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What to Do about the 'Poo'? An Inside Look at the Shampoo Controversy

by Calynn Lawrence

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A lot of women of color debate about whether or not to use shampoo on their hair. Some feel that the sulfates will dry the hair out and will be of a disservice to them. However, this is not always the case. 

If you are using the correct type of shampoo for your hair texture, this will not happen to you. Sulfates are actually quite necessary for thorough cleansing of the hair. Eliminating sulfates from your hair regimen would be like eliminating detergent from your laundry routine! 

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This article is going to help you decide what cleansers are best for your hair type. We will also look at some alternative options for when your hair isn't feeling the sulfates.

Which Shampoo is Right for My Hair Type?

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Straight Hair

If you have straight hair, it is very likely that your hair is oily. This is because the natural oils from your scalp have a straight path down your strands.  Therefore, they travel faster, leaving your hair to feel oily and/or greasy. The best type of cleanser for your hair would be an exfoliating shampoo with micro beads. Exfoliating shampoos possess properties that will scrub away the excess dirt and oils, leaving your scalp to feel tingly and fresh! Using a thorough cleanser will also minimize the frequency in which you are forced to wash your hair. If you are more accustomed to washing your hair every day, you will be able to decrease your wash frequencies so that they occur every other day as opposed to every day with an exfoliating shampoo.

Wavy Hair

If your hair is wavy, it is likely that you have an average amount of oiliness to your hair. This oiliness tends to be one that is not overwhelming and yet, not excessively dry either.  This is because your relatively loose texture allows oils to travel down the strands at a delayed but timely rate.

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The best type of shampoo for you would be a light shampoo that is not too heavy. A good way to tell of a good shampoo for you would be the color. Using shampoos that are clear or transparent would provide a good cleansing without being too stripping.

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Curly Hair

If your hair is curly, it is likely that your hair is mildly dry. This is because the natural oils from your scalp have to travel down a spiral to hydrate your strands. 

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This takes much longer than with looser textures. The best type of shampoo for you would be a moisturizing shampoo that is creamy in consistency and dark in color. The more apparent the color is...the greater the moisture level is heightened. This will quench thirsty curls without giving you a squeaky clean finish.

Kinky Hair

If your hair is kinky, it is highly likely that it is very dry. This is because your natural oils have to travel down excessive coils when trying to self-hydrate. This takes the longest of the different hair textures. 

The best shampoo for you would be one that is runny in consistency and containing natural oils. You want your shampoo to be runny because it will not be too strong and will help condition your hair while rinsing. It is also easy to maneuver throughout kinky hair. Water and oil are your hair's best friends because they help restore some of the nutrients that your coils are missing out on.

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What are Some Alternative Methods to Shampooing Your Hair?

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinsing

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinsing is used as an extreme clarifier for the hair. This will remove all impurities from the hair. Because of its intensity, it should only be used sparingly. 

To do an ACV rinse, simply mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water in a bottle and shake. Then, use this to wash your hair.

Co-Washing

Co-washing is great for when you want to refresh your curls or you just need a light cleansing. What it does is it provides a very mild removal of dirt due to the small amount of sulfate in the conditioner. 

Meanwhile, it also moisturizes the hair with it's conditioning properties. This can be done multiple times a week if desired!

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a powder substance that soaks up excess oil. When applied to the scalp and roots, it can absorb unwanted moisture. This can assist you in stretching your washes so that you do not unnecessarily cleanse your hair.

A Soap Bar

A soap bar is typically formulated to cleanse the body. However, there are many benefits to using a soap bar to wash your hair. Bar soap typically contains great ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter and natural milks. All of these do well to thoroughly hydrate. They can certainly benefit the health of your hair.

There you have it! This is the inside scoop on the shampoo controversy and your solution to the madness. Taking these tips into consideration when shopping for hair products will certainly have a great effect on your hair's health!

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