When you notice problems developing in your hair, it’s an instinctive reaction to look around for reasons to explain them. Hair loss, hair thinning, damaged strands or scalp problems all have us in a panic and ready to play detective. Chief suspects in all these cases are the products we use on our hair. We slather or spray them on and before we know it, our hair is in a dire state. It’s obvious they’re to blame, right?
Hold that thought. Let’s look at the evidence before we rush to judgement. This article will examine whether we should be worried about your hair products. Read on and make your own mind up!
The DevaCurl Case
A court settlement in New York at the start of 2022 did nothing to allay the fears of people who believe that hair products can seriously damage their hair and health. At the end of a class action involving more than 54,000 submissions, DevaCurl paid out over $5 million to customers whose use of the company’s products had led to hair loss and injury. The products were formulated for curly hair. The company claimed that its products cleaned this hair type without removing its natural oils.
It’s important to stress that this kind of product damage is unusual. The ingredients in the haircare products you’ll find on the market have generally been around for years and have been tested thoroughly in that time. Scientists and haircare experts are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong with DevaCurl, but it’s not the kind of thing that happens often. Why then are people convinced that haircare products are more damaging than the evidence suggests?
There are many aspects of our haircare routine that can cause our hair damage; not all of them are product related. Bad haircare practices can be a major reason for the poor condition of your hair. Too many heat styling tools used at excessively high temperatures or without any heat protectant can dry our hair. Aggressive brushing or combing can also be a cause of hair breakage. Tight hairstyles such as ponytails or braids can put pressure on our hair, causing it to break and fall.
That’s not to say that your hair products can’t adversely affect the condition of your strands. Overuse of products or using ones inappropriate for your hair type can lead to your hair looking limp, heavy and generally unappealing. Failure to moisturise your strands properly can lead to dry and brittle hair that is prone to breakage. Those kinds of problems are aesthetic. There are a few more serious issues that you need to watch out for, too.
Scalp Irritation and Build-up
As stated above, hair products generally consist of the same group of ingredients that have been around for years and have been tested to bits. They are therefore unlikely to cause hair loss directly. Moreover, most of the reasons for hair loss come from within us rather than externally. They tend to be due to ageing, genetics, hormonal changes and illness.
What products can do is to cause irritation and build-up. Most of us will, at some stage, have tried a new product that caused our skin to react badly. It happens. However, unless the reaction falls at the extreme end of the spectrum, the kind more likely to arise with at-home bleach or colouring kits, it’s unlikely to cause hair loss. The more typical scalp irritation causes redness and itchiness. Generally, the irritation disappears whenever you stop using the product, which you should do as soon as you notice a problem with it.
Product build-up is something that should not be dismissed lightly. It can cause discomfort and, at its worst, can inhibit the growth of new hair, as the inflammation it causes can prevent the hair follicles from pushing out new hairs. To avoid build-up, try using a clarifying shampoo on your hair at least once a week.
If you’re experiencing hair loss or thinning, it’s unlikely that your haircare products are to blame. The ingredients used in shampoos, conditioners and other products have been tested over many decades and are safe. That’s not to say the products can’t be a contributory factor to scalp irritation, product build-up or the generally poor condition of your hair. If you’re experiencing any of those things, you need to take a closer look at what you are using and how you are using it.
If you’re worried about the condition of your hair, you should speak to a hair expert as soon as possible. Vinci Hair Clinic is here to help. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to all our new clients, so why not take advantage of that? Get in touch and book your appointment today!