It is worth noting before we try to dig into the what and why of products for your hair to start by letting you know that products intended to cleanse or beautify are generally regulated as cosmetics. These products and their ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval.
Recently there seems to be more and more consumer action to become hyperaware of the chemicals that make up personal hygiene products. Calling attention to one of the most popular ingredients in shampoo, sulfates. There has also been an unfounded rumor that sulfates are cancer causing has been floating around for decades. The fact is that sulfates in shampoos are at a low concentration and most doctors and health agencies view sulfates in shampoos as safe. Sulfates are used as a cleansing agent and offer lathering properties. There are many compositions of sulfates with varying levels of concentration. If you suffer from eczema or allergies you may be sensitive to sulfates and should explore shampoos that use alternative cleansing agents.
Many of you ask, “Do I really need to use a conditioner?”.
It’s probably best to start by explaining what a conditioner does.
Under a microscope hair strands are flaky looking. Ingredients in hair conditioners are positively charged to attract to the deficient, flaky hair strands. By supplying this energy, your hair strands are stronger and have more elasticity to support finishing products and your desired hairstyle.
Crème, Paste, Pomade, Clay, Gel, Mousse………..how to decide.
Well, it is not easy. But rest assured that your stylist uses a vast array of finishing products every day. It is through this use and knowledge of hair types and textures that their recommendations for your finishing products are substantiated. There are many different ingredients used in finishing products to help hold your hair in place. You will typically find polymers in gels and mousses. These are usually in a liquid form and harden when they are exposed to the air. Polymers offer strong holding power but when the bonds are broken so is your hairstyle. Crèmes are typically used to give soft hold and you will often find dimethicone, or a derivative of, in them to smooth the hair strand.
Pastes, pomades and clays are in the same class but all have different finishes on different hair types. The main thing to keep in mind is: petroleum or water based. Petroleum based products give amazing hold but need to be removed with a shampoo designed to dissolve and lift them from the hair. Water based products can be broken down and lifted away from the hair strand with out the assistance of a shampoo and therefore will not build up on the hair.
It is also necessary to discuss diversion in the hair industry. Beware when you see professional hair products in discount or mass marking venues. You may not be getting what you believe to be a higher level hair care products. Consumer Affairs has sited many occasions when professional hair care products being sold by mass marketers were out of date, missing batch codes and counterfeit. Many times the products were also being sold at a higher price than suggested by the manufacturer in a salon.
The definition of integrity is: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. Why guess or take chances in deciding what to use on your hair and scalp. Trust your stylist and honor their recommendations as your hair care expert and partner in your personal grooming.
Stay tuned for “Scoop on Goop, part 2, Skincare”