Top Shampoo Secrets That You (Might) Not Know

It’s the one time a week that you might look forward to or dread like the dentist after Halloween. But unless you’re a hobo, you can’t get around it. Whether you’re using ‘poo, no ‘poo, or water, your hair and scalp simply will not be healthy unless you give it a rinse. Since you have to do it anyway, here’s some insider secrets that will make your hair bounce, shine and behave until you have to do the whole thing again.

Secret Numero Uno: Did you know that many shampoos use the same ingredients in their formulas used in laundry detergent?

 Seriously? Steer clear of the following ingredients: Sodium Laurel Sulfate (too stripping, may cause itchy scalp and even rashes), Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (used to bind dirt but is as stripping as it’s SLS cousin), parabens (used to preserve the formula but has been linked to some cancers) and artificial coloring.

Secret Numero Dos: Unless you’ve just hiked through a sand storm, you only need to shampoo once, not twice.

Yes; they do it in the salon, but mostly for effect. You’ll save a lot more money if you wash once and rinse really well. It’s not necessary for your hair to “squeak” after the wash. Squeaking only means you’ve been successful in stripping all the oil out of your hair.

Secret Numero Tres: pH really does make a difference.

It’s true–the lower the pH, the softer and shiner your hair will be. Shampoos with good pH: Mode De Vie Cream Shampoo with Shea Butter and Vanilla, Finesse, Ouidad Clear Shampoo, Molton Brown Remedy, Philip B. Bontanical Volumizing Shampoo, and ABBA Creme Moist Shampoo according to “Beauty: The New Basics,” by Rona Berg.  Allafia, Curlz, and Shea Moisture are also really, really good on kinky, curly hair.

Extra tip: Vinegar rinses really do work–the high acidity closes the cuticle and helps reflect the light. Do a vinegar rinse with a little lemon juice, then finish with cool water and then reach for your sunglasses, chica.

Secret Numero Cuatro: Those ladies piling up their hair on the tops of their heads in those shampoo commercials are just for show.

Don’t try that at home. Piling your hair up like that will lead to tangles and knots for days. It’s better to create a lather in your hands first, and then gently massage the shampoo downward, in the direction your hair grows.

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