You may be familiar with the old wives tale about rotating shampoo brands periodically because hair gets “used to" one brand and it then becomes ineffective. While we all know that hair is not alive—and cannot remember the last shampoo we used—there is a valid reason for rotating brands.
Shampooing with the same shampoo repeatedly may cause a build-up of residue. This residue can weigh hair down, making it dull and unmanageable. One solution for avoiding residue build-up is to rotate shampoo brands.
TIP: When deciding on an alternate shampoo, select a shampoo that is made for your hair type and does not contain added parabens, SLSs or phthalates.
Another option for avoiding residue build-up is to use a clarifying shampoo once a week. (A good rule of thumb: clarifying shampoo tends to be clear and if it is cloudy, it’s more emollient.) I have two favorites that are currently in my rotation and are closer to the clear side of the spectrum versus the cloudy side:
Giovanni Root 66 Max Volume Shampoo: With Eco Chic Technology, Root 66 Max Volume Shampoo from Giovanni features horsetail extract and silica for volume and strength. It is cruelty free and doesn't contain sodium lauryl sulfate or phthalates.
Acure Organics Shampoo Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell: Featuring quinoa protein extract, babassu oil and organic argan oil, Acure Organics Pure Mint Shampoo features echinacea stem cells and pure mint. It is safe for color-treated hair and is gluten, sulfate, paraben and phthalate free.
Do you rotate your shampoo? Tell us about your hair care routine in the comments section below.
Store-Bought Shampoo Tip: Check the Labels
Your scalp is part of your body’s dermal system—it can be just as sensitive as your face. Take a few minutes to read the label on your shampoo bottle.
- Avoid chemicals like sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, cocamide DEA, ammonium xylene sulfonate and parabens. With their protein denaturing properties, these ingredients may cause skin irritation and research is now linking these chemicals to things far worse than damaged hair.
- Look for all natural (and recognizable) ingredients, such as olive oil, coconut oil and menthol.
- Some manufacturers use Latin or chemical names, so be prepared to do some research to see what the common name is.
Natural Shampoo Tip: Don’t Expect Loads of Lather
Switching from commercial shampoos to all natural versions may be a bit disheartening. The natural version just doesn’t lather up like your old standby. It seems like you have to use twice as much to get a modicum of suds. Don’t hate your new shampoo.
Here’s the deal: shampoos made with natural oils tend to foam less, but they still cleanse the scalp and hair thoroughly. Many commercial shampoos contain those chemicals listed above that (artificially) create bubbles and lather. But remember, those ingredients may do more harm than good. So, embrace the low-suds shampoo!
7 Natural Hair Treatments for Dry & Damaged Hair:
- Dull Hair: While your hair is damp, massage in some sour cream or plain yogurt, let it sit for about 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water and shampoo as you normally would. These two dairy products can help reverse hair damage caused by products and pollution.
- Itchy, Flaky Scalp: Mix equal parts lemon juice, organic olive oil and water and then massage mixture into your scalp (a slightly dampened scalp is best). Let sit for 20 minutes, rinse out and shampoo. The lemon juice helps get rid of flakes, while the olive helps moisturize the skin underneath.
- Limp or Fine Hair: Have fun with this one, but not too much fun. To add body, use beer and its generous supply of yeast to plump up your hair. Mix together half a cup of flat beer with one teaspoon of canola oil and a raw egg, and then apply to damp hair and let sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.
- Dry, Sun-Damaged Hair: The sun can take a toll on the health and vitality of your hair. Try honey to counteract this: massage warm, organic honey into clean, damp hair and let sit for about 20 minutes. Feel free to add a drop of organic olive oil to make it easier to apply and rinse out. You may also add avocado or egg yolk to the honey to help with extremely damaged hair.
- Oily, Greasy Hair: You’ll need an empty salt shaker for this one: pour in one to two tablespoons of cornmeal or cornstarch into the empty shaker and apply to dry hair. Sprinkle it all on, let sit for about 10 minutes and then brush completely out using a paddle hairbrush.
- Frizzy Hair: Avocado is great for damaged hair, but it also helps to smooth out frizzy hair. Simply mash up half an avocado and massage into clean, damp hair and let sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing clean.
- Product Buildup: If you use a lot of product on your hair, chances are you’ve experienced product buildup and its gunky residue. Mix up a thick paste of one to two tablespoons of baking soda with a bit of water, massage into damp hair and let it go to work for about 15 minutes. Rinse clean and shampoo immediately after.
DIY BONUS: Make Your Own Homemade Shampoo
Keep all the natural oils in your hair by using this natural shampoo for normal to dry hair. For oily hair, simply omit the vegetable oil:
Gently stir ingredients together. Do not beat or the mixture will foam. Pour shampoo into a clean plastic or glass container. Shampoo your hair as usual. Rinse with cool water. Makes 8 ounces.