About hair: habits, stereotypes and new possibilities

What do we expect from any cleaning agent - be it hand soap, dish washing liquid... or shampoo? Stereotypes propagated by advertising suggest that a drop or two of a shampoo is enough for a dense foam and crispy clean hair.

About hair: habits, stereotypes and new possibilities

I have been using Vigor products for over a year now. I’m very happy with my cream and facial mask. Recently, I’ve read your Facebook post about winter skin care. Now I know what to do about my face in winter time, but I have no idea how to care for my hair during cold season. I have very long hair and always take good care of it, I use professional hair products from a beauty salon. My hair is easy to wash and style, however I do have a problem. I regularly use moisturizing treatments, but my hair is still extremely dry and I can’t seem to get rid of dandruff. Perhaps it’s also a winter problem (central heating, dry air, etc.)? I always thought that I did everything to make my hair look its best. Thank you in advance!
Marina, 32, Kyiv

Hello, Marina.
Of course winter is a major factor in the state of one’s hair, but the root of the problem is likely different. You’ve mentioned using so-called professional hair products. They are designed to create a fast, effortless result, but continuous usages of these products can lead to something quite opposite. Let’s go over it in detail.

“I've got a plan for keeping [hair] from falling off.
First you take an upright stick…
[t]hen you make your hair creep up it,
like a fruit-tree. Now the reason hair falls off
is because it hangs down --
things never fall upwards, you know.
It's a plan of my own invention.
You may try it if you like.”
Lewis Carroll “Through the Looking Glass”

Soap is For the Body What Laughter is for the Soul?

What do we expect from any cleaning agent - be it hand soap, dish washing liquid... or shampoo? Stereotypes propagated by advertising suggest that a drop or two of a shampoo is enough for a dense foam and crispy clean hair. We find such products convenient and their result - fast and effective.

Shampoo’s main task is to remove impurities: grease, dust, sweat, etc. But it’s important not to damage hair in the process. Mainstream shampoos - common brands from your local supermarket, as well as “professional” lines - foam and rinse quickly, providing fast results. Already after the first use hair becomes soft, shiny and seemingly healthy. However, after a period of time you begin to notice that your hair gets greasy quicker, requires to be washed more frequently and starts to look less and less healthy. Dryness, irritation, dandruff, fragility are just some of the unpleasant symptoms. You end up waking up earlier every day to wash your hair before work. Not only you are putting the health of your hair in jeopardy, but also you lose an hour of sleep a day.

Read the Label

A list of ingredients on a shampoo bottle is your path to healthy hair. If you see a variety of chemical ingredients (sulfates, silicons, parabens), be prepared for a short-term improvement and an inevitable long-term decline of  your hair’s health. So why are these chemicals dangerous?

  1. If shampoo foams easily, it’s a certain sign that it contains aggressive surface active agents, in particular sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, SLS). These refined petroleum products are found in numerous liquid detergents, but they are especially dangerous in shampoos, as they are in direct contact with your scalp and hair. Sulfates make washing process more comfortable, but dense, quick to form foam comes at a cost: hair follicles gradually deteriorate, hair becomes drier and starts to fall out, scalp itches and you might even notice signs of allergies.
  2. If your hair looks shiny as silk after wash and is super easy to comb, your shampoo likely contains silicons. These chemical compounds envelop each hair, creating an invisible capsule, which has this shiny effect. However this makes hair heavier, as besides its own weight, it now has to support additional silicon “bodysuit”. Over time this results in thinning and fragility of hair, as well as split ends; scalp pores get clogged and generate dandruff.
  3. If shelf life of your shampoo measures in years, you are guaranteed to find among its ingredients parabens - a class of chemical preservatives widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products and even food. Possible side effects may include hormonal imbalance, irritability and premature aging of skin and in isolated instances even tumors.

Shampoos with these ingredients provide instant and visible effect - making advertisement look that much more credible. But prolonged contact with sulfates, silicons, parabens and synthetic fragrances makes your hair weak and lifeless, fragile and dry. To cope with this problem your body generates more oil secretion - and hair gets dirty quicker. Thus you find yourself in the midst of a vicious cycle.

Luxury or Necessity?

Naturally strong and healthy hair can withstand harmful impact of artificial shampoos for a relatively long period of time. But should you really experiment with your hair’s health? If you have sensitive or dry scalp, are prone to allergic reactions, frequently use blow drier or hair iron, straighten, curl or dye your hair, you absolutely need a natural shampoo. Such shampoos, based on natural ingredients, will rid you of dandruff, make your hair more elastic, soft and silky and it’s even suitable for kids.

5 Pros of Natural Shampoos: Learn It and Try for Yourself:

  1. Soft washing base. Absence of sulfates, silicons, parabens, synthetic dyes, thickeners and fragrances, which result in dry hair, dandruff and hair loss.
  2. They are created from natural plant extracts, essential oils, etc. They replenish skin with vitamins, strengthen hair follicles and improve hair structure, making it strong, healthy and beautiful.
  3. The don’t cause dependency. Regular use results in a lasting positive effect.
  4. They are suitable for people with sensitive skin and allergies, and are absolutely safe for young children.
  5. They support and enhance effects of other haircare products - oil wraps, hair masks, growth activators, etc.

Breaking Stereotypes

Many new undertakings take a certain determination - so does switching to natural shampoos. If you hair is used to artificial shampoos, it will take between 4 and 6 weeks for the natural shampoo to give a visible positive effect.

The washing process will also feel different. For instance, natural shampoos aren’t as thick and don’t create dense lasting foam. But it doesn’t mean that they are of inferior quality - quiet the opposite, they simply lack aggressive surface active agents. You will also have a harder time brushing your hair without convenient but harmful silicons. During the first transitional weeks, you might feel that a natural shampoo doesn’t rinse out as thoroughly, providing such a familiar squeaky clean sensation.

But don’t let it make you think that natural shampoos aren’t for you! If you are determined and get through a period of adaptation, your hair will become truly strong, healthy and beautiful. Natural shampoo will not dry it excessively, nor will it clog your pores, thus your skin won’t need to produce increased amounts of oil secretion. Gradually your skin oil balance will normalize and your hair will remain clean longer, not requiring a daily wash. After 4-6 weeks of regular use you will be pleased to notice reduced hair loss and more active growth, absence of split ends and dandruff.

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