Have you ever added olive oil (or coconut oil, or any other oil) to your shampoo?
Shampoos can leave hair feeling dry, so adding a few drops of a moisturizing oil to them helps to keep your locks soft and moisturized. But it also makes shampoos less effective.
The purpose of shampoo
There is a reason why shampoos can be drying. The purpose of shampoo is to dissolve the oils on your hair. These oils, whether naturally produced by your hair or applied by you, keep hair moisturized, but, overtime, they can also attract dirt and dust.
When hair gets dirty, you’d want to wash it and make it clean again. That means, you need to remove these oils, and all the gunk attached to them. And that’s the surfactants’ job. These ingredients allow the oils to be mixed with water so that they can be rinsed off.
Surfactants often get accused of being drying and harmful to hair, but if they are too gentle, they just can’t clean your hair well. Very mild surfactants work well for children or people with dry/normal hair that barely use any styling products. But if you have oily hair or lots of build-up from hair care products, they won’t do much for you.
Of course these surfactants shouldn’t be too strong and irritating either. The key is to find a formula that contains cleansing agents strong enough to remove oils well but gentle enough not to cause irritations or dryness. Lots of shampoos on the market today use blends of gentle surfactants that, together, are powerful enough to cleanse hair without side effects.
What if you add a few drops of oil to your shampoo?
But what if you want to make your shampoo gentler by adding oil to it? And doesn’t oil dissolve oil, anyway? Yes, but in this case, the result may not be as positive as you wish. As we already know, surfactants remove oils. If you add an oil to your shampoo, the surfactants in it may well see it as something that needs to be removed.
And once the added oil has been washed off, the surfactants in the formula may have exhausted their cleansing power and not be able to remove those that were already dirtying your hair. Of course, this depends on the strength of the formula of your shampoo and how much oil you add to it. If the formula is particularly irritating or the added quantity of oil small, your shampoo may still be able to cleanse your hair well.
The Bottom Line
If you want to add olive oil (or any other oil) to your shampoo, be sure to experiment to create a formula that will cleanse your hair well while adding some moisture to it. But, personally, I prefer to use a gentle, well-formulated shampoo and follow it up with a moisturizing conditioner or oil afterwards. That way, the shampoo can remove all the oils, together with the dirt and dust bound to them, well from your hair before you add some more to moisturize it.
Have you ever added oil to your shampoo? How did it work?