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Active Member
What is it's purpose?

Shampoo doesn't repair or strengthen damaged hair. Hair can look and feel better after shampooing, but it cannot be repaired. Shampoos only work on the surface of the hair. Generally, shampoos cleanse the hair by removing dirt, oil, and styling products. Also they can ease combing and detangling.

People expect a lot from shampoos. Unfortunately, it is not easy to tell a good shampoo from a poor one. Cost, fragrance, and lots of foam is what most people look for in shampoo products. Lather and foam is of little importance, but they often get the most attention.

Foaming occurs when surfactant molecules gather around air instead of oil. The result is millions of tiny bubbles. Obviously, the air bubbles are using the surfactants that should be removing dirt and oil. We have all seen shampoo advertisements showing happy, beautiful people taking showers with their heads heaped high with mounds of lather. These images have taught the public to associate lather with cleansing ability.

The truth is, lots of foamy lather only means too much shampoo was used. Excess foam equals waste. Sebum and other oils quickly destroy foam. Ideally, the head should have just enough lather to lubricate the scalp and hair. This will help your fingers massage the shampoo more effectively into the hair.

Fragrances and foaming qualities are not good ways to evaluate shampoos. Examine the hair's condition after several uses. Is it flyaway, is it hard to comb, does it seem limp, do colors fade, is the hair dry or the scalp itchy?

How to?

First, thoroughly saturate scalp and hair using warm or cool water (hot water tends to dry out hair and scalp). Apply a small amount of shampoo (about the size of a quarter) to palm and rub hands together to evenly distribute.

Now apply shampoo to scalp with the balls of your fingers. Massage gently into the scalp, leaving it there for one minute, and then allow suds to be distributed throughout hair while rinsing. Its not necessary to do the "rinse and repeat" routine unless your hair is extremely oily or dirty.

How often?

Shampooing frequency depends on how oily or dry your hair and scalp are and that varies from person to person. Generally relaxed hair should be washed aboutleast twice a week.

What's in it?

On very important ingredient in shampoos are surfactants. Surfactants mix equally well in oily or watery substances or in mixtures containing both types of substances. They are the sudsy agents in soap and help get your hair clean. They are also used to ensure that all the various ingredients in products stay mixed together. Think of surfactants as having two parts: one likes to be nestled in oil, the other prefers water. The net result: when you wash away the surfactant with water, the watery portion goes first, dragging with it the oil-like half, which brings along the dirt.

Look at the label!!! Here is a guide to how gentle your shampoo is according to the surfactant used:
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate - very, very, harsh
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate- very harsh but better than the above
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate- better than the above, but still a little harsh
Sodium Laureth Sulfate-gentle, great pick!
TEA Lauryl Sulfate-good pick
TEA Laureth Sulfate-good pick


Indy Girl Growing Strong
<font color="purple">I'm glad you've found out some info on how much shampoo we should use, also the chemical structure for each type used. I remember back in cosmetology school, the chemical makeup of shampoo is basically the amount of lather, as you said, can get your hair and scalp clean. Also the reaction of each type of shampoo, depending on the type of hair that you have. I'll have to agree with you on that one. I don't believe a shampoo can repair or moisturize the hair, unless a conditioner can only do just that. Shampoos are concentrated so, as you've mentioned also, a dime size will do the job than to put a big glob of the stuff to clean your hair.

The sulfants are detergents, just like in your basic laundry powders, liquids, and dishwashing liquid. I always look at the label of any shampoo to see the ingredients that contains the sulfates, i.e ALS, SLS TEA Sulfate. So this good advice for people who are shopping for shampoos.

Thanx for the info, aallyah. Toodles </font>


Active Member
someone posted it on black hair care talk and i thought it would be useful info for the ladies here.