5 Things You Didn’t Know About Shampoo

1. Shampoo is not the most important part of washing. It might be the most expensive and fancy shampoo, but not using it correctly can cause you issues. “The massaging of the scalp and hair as well as the rinsing are the most important parts of washing your hair,” says celebrity stylist Riccardo Maggiore. Curl expert Ouidad recommends using the cushions of your fingers to massage the scalp while you shampoo in order to get rid of the secretion of sebum (an oily, waxy substance) so hair follicles can grow healthily from the scalp. And always be sure to rinse the shampoo completely out of your hair to prevent buildup.

washing hair

2. Natural home remedies aren’t necessarily better. Just because a shampoo contains a natural ingredient doesn’t mean that ingredient is good for you on its own. “Lemon, for example, can irritate the scalp and hair follicle,” says Maggiore. “And mint and menthol—which, when used in salon products can create a soothing effect—can actually cause severe allergic reactions when used in home remedies.” So don’t use shampoos as guides to what to use on your hair—they’ve all been formulated and balanced by professionals.

3. Don’t expect the same results as in shampoo commercials. “I know firsthand that all the volume in those beautiful flowing full-headed hair ads comes from setting the hair in hot rollers,” says Terrence Renk, a television and film hair stylist. “While you do need a good foundation product to create the swelling of the cuticle that creates volume, those luxurious locks of hair are the result of very patient and talented hair artists.”

4. Less is more.  This great famous phrase works here too. According to Maggiore, using too much shampoo—more than a quarter-sized amount––to create a lot of foam is actually counterproductive. “Foam can help you effectively work the shampoo into the hair and scalp, but too much foam actually prevents you from massaging the shampoo in properly.”

5. Even though a shampoo boasts a fancy-sounding ingredient, it might not do any good. “I’ve seen some shampoos that contain olive oil or caviar,” says celebrity stylist Philip Pelusi, owner of New York City’s Tela Design Studio. “But for it to make a difference, the shampoo needs to contain anywhere from one to five percent of that ingredient.” Similarly, Pelusi advises being wary of bold claims. “When companies make a big promise, they have to deliver results right away. So if you use a conditioning shampoo, it may work well the first few times, but you might notice it over-delivering—creating a buildup––by the third or fourth wash.”