When did sham­poo get so tricky?

Glamour Hair - - Front Page -

Co-wash­ing, pre-wash­ing, not wash­ing at all – experts de­code the best new strate­gies for your hair. Be­fore you buy, read this to find the tech­nique for you and your tresses!

Once upon a time, a sham­poo was sim­ply a sham­poo. Its pur­pose was straight­for­ward, and us­ing it was pretty sim­ple: lather, rinse, re­peat if nec­es­sary – done! To­day, we can’t stop talk­ing about sham­poo. Experts con­sider the hum­ble hair cleanser to be the top dog of your styling reg­i­men, with a unique for­mula and tech­nique for every hair type.

“Your sham­poo choice re­ally dic­tates [how good] your end style [will look],” says celebrity hair­styl­ist Sally Her­sh­berger. “Bad sham­poo can leave your hair limp with­out any styling power.” Other pros, like hair­styl­ist Michael Gor­don, as­sert that if you have the right for­mula, you can ac­tu­ally cut a lot of styling prod­ucts out of your life.

This all sounds very promis­ing and en­tic­ing. But how to know which tech­niques and tools will work for you? Your road map starts here.

First, know your terms Co-wash

Co-wash­ing (also known as wash­ing with con­di­tioner) be­came pop­u­lar about 20 years ago in the nat­u­ral-hair com­mu­nity. If you have curly, kinky or colour-pro­cessed hair, all of which are in­her­ently frag­ile and dry, it’s worth a try. Here’s why: con­di­tion­ers have small amounts of cleans­ing agents – sig­nif­i­cantly less than tra­di­tional

sham­poo, but still enough to clean the hair while pre­serv­ing its nat­u­ral oils.

“Don’t be put off by the lack of lather, and re­mem­ber to fully work the con­di­tioner into the scalp with your fin­gers,” ad­vises hair­styl­ist Ana Paula Cota. “The mo­tion of your wet hands is what re­ally gets the hair clean,” Ana ex­plains. Rinse, and fol­low with the same con­di­tioner, like [1] Un­wash Bio-cleans­ing Con­di­tioner (R585), from the mid­shaft of the hair down to the ends.

You can co-wash in­stead of sham­poo­ing daily – or if that leaves your hair feel­ing less clean than you’d like, try al­ter­nat­ing co-wash­ing with tra­di­tional sham­poo.


Pre-wash­ing means ap­ply­ing a treat­ment be­fore sham­poo­ing to help cut down on styling time later. If your goal is vol­ume, we rec­om­mend a re­verse-wash sys­tem, like [2] Tre­semmé Beauty-full Vol­ume Pre-wash Con­di­tioner (R96.99), de­signed to soften your hair with­out weigh­ing it down.

If ex­tra de­tan­gling is what you need – or if your hair is su­per dam­aged – try a pre­sham­poo mask with nour­ish­ing co­conut or olive oil. Sim­ply ap­ply to dry hair 20 min­utes be­fore you shower, then sham­poo with a for­mula that won’t weigh down your locks.

Spot wash

Spot-wash­ing, in which you sham­poo only one area of your hair that needs to be de­greased, has been a go-to tech­nique for women with fringes for years. Now women are ze­ro­ing in on the hair­line or crown in or­der to ex­tend a blowdry. Sim­ply sec­tion the area that needs at­ten­tion from the rest of your hair, care­fully sham­poo in the sink, and restyle.

But which sham­poo works for my hair? If your hair is curly or kinky

Treat it del­i­cately. Curls might look hearty, but they are the most frag­ile hair type; one rea­son, ex­plains An­abel Kings­ley, a tri­chol­o­gist for Philip Kings­ley, is that “weak points form along the hair shaft where it twists or curls”.

Not sur­pris­ingly, sham­poo­ing too fre­quently, es­pe­cially with prod­ucts that con­tain lath­er­ing agents like sul­phates, should be avoided. In­stead, opt for gen­tler for­mu­las cre­ated es­pe­cially for curly hair. TRY [3] Red­ken Cur­va­ceous High Foam Light­weight Cleanser (R346.62).

If your hair is fine

Wash it every day. “Peo­ple with fine hair have more oil glands on their scalp, so it eas­ily be­comes in­fu­ri­at­ingly limp at the roots,” says An­abel. Or, as Sally puts it, “like a string on your head.” An­abel sug­gests shop­ping for a sham­poo specif­i­cally made for fine hair, like [4] la­bel.m Thick­en­ing Sham­poo (R284). As a rule, avoid heavy sil­i­cones (any­thing on the la­bel that ends with ‘-cone’, like dime­thicone).

If your hair is colour-treated

Sham­poo gently and less of­ten. A colour­pro­tect­ing sham­poo, like [5] Nak Aro­mas Colour Sham­poo For Coloured Hair (R320), is the place to start; add a colour-de­posit­ing for­mula or gloss a few times a month to tem­po­rar­ily brighten the colour.

Min­imis­ing heat ex­po­sure, with both the water tem­per­a­ture and styling tools, also helps to ex­tend the life of your colour. But wash­ing with cold water – a fre­quent sug­ges­tion for colour-treated hair – is un­nec­es­sary, ac­cord­ing to celebrity colourist and sa­lon owner Rita Hazan. “It’s un­re­al­is­tic to take cold showers – I’m not do­ing it! And nei­ther should you,” she says.

If you have dan­druff

Use a sham­poo with pyrithione zinc, coal tar ex­tract or piroc­tone olamine which tar­gets the spe­cific yeast that causes flakes and itch­i­ness. TRY [6] Head & Shoul­ders Cool Men­thol Anti-dan­druff Sham­poo (R79.95).

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