Friday, 30 January 2015

Hair Care Basics: Cleansing

You have decided to take better care of your hair and commence a healthy hair journey but do not know where to start; this series is designed to breakdown the components of a healthy hair care regimen. First we will look into hair and scalp cleansing.

Cleansing in hair terms is the process of removing product build up and cleaning the scalp to create a healthy growth environment for hair. It is recommended to do this once every 7-10 days, cleansing can be done more often but you have to take care not use shampoo if washing for example every 3 days. Frequent washes are common when sporting shorter hair lengths like the low fade or Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA), while ladies with longer hair may choose to stretch/space out wash days. The right routine or frequency however is a personal preference and you have to find what works for you.

Types of Shampoo
Generally when researching for your healthy hair care you will find that sulfate and non-sulfate shampoos being discussed. Basically for curly/coily/kinky hair which is dry naturally; a sulfate shampoo can be very drying if used regularly. It is preferable to use a sulfate-free shampoo which is gentler and does not strip the hair and scalp of all natural oils.

Based on the function of shampoos they can be classified into; clarifying, chelating and neutralizing.

Clarifying shampoos: as the name implies they clarify the hair and strip the strands of all build up from the use of creams, moisturizers, gels, oils etc. It can be said that all sulfate shampoos are clarifiers, as they strip the hair and scalp of build up and oils.

Chelating Shampoos: these are shampoos that in addition to the clarifying action remove mineral deposits. According to Audrey Davis-Sivasothy in her book The Science of Black Hair, The bonds that minerals make with the hair, however, are stronger than those made by products, dirt and oils, Mineral bonds with the hair fiber are chemical bonds that cannot be removed with the simple surfactants found in moisturizing and clarifying shampoos. A specially formulated chelating shampoo is required to remove mineral deposits from the hair. The ingredients in chelating shampoos chemically bind to hard-water minerals and help lift them away.

Neutralizing shampoos: these are shampoos that are used at the end of a chemical relaxer process to wash out the relaxer from the hair and effectively stop the chemical action. 

Next we will examine How to Shampoo/Cleanse hair and No-Shampoo hair cleansing methods.

Your feedback is much appreciated, please leave a comments and questions below.

Happy Hair Growing!


  1. Hello Beeba. It is really nice reading all about haircare from you. Welldone. please can you help with how to take good care and best product for kids hair also?

    1. Hey! What a pleasant surprise :D sorry for the late response, I have some info on kids hair care, I will put them up next week. Thanks for reading!

    2. Kids hair care; first it is important to create a regimen to guide you for example;
      1. Pre-shampoo treatment with coconut oil (weekly)
      2. Shampoo (every 2 weeks, this is also affected by the length of time a hair style is keep on).
      3. Deep Condition (every 2 weeks, after shampooing)
      4. Detangling (as the little one's hair grows longer it will be important to detangle, using a wide tooth comb and hair saturated with instant conditioner such as Tresemme Naturals Conditioner, V05 conditioner, some leave-in conditioners have enough slip to double as detanglers so you don't have to rinse out, their is one by Dark and Lovely for kids)
      5. Moisturize and Seal (use a moisturizer and seal with an oil or butter)

      *Co-washing: this can be done on weeks when you will not be using a shampoo so it servers as a quick way to cleanse the scalp and condition the hair. Do a preshampoo treatment as usual

      Shampoo: Aveeno Naturals Shampoo and Body Wash ( it is mild), Kinky Curly Come Clean)
      Conditioners: Try products from the Kinky Curly or Shea Moisture ranges (try to look for ingredients as natural as possible)
      Moisturizers: Look out for mild products; avoiding Mineral Oil, Paraffin Liquidium they only clog the scalp pores
      Oils: Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil
      Butters: Shea Butter

      I will aim to do a more organised post on this in the coming weeks.

      Hope this helps!