There is no one perfect hair care solution for everyone. Haircare products contain added ingredients to treat hair problems and keep it healthy. The challenge lies in identifying the ones best suited for to your hair type. What suits one might not suit the other! But in the end, you just need to ensure that any product doesn’t stay long enough on the scalp to react and cause trouble.
Remember, baldness or hair fall is not due to the products you use but due to genes, diet, and health conditions. Of course, overuse of products and chemicals can also cause considerable damage. Your best bet is to be aware of how to and how much to use.1
The Right Way To Use Hair Care Products
1. Choose The Right Products
We all use a lot of hair care products every day – be it hair gel, serum, conditioner, or shampoo. But how do we know if it is causing us harm or doing us any good? How you use these hair care products determines what they do to your hair. Normal weathering of hair can be due to daily grooming practices. But when hair is extremely weathered and frequently chemically treated, there may be scaling of the cuticle layers. The use of hair cosmetics may restore hair cuticle damage and prevent hair breakage by reducing friction and conditioning it.2
The challenge is to remove just enough sebum to clean the hair and leave behind enough conditioning agents to make the hair soft, shiny, and manageable.
Shampoos are used primarily to clean the scalp of dirt, environmental pollutants, sebum, sweat, and other greasy residues including previously applied hair care products such as oils, lotions, and sprays. It is also effective in conditioning and beautifying hair and to soothe irritated scalp skin in conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.
Using excess of any product and choosing the wrong hair care products that do not match the hair type causes damage. Excessive or repeated chemical treatment, aggressive grooming habits, and harsh environmental exposure produce changes in hair texture. Such conditions, when prolonged, can result in hair breakage.3
2. Use The Products Correctly
Most hair care products are applied only on the hair and do not reach the scalp. Even if they do reach the scalp, they are washed off after a short duration and do not stay there long enough to create an infection or any damage. Only oils are applied directly to the scalp and they do not cause much damage if they suit your hair type.4 It is important to wash the scalp thoroughly to prevent product residue. Always use hair oils that suit your hair type.
3. Genes Can Be The Deal Breaker
Men and women tend to lose hair thickness and amount as they age. Such balding is usually not due to a disease or haircare products. It is more due to aging, heredity, poor diet, and hormonal changes or an underlying medical cause. Side effects of certain diseases, medications, and most importantly, genetic factors are the key reasons for baldness.5 In such cases, you can just hope for the best and do your best not to cause further damage.
4. Handle Your Hair With Care
Proper hair care, involving hair styling and the use of mild shampoos and body-building conditioners can improve the quality of thinning hair. However, harsh chemicals used in hair dyes, permanent waving, and hair straightening cause further hair loss through breakage. Aggressive combing of hair, rough shampooing, and adding a lot of unnecessary products that do not suit you will lead to hair damage.6
The bottom line? There is very little evidence that hair care products by themselves cause hair loss or balding. If you experience sudden hair loss, it may be worthwhile to explore the underlying cause.
|↑1||Draelos ZD. Essentials of Hair Care often Neglected: Hair Cleansing. International Journal of Trichology. 2010;2(1):24-29. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.66909.|
|↑2||Hair loss. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑3||Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni. “Hair cosmetics: an overview.” International journal of trichology 7.1 (2015): 2.|
|↑4||D’Souza P, Rathi SK. Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know? Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2015;60(3):248-254. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.156355.|
|↑5, ↑6||Clayton, Nicholas. A Butler’s Guide to Gentlemen’s Grooming. Pavilion Books, 2016.|