By now we have all heard the warnings of using harsh shampoos which can strip our hair of its natural oils*. The main culprits in shampoos that have been labeled as harsh are sulfates.
Sulfates cause lathering, but they are known to be stripping when used too frequently. Unless you have an intentional moisturizing routine in place, you may cause unintentional damage to your hair over time.
Purpose of basic shampoos
While bearing in mind that products which strip the hair can be damaging, the reality is that hair gets dirty and needs to be cleansed. Shampoos are designed to do just that. At the most basic level, run of the mill shampoos loosen and lift dirt from the outer surfaces of the hair. They get the job done.
There are different types of shampoos within the realm of basic hair cleansing products. Some shampoos are made with sulfates, like discussed above, while others are sulfate free. Sulfate free shampoos do the same job as shampoos that contain sulfates.
They loosen and remove surface area dirt from your hair strands. The main difference is that non-sulfate shampoos are more gentle and they don’t cleanse as aggressively. Because of their properties, non-sulfate shampoos can also coat the hair or leave a slight residue.
Why hair needs deeper cleaning
So, if shampoos clean your hair, then why are there other types of cleansers on the market? The answer is simple. Shampoos can only do so much. There is a limit to how deeply a shampoo can clean your hair. Think of it like carpet. A vacuum cleaner lifts surface area dirt, while a steam cleaner can go deeper and lift and remove dirt that has seeped past the surface of the carpet.
Your hair can and does, get dirty on a deeper level. Because of products we use and the different things we do to our hair, leftover debris can seep past the outer layers of the hair. Aside from dirt, product buildup and residue can also settle into the deeper layers of your hair.
That dirt and product buildup needs to be removed. Cleansed strands are the most receptive to the good things we do to our hair, such as deep conditioning* and moisturizing. It’s for this reason, you want to deep clean your hair.
What products can deep clean the hair
Clarifying shampoos are the first go-to for deep cleansing the hair. Clarifying shampoos are designed to penetrate the hair and loosen and remove debris, dirt and product buildup, in a way that the average shampoo is simply not able to do. Because clarifying shampoos dig so deep, you have to be cautious about how frequently you use them.
Clarifying shampoos can also be very drying and stripping as they perform their job with the help of harsh ingredients like powerful sulfates that are not found in non-clarifying shampoos.