Ready to ditch your shampoo?

Friday, 6 June 2014 - 6:10am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

With co-washing gaining popularity, detergent-based shampoos could become a thing of the past. Experts tell us if they work

In the last couple of years, more women are discarding their shampoo. Before you write them off as lazy, cheap or dirty, note that they are embracing co-washing – a term referring to washing hair with conditioner as opposed to regular shampoo. Co-washing is preferred by those with curly, frizzy and rebellious hair as it is more gentle and doesn't strip hair of its natural oils. However, those who aren't willing to let go of their shampoo just yet have options too. Sulfate-free shampoos don't contain harsh cleansing agents that are included in most shampoos, and that can have a drying effect. Taking it one step ahead are the anti-shampoos by brands such as Bumble & Bumble, Shu Uemura, Kérastase and Ojon that are low-foaming cleansing solutions. They promise to prevent colour from fading, clean grime and product build-up and maintain hair health by not stripping your strands of moisture.

Najeeb Ur Rehman, technical head, Schwarzkopf Professional, Henkel Beauty Care India, says while he has heard of these products he's not confident of them working in India. "Heat and pollution levels lead to very rapid build-up on the scalp and hair and would need a cleansing agent of some sort. We do have sulfate-free shampoos in the BonaCure Schwrzkopf range that can take care of the cleaning without stripping the natural moisture. Instead of co-washing, one could try using a milder shampoo for the hair. Moisture is stripped from the locks for multiple reasons and one can replenish the same with the right products like spray-on conditioners," says Najeeb.

A conditioner does a very different job as compared to a shampoo feels Coleen Khan, Pantene, hair expert. "While a shampoo cleanses, a conditioner coats the hair hence protecting and lubricating the hair. So I believe a conditioner cannot do the job of a shampoo and remove the dirt from the hair. Instead, a detergent-free shampoo might work in removing the dirt and product build-up. A lot of people believe a detergent free shampoo is not effective because of the lack of foam but that is not true. It does help in cleaning in your hair and in removing the dirt from the hair. Similarly, I don't believe in using a combined shampoo and conditioner," she adds.

Co-washing is good for your hair, especially for African-Americans who have coarser hair types says, Sonali Gupta, proprietor, Sonali's salon and spa, "It's important to choose a good conditioner, according to your hair type. Conditioning covers open cuticles and protects them from further damage. If one knows how to co-wash with the right products and techniques then there will be no drawbacks. Internationally though, anti-shampoo products are quite popular. However, people who are very active and spend more time outdoors might want to stick to regular shampoos," she says.

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