What is A Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

Happy Hump Day! So.. Low Shampoos! What are they? If you have a dry scalp, oily roots, dandruff, hair fall, really dry hair, and many more issues regarding your hair, you’re gonna want to hear this! I’m someone that washes my hair every day because if I don’t, my scalp could probably cook you a sunny side up (gross. Did I just spoil sunny side up eggs for you?). Washing my hair every day (well, and having it bleached twice) has made my scalp dry, gave me oily roots, and a head of hay instead of hair. After discovering low shampoo, my hair was never the same again.. Basically, Low shampoo is what is known as a “no shampoo” shampoo. No kidding. A low shampoo is a “new” type of cleanser for your hair, that doesn’t have harmful chemicals like silicone and sulfates in them.

What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

Inspired by the “Low Poo/No Poo” (no, not poo poo. yea, they couldn’t come up with a better name) trend, the Low Shampoo is free of silicones and sulfates. The “Low Poo/No Poo” method is, in a nutshell, to use shampoos with no harmful chemicals.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS) are surfactants that are typically used in shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, etc. Surfactants used in shampoos are to remove dirt and oil from the scalp. These sulfates are also inexpensive and very effective foaming agents. The use of sulfates in shampoos strips all the natural oil from your scalp, drying it out (hence, dry scalp (hence, dandruff) hence, hence, hence.) and causing your scalp to over-produce oil to combat the dryness (hence, oily roots).

Silicones are used in shampoos to smooth the hair and add shine. Silicone is not one thing – it’s a large group of compounds that end in “-cone”, like methicone, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and so on. Most silicones are insoluble in water and can build up on your scalp. Silicone can give the hair a conditioned feeling and look, but it’s not actually because your hair is healthy. It’s basically like a layer of plastic that coats your hair and makes it look shiny.

What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

A low shampoo is like a cleansing cream – it has the consistency of conditioner, and it doesn’t lather up. When I first started using a low shampoo, man was it hard to use. I was so used to a little bit of shampoo coating my entire head of hair because of how well they lather. Because there was no lather, I didn’t feel like it was cleaning my hair. Surprisingly though, after rinsing it off, my hair felt very light, fresh and clean. After a couple of tries, I found that the best way to use a low shampoo is to massage it into the scalp with my fingers in sections. I start at the top of my scalp, then work my way to the sides of my head, toward the lower back of my scalp, and then finally the length of my hair.

The low shampoo that I’m currently using is the Yves Rocher Low Shampoo Delicate Cleansing Cream, and I freaking love it! It’s sulfate-free (duh), silicone-free (yes, Jiawun, that’s the whole point of a low shampoo :|) and also paraben-free. L’Oreal has just come out with two low shampoos which I’ve heard good things about as well. After using low shampoos for half a year now, my hair has never been better! I can finally wash my hair every other day (which, given the hot, humid weather here in Malaysia, is like 4 days) because my scalp doesn’t get as oily anymore. My hair looks much healthier and shinier (and not from silicone!), and feels smooth. Like, I actually have hair now. Not dead grass.

What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

Why You Need A Low Shampoo, like, rn.

Dandruff is basically flakes of dead skin from your scalp and can cause hair loss. Most of the time, dandruff is caused by a dry scalp. When you use a regular shampoo, the sulfates strip your hair of natural oils, thus drying out your scalp even more, causing more dandruff. So when you use a low shampoo, a different, gentler cleansing agent is used and it doesn’t strip away all the oils.

An oily scalp is usually caused by a dry scalp. You might be going, “Jiawun. That doesn’t make any sense at all.” And yes, that was my initial reaction too. But after some in-depth research (thank the lord (or the founders) for Google), a dry scalp that has been stripped of all it’s oil, will produce even more oil to combat the dryness, just like your skin does! (Wait a minute, isn’t the scalp.. actually just skin? This has happened once when my sister and I were discussing if you should apply lotion to your umm.. as Fergie put it, lovely lady lumps. Or is it completely normal? Have you guys ever thought about it, though? Just me? Okay.)

An overly oily scalp can actually cause dandruff (which causes excessive hair fall) as well. Since there are no sulfates in low shampoos, the scalp will not be overly stripped. The low shampoo will clean the excess oil off your scalp so your hair won’t look or feel greasy, but there will still be natural oils in your scalp that nourishes your hair.

What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

If you’re in the UK, you can get L’Oreal’s new Low Shampoos on Boots for £5

Low shampoos are a pretty new concept, so it’s a little bit harder to come by. I’ve only seen two brands – Yves Rocher and L’Oreal – come out with them. But I expect them to be a huge trend, especially now that L’Oreal has just released their version. If you come across a low shampoo, definitely try it out! You will see the results in a couple of washes, and your hair will thank you.

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Thanks for reading, xoxo

Jiawun