Shampoo Ingredients: What Really Works?
Every woman wants shiny and silky hair. However, does your shampoo have the right ingredients to give you the results you’re looking for?
The hair care industry knows that you want more for your hair and each company works hard to convince you that their unique added ingredient is the only one that solves your problem.
So how can you separate the hype from the reality? The following are just a few home truths about shampoo ingredients that do virtually nothing for your hair:
Hype: Proteins that feed your hair.
Fact: The premise is that because hair is built from protein, we need to rub protein or amino acids (the building blocks that make up protein) into our hair to ‘rebuild’ or ‘feed’ it. The protein cannot penetrate your hair. Adhering in a very thin film to your hair, it only serves as a light conditioner.
This means that the protein molecules are deposited along the length of the hair and form a temporary protective film around it. The proteins that are included in shampoos do not bind effectively to the cuticle and are simply washed away as soon as the shampoo is rinsed out.
There is a reduction in the tangling of your hair while the shampoo is actually in your hair, which might help if you have long hair and pile it up on top of your head while you work it into a great lather.
Hype: An “advanced formula” to hydrate dry, lifeless hair.
Fact: The fact is that most women’s hair is dry because the shampoo they use and the way they use it removes all the oil from the center of the hair. One technique to experiment with is to try using less shampoo, less often.
Most women don’t need to wash their hair all the way down to the ends, unless they fell out on the plate at lunch, just the hair closest to the scalp. If you have dry or damaged hair, these “advanced formula” shampoos won’t do you any good. None. They will not solve your problem in the slightest.
By washing it only where and when you need it, your hair is able to retain its natural oil and preserve its moisture levels more effectively.
Regular conditioning can also improve the feel of dry hair. Any regular conditioner, even an inexpensive one, left in your hair for 5-10 minutes will do a lot more for you than any advanced formula shampoo.
Hype: Plant and vegetable extracts to enhance your hair in any way.
Fact: There are plant extracts that have medical benefits, but they usually have to be applied to the skin or eaten. In a shampoo or conditioner they are removed and will have very little chance to work their magic. Shampoo companies know this, so they include the legal minimum amount in their formula that allows them to brag about it on the label.
Plant extracts don’t tend to adhere very well to the hair cuticle, so they don’t even stay on the hair very long if they can survive washing and styling, plus many are unstable when exposed to light, so what they break down and stop. labor.
There are sophisticated hair care products on the market that make a big show of how many “botanicals” they use in their formulas. The plain truth is that these added ingredients do not improve your hair in the slightest.
Hype: Vitamins that increase thickness, strength and shine.
Fact: Your hair, once it leaves the follicle on your scalp, is dead material. No amount of vitamins in a shampoo, conditioner, or styling gel will do any good.
Panthenol and biotin, which are B vitamins, provide a conditioning benefit similar to how protein coats hair. But there is absolutely no nutritional benefit to the vitamins in your hair styling products. Again, companies include these ingredients in the smallest amounts legally allowed that still allow them to promote their presence on packaging.
Vitamin E oil also shows up on shampoo and conditioner labels from time to time. While vitamin E can benefit your skin when applied directly to the skin, it may not work at all when included in a hair care product, and certainly not in the volume found in a shampoo or conditioner. Vitamin E also can’t help change the way your follicles grow hair, whether you’re rubbing it on your skin or eating it.
Hype: UV protection to prevent sun damage.
Fact: Yes, the sun fades and can damage the structure of your hair. Unfortunately, the sunscreen that you put in shampoos and styling products offers little or no protection because, like most other additives, these ingredients don’t adhere well to the cuticle and simply fall off or disappear from the hair.
If you have curly or very long hair, the best way to protect your hair from the intense sun (this is really only if you’re a tennis player, spend a lot of time on sun loungers, or live in a very sunny place) is to wear a hat. A better alternative is to wear your hair in a bun, pleat or twist style so that the ends of your hair are protected.
Hype: Clarifying shampoos for a deep cleaning of your hair.
Fact: A clarifying shampoo simply means that it shouldn’t be full of silicones, waxes, or other ingredients that cling and weigh down your hair.
In theory, you should switch between your clarifying shampoo and your shine-enhancing, moisturizing, and volume-boosting shampoo to get the best out of your hair. The crazy thing, of course, is that if you just use a regular priced shampoo in a very diluted form very occasionally in the first place, it doesn’t need to be rinsed. It’s a great way to get you to buy two bottles of shampoo to have in the shower instead of just one.
How to have truly healthy hair
It’s easy to hope that some scientist somewhere has made a discovery that will interrupt your recovery process. If only there was a shampoo that you could wash, wash and have beautiful hair as a result!
The hair care industry is continually working to discover new ingredients that they can incorporate into their products that might convince you that there is finally a solution to your hair problem.
The best strategy for improving the health and manageability of your hair is to work hard to protect it from damage. Once the damage is done, the only cure is to cut your hair and start over, this time taking better care of it as you grow it out.
Copyright (c) 2010 Melissa Hill.