Once I had decided that I was shifting to sulfate-free shampoos, the next question on my mind was…. Will it be strong enough to clean my scalp and hair. After all I live in a humid city which means plenty of sweating…add to that the day to day dust and pollution…and you get a really dirty scalp to clean… The Answer seems to be “Yes”.. Sulfate free shampoo and cowashing clean the scalp and hair equally well. The basics of that depends on “how” rather than “with what” for hair cleansing.
Will mild shampoo clean scalp efficiently?
Basically, the cleaning of the scalp is done by the rubbing and scrubbing that we do while shampooing rather than the shampoo itself. If we apply any shampoo, and do not massage or rub it into hair, irrespective of the strong detergents in it, it will not clean efficiently. I read this comparison somewhere (I don’t remember where!)..They had put it up in such a nice way that it stuck… Hair washing was compared to washing clothes in washing machine… if we load a machine with clothes, add detergent and if the washing machine does not tumble and move, the clothes won’t be clean. It is the movement of the washing machine’s drum that pulls out the dirt from the clothes. The detergent is just an aid to rinse away the dirt with water. What actually cleans is the movement.
Same way, for washing hair, the shampoo that we use is just an aid to rinse away the dirt from hair. If we use harsh shampoo, it is unnecessarily stripping hair of its natural oils. But if we use a milder shampoo or a conditioner to wash our hair, it would clean efficiently but would not completely strip hair of its natural oils.
So, for an efficient cleaning, we need to use massaging movements and rub and scrub the scalp and hair and rinse off with the shampoo that we use. If all that we need a shampoo for is to rinse away the dirt, why to use a harsh, strong one. Better to use a milder shampoo or a conditioning agent to wash off the daily dirt.
How to Shampoo?
Irrespective of what shampoo you use, you need to follow the below:
- Wet you hair completely before adding shampoo
- Once completely wet, take few drops of your shampoo and water it down.
- Start at the temples at both sides and go directly at the scalp
- Using your fingerpads, Add the shampoo and massage your scalp slowly in circular motions. While following circular movements, move your fingers down till the ears and behind the ears. Add more water if needed, it will give the slip for easy movement.
- Next take a little more shampoo, water it down and start behind the temple and rub in circular and slowly cover the entire length of scalp till the neck. What I do is, tilt my head to right side, cover all of scalp on the right in circular motions by going section wise. then tilt to the left and do the same.
- Add more and more water as and when required. Can also add shampoo as and when required. Make sure you do not use your nails. Use your finger pads to rub and keep adding water so that you don’t tug at the hair.
- Once you have rubbed whole of your scalp, slowly trickle water, tilt your head towards back and massage from the temples till the nape of neck while the water rinses the shampoo away. Open more water flow and rinse off thoroughly.
- Repeat once more with very little shampoo(if required) or no shampoo to make sure the scalp and hair are clean.
- Tada! Hello Clean Hair! 😀
Frankly, when I read this for the first time, I was not sure…. But it works… I almost always followed this way of shampooing so didn’t really place the difference immediately after shifting to sulfate-free shampoo. However, Few weeks back, while having a super duper busy week and was super distracted, I had been jumping into shower and lathering shampoo in one go, rinsing and coming out. By end of third such wash, my scalp was not feeling ‘clean’. I was confused…I had been using the same shampoo for months and it was working fine till then..On my next wash day, as I followed the same ‘washing machine without tumble’ thing, I realized that it was not the shampoo, it was the way I was using it which made the difference!! (and that is then that I decided to write this post ;))
Even though the above points of how to shampoo sound like too much to follow, It is actually a very simple technique which might (and should) become your instinctive way of shampooing once you start to follow it.
What do you think? have you ever tried sulfate-free shampoo or cowashing? How do you shampoo your hair?? Do let us know in comments below or at the forum. 🙂