You might follow all the advice about hair care, use heat protection spray before straightening or curling your locks, give your tresses a deep conditioning at least once a week and keep a regular appointment with your hairdresser to nip split ends in the bud.

But according to research, those of us who still suffer with dull, dry or just plain lacklustre hair could be using the wrong sort of shampoo.

The Daily Mail reports that studies show brands of shampoo that use sulphates in their formula could be to blame for limp locks. Sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate are commonly used ingredients in mainstream shampoos because they act as cleansers, stripping hair of dirt and oil so that they can be washed away.

However, they can also be too harsh on certain types of hair because they are very effective at dissolving all the gunk that accumulates on our scalps.

Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting told the newspaper: "SLS and related compounds lather well and produce a rich foam, which cleans the hair effectively, but they can irritate the eyes and leave the hair dry.

"This is a particular problem for those who colour or straighten their hair regularly, or have very long hair, where the ends can easily get into bad condition ... Gentler surfactants can clean the hair just as effectively as harsher ones."

Using organic shampoo may help restore your hair to its natural shine instead of resorting to harsh chemicals that will leave it looking thin and lifeless.

"The fact that a shampoo produces foam is not a good indicator of how well it works. Gentler surfactants are an excellent choice for most people, especially anyone with processed hair or a sensitive scalp," added Dr Bunting.

Herbal shampoo containing cleansing agents such as coconut oil or other ingredients derived from corn and oats might be the best bet for those with curly, over-straightened or frizzy locks.

Posted by Laura Andrews