Choosing the right shampoo, means it’s important to understand what you hope to get out of the process. A shampoo is a detergent with both Lipophilic (oil attracting) elements which can solubilize (extract) oil from the scalp and sweat glands, and hydrophilic (water attracting) elements which allow the oils to be removed in the water. It is important to fully clean your sweat glands, as backed up glands are known to cause local inflammation which has significant deleterious effects on hair growth and strength. Without any additional ingredients this cleansing process would leave the hair quite dry and brittle, achieving little other than extracting oil.
The reason for the wide product range when it comes to shampoos is that they all offer other benefits, depending on what you’re after.
Here is a breakdown of some popular criteria you should look out for when comparing various shampoos:
A good quality shampoo with be able to cleanse the scalp well without ‘over cleansing’ or stripping away too harshly around the hair. It should be able to be used to clean the scalp daily without causing any hair or scalp dryness. Quality cleansing ingredients to look out for include:
Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, and Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate are high-end, quality examples of surfactants (oil cleansers) which are made of organic molecules each of which is derived from coconut oil.
Cleansing without over cleansing can be achieved by using advanced molecules such as Propoxytetramethyl Piperidinyl Dimethicone, and Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride which are high-tech, positively charged molecules which become attracted to the negatively charged keratin on the hair shaft and cuticle, thereby providing a protective coat during the cleansing process.
A quality shampoo will actually restore moisture, not strip it. To accomplish this, look for the following ingredients:
Argan oil: a well known oil which provides moisture, luster, and shine to the hair. Beta-Sitosterol: Natural plant oils which also will keep the hair moisturized. Acrylates Crosspolymers are interesting ingredients which allow the moisturizing elements mentioned above to flow within the shampoo so they have more contact with the hair. These ingredients are seen in some high-end shampoos as well as anti-aging products. With their use, the moisturizing elements themselves become more effective.
Anti dandruff prevention
Some shampoos are made just for the purpose of fighting dandruff, but why not have a shampoo that just prevents it all the time? The simple answer here is that quality ingredients to prevent dandruff are costly and therefore not added to all products. Typical anti-dandruff ingredients such as coal tar or zinc pyrithione can be harsh on the skin and hair and cause excessive dryness. On the other hand, the medical ingredient Ketoconazole is a true antifungal medicine which can kill the organisms that like to live on the scalp producing the dandruff.
Interestingly, Ketoconazole has been shown over and over again to have the independent and very interesting “side effect” of promoting hair growth, which is possibly related to treating “subclinical” or inapparent dandruff. Thus using a shampoo with Ketoconazole daily will not only treat and prevent dandruff, but also will keep hairs thick and growing strong.
Hair health and hair growth
Ketoconazole: ketoconazole is well known to increase hair growth.
Saw Palmetto: As a natural plant based blocker of DHT (the metabolite that is most well known to cause hair miniaturization and pattern hair loss) it can keep hairs strong and growing.
Hair peptides such as Hentapeptides, Tripeptides, and Copper Peptides have been shown to fight local inflammation and promote hair growth.
Hair Vitamins such as Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin E (Tocopherol) have all been shown to increase hair growth and keep hair healthy and strong.
Caffeine: While we all associate caffeine with our morning coffee, it has some other very interesting effects. Caffeine is a vasodilator meaning it increases blood flow. For this reason it is seen in many headache medicines as increased blood flow to the brain is well known to reduce headache. Ever wonder why that morning coffee can cure a headache? Hair follicles are very metabolically active requiring a lot of blood flow to produce thick and healthy hair, which is why some high end hair growth shampoos are seen to include caffeine and coffee seed extract in their formulations.
Antioxidants: These are key to promote health of the hairs by reducing local inflammation by naturally occurring oxidants which can cause damage. Ingredients such as Apigenin Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants.
Olive leaf (Olea Europaea Leaf Extract) and olive oil (Copolymer Oleanolic Acid) extracts: These natural ingredients are known to activate the Wnt/β-catenin pathway which is well established to positively regulate the anagen phase of hair growth cycle.
Sesame Seed (Sesamum Indicum Oil): This natural source of calcium and magnesium have been shown to promote hair growth.
Parsley Extract (Carum Petroselinum): With all the vitamins, electrolytes, and beta-carotene found in this extract, it has been shown to promote hair growth and prevent shedding.
Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera): This ingredient increases hair growth and strength by being a natural antibacterial, increasing blood circulation, and by preventing hair breakage.
Butylene Glycol: Unlike the other ingredients mentioned in this section, this one is not itself an active ingredient to promote hair growth. Instead it allows for all the other active ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin thereby increasing their effect. Without this ingredient, topically applied actives would have less of an effect.
No harsh preservatives
and chemicals such as parabens or sulfates. These sort of ingredients are common in many cheaply made products, however can leave the skin irritated and can hurt the hair.
Made in USA
Made in USA products must undergo extensive quality control and and stability testing before coming to market. Also they help promote jobs in the U.S.
While this category does not make a shampoo any more or less effective, it is very important since the scent of the product will remain on your hair after your shower. Many shampoos have very floral, or high tone scents, others play it safe and keep them unscented, whereas quality products treat their shampoos as luxury colognes and take their time to create magnificent scents with musk, lavender, and other profiles.
BSG Original Edition #1 Shampoo left nothing off the table. It includes all of the ingredients mentioned above to properly cleanse the hair, moisturize the hair, prevent dandruff, promote hair growth, all without using any harsh chemicals or preservatives, while being made locally and having a scent you would be proud to wear. This shampoo was formulated by doctors and stylists together to create the best of everything. There is no longer a need to use multiple shampoos which serve independent functions.