Taking care of dirty business
So one of the biggest issues we face at the salon on a daily basis is overuse of shampoo. It’s ridiculous to think you can over do shampoo, but a majority of Americans have this tendency. Let’s start historically with our cultural upbringing. “Take your bath! Clean your nails! You stink! You’ve got cooties!” From childhood we are trained to stay clean, and get closer to God. Americans; like the Japanese are all consumed with physical cleanliness. This leads to all sort of issues, but my concern as your hairdresser is that you are abusing your scalp and hair. We grow up thinking we must shampoo daily, and even the bottle says “rinse, lather and repeat”. Many men wash their hair several times a day. And for those of you that don’t use conditioner afterward, you disgust me and your tresses. If you shampoo every day, you are killing your hair, and I’ll explain why.
Shampoo, plain and simple is detergent. Most retail shampoo’s detergent comes from the same vat as your floor cleaner and your dish detergent. This oil stripping surfactant removes dirt and debris, and also the precious protective oil your scalp produces, known as sebum. Sebum is the cause of the greasiness you are complaining about every morning when you wake up. Sebum also is what keeps your scalp from drying and flaking, and your hair from splitting and becoming brittle. So if you shampoo daily, you are removing your scalp and hair’s natural protection.
What happens in nature if we remove a part of an eco-system? It collapses, since nature hates a vacuum. The same applies to the scalp’s sebum production. If you wash with shampoo daily, you strip the oil away. When you do this, you are telling the scalp that there is something in the environment that is drying out the oil, so it’s time to make more. This reaction increases over time, so we end up with the very common “oily scalp and dry ends” we see every day in the salon. The scalp overproduces, but the shampoo dries out the scalp and hair. This essential moisture never gets to the ends to do there job. This results in split ends, faded color and frizz.
Look at photographs from when photography was first invented at the turn of the century. Women had hair down to their ass, and it was beautiful and frizz free. Know how they washed their hair? They combed lard through their hair and rinsed it out, once a month! Ewwww! (by today’s tidy expectations)
So maybe I’ve convinced you shampooing daily is bad, but you are an addict. Here’s my detox plan. Starting today, wash your hair with sulfate free shampoo. (I’ll talk about this technology in a future blog) Wash your hair for the next 2 weeks with shampoo and conditioner on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. On every other day of the week rinse and condition only(no shampoo). Believe it or not, conditioner has a small amount of surfactant to allow it to rinse clean, so this daily conditioning will clean your hair enough. You will feel a little greasy for the first 2 weeks, but stick with this regimen. After 2 weeks, wash only 1 to 2 times a week, rinsing and conditioning daily. You will truly be amazed on how the oil production will reduce, and your hair will be shinier, healthier and have more natural volume. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. Most of my clientele thought I was crazy for my suggestion of this cleansing regimen, but when they stick to it, they realize how awesome it is. Believe me, your hair will look and feel better, guaranteed.
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