Untangling shampoo myths

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Shampooing our hair is something that many of us do on a daily basis without much thought – it’s just a simple part of our routine. That said, despite the fact that many of us have been washing our locks for decades, there are still plenty of misconceptions swirling around out there! Here are some of the most common questions that crop up…

Will my hair be clean if I stop shampooing?

The ‘no-poo’ method came into the public eye a few years ago, where people would wash their hair with water only, swearing that it made their hair thicker, healthier and shinier. Shampoo is a detergent – albeit a mild one – that cleanses your hair by attaching to the grease and removing it when the hair is rinsed. Without it, hair will become lifeless, dull and greasy. There’s a myth that it is self-cleaning, but like any other part of your body, hair cannot clean itself. You may notice a change in texture if you start skipping the shampoo, but the increase in oils will mean it will typically be lanker than if you had shampooed it. 

Will my hair get used to the same shampoo?

If you discover that there has been a change in your hair, it will be down to a change in its condition, not because the shampoo has stopped working. Have you recently had it cut or coloured? Have the weather conditions changed suddenly? Have you had a change in diet, or perhaps a recent illness? All of these can have a noticeable impact on the condition of your hair. You may need to switch your hair products to tackle the change – for example, a more moisturising shampoo if you’re noticing more frizz – but otherwise, feel free to stick to what works for you. 

Will dry shampoo clean my hair?

Dry shampoo is fine as an occasional quick fix if your hair is in desperate need of freshening up, but it doesn’t ‘clean’ your hair. It absorbs excess oil on the scalp, whereas shampoo is designed to completely clear it of debris, so the word ‘shampoo’ is a bit of a misnomer. It sits on top of the hair follicles which can block pores and cause irritation to the scalp, so never use it in place of a proper hair cleaning routine – just use it every now and again if necessary.

Will frequent shampooing damage my hair?

When shampoo was first invented, many contained harsh detergents and were very alkaline, which made the hair dry and dull. However, modern shampoos are gentle enough to use every day. They don’t ‘strip’ your hair of natural oils, they just remove the unnecessary oils that would otherwise be sitting on your scalp, weighing down your hair. Shampooing your hair regularly also doesn’t mean that it will fall out – washing just dislodges and removes hairs that have naturally shed anyway. In fact, washing your hair stimulates the scalp and creates a clean environment for hair growth, encouraging healthy hair.

So there you have it – there are no hard and fast rules to washing your hair, and only you know what works best for you, but the classic ‘lather and rinse’ routine is a classic for a reason!

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