There are a lot of myths built up around product ingredients, many of which were started by the beauty industry!
Alcohol in products will dry your scalp
Many cosmetic manufacturers will have you believe that alcohol as an ingredient will do dreadful things to your skin, scalp and hair. However, this is really a gimmick. There are many different types of alcohol – types to rub on your skin to disinfect, forms which you drink, and even gas alcohols. While some alcohols certainly have drying qualities, others are actually moisturising, emollient, protective, smooth to the touch and highly beneficial when dryness is a problem. These types of alcohols are used extensively in cosmetics for this reason. An ‘alcohol free’ product is not necessarily better than one containing alcohol – it may even be worse.
Products labelled as 'natural' are healthier
While eating fresh, organic foods has proven benefits to your body, should the description ‘natural’ or 'organic' on a hair product label influence your choice? It's really a case of personal preference, but in terms of results, probably not. In order to be labelled organic a formulation only needs to contain a very small amount of an organic ingredient. It will then need to have preservatives added, or else it would go off as fast as milk or fresh juice when left out of the fridge. By the time a natural ingredient has reached a commercial product it is completely different to its original form.
Furthermore, the terms 'natural, ‘botanical’, and ‘herbal’ carry the connotation that they are healthier and better for us. Well, poison ivy is also ‘natural’ and many 'herbs' are highly dangerous. It really depends on what herb or botanical extract is contained within the product, and then highly dependent on the quality and amount of it. In fact, everything including water is ‘chemical’- with water being composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen. The ingredients on labels are printed in descending order of percentages, the highest first – so look to see where the ‘natural’ ingredients are!
Hair suffers from build-up or product overload
Hair and make-up products often have similar ingredients. If and when you use make-up, you probably remove it at the end of the day with a cleanser suitable for your skin type, regardless of how much you may have applied. The only thing that may change is how thoroughly you wash your face. Similarly, you can remove whatever you put on your hair simply by washing it with a well formulated shampoo that is correct for your hair texture - and if you have used a lot of hair product, give your locks a more thorough lather than usual. You don't need special ‘clarifying’ shampoos to remove excess residue - shampoos, by nature, are already clarifying!
If you would like to find out more information, our clinics based in London and New York specialise in hair and scalp health.