Debunking 5 Hair Care Myths
We’ve all encountered this situation before, we share a hair issue with someone and suddenly the other party is a hair expert! They can be your mother, your friend, your partner to even the middle-aged lady that works at Watsons. Everyone has probably heard of at least one piece of advice regarding hair; to either make it stronger, prevent damage, dandruff and what not. The only problem is, most times there’s no real concrete backing to these claims, and everyone’s hair type is different to some extent. The following are some of the most common things you might hear that made sense at one point but actually were not as legit as we all thought.
Frequent Shampoo Damages Your Hair
Shampooing your hair every day is not as bad as you think. The purpose of shampoo is to get rid of dirt, dead skin cells, and any leftover hair products that have built up in your hair, while getting rid of bad odour. There’s a few points you’d want to take into consideration before going on a shampoo strike. Being in a hot and humid country that’s near the equator like Singapore, it does not allow you the liberty of shampooing less. Don’t tell us your scalp doesn’t feel gross at 6pm after work. Another factor is the type of shampoo that’s used. For everyday cleaning, one obviously should not go for deep cleansing, or scalp cleansing shampoos. These types will definitely dry out the scalp quicker and lead to irritation. A good place to start is to use a daily shampoo at least once a day, at the end of the day, followed by conditioner. The next morning, wash your hair with only water, as to not wash out the natural oils that were produced overnight.
Avoiding Conditioner and Hair Oil Because of Greasy Hair
The role of a conditioner in a hair wash process is to make the hair soft and easy to manage while also replenishing and locking in the moisture that was stripped from the shampoo process - preventing damage to the hair shaft. Hair tonic oils do the same but have an enriching effect because of the ingredients used. The cause of greasy hair is in no way related to actual usage of conditioner. There are many causes to greasy hair; a poor diet, hormonal imbalances, high stress levels and even a dirty pillowcase. Fact of the matter is, if you feel that your hair is greasier than those around you, you actually should wash it with shampoo more and then condition right after. The second step is especially important because if you don’t lock in the moisture with conditioner, your hair will produce even more oil to counter the loss in moisture, back to square one.
Treating Dandruff with Dandruff Shampoo
Before we go all mythbusters on this claim, we need to understand what Dandruff is all about. The itchy flaky sensation, or better known as Dandruff, is the reactionary outcome of oils produced by sebaceous glands on the scalp mixing with the dead skin cells or possibly styling product buildup in the hair. This condition can further be exacerbated by dry skin, stress, diet, poor hygiene, or sensitivity to certain hair products. Dandruff shampoos unfortunately has a side effect that actually prolongs the suffering or actually makes it worse. The salicylic acid found in most dandruff shampoos are meant to help with the redness as well as prevent the accumulation of dry patches on the scalp. However, that same ingredient can also cause more dryness and possible burning sensations for those with sensitive scalps. It's best to visit an expert if you do face any of these issues when using dandruff shampoo. The best practice is to actually rotate the shampoo with a daily shampoo, preventing the harsh effects of dandruff shampoo on the scalp.
The term itself is already a scam. Proper shampoos are meant to remove the dirt, dead skin, oil and product build up in the hair while leaving a nice scent. On the other hand, the alcohol and starch found in dry shampoo absorbs the oil in the hair strands making them feel and look a bit fresher. Dry shampoos are also pleasantly scented which does blanket any sour scalp odour we are all so familiar with. However, it can never replace a proper wash with real shampoo because the scalp needs to be cleansed when there’s too much build up, or else you’ll have bigger problems (dandruff, irritation, inflammation) no matter what shampoo you use.
Silicones Are Harmful
Yes Silicones may have its disadvantages when it comes to hair, but it really isn’t a toxic chemical, neither is it harmful to the hair when used properly. Silicone is used in wash-off hair products as an element that helps to form a water-proof protective barrier. This would keep moisture locked in, while protecting the hair from frizz-inducing-humidity, as well as high heat when using styling tools. This coating that seals the cuticle is also what makes the hair glossy and manageable. Some stigma surrounding silicone may include it weighing the hair down and forming build up that's a little hard to remove. These issues can easily be avoided by using products that are not silicone heavy or just alternating the usage frequency of said products.
Generally speaking, there are some slight hints of truth in these haircare-old wives tales. However those instances are usually in extreme cases where there was little to no care given to one’s head of hair. Hair is affected by a multitude of factors including, diet, stress, genetics, hormones and obviously the products we put in it. The point being made here is that, when tackling a hair related issue, it's best to cross out factors starting with oneself, before actually changing any hair routines that come after.