Pooh-poohing shampoo. (Are you a shampoo addict?)
How is your hair looking these days? Is it a little dreary and dull? If so, the reason for your hair’s condition may not be what you expected…
According to some dermatologists and professional hairstylists, Americans are addicted to shampoo. A study by shampoo-maker Procter & Gamble revealed that we use about twice as much as our Italian and Spanish counterparts. As in, about 4.59 shampoos per week. All that shampooing sounds like it’s keeping us pretty clean, right?
Actually, these cosmetology professionals think too much shampoo can do more harm than good to some hair types. Many dermatologists say that daily washings strip the hair of its natural and beneficial oil (called sebum), and can damage the hair.
So, where did our obsession with shampoo come from? Some suspect that an article in The New York Times on May 10, 1908, started this trend. The article advised women that one shampoo every two weeks was a good cleanliness standard (previously, washing one’s hair once a month was the norm).
Now fast-forward to the 1970s. Farrah Fawcett’s hair is the American woman’s new beauty standard. On TV, Farrah’s face (and hair) is impossible to escape, even during the commercial breaks. A Faberge ad for Farrah Fawcett shampoo showcases some slow-motion beach running and shiny, flowing locks. The message is clear: buy this shampoo, use it every day, and you, too, will look like Farrah.
Today, consumers are rethinking their shampoo practices, for both ecological beauty and health-related reasons. Environmentalists know that less plastic waste is always better, so they diligently search for new ways to conserve. As for the health-conscious, they are concerned with taking better care of their locks. Michelle Hanjani, a dermatologist at Columbia University explains that, “If you wash your hair every day, you’re removing the sebum. Then, the oil glands compensate by producing more oil.” In what seems to be a vicious cycle, the more frequently you wash your hair, the more quickly it becomes oily again.
How often do you shampoo? How do you feel about forgoing shampoo? Have you ever tried any of the natural alternatives to shampoo? If so, what did you think of the results?
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