• Jason Collier

Micellar Shampoos



If you’re even mildly interested in beauty, you’ll have heard of the craze for micellar makeup removers.


These handy cleansing waters are super-gentle and a great way to get rid of impurities in a flash. The formula is what makes micellar waters so easy to use and so different from the myriad other cleansers on the market. It’s packed with micelles: molecules with opposite ends, one attracted to oil and one attracted to water, meaning that they make light work of dissolving dirt and debris, and are removed quickly from the surface of the skin themselves, with no rinsing required.


And now, of course, the technology has moved on to haircare, with a sudden burst of micellar shampoos now available. But what exactly is a micellar shampoo, how does it work, and should you be using one?


Micellar shampoos work in the same way that micellar cleansers do; they contain those same double-ended particles that act like magnets, quickly picking up impurities, pollution and grease from the hair without damaging it.


But the main difference between the formulas is that micellar cleansers are pre-diluted, which is why you have no need to rinse – but you’ll absolutely need to rinse micellar shampoos from your locks once you’ve lathered up!


Micellar shampoos are being touted as the ideal everyday shampoo; perfect for keeping hair clean and shiny, and ideal for those of us who like to wash hair on a daily basis, as the gentle formula won’t over-cleanse the hair or strip away colour.


In a way, they are similar to clarifying shampoos, in that they are solely used to remove the oils and dirt that build up on the surface of the hair and scalp. But unlike clarifying shampoos, micellar formulas can be used every day to keep any build-up at bay; clarifying shampoos should only be used once a week, and never on coloured hair.


I’d recommend micellar shampoos for medium and fine-haired ladies, as the gentleness of the formula won’t be a match for thicker, heavier hair types. Also, those ladies who suffer more with oily hair or product build-up should look for something a little more heavy-duty; there’s nothing worse than washing your hair, only to feel like it hasn’t made much of a difference. It’s worth bearing in mind that although they’re a similar idea in principal, micellar shampoos aren’t a replacement for clarifying shampoos, so if you use a lot of product in your hair, or naturally have quite oily hair, I’d recommend keeping a clarifying shampoo as part of your weekly regime and swapping out a micellar shampoo for something that has a bit more strength to use as part of your regular washing routine.


Micellar shampoos have a very simple formula, and they don’t promise the earth – it’s a product that’s exclusively for cleansing, so don’t expect it to be able to work miracles and create hydrated, shiny hair in one fell swoop. Unlike classic shampoos, they often won’t contain moisturising ingredients, so after you’ve applied your micellar shampoo, be sure to massage in a lovely hydrating conditioner too. There are even some micellar conditioners coming onto the market, which again are better-suited to finer hair, but will maintain that lovely fresh feeling that micellar shampoos give the hair after washing, without weighing it down.


In terms of what’s out there, there’s been lots of new versions coming onto the market over the past year or so. If your haircare is more an investment, I’d recommend Redken’s Clean Maniac shampoo and conditioner, which uses micellar technology and a ‘clean-touch’ formula to leave hair feeling refreshed, lightweight and beautifully healthy. But if you’re on a budget, you can’t go far wrong with Pantene’s Pro-V Micellar Water Shampoo – a silicone-free shampoo with micellar water to gently cleanse away impurities in a flash.


Will you be trying a micellar shampoo?

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