What are the best shampoos and conditioners to use on your hair? Since every head of hair is different, there is no definitive answer to this important hair care question. However, here are a few helpful tips to help you find the right products that work best for your unique tresses.
First, be aware that though your hair may look healthy, it may actually be heavily damaged. Many shampoos and conditioners, especially cheaper ones, have many silicone-based ingredients. Check the ingredients list for the products you use; any ingredient ending in “cone” is silicone-based. These ingredients are not necessarily bad for the hair, but they are made to coat the hair shaft to make it smooth and appear shiny which can mask underlying damage.
Believe it or not, many shampoos contain cleansing ingredients that irritate the skin and are very harsh on the hair.
No-cone Healthy Products
If silicone-based ingredients, or “-cones”, build upon the hair they can actually lock moisture away from the hair shaft. Insufficient moisture makes hair brittle, causing split ends and breakage. To avoid this, if you habitually use-cones you will need to use a diluted vinegar rinse every 1-3 weeks to remove excess silicone.
Most people who use -cones have no idea what condition their hair is really in. The first step in beginning a hair-healthy regime is to find shampoos and conditioners that contain no-cones; these are usually a little more expensive and often marketed as “salon quality”, but they are certainly worth the price and eventually less product will need to be used.
At first, your hair may be very difficult to manage without-cones and may be dull and easily tangled. This is the true condition of your hair. By observing-cone-free hair you can begin identifying your hair’s needs, then you can decide what type of care is needed based on those observations. Bear in mind that going without-cones indefinitely is not for everyone; I suggest you go without them for at least two months to give your hair a chance to recover, then decide if you prefer-cones or not.
If your hair is dry and brittle you certainly need moisture, but don’t forget the protein too. The best products are those that contain natural essential oils such as jojoba, coconut, or hemp seed oil. These are all excellent moisturizers and closely mimic your hair’s natural oils.
Every good shampoo or conditioner must-have ingredients that add protein to your hair as well. Again, natural is the best, and some great protein-adding ingredients are honey, wheat protein, and soy protein. If you’re not sure what function an ingredient is meant to perform there are many online resources to help.
Believe it or not, many shampoos contain cleansing ingredients that irritate the skin and are very harsh on the hair. The best shampoos contain glycerin, a moisturizer that occurs naturally during the saponification process. Manufacturers of cheaper hair care products separate the natural glycerin out of the product and replace it with sodium Laureth sulfate or, even worse, sodium lauryl sulfate. Both of these products are known to be skin irritants and can be a primary cause of an oily, flaky, or itchy scalp.
There are so many choices for your hair care products that the task of finding the right ones can seem daunting, but it’s definitely worth the effort.