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HHCB: Shampoo Basics

This post ended up long so here is the outline:
  • Don't let someone dictate when and how you clean/shampoo your hair
  • Sulfates are harsh ingredients that strip the hair of natural oils
  • Your shampoo choice should be based on your hair's needs
  • Prepooing is helpful for protecting your stranding from being stripped during shampoos
  • There are various cleansing methods for your hair's needs: shampoo, low poo, no poo
If you want more....keep reading. If not, thanks for stopping by :)

When embarking on your natural/healthy hair journey it is likely that you will come across a number of individuals that have differing views on shampooing or the types of shampoo that you should use. Some will tell you that shampoo is not good for your hair and you should not use it because it is too drying. Others may tell you that that you can use shampoo but you should be sure to only use certain kinds/brands of shampoos. I am not going to tell you what to do but I will try to instead supply you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for your hair.

One of the ways to best understand the product you are using is to understand the ingredients that are in the product. Some of the common ingredients found in shampoos and their meanings can be found here.

Before selecting a shampoo you should access your hair care needs. Is you hair oily, dry, or maybe you have a lot of product build up? Individuals with oily hair may find it beneficial to shampoo more often than someone with dry hair. Then again a person with dry hair may opt to not shampoo at all and stick with the co-washing method. Keep in mind when shopping for shampoos that not all of them will do what the bottle says that they should do.

Many naturals find it helpful to prepoo before shampooing. This is actually a method I love to do. I coat my hair from roots (not scalp) to ends with oil, the oil choice is up to you, and let the oil sit on my hair for about an hour. Then I shampoo my scalp only and the suds run down the length of my hair to cleanse the strands. See my wash regimen here: (23) Wash Day Regimen.

If you find that some shampoos are too harsh on your hair you may want to look into sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfates are harsh ingredients used in shampoos that strip the natural oils from our hair. Afro-textured hair has a tendency to be dry so the need to keep our natural oils is crucial to our hair’s health.

If you find every shampoo that you have tried to be too drying for your hair there are options for cleaning your hair that do not include soap suds. Those include baking soda, Apple Cider Vinegar rinses, and/or the Deva-Curl NoPoo.

Still confused? Try this guideline:
Oily hair/scalp – try to shampoo weekly, more if needed
Dry hair – if you choose to shampoo, prepoo ahead of time or use only a low/no poo method
In-between dry and oily – shampoo when or if needed

Listen to your hair (not someone else’s) and it will tell you what it needs and when it needs it.

To see my shampoo choices, view My Regimen

What are your thoughts on the shampoo process?

See the other Healthy Hair Care Basics posts