2 Things You Didn't Know About Shampoo
Shopping for hair care products, whether perusing the hair care section at your local pharmacy, or scrolling through the bazillion options online, can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed, or excited and hopeful. There are so many options when it comes to shampoo, and let's not talk about all the conditioners, leave-in creams, detangling sprays, scalp treatments and trending hair masks. Every new product that pops up claims to be the game-changer that will finally manage your mane, and every time (well not anymore since we made our own hair care products) we would fall for whatever made us feel good and believed that this time it might actually work.
Our favourite lines are the ones that claim to “bring hair back to life” or “repair split ends”, or something along those strands. We’re not sure why so many brands make these courageous claims, but the reality that nobody seems to want to accept is that your hair is never coming back to life, ever. It will forever remain lifeless no matter what resurrection rituals you try this time. Just like your fingernails, your hair is D-E-A-D. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are a few things you might not already know about the bottle of shampoo in your shower. When formulating our own shampoo, we learned a lot in the process. So, let’s dispel a few hair myths, shall we?
The Downside to Soft, Silky Strands
More often than not, the shampoos and conditioners on the shop shelf are made using silicone-based ingredients. You’ll locate these by looking for words that end in –cone on the back of your product labels. Silicone coats the hair shaft and makes it feel smooth and shiny, as if it's been "revived" or “brought back to life”. While they help detangle knots and make your hair feel like heaven, have you ever noticed that over time your hair can start to feel dull and drab? That’s because silicone can build up on the hair, making hair feel heavy and limp. It can also build up on the scalp, causing it to be congested, irritated and itchy. To get rid of this build-up, you can buy what’s called a “clarifying” shampoo, which is essentially made with strong detergents that strip away the built-up silicone but can also be quite harsh and drying to the hair and scalp. These aren’t intended for long term use, so as soon as you go back to a “regular” shampoo, the build-up cycle continues.
Thankfully, silicone isn’t the only option out there to achieve silky strands, it’s just the cheapest one for brands to source and the most common conditioning ingredient currently used in the market. You can skip the BS build-up cycle by sourcing and using hair care products made without silicone, and you’ll still be able to brush through your knots and tangles with natural ingredient heroes to help your hair, just without the build-up bummer. And one last thing; do you ever think about what happens to your hair care products after they’re washed down the drain? We do. If saying bye-bye to build-up wasn’t enough, natural ingredients break down quickly in our waterways while silicones don’t (they’re not biodegradable).
Why One Shampoo is All You Need
We often get asked why we don’t make different shampoos specific to different hair types such as dry, oily, curly, thin, damaged etc. While we believe that people have different hair types and different hair needs, if you look closely at ingredient labels, you’ll notice that there often isn't much difference between products specifically made for each variation. In our opinion, we don’t think all the different types of shampoo are needed if you have a good formula (we think ours is pretty darn good). A shampoo made for oily hair would have a higher concentration of cleansers than one made for dry hair because more oil needs to be removed, but you can achieve much the same result by varying the amount of shampoo you use or washing your hair twice, if needed. Formulas that target damaged hair usually have a lower concentration of cleansing ingredients to avoid stripping the hair of its natural oils which can make hair feel “fixed” and “repaired”. Using a gentle formula made with naturally derived cleansers will get your hair clean without over-stripping it, making it suitable for all hair types and styles no matter how “damaged” it might be.
Since many of us colour our hair, a big concern when it comes to shampoo is making sure that it’s “colour-safe” so that your newly acquired colour stays in your hair, right where you want it. The definition of a “colour-lock” shampoo is basically one that is free of sulphates (like SLS and SLES) and is slightly acidic (not alkaline) to match the natural pH of your hair. While sulphates work to get your hair clean, they’re known to be quite harsh and over-bearing on hair (and scalps), sucking colour straight out of your strands. Alkaline hair products, like many shampoo bars out there, open the hair cuticle making it easy for colour to leach out. Since sulphates don’t make the cut to be used in any of our products, and the pH of our shampoo is slightly acidic, it technically qualifies as a “colour-safe” shampoo, so it suits everyone and every head.
Our Milk Shampoo was originally developed for a family friend with an itchy scalp, and this gentle formula made without sulphates and silicones did the trick. It’s balanced to a pH of 5 to 5.5 and you can choose how much you need or want to use depending on how your hair is feeling. Everyone is already bombarded with so much choice and confusing marketing messages, so hopefully this cuts down the clutter and makes your life, or hair care shopping process, just a little bit easier. Different products suit different people, but our Milk Shampoo is one of our most popular products, and has been for year. Have you given it a try yet?