There has been a years-long conflict between good shampoo and bad. Partly because not everyone is able to tell the differences between the two. Add in an element of subjectivity, in that what one person thinks is good is bad for another person, and you have a confusing situation. However, the simple fact is that there are details and features that differentiate the two.
Haircare is part of everyone’s hygiene regimen, and it should be something people pay a great deal of attention to. Some of the good and bad are based on situational advantages, while others are more consistent. So with that in mind, let’s look at the typical differences that define what a good shampoo is versus a bad one.
What is Shampoo For?
First, let’s look at what shampoo is meant to do for you. The chemicals and ingredients that go together into a vacuum mixer machine are meant to perform a specific function. They’re there to remove excess sebum from the scalp and hair. This natural oil is produced by the body, but in excess, it can make the scalp and hair greasy. Dirt also tends to cling to it.
Why is this important? Well, the first difference is that a good shampoo will leave enough sebum behind for the hair and scalp to look normal. A bad one is going to strip away too much, leaving the hair dry and unhealthy. If a good shampoo is used properly, in the right amounts, you won’t need a conditioner to make up for the lost sebum.
Avoid Sulfate Ingredients
Another detail is the use of sulfates. Some cheaper bad shampoo formulations use sulfates heavily, while the better ones will use other ingredients instead.
Why is a sulfate ingredient bad for shampoo anyway? Sulfates are very powerful and strip sebum and can potentially damage hair strands and follicles. It is a harsh ingredient that can do more harm than good, from a haircare perspective. A good shampoo will use other products, including natural oils or plant extracts, while a bad one will still rely on the cheaper sulfate.
Fillers are more common in a bad shampoo mix. These are chemicals added to the batch that doesn’t actually do anything, nor do they correct a mistake in the mixture. While they don’t do your hair any harm, they also don’t do anything to help. They’re a waste because you’re not getting as much impact for each use than you would otherwise.
Go For Specialist Products
A good shampoo is not a combo product, but something that does what it does without trying to be something else. In other words, you want to avoid things like shampoo and conditioner combos in one bottle. They’re trying to do two different things at the same time, and consequently end up doing both things poorly compared to a dedicated product.
Yes, a combo product is cheaper, because you’re only buying one product. However, you’re paying for it with less glowing, healthy hair. Rather than getting one to clean your hair and another to make it softer, you’re using one that does an unsatisfactory job at both. Get a shampoo and a separate conditioner, rather than being cheap and trying to mix the two.
A good shampoo is a specialist, in that the formulation is aimed towards a specific purpose. They might be designed to handle dry hair or correct brittle hair. Some might be therapeutic, meant to clear out lice or prevent dandruff. A bad shampoo is something that once again tries to be everything to everyone, and thus failing to be anything of any use.
Pay attention to what the shampoo does. Is it thickening? Is it designed to make the hair silkier and smoother? If you use a good shampoo meant for smooth hair when you have dry hair, you won’t be getting any of the benefits. It will look like a bad product when it was only misused.
Notice the Price
Good shampoo tends to cost more, if only because the ingredients or production process are of higher quality. A bad shampoo will be cheaper, to attract more customers and because they use cheaper ingredients. While this is not universal, it holds true in most cases. As with anything else, you get what you pay for when it comes to shampoo.
However, price is not always a good indicator. There are good shampoos that are on the cheaper side of things, so don’t use this as the only determining factor.
On average, good shampoo brands will have natural oils as an ingredient. Many of these are meant to act as gentler cleaning agents. However, they can also add fragrance to your hair or help protect it from the harshness of the environment. These are small touches that you don’t typically see in a bad shampoo product.
As with any other type of product, there are good shampoos and bad ones. Figuring out which is which can be a challenge for the unaware, but it can be done. There are a few things to look out for or keep in mind as you buy.