The short answer is no… but it’s complicated.
When it comes to health and beauty we are bombarded with information from experts and advertisements for products, most of them in direct conflict with one another.
So with all of the misinformation, high-pressure sales tactics and old wive’s tales that your grandma’s been repeating for decades, how are we supposed to know what’s real and what’s not? It can be confusing.
I started working the front desk at an incredible high-end hair salon in Baton Rouge right when I graduated high school. Every stylist there was talented, knowledgeable and always booked up so I literally learned everything I know about hair while on the job with a team of hair gods.
In order to keep the clients happy I decided that I would learn everything that a hairstylist knows so that I could pick out products and tools they would be happy about purchasing.
I attended every educational event they taught or attended. Our Paul Mitchell rep would come by once a week and my favorite part of the job was learning the benefits of the newest products from her.
Many years later I was managing a new salon in a different city and it struck me that the same questions were still being asked again and again as the clients checked out.
They liked to chat and gossip while they’re with their stylist, of course, but they wanted me to know exactly what that stylist would recommend.
Making sure they understand when they’d need to come back for a touch-up or what they could expect after certain treatments and reinforcing product recommendations from their stylist was my responsibility.
When a client buys a retail product from the salon it sits in their shower caddy or on their bathroom counter and reminds them of that experience, good or bad.
That retail reminder has been statistically proven to improve* client retention and foster a sense of loyalty towards the stylist. Better quality products tend to enhance* the results and make styling at home easier, increasing* the client’s level of satisfaction with the whole experience.
Shampoo from a drugstore or grocery store is almost always full of sulphate s and chemicals that strip the hair of its natural moisture. Combine that fact with the fact that most people wash their hair far too often and you’ve got a recipe for dry, dull and damaged hair.
It is common for people with very oily scalps to over wash their hair, causing the sebum to be stripped and signaling to the sebaceous glands to produce more to restore the levels.
Washing the hair less frequently with a quality shampoo, using conditioner only on the ends of your hair and using a dry shampoo daily to absorb the excess oil at the roots will start to reduce* that response over time.
I’ve lost count of how many times I was asked by a client why they should pay $14 for a bottle of shampoo when the Suave is only a dollar across the street.
Usually these are the same people that just paid $200 for color and highlights that will fade twice as fast if they shampoo every day with the bargain stuff. The good salon shampoo is worth the extra investment if you factor in the cost of having to retouch your hair color every 2 or 3 weeks.
To prevent color from fading don’t wash your hair daily, not even with the good stuff! Once or twice a week, depending on how oily your hair is or how much you sweat, use a color-safe sulfate-free shampoo only on your scalp and root area.
Once the scalp is clean you should rinse the shampoo out slowly, letting it gently cleanse the hair as you rinse it. Unless you’ve got actual visible clumps of dirt in your hair there’s no reason to scrub it and cause breakage while roughing up the cuticle. A clean healthy scalp is the best environment for healthy-looking hair to grow from.
Remember when ladies used to use horse shampoo hoping it would make their hair grow thicker and stronger like a horse’s mane? That was a marketable idea because people forget that hair is essentially a collection of dead cells. The scalp is alive and so is the root, but beyond that the hair is dead so putting a topical shampoo on and hoping for growth is kind of a silly idea.
You can use products designed to “thicken” the hair shaft, but they basically just load the hair down with excess protein that forms a protective layer over the cuticle without actually permanently changing the core structure of the hair. You can add texture to the hair shaft temporarily to make it appear thicker by plumping up the shaft.
Your hair grows (or doesn’t grow) based mostly on your genetics and the health of the skin that’s on your head. Hormone imbalances can cause excess oil production or interrupt the hair’s growth phase causing it to shed prematurely.
A normal healthy head of hair is comprised of about 90% of hair that is in the resting phase, while the other 10% is either shedding or regrowing. If the normal process is interrupted early you’re left with a longer stretch of time between when the hair falls out and another one starts to grow.
There are ways to slow down the process of hair loss caused by immune response issues, vitamin deficiencies or hormones, but not to reverse the hereditary component that is the cause of most hair loss.
If your hair strands are thin that is the way they will continue to grow. You can use chemicals to create the appearance of thicker hair but you cannot make the new growth come out in strands that have a larger circumference and diameter.
Excessive use of heat and chemical processes will damage the cuticle layer causing split ends, frizz and even breakage. Using a heat protectant before blow drying can help minimize that damage. Hot tools and irons need to be hot enough to work with one pass.
The damage occurs from running hot tools over the same sections of hair repeatedly when it is not the set at the correct temperature. Eventually that damaged brittle hair will have to be cut off so if you’re interested in growing your hair longer you should keep blow drying and hot tools to a minimum.
Science is making progress with products like Rogaine that slow the process of hair loss, but stimulating hair growth without affecting the rest of the growth cycle is something they still seem to be working on.
You cannot grow thicker or longer hair by using a shampoo or any product topically on hair that is already on your head. That being said, being gentle and taking good care of the strands you already have can reduce* the need to trim damage off and allow the hair to keep growing naturally.
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In-Post Image: Shutterstock.com, koreabizwire.com