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Shampooing Myths

Anabel Kingsley

Brand President

Published Jan 2016

Here, our experts debunk some of the most common misconceptions we encounter at the Philip Kingsley Clinics in both London and New York.

Shampooing Myths

Will a cold rise make my hair shinier?

Cold rinses may be invigorating, but they do not make your hair shinier. Nor do they close the hair cuticle: conditioner does this. A cold rinse may in fact be bad for your hair — cold water constricts the blood capillaries in your scalp, which carry vital hair-growth nutrients to each follicle.

If I don’t wash my hair, will it clean itself?

Unfortunately not! If you do not wash your hair, it will simply become coated in dust, dirt, and the oils from the sebaceous glands attached to each hair follicle.

Will my shampoo stop working when my hair gets used to it?

The idea of your hair ‘getting used to’ a shampoo is unfounded. If your shampoo stops giving you the results you want, the condition and needs of your hair have most likely changed. For instance, you may have had it cut, colored, relaxed, straightened or grown it longer. Changing seasons can also affect your hair’s needs (eg. if it is sunny, humid or dry). 

If you have recently been ill or are experiencing hormone fluctuations, this may also alter your hair’s appearance and condition. But the same shampoo used on the same hair under the same conditions produces the same results.

Will frequent shampooing/washing my hair everyday strip my hair of its natural oils?

Not at all! Everyone regularly produces sebum, a natural oil secreted by the sebaceous (oil) glands attached to each of your hair follicles. Washing simply cleanses the build-up of old oil on your hair and stops your strands from becoming limp, greasy and smelly. Your sebaceous glands will soon secrete fresh oil to help keep your hair supple and soft.

Will frequent shampooing dry out my hair?

No, washing your hair frequently does not cause hair loss. In fact, washing your hair helps keep it supple and soft, since it is water and not oil that hydrates your strands. The correct shampoo for your hair type should draw in water while cleansing at the same time. If you find that your hair is dry after you wash and heat-style it, this may be because you are overusing your hair-dryer and/or tongs.

Will frequent shampooing make my hair oilier?

No — the opposite. The sebaceous (oil) glands that are attached to each of your hair follicles continuously produce oils that coat your hair. Frequent shampooing washes old, bacteria-laden oil off your hair. This stops too much oil from building up, and collecting dirt and dust.

Will frequent shampooing make my hair fall out?

No. It is natural to lose up to 100 hairs a day. The act of shampooing simply dislodges hairs that have already become detached from the follicle’s base and are ready to come out.

On a day when you don’t shampoo, many of these strands will remain sitting loosely in the hair follicle, waiting until you wash to come out. This means that the more days you leave between shampooing, the more hairs you will see in the drain. You would not see the same amount if you were to shampoo every day! In fact, frequent hair-washing encourages healthy hair — it stimulates the scalp and creates an optimum environment for healthy hair growth.

Will a lemon or vinegar rinse make my hair shinier?

This old remedy does not apply nowadays. Decades ago, before modern shampoo, you would have washed your hair with soap. These soaps would deposit an alkaline film on your hair, dulling the hair’s cuticle. An acid rinse, from lemon or vinegar, would neutralise this alkaline deposit and add shine. Modern shampoos do not create an alkaline film, so an acid rinse is unnecessary.


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