To address damaged hair, products are formulated and developed to help your hair stay manageable and within your control. They are created for the purpose of repairing damage your hair has suffered from heat, environmental pollutants, over-styling, or just generally a poor hair care regimen by us.
Why moisture prevents hair damage
By infusing moisture into follicles that have been stripped of their natural hydration and oils, hair products
can save the day and our appearance. When heat-damage breaks-down our follicle cell structures, leading to split-ends, frizzy hair and breakage; we need outside help.
Our hair and scalp demand a very high moisture rate, greater than 85%, to maintain its optimal health. Anything less than that, our follicles become brittle and dry which leads to excessive breaking, dry scalp, and makes our hair hard to manage.
Hair products with active ingredients designed to maintain proper moisture content will help heal damage and recover life, body and bounce in our hair. But selecting the right moisturizer for our individual hair type can be tricky.
Look for these ingredients...
There's no argument that the primary purpose of a shampoo is to clean our hair. This is done with cleaning agents you might find in soaps or detergents.
While the cleaning requirement for our hair is different than our face or body, sometimes the product formulation can be harsh. Unless we pay attention to the product content and understand our own hair type, we may be doing more harm than good.
Selecting hair products with natural ingredients that include herbal complexes are shown to improve cleaning without providing short-term or long-term damage and can be used on all types of hair.
Products containing Zinc PCA, Emu Oil, Panthenol and other gentler agents are readily available and offer a superior cleansing formula without the worry of stripping or breaking down our hair follicle structure.
Watch out for this ingredient
Be wary of shampoos containing sodium laurel sulphate. Clinical research has shown this to be the harshest of the sulfates - not only to your hair shaft, but to your scalp and eyes, as well. If you experience dry hair, breaking or frizziness, it is recommended you avoid this ingredient.
Not to confuse things, the ingredient 'sodium laureth sulphate' is actually a 'friendly' sulphate. The agent 'sodium laureth sulphate' is now widely used as the gentler natural solution to its harsher counterpart and is recognized as an almost 'sulphate-free' product.
Also very popular are products containing Emu oil. This has been used for centuries in Australia for its healing properties.
Emu oil is used for skin rashes, scalp psoriasis, dry hair, and burns and for dandruff so it's only natural that Emu shampoo has become a highly recommended shampoo option on the market.
You'll find it has deep-moisturizing properties and is also a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial choice.
Menthol is another popular choice in hair care products as much for its invigorating scent as its hair protection formulation. A good quality peppermint-menthol shampoo is known for its deep cleaning and medicinal properties as much as its aromatics.
Menthol is an extract of peppermint which is documented for its deep cleaning and stimulation of blood flow to your scalp. Because peppermint and menthol shampoos are deep cleaners, they should not be used on a daily basis but are a good idea to super charge your hair and scalp once a week.
The Basics by Hair Type
If your hair is thin or fine, use a lightweight, thickening or volumizing formula that will add to your texture and plump up your thin strands, while it strengthens and reinforces your hair.
If you are one of those lucky ones fortunate enough to have normal (issue free) hair, just about anything will work for you, so concentrate on keeping your hair health by maintaining your moisture levels for manageability, softness, and shine.
Got curly curls? Moisture is your key to curl perfection. Maintaining the proper amount of hydration will tame any frizz, soften your strands and maintain your curl shape and elasticity. If your hair is curly, it needs extra moisture because the natural oil from your scalp won't always make it down the twists and turns of your hair shaft.
Those with thick hair need to maintain balanced moisture also while controlling the hair's volume levels. Plentiful strands can become frizzy, unruly and look full in all the wrong places like at your roots. Look for smoothing ingredients like avocado oil, soy protein and macadamia nut oil that help seal the cuticle, hydrate your hair and control any unwanted volume.
Contrary to popular belief, oily hair is caused by a dry scalp. Your scalp will overcompensate for its dryness by producing more oil that then sits on your roots giving you an oily appearance. Use a mild shampoo to balance your scalp. Shampoos with tea tree oil as an ingredient are recommended.
It goes without saying that if your damaged hair is dry or weak, it needs an extra shot of moisture to replenish parched strands and same goes for hair that's chemically treated.
If you can, try to avoid washing your hair every day to give your scalp a chance to produce its own natural strand-saving oils. Look for nourishing hair care formulas that will hydrate, detangle hair, and smooth your cuticle while it's cleansing.
Choose for Your Own Hair Type
Above all else, the type of product you choose should be based on your hair's length, texture and overall condition. Choose a specially formulated product, unique to your own hair condition, rather than what you see in the latest television commercial or magazine ad. This will ensure your hair not only looks its best but is in the healthiest condition it can be.
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