Keeping your hair looking and feeling healthy starts with a great shampoo that adds moisture to your locks. Shampoos labelled as ‘hydrating’ or ‘moisturising’ might *sound* the same but believe it or not, there is a difference!
Your hair’s needs can vary throughout your life, making it confusing to choose the best hair health products to meet those needs. But don’t worry, girl. We’ve got you!
Here we’ll reveal the differences between hydrating and moisturising shampoos, as well as what could be causing your overly dry hair. Plus, what kinda formulas can help. Let’s get started…
What’s the Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturising Shampoo?
The main difference between hydrating and moisturising shampoos is which layer of hair it targets. Hydrating products target the inner layer of your hair follicle (the medulla, if you want to get science-y). Moisturising products meanwhile target the cuticle, which is the outer layer of your hair strands. See, you’re learning already!
The other difference between the two is how they function. Moisturising shampoos help to trap existing moisture in your hair and form a protective barrier to lock it in. Hydrating shampoos and conditioners on the other hand use water and moisture from the air to replenish your hair..
Moisturising shampoos and conditioners are made to be used every day, whereas hydrating products are designed as treatments to be used less frequently. Moisturising products that boost natural moisture restoration by starting with the scalp are super important to maintain overall hair health. These shampoos contain hydrophobic oils that act as a moisturiser sealant. They’re specifically designed to help boost the moisture level by creating a natural barrier around the hair fibre in all hair types. People with curly hair tend to have naturally dry, coarse tresses that need all the moisturising help they can get. So, this is a great choice to add into your regime if you want to make your gorgeous, curly locks your ‘mane’ attraction.
A Deep Dive into Hydrating Shampoo
Excessive product use, heat styling, chlorine and even stress can wreak havoc with your hair. The result? Dry, unmanageable strands that become frizzy or can even start falling out more (yeah, no thanks to any of that!)
If you’re struggling with dehydrated hair that feels heavy and dull, then a hydrating shampoo is something you’ll want to invest in ASAP.
Hydrating shampoos go deeper into the hair follicle, giving you a more intensive treatment that’s perfect for ultra-parched locks. This type of shampoo penetrates the superficial layer of the hair fibre, which makes it feel healthier and more manageable.
What does a hydrating shampoo actually do?
OK, grab your lab coat cause we’re about to get technical. Hydrating shampoos contain humectants (AKA hydrophilic compounds). Hydrophilic compounds attract water from their environment. Shampoos infused with hydrophilic compounds draw water from the air into the hair strands, giving them a welcome drink. Clever, huh?
Does my hair need a hydrating shampoo and conditioner?
We can all benefit from a little added moisture when it comes to our hair. Hair masks are a great way to treat occasional dryness and give your tresses extra oomph in particular. If you’re regularly dealing with dry hair that doesn’t seem to respond to traditional shampoos, consider using a good hydrating shampoo and conditioner. If your hair is showing any of the following symptoms of dry, damaged hair, then it’s definitely a good idea to try adding a hydrating shampoo to your haircare routine.
Symptoms of dry and damaged hair
- Hair that’s rough and feels brittle to the touch
- Hair with split ends and stray flyaways that are easily visible
- Flat, lifeless locks that look and feel dull
- Itchy scalp and/or dandruff
Hydrated Hair vs. Dry Hair: Why is My Hair So Dry?
Before you suss out which course of action to take, it’s important to know the possible causes. Dehydration, your diet or too much sun can all cause damage to your hair to name a few! Here are some of the most common reasons your hair is drier than the Sahara right now:
1. You aren’t drinking enough water
One of the easiest fixes for dry hair is increasing your water intake. Your hair needs moisture from the inside out. So, if your body isn’t getting enough water, chances are you’ll have dry hair, too.
2. You overdid it with the heat tools
Using heat styling tools can lead to heat damaged hair, leaving it feeling dry and brittle. Try air drying your hair when you get the time to let it recover and avoid your straighteners for a week or so. Treating your hair to a leave-in conditioner regularly can also help speed up healing.
Our fave way to cut down on heat styling? Heatless curls! They went viral for a reason. Super easy to put in and you wake up in the morning with instant, long-lasting waves. Saving you tonnes of time and gaining you loads of compliments - all without a hair-scorching curling wand in sight.
3. You’re using a harsh shampoo
Hair products containing harsh chemicals like sulphates can be a bit of a no-no if you want silky smooth hair (and who doesn't?!) Instead of using super strong shampoos and products, opt for shampoos with naturally-derived ingredients and formulas that don’t contain added chemicals or dyes.
4. You wash your tresses too often
Washing your hair feels great, we know. But scrubbing up too often can cause damage. When you wash your hair, you get rid of the gross stuff like build-up, odours and other impurities, but you also rid your mane of natural moisture. Especially if you usually blow dry it after.
Washing your hair every day puts your hair in a moisture deficit, leaving it looking dull and lifeless. Instead of washing your hair every time you shower, aim for 2-3 times a week. You can always use a dry shampoo on your no-wash days to keep it looking and feeling fresh. Check out our tips for properly washing your hair here, so when your next wash day comes you can ace it (and make it feel fresher for longer!)
Feeling inspired to learn more about all-things haircare now? Find more tips to keep your hair healthy and happy here on our blog.
Edited by: Aimee and Iris