Shampoo and conditioner go hand in hand, but they serve two different purposes. Shampoo acts like soap or body wash for the hair. It contains surfactants, ingredients that lower the surface tension of oils to allow water to mix with them and ultimately rinse them away.
Using shampoo helps remove oil from your scalp and impurities from the environment from your hair. Unfortunately, it can also strip away some moisture from hair.
Applying conditioner helps address this problem. Conditioners feature fats and oils that coat the hair strands. These hydrate them and help flatten the fibers that make up the strands, so hair becomes easier to comb and style.
The key to getting the most out of shampoo and conditioner is to use a product designed for your hair type. Here are some of the types of products out there for you to choose from.
Manufacturers replace some chemicals commonly used in hair care products with essential oils and other botanical ingredients in the formulas for natural shampoos and conditioners. Seniors who are sensitive to perfumes, dyes and other synthetics may prefer natural products. However, these shampoos and conditioners may not be 100% free of chemicals, so be sure to check the label if you’re trying to avoid a specific ingredient.
If you have a hair or scalp problem, your health care provider may recommend that you use a specialty shampoo and/or conditioner. Dandruff shampoos are the most well-known and help to either fight the yeast that often contributes to scalp flakes or remove skin flakes from the scalp. There are also shampoos available for other concerns like scalp psoriasis, sensitive skin and hair loss and thinning.
To get the most out of your shampoo and conditioner, follow these tips.
People with oily hair may need to wash their hair every day to keep it clean. However, the number of sweat and oil glands on the scalp decreases with age, making oiliness less common among seniors. As a result, you may only need to wash your hair two, three or four times per week to keep it clean. Use the appearance and smell of your hair as an indication of when it’s time to shampoo rather than simply washing daily.
When lathering up shampoo, work the product against your scalp, where oils and impurities are most likely to collect. When you rinse your hair, the shampoo will travel down the strands, cleansing them all the way to the tips.
Your hair is most in need of moisture at the tips rather than the roots. When you condition, apply the product near the ends rather than to your scalp for best results. Doing so may help fine, thinning hair appear fuller.
Be sure to rinse all the shampoo and conditioner out of your hair. The water should be clean when it reaches your feet. If you find it difficult to fully rinse out hair care products, consider using a handheld showerhead.
A proper hair care regimen takes time. If you have difficulty maintaining your balance, wash your hair while sitting in the tub if possible. Seniors who only have a shower can rest on a shower seat or stool instead.
If you’re experiencing scalp problems like redness or itching or noticing signs of thinning, discuss your concerns with your health care provider. They can recommend over-the-counter products to address your symptoms or prescribe medications and other treatments as needed to promote hair and scalp health.
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