Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Wonderings: Do we need to make a complicated shampoo if we're using a nice conditioner?

An administrative thing: Subscribing to posts doesn't seem to work right now, so the easy solution is to make a comment and tick that you want to see follow up comments. Subscribing to the entire blog will not get you any of the comments. This only means you will get each day's post by email. As for what "following" is...I think you get updates somewhere when a new post is published? Not really sure about that...

In this post, what's important in a conditioner (part one), Bunny asks: Oh yes, wonderful! I was hoping there'd be a conditioner one after the shampoo one... But a question! How much redundancy... or... If you're going to make a lovely conditioner, is it necessary to put a bunch of conditioning type ingredients in your shampoo? Or can I make a real simple shampoo just for cleaning and make up for that in a really nice conditioner?

I would argue that yes, you want to make a nice shampoo to go with your nice conditioner, and here is my justification...If you've ever used soap*, a shampoo that wasn't well suited to your hair type, or a really cheap one you found in a motel room, you know that no amount of awesome conditioning power can make your hair feel lovely afterwards. You will rinse your hair of the lathery stuff and it feels dry and straw like and knotted and generally lousy. Even after using the bestest ever conditioner you've ever made, your hair still feels kinda hard. Now think about using a lovely shampoo then a conditioner. How does your hair feel?

The conditioning agents we add to the product will stay on your hair. You can tell because your hair feels more conditioned, meaning it might be more combable or might feel less knotted/tangled. If you have people in your life who use 2-in-1 shampoo products, they'll tell you that their hair feels conditioned afterwards. Some of us require more conditioning than a cationic polymer can offer in a shampoo, which is why we use a conditioner.

We also include those ingredients to increase the mildness of the shampoo. And we include some ingredients because it feels nice on our scalp our hair, the way we might add some glycerin to the mix to increase the bubbles and lather.

You don't have to use all the ingredients I do in my products - I use the ingredients I use because I've played with them and decided they bring something I like to the product or to my hair - so I encourage you to create a stripped down shampoo and try it. See what you think it missing from it and add it. It might be that you don't mind a product that doesn't contain those ingredients!

*I know that some of you like to use cold process soap as a shampoo. I'm not looking to start a debate here. Just using it as an example...


Marina said...

I agree with Susan, cold (or even hot processed) liquid or solid soaps leave your hair very tangly and may create damage to your scalp. In my case, I think it causes me to get dandruff.

I know there is a huge movement out there to avoid shampoo, called the "No-poo" movement. I've noticed many people trying the baking-soda-as-shampoo and bar-soap-as-shampoo approaches, having to eventually go back to regular shampoo.

I know so many of us desperately want a super-earthy-natural, basic shampoo and conditioner recipe that makes our hair look gloriously gorgeous every time, but according to my experience, this won't happen without the use of ingredients that most people will not understand. And - just because the average person don't understand what an ingredient is doesn't mean it's dangerous! (Example: Stearic Acid.) :-)

Dev said...

Hi Susan!

Funny that you make this post because I was just thinking about this and talking it over with a friend the other day. I was reading a post by Perry Romanowski over at the Chemist Corner and in it he was saying it doesn't matter the shampoo you use as long as your conditioner is good. I tried this theory out with a very basic shampoo and used a conditioner I had laying around after. My hair felt just as moisturized and smooth as if I would have used a more complicated shampoo formulation. My hair is afro-texture so it's dry, kinky, curly, and coarse.

There were no "unusual" tangles and my hair styled normally and still feels pretty moisturized. Granted, I'm test trialing a new formulation for a hair gel, so it doesn't feel like it normally does due to change of styling product. So I'm kind of jumping on the "shampoo should clean" and not further deposit bandwagon. I saw no difference in my hair.


Aine said...

I once spent 14 hours detangling my hair after using a shampoo that disagreed with my afro. At the end I was frustrated and tired and wanted to cry. Now I won't put just anything in my hair. Bring on the complicated shampoo!