General Question

tonedef's avatar

Why more lather some days than others?

Asked by tonedef (3930points) October 16th, 2008

I have really thick, coarse hair; I don’t know if that’s related. Some days, my shampoo really goes wild and lathers up beautifully. Sometimes, I have to use double the amount, because it just won’t lather at all. The same seems to apply to toothpaste. What kinds of factors affect this? Moisture/humidity? Temperature? It’s so weirdo. …does anyone else have this experience?

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16 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Do you use hair products? Daily? Shampoo at irregular intervals or like clockwork? Do you live in an area with climate extremes? Antarctica, Amazon rain forest, Gobi Desert, Equador, as examples (or Seattle?)

jvgr's avatar

Lather is a function of water hardness/softness and the amount of oily substance on the item to be washed.
If you tend to have an oily scalp and skip a day in washing your hair, more shampoo will be required than when you wash every day. The oilyness of your hair is also a factor of the environment to which your hair is exposed.
Temperature can be a factor, particularly if the termperature change is huge, but unless you wash your hair in hot water one day and cold water the next, any temperature issues would be nil.

deaddolly's avatar

For hair, I think it’s the amount of grease you have in your hair. natural grease. That happens to me too and I use no hair products other than shampoo and conditioner.
Never had trouble with toothpaste tho. maybe your teeth are greasy….lol???

tonedef's avatar

Yeah, the hair answers all make sense. I AM inconsistent in using product/blow drying.

But the teeth is a weird one!

gailcalled's avatar

I’ve heard that you should switch shampoos every week or so. No idea as to the validity of that rumor.

Tooth issue does seem unusual, even unique.

deaddolly's avatar

@gail I’ve heard that too. Also heard that all shampoos, aside from fragrance, contain the same ingredients.

The teeth thing might be something you ate or eat regularily w/o noticing. Possible whatever it is ‘coats’ your teeth.

gailcalled's avatar

dd; or what about scraping the fuzz off tongue from time to time? Ingredients in shampoo and conditioner from Health food store read differently from those in supermarkets or CVS. Does it matter? I don’t know that either, but I buy products with no dyes or long chemically indecipherable names. Kiss My Face (brand name, not a request), Arm and Hammer, Burt’s Bees, Seventh Generation, etc.

deaddolly's avatar

Yeah, the tongue stuff is nasty. It comes from sleeping with your mouth open (mine is always open), the bacteria that settles in. Or so I’ve been told.
I check to see if products are tested on animals. I’m sure the health food stores have better ingredients…more organic. Totally off subject, but I’m in love with Origins products. Only online and $$, but really, really good stuff.

jvgr's avatar

@deaddolly: “Also heard that all shampoos, aside from fragrance, contain the same ingredients.”

All shampoo’s do not contain the same ingredients. Bottom line shampoos tend to use sodium lauryl sulfate as the primary surfactant. It is cheap, cleans well and can be thickened by adding salt to the heated mixture. It is also the harshest surfactant used in personal care products. Also, like many industries, buying solely by exclusivity can be expensive.

@gailcalled: “I’ve heard that you should switch shampoos every week or so”
There is no reason to do this if your shampoo is working fine. Due to the vagaries of your skin responses, some shampoos can aggravate existing conditions like dandruff… If so, you need to test drive products to find one that minimizes this condition.

jvgr's avatar

PS If your toothpaste is of the foaming type, as most are, it is likely to contain sodium lauryl sulfate.

gailcalled's avatar

Jvgr; mine is Tom’s of Maine’s and just sits there.

jvgr's avatar

@gailcalled: “Jvgr; mine is Tom’s of Maine’s and just sits there.”

You should use it once in a while! :)

gailcalled's avatar

Good point. It just sits on my teeth; no foaming, no pyrotechnics, no gyrations.

steelmarket's avatar

As @jvgr observed, the amount of lather is related to water hardness. Many municipal water systems use both reservoir (lake) water and well water, with the ratio between the two varying depending upon demand and the water level in the reservoir. This can cause the hardness of your tap water to vary.

amurican's avatar

It all comes down to ionic charge and the load placed against it. The greater the cleaning job the more resistance for the ions to lather up.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Your getting more lather on days that youre not as dirty (oily)

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