We all want beautiful shiny hair that is full of body, and countless products claim they can help us achieve it. Which ingredients can really make a difference? We guide you through the myths to the truth about haircare…
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1) Switching shampoos can make hair look healthier.
TRUTH: Hair doesn’t become resistant to your shampoo if you use it time and time again – it doesn’t know what product you are using. That said, if you have an oily hair type or style it with a product that contains wax, you should try to use a good cleansing shampoo to clarify your hair every few weeks and remove build up.
THE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR: Limonene and other citric acids are added to shampoos to balance out the pH of alkaline detergents which are used as solvents. Acetic acid is a mild acid compound known for its de-scaling abilities, so it will lift dead skin and dirt from the surface of the scalp, making it appear healthier.
2) You can’t make flat, fine hair look full of body.
TRUTH: A combination of products and tools such as rollers can do wonders for lifeless hair, just make sure styling doesn’t result in frizz.
THE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR: Polyquaternum-10 is well-absorbed by hair proteins so it is used in shampoos to increase body. It can also reduce static electricity as well as encouraging softness and shininess.
3) To get really clean hair, you must “lather, rinse, repeat.”
TRUTH: One thorough rinse with a cleansing shampoo is usually best; using the same shampoo more than once will not achieve anything new with the second wash.
THE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR: Surfactants – surface-acting agents – combine oil and water attracting agents to draw oily dirt out of hair and wash it away. Ammonium lauryl sulphate is a high foam surfactant that disrupts hydrogen bonds in water, allowing its penetration into the hair for deeper cleaning.
4) Rinsing with ice-cold water after a shampoo will give you shinier hair.
TRUTH: An icy cold shower may make you feel alert but it won’t enhance the lustre of your locks. Look out for products that will add shine to your hair instead, and blow dry to a smooth finish.
THE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR:
Silicone-based chemical dimethicone can make hair look shinier by closing the hair cuticle, it can also prevent tangles. Behentrimonium chloride, a wax-like compound, is an antistatic used in conditioner. Cetrimonium chloride is a water-soluble quaternary compound used as a conditioning agent which adds shine to the hair.
5) Split ends can be mended if you just find the right product.
TRUTH: There’s no point crying over split ends, but there’s no use in trying to fix them either. Masking the issue or dealing with it by heading to the hairdressers are the only things that can be done.
THE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR: Products that contain silicone and beeswax can help split ends to look temporarily fixed by sealing them together while you plan your visit to the hairdresser to get them snipped off.