Chelating shampoos are a type of cleanser that deep cleans the hair. They are typically harsh and drying on the hair, which is why it is always recommended that you follow it up with a Moisturising Conditioner / Deep Treatment. Due to this, they shouldn’t be used every week but instead occasionally e.g. once a month.
Using a regular shampoo that contains Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate / Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS) or DSodium Lauryl Sulfate / Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) won’t quite cut the mustard when it comes to chelating your hair. Ingredients found in Chelating Shampoos are specifically designed to work on a deeper level, by removing deposits in your hair that tend to be left behind. A common Chelating Shampoo ingredient to look out for is EDTA (or any words containing it) and Potassium Citrate (or any words containing Citrate).
1. You live in an extremely hard water area.
Hard water simply has high levels of minerals e.g. limestone and chalk (and sometimes sulfates). Rain water is soft and mineral free, but when it seeps through soil and rocks, that’s what gives the water its’ character. Soaps and detergents don’t lather as well in hard water areas so more cleanser is needed. Chelating shampoos bind to these stubborn minerals and lift them away from the hair. A good (but expensive) way around hard water is to get your water distilled.
2. Your hair feels like it needs everything, but responds to nothing.
This reason alone doesn’t always mean you need a chelating shampoo, but coupled with living in a hard water area, it may be just what you need. Hair with excessive mineral build-up tends to make the hair feel like it’s coated, limp and dry with nothing that seems to help it. Not dealing with this will inevitably lead to breakage as your hair won’t be getting what it needs to thrive.
3. You regularly go swimming.
Regular swimmers often have a lot of build-up in their hair because chemicals like chlorine can be trapped in the hair even after using a clarifying shampoo. The longer these minerals are in the hair, the higher chance your natural hair can break and turn a strange tinge of blue/green.