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No one knows your hair better than you do. But is it possible that in your efforts to keep it healthy and looking good, you are washing money down the drain needlessly? Consider these costly mistakes many people make.

Some rights reserved by Bellafaye Garden

Some rights reserved by Bellafaye Garden

Mistake: Expensive shampoo

Come on … ‘fess up. You feel guilty using $.99 shampoo because it’s really bad for your hair. And anybody knows the $24 salon variety is so much better especially for chemically treated hair, right? Wrong! Price has nothing to do with it.

The secret to shampoo intelligence is to know your detergents. Look at the list of ingredients on the shampoo bottle. Water (or some fancy name for it) will always be the first ingredient. Next comes the detergent. It’s tricky, so keep this list handy.

  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate – very harsh
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate – harsh
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – still harsh
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – mild, great choice
  • TEA Lauryl Sulfate – gentle, good choice
  • TEA Laureth Sulfate – gentle, also a good choice

When purchasing shampoo, consider just two things: price and the type of detergent (the list above). If you clip shampoo coupons and match them with shampoo sales, you may never pay more than $1 for shampoo again.

Hint: Many in the Herbal Essences and Suave lineup of shampoos—found in most supermarkets and drug stores—contain the mild option Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). But don’t assume—read the label.

Mistake: Overwashing

Shampoo strips essential oils from hair. Day-old hair styles better and generally looks better than freshly-washed hair. Cut back your daily shampooing to three or four times a week. Your hair will love you and your shampoo will last twice as long. If you want to freshen up your locks in between shampoos, spritz with a good dry shampoo.

Mistake: Too much shampoo

You don’t need a giant head of suds to know your shampoo is working. Start with just a small amount and concentrate on scrubbing your scalp which will take care of cleaning the roots. The suds will run down from the top of your head and get those ends clean anyway.

And the old adage that you need to shampoo, rinse and repeat? You can confidently skip the repeat. It’s just not necessary.

Mistake: Rinsing too much

Colored hair is much different than hair that has not been chemically treated. Since colored hair absorbs and releases water much more easily, when the water leaves, it takes some of the color with it.

Rinse quickly to protect that expensive color job. Also, stick to lukewarm or cooler water since heat also removes color faster.

Mistake: Too much conditioner

The ends of your hair should be the focus when putting on conditioner which is formulated to be super-hydrating. When your scalp is covered in conditioner, you’re likely to end up with a tacky film that leads to build-up.

Use only a small amount of conditioner and then work it into the ends of the hair, avoiding the scalp area.

MORE: Solved: The Mystery of Hair Conditoner

With the money you save on the shampoo, buy a quality conditioner. Unlike shampoo that washes down the drain, the quality of conditioner does make a difference. Just keep in mind that it takes only a tiny amount to get the job done, so go easy!

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