We all want salon fresh hair but did you know that DOESN’T necessarily mean you need to be layering on the shampoo and conditioners every day? All those glossy commercials with touched up hair and uber shine would have us believe otherwise. Why? Because they want us to keep buying their products of course!
But there may actually be real benefits to keeping your hair away from the ‘poo’. The obvious advantage will be felt in your wallet as the cost of throwing new shampoos into your cart every few weeks soon adds up. And with all the other things you need to get, it’s great to make your hard-earned cash go a little further.
But there are other reasons why it could be a good idea to give your hair a break from the daily shampoo. Here are just some of them:
Most shampoos on the pharmacy store shelf are packed full of chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer. Yes, you read correctly: CANCER! Ever wondered where all those nice bubbles come from when you lather that dreamy smelling shampoo into your hair? The chemicals behind this are the frothing agents sodium lauryl sulfate and its cousin sodium laureth sulfate, which can actually irritate the skin and scalp, as well as make your hair split and fuzzy. Worryingly, sodium laureth sulfate is the same chemical used in car washes to kill the grease in your car engine! You might also want to watch out for the carcinogen cocamide diethanolamin, which is linked to cancer, and parabens, which researchers are concerned disrupt hormone function, which in turn has been linked to breast cancer. The jury’s still out on the dangers of chemicals added to shampoos so if you want to stay safe, it’s best to keep up with the research and avoid them where possible. There are lots of organic shampoos you can try that offer great washing without the chemicals.
2. Your head knows how to take care of itself
All those adverts of beautiful women throwing their gorgeous bouncy hair around have led us to believe that we need shampoos and conditioners to keep our hair healthy and looking great, but perhaps it’s time to let Mother Nature do her work. What a lot of ‘no ‘poo’ practitioners are saying is that the more you wean yourself off shampoo, the more the scalp starts to correct itself and produce less scalp oil. The positive knock-on effect of this balance in sebum production is that your hair becomes moist and shiny but not greasy. In other words, your own sebum production will start to normalize and do all the conditioning you need; you DON’T need to shell out bucks on a sparkly-looking conditioner with an equally sparkly price tag, they argue. Dermatologist Jason Emer told Allure magazine: “The more you shampoo, the more you potentially remove oils needed to protect hair shafts and keep the scalp healthy and moisturized.”
3. Less breakage
Have you ever noticed how regularly washing your hands in the summer is fine, but in the winter months, it can lead to chapping of the skin? Well, the theory goes for hair too. Dermatologist Doris Day told Allure magazine that when it comes to washing hair, less is more. “The less you process and touch your hair, the less it breaks,” she said.
4. It's good for the environment
Washing your hair sure does use a lot of water so it’s very simple: the less you wash your hair, the less of our Earth’s precious water will you waste. And of course, all those chemicals that you lather into your hair are then rinsed straight down the sink into our rivers and oceans. You may want to try organic shampoos or some environmentally-friendlier shampoo alternatives like baking soda or apple cider vinegar. If you’re not ready to go cold turkey and straight for no-wash or water-only wash, you may just want to try stretching out the periods between washing or switch to shampoo on some days and shampoo-alternatives on others. In addition to water consumption, the sodium laureth sulfate we mentioned earlier can be harmful to animals who drink water that’s been contaminated by it. Then there’s the bottles which use up lots of plastic, which are in turn made from chemicals.
5. It saves money
We touched on this earlier but really, this is a no-brainer. The average shampoo is between $5 to $8 but if you like to pamper your hair with more luxurious shampoos you might be shelling out upwards of $20 a time, and that’s without the conditioners and sprays to finish off your beauty routine. If you’re water supply is metered there’s added financial value to be had there in cutting back on the amount you wash your hair. Now, you may have already given the organic shampoos a go and noticed many of them are also quite pricey, but there are some cheaper options out there like Shea Moisture.
It may be hard in the beginning, but taking time to wean your head off shampoo may be good for your wallet, good for the environment, and good for your hair. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s what you think is best for your hair!
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