems to be the lament of all in recent times. Blame it on environmental pollution, stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, or the heat styling devices used frequently. As models and stars with lustrous locks spring out of glamour magazines, television shows and movies, the onlooker is left with little choice but to crave for healthy crowning glory. Attractive, glossy and healthy hair will never go out of vogue as long as you know how to take proper care of your precious tresses.

Hair cleansing – a must

The road to hair care starts with hair cleansing. Shampoos are intended to help get rid of sweat components and environmental dirt. However, commercial shampoos strip the scalp of its natural oils, known as sebum. To compensate, oil glands produce even more oil, thus leaving hair feeling greasy and in need of another wash the very next day.

Dr Batul Patel, Medical Director and Dermatologist, The Bombay Skin Clinic, enlightens, “The normal pH of the scalp is acidic and the shampoos, which have high foaming capacity, are alkaline in nature. This can leave the scalp feeling dry and itchy and also prone to scalp disorders. The stronger shampoos have an abrasive action and can damage the keratin at the surface of the hair. Repeated shampooing can extract 70-90 per cent of the total lipids in hair which can make the hair dry and frizzy. Conditioners tend to help seal back some of the lipids.”

Launder gently

Mindless application to lather and rinse while shampooing can cause a lot of hair hassles. Minimal but adequate and gentle handling of hair is the key. While men can shampoo their hair every day, women should restrict it to alternate days.

Dr Ankita Sheth, Aesthetic Dermatologist, Bhatia Hospital Mumbai, elaborates, “Rubbing your scalp and hair vigorously while cleansing leads to hair breakage that is wrongly perceived as hair fall in the shower. It also causes a lot of weathering of hair shafts, thus damaging the outer hair cuticle (the natural protective covering). One should remember this while shampooing as well as when drying hair after a wash. Conditioning is important too, especially for those with dry, frizzy, unmanageable hair. Oily hair does not need a conditioner after every wash.”

She adds, “Keeping long intervals between shampooing leads to a build-up of dirt, sweat, fungus and bacteria leading to an unhealthy scalp that gives rise to itching, dandruff and hair fall. So, it is a myth that hair should not be washed frequently especially if one is experiencing hair fall.”

Find the right shampoo

Looking for the right shampoo for your hair? Remember that shampoo is for the scalp and conditioner is for the hair and choose accordingly. Dr Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics, suggests, “Buy a shampoo with fewer ingredients. The lesser the ingredients, the better the shampoo is for your hair.”

Oily scalp

  • Look for labels with the words volumising, strengthening, or oil balance.
  • Clarifying shampoo is also a good choice.

Dry scalp

  • Choose moisturising, smoothening, hydrating shampoo.
  • Look for ingredients such as menthol and tea tree.

Fine/flat hair

Choose a daily volumising shampoo that removes excess residue and leaves your hair squeaky clean.

Frizzy hair

Moisturising or smoothening shampoo will be the ideal choice.

Curly and dry hair

Moisturising shampoo to detangle your hair and reduce breakage.

Normal / combination hair

Choose a balancing shampoo, one that does not dry the hair or moisturise it too much.

Coloured hair

There are special shampoos for coloured hair. These protect the colour on the hair by forming a thin layer on the top of it so that the colour remains shining and bright for a longer time.