Hair Care

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

If we lived our lives like shampoo commercials, we’d all be tossing our long silky locks whenever a slight breeze came our way… and I guess that would be all right with the world. Unfortunately, for most of us; our lives are much too complicated for us to even think of tossing our tresses. Such is my life, if a breeze came my way; all I’d be thinking about is how it’ll mess up my hair.

To add to my daily chaos, a trip to the salon to purchase a new bottle of shampoo sometimes seems too daunting with the myriad of choices. How can a simple task put my mind in a spin? Because my hair never seems to behave the same way every week; one week it’s dry, the next it’s oily, and the week after that, it feels damaged. I realized that it’s not that unusual, considering all the different punishments I place on my mane. Anything from swimming to highlights to burning it with my trusty blow dryer maxed out on the highest setting.

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So I tapped into the collective knowledge of some hair experts, in order to figure out what exactly we should be looking for in a shampoo.

The first step is to determine your hair type. Is it fine or thick, straight or curly? Damaged or color treated? Keep in mind that the changing seasons also affect the condition of your hair, especially if you’ve changed your exercise regime, or if your office starts blasting the drying heat when winter approaches. You might want to consider having one or two different hair products, to tailored to your changing environment.

If you have fine or normal hair, never get anything that will weigh it down. One product you might want to try if you have fine hair that’s a bit dry is j.f.lazartigue’s Cereal Shampoo (www.lazartiguenyc.com) If you’re hair is fine, look for shampoos that are volumizing and extra body types. These shampoos contain resins or proteins that bond to your hair, plumping it up. Like a push-up bra for the less-endowed.

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If your hair that is thick or curly, get a shampoo specifically for your hair type. That seems obvious, but many people with thick or curly hair are recommended to use moisturizing shampoo. Unless your hair is also on the dry side, which it may not be, try not to use moisturizing shampoos. Curl-specific shampoos contain extracts that will give you softness, get rid of the frizzies; all without weighing your curls down.

If your hair has a tendency to oiliness, you can usually get away with using your regular shampoo. But if it’s an especially hot week, or you’ve been practicing yoga in one of those places that don’t believe in air-conditioning, you can use an Oily shampoo. This formula has surfactants that lift oil off the hair shaft, Surfactants has something to do with better foaming properties.

Dry hair needs a shampoo that will boost the moisture level. Look for nourishing, conditioning, and moisturizing in the description. These contain lubricants that will reduce dryness by penetrating into the hair shaft.

Most people have combination hair. Combination shampoo is formulated to deal with the dual problems of oily roots and dry ends. The best remedy is regular trims to get rid of the dry ends and then using an Oily or Normal shampoo.

Color treated hair is best pampered by shampoos that will preserve the color. Color-treated shampoos contain mild cleansing detergents and UV filters. Some are tinted to refresh and prolong your color.

Thankfully for dandruff sufferers; they don’t have to fear wearing black clothes anymore. Over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos will effectively clear up this common annoyance that actually affects most people at some point in their lives. Everyone sheds dead skin cells, dandruff sufferers just shed more. This is due to a variety of factors, everything from diet to hormones. Experts also recommend that you alternate between the anti-dandruff shampoo and your regular shampoo. Stick to your anti-flake regimen for a few months to see definite results.

Besides the regular shampoos, there are more and more more specialized shampoos that are becoming available. You might want to try one or two to give your hair a boost or for a change of pace. Thermal or heat-activated shampoos contain ingredients that coat the hair cuticle and form a protective shield. Clarifying and Deep Cleaning shampoos contain heavy cleansers that are too strong for everyday use, but are effective in removing a heavy build-up of hair products. Swimmers shampoos remove chlorine, minerals and salt; chemicals that can damage and discolor your lovely locks.

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I’m not a big fan of the Two-in-One Shampoo and Conditioner. Conditioners work best after your hair is thoroughly cleaned. The chemicals in 2-in-1 products may actually coat your hair leaving a dull residue behind. If your hair is either short or don’t need a lot of conditioner, this combo should work your hair.

Read all the ingredients of the products you’re using on your hair. And follow the instructions on the bottles, except… you don’t really need to rinse and repeat. j.f.lazartigue products and treatments available at —

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Originally published October 2004
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