I am busting the biggest myths you’ve believed about your hair. Starting with shampoo and conditioner use.
Myth 1: Store Bought Shampoos Are Just As Good As Salon Professional
I’ve heard it, you think it’s just a gimmick, just another way for a hairdresser to make a dollar. The ironic thing about this is that ladies who tell me this sit and watch in awe as I transform there hair with top quality products. Allowing them to see just what Garnier Fructis and Herbal Essences doesn’t do for them. Lets not forget diverted products that have been bought out by the big mass producing coporate monsters. They get you hooked on the performance and the name and then sell out only to keep their higher price point but drop the high quality ingredients that brought that higher price point to begin with.
A big complaint I have with store bought shampoo is that it doesn’t work, to put it bluntly. I’ve seen it strip $100 color out of a client’s hair, dry a friend’s tresses out so much that her hair felt like straw, and I’ve seen it coat the hair so heavily that the hair always looks greasy and limp. It’s absolutely crazy that your hair would feel or react this way, especially because of your shampoo. Let’s face it.. we’ve all been on a budget. I know I certainly have and when I was, I could only afford store bought shampoo. I get it.
But for those ladies who spend a good amount on a good haircut, highlight or straightening treatment, the worst thing you can do is use generic shampoo. It’s the equivalent of buying a brand new dress from SAKS and never taking it to get dry-cleaned or hanging it up. Why spend the $300 when you’re going to just ruin it anyways trying to save a penny elsewhere?
The other huge reason that I can’t sign onto store bought shampoo comes down to science. Store bought shampoo is mostly comprised of water and sulfates. While different shampoos use different types of sulfates and some professional shampoos have to use a bit of sulfate (instead of being completely sulfate free) to create that suds effect, it is critically important which sulfate is listed in your ingredients and what that means to you.
Did you know there is a sulfate listed as an ingredient in a lot of generic shampoos that is known to have traces of 1.4 dioxane, an irritant and probable carcinogen? In fact, in California, 1.4 dioxane is classified as a known cancer-causing agent and any product with traces of it needs to be labeled with a warning by law. California seems to be making good on that promise, having sued several companies who weren’t properly labeling their products back in 2008. But California is just one state and still, this ingredient hasn’t been banned but simply unveiled for consumers to merely see.
This sulfate which contains dioxane- sodium lauryl ether sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate- is an ingredient in shampoos such as Tresemme, Herbal Essences and Pantene Pro-V. And it’s in the top three ingredients in most of these generic shampoos. Am I saying that grocery store brands of shampoo will give you cancer? Yes and no. Do all shampoos have chemicals or ingredients that could affect you? Maybe. The point I’m making is that exposing yourself to something that could hurt your health to any degree is absolutely not worth the few extra dollars saved for anyone. There is a perfect balance to be achieved, somewhere between the generic shampoos which do much more harm than good, are full of chemicals, and the expensive organic shampoos at Super Markets which lack the science to give the hair any lift or hold. There are some really great options however.
Myth 2: Shampoo From Roots To Ends
Shampoo is for one thing only: Cleansing your scalp. Yes, that’s right. Billy Madison had it right. But seriously, the only place your shampoo should go is on your scalp. Basically, the idea is that your scalp produces oil that naturally cleanses and moisturizes your scalp and hair. The only reason to shampoo is to rinse those oils out when they have built up too much and give your scalp a reset. The only reason to use conditioner is to then add moisture to your ends and close down the cuticle that comprises the outermost layer of the hair strand which is slightly lifted even with water(since it has a PH of 7 and hair is 4.5 to 5.5). Therefore, it would make perfect sense to only use the shampoo through the roots and the conditioner through the midlengths and ends. Doing the opposite with either will leave your ends looking and feeling dry and dull and leave your roots looking and feeling greasy and heavy. Neither of which are a good look.
Myth 3: Dirty Hair Is For Dirty Girls
My name is Autumn and I’m a dirty-hair-aholic. That’s right, I love it. I have trained my hair to go about 3-4 days between washings and still look great. Guess what? My hair is the thickest, healthiest, and shiniest it’s ever been. I’m being completely truthful when I say that not washing my hair everyday is a big reason as to why.
I have to go back to science to explain exactly how it works. Long story short, you have hair follicles in your head that your hair strands grow out of. In those follicles are glands that produce a natural sebum or oil that naturally cleanses your hair. These oils cleanse your scalp, hydrate your roots, and travel all the way to your ends through hair-brushing to moisturize and add shine. When the sebaceous gland is allowed to secrete oils for a couple of days at a time, it can properly do it’s job. When it is washed out everyday (whether by store bought shampoo or salon professional), you’ll run into a couple of problems.
The first is that you will constantly be washing out these oils before they can effectively do their job, meaning you are never getting the natural benefits your body wants to produce. The second is that by replacing your “natural cleanser” with your shampoo, you are creating the perfect formula for greasy roots. You should be allowing your sebaceous gland to build up and only using your shampoo to wash out that particular build up. By not doing so, you are not allowing your sebaceous gland to secrete anything at any point and relying on your shampoo to do the cleaning and hydrating, which it isn’t made to do. So you walk around with greasy roots, dull ends that never see natural moisture, and a huge bummer of a problem.
I recommend to all of my clients that they wash their hair about every other day at most. Be sure to note that when switching your routine in this way, it will take anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 months to fully adjust. Definitely invest in a good dry shampoo and use that on the days when your hair is just a bit too greasy to handle because you worked out that morning or the climate is a bit more humid. But on a typical day, just get up, add some curls, straighten your ends or do a quick blowout and your all set. Hey with that extra time hit snooze, take a walk, jazz up your make-up.
It’s also important to note that different hair types take to this routine differently. Ladies with curly, coarse hair can go longer than those of us with finer, wispier strands. The important thing is that you are giving your locks enough time in between washing to naturally cleanse and hydrate, whatever that timing ends up being for you.
I truly believe that there is such a range in the cost of buying salon professional shampoo that is affordable for a lot of people. It’s your choice whether you want to buy Kevin.Murphy from me for $30+ Although the benefits of it being so highly concentrated that you can use about half of what you would use otherwise, you can feel good about buying directly from your hairdresser and supporting small businesses, and also for splurging in a good investment.
I always educate and recommend my favorite products lines to my clients. However, with the belief that any salon professional shampoo is better than generic, although maybe not the best out there, I never want anyone to feel pressured into buying anything. Chao,