Haircare: Is your shampoo damaging your hair?

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Haircare: Is your shampoo damaging your hair?

Choose the right shampoo. It can be the cure for your many hair-related problems

Haircare: Is your shampoo damaging your hair?

Hair breakage, hair fall, dandruff, itchiness in the scalp, less hair and many more. There are many problems related to hair and numerous home remedies, treatments and oils have failed to solve these common hair issues. Even after washing hair three or four times a week, the situation of the hair remains the same. Why is this happening? Have you ever thought of it?

Are you applying the right shampoo to your hair? A lot of hair and scalp problems are caused due to the wrong shampoo and conditioner. 

Dr Kalpana Patel, senior consultant, ARV Aesthetics skin and laser clinic in Gurgaon, said, “Shampoo is like soap for the hair. There is a natural protective layer of oil on the body skin and head scalp. Applying any harsh soap on the body will break the natural layer of oil. In the same way, repeated use of harsh shampoo, which is full of chemicals, will break the natural layer of oil. Then the hair and scalp become more susceptible to breakage from pollution, dryness, and air current. Using the right shampoo maintains the scalp naturally and makes it healthy.” 

How can you identify the right shampoo for you?

Whenever you think about oil, do think about your shampoo as well. Dr Patel explained the basic mantra and said, “Look out for those shampoos that are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) free, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) free, Paraben-free, and have no high fragrance.” 

  •     For choosing the right shampoo, get to know the kind of scalp you have
  •     For too oily scalp, use a shampoo for oily hair to wash off the extra oil 
  •     For too dry scalp, use mild shampoos and shampoos with moisturising and conditioning agents
  •     For a normal scalp, use shampoos with less chemicals, detergents, and conditioning agents. These are the balancing shampoos that maintain the PH value
  •     For scalp having recurrent dandruff, one needs to get proper consultation from a dermatologist and use a medicated shampoo recommended by a qualified doctor 

A healthy scalp tolerates strong shampoos once or twice. A healthy scalp is maintained only when you have a good hair care routine. Good oiling moisturises the hair and creates a protective layer.

But if you have sensitive skin or have dryness, dandruff, inflammation, there is no protective layer on the scalp. Strong shampoos will worsen the scalp’s condition. So avoid the wrong choice of shampoos.

What is the effect of wrong shampoos on hair?

Imagine taking a bath with a cloth-washing soap. What do you think will happen next? 

Your skin will get extremely dry due to the presence of excess soda in the soap. Those soaps will destroy the protective layer of the body. The same will happen with the hair. If you apply a shampoo with too many chemicals, detergents, etc, your hair will start becoming lifeless and lose its lustre. 

If this damage does not stop in the long run, then both hair and scalp will start destroying and there is a possibility of skin issues as well. 

Dr Sachin Maurya, consultant, Dermatology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, said, “If our scalp is extremely dry, then we are prone to have the allergic disorder (fungal infection) and a kind of “Irritant Contact Dermatitis”.

What is the general psyche regarding shampoos?

Dr  Patel said, “Generally, people believe that the shampoo which produces a lot of foam is better. Companies who manufacture professional shampoo targets this psyche of people and makes shampoos that have thick leather (a chemical). The chemicals used for making thick leather dries the scalp. But if we talk about medicated shampoos, those companies follow the set medical standard and keep the chemical concentration according to that.”

How can you take care of your hair?

Follow these steps of natural hair care.

  • The oil acts as a moisturiser on the scalp. To dry the scalp, apply oil the night before. For a normal scalp, apply oil a few hours before the bath.
  • You can even shampoo every day. But choose a shampoo that is not too harsh on the scalp. Use mild shampoos with less chemicals. 

Home remedies for hair care

For dry skin or normal skin, make a mixture of banana, honey, curd, and egg and apply this on your head. This mixture works as a “natural hair mask”. 

Put this mask one hour before the hair wash on Sunday and then there is no requirement for a chemical conditioner. For oily scalp, apply aloe vera gel as it acts as a protection layer. These all are better than using chemical conditioners. 

Tip: Chemical conditioner should not be applied on the scalp, only on hair