Nothing signals good health so clearly as a head full of bouncy, shiny hair – and as a nation, we spend a fortune on shampoos and conditioners to achieve that look.
But ironically, experts suggest that many of us use far too many hair products – and say that shampooing less and avoiding those so-called ‘shine’ products would actually be better for our follicles.
Washing your hair every day strips away its natural oils, making it dry and more prone to breakage. Depending on your particular scalp and hair texture, experts actually advise shampooing only every two to five days.
It’s worth remembering that up until only a few decades ago, most women would wash (or ‘shampoo and set’) their hair only as a once-weekly ritual. And Edwardian ladies, who washed even less, set great store by routinely brushing their hair 100 times every evening, which effectively stimulated the scalp and worked the natural oils through the hair to keep it looking naturally glossy.
You could take a leaf out of the Edwardian book and invest in a good quality natural boar bristle hairbrush – but if you are still going to be using modern hair products, at least steer clear of silicone-based ones. Silicone is the main ingredient in most “shine” formulas, but can actually end up making your hair look more lifeless and flat over time.
This is because they’re synthetic compounds that are usually heat-resistant and often non-water soluble, usually leading to a build-up in your hair, weighing it down and creating a dull look.
To keep your hair healthy and the cuticle shaft intact, it’s best to limit your use of hot styling tools, use an occasional deep conditioning treatment or hair mask – and definitely try to allow more time between shampoos.