Letters From Your Hairdresser

Lies You've Believed: Shampoo & Conditioner

It happens all the time. A client in my chair or a friend at happy hour will mention something they’ve known to be “undeniably true” about their hair since they could listen to the words their mother spoke. I’ve been asked whether lemon can really be used to obtain highlights, whether shampoo is really necessary, and whether the new ombre box color option is a decent one. They saw it on a DIY website, the commercial was convincing and their mother has always done it and it seems okay.

My job is to bust these myths. Because that lemon is going to dry your hair out like you wouldn’t believe and at best, leave you with splotches of lighter color through your strands. And that shampoo? You are more than welcome to not use it, but anything you substitute it with won’t be cleansing your scalp strong enough. And oh-my-goodness that ombre box color? I’ve seen way too many mistakes and corrections from misuse. The kind of flawless application that Kim Kardashian sports on her tresses can’t be found inside a box at Ulta. And it’s time your hairdresser told you.

Over the next six weeks, I’ll be busting the biggest myths you’ve believed about your hair. This week, we’ll start with shampoo and conditioner use and work our way up to the big ticket items. And if you end up with any questions along the way, feel free to comment below and I’ll be sure to answer!

Myth 1: Store Bought Shampoos Are Just As Good As Salon Professional

I’ve heard it; you think it’s just a gimmick. Just another way for a hairdresser to make a dollar. The ironic thing about this is that ladies who tell me this sit and watch in awe as I grab my scissors, slide them down their hair strands, and literally shave off coats of wax. That’s what your Garnier Fructis and Herbal Essences does.

A big complaint I have with store bought shampoo is that it doesn’t work, to put it bluntly. I’ve seen it strip $100 color out of a client’s hair, dry a friend’s tresses out so much that her hair felt like straw, and I’ve seen it coat the hair so heavily of a particular friend of mine that her hair always looked greasy and limp. It’s absolutely crazy that your hair would feel or react this way, especially because of your shampoo. Let’s face it.. we’ve all been on a college girl’s budget. I know I certainly was and when I was, I could only afford store bought shampoo. I get it.

But for those ladies who spend a good amount on a good haircut, highlight or straightening treatment, the worst thing you can do is use generic shampoo. It’s the equivalent of buying a brand new Diane Von Furstenberg dress and never taking it to get dry-cleaned or hanging it up. Why spend the $300 when you’re going to just ruin it anyways trying to save a penny elsewhere?

The other huge reason that I can’t sign onto store bought shampoo comes down to science. Store bought shampoo is mostly comprised of water and sulfates. While different shampoos use different types of sulfates and some professional shampoos have to use a bit of sulfate (instead of being completely sulfate free) to create that suds effect, it is critically important which sulfate is listed in your ingredients and what that means to you.

Did you know there is a sulfate listed as an ingredient in a lot of generic shampoos that is known to have traces of 1.4 dioxane, an irritant and probable carcinogen? In fact, in California, 1.4 dioxane is classified as a known cancer-causing agent and any product with traces of it needs to be labeled with a warning by law. California seems to be making good on that promise, having sued several companies who weren’t properly labeling their products back in 2008. But California is just one state and still, this ingredient hasn’t been banned but simply unveiled for consumers to merely see.

This sulfate which contains dioxane- sodium lauryl ether sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate- is an ingredient in shampoos such as Tresemme, Herbal Essences and Pantene Pro-V. And it’s in the top three ingredients in most of these generic shampoos. Am I saying that grocery store brands of shampoo will give you cancer? Definitely not. And do all shampoos have chemicals or ingredients that could affect you? Probably. But the point I’m making is that exposing yourself to something that could hurt your health to any degree is absolutely not worth the few extra dollars saved for anyone. And there is a perfect balance to be achieved. Somewhere between the generic shampoos which do much more harm than good and are full of chemicals and the expensive, organic shampoos at Whole Foods which don’t give the hair any lift or hold, there are some really great options.
Myth 2: Shampoo From Roots To Ends

Shampoo is for one thing only: cleansing your scalp. Yes, that’s right. Billy Madison had it right. But seriously, the only place your shampoo should go is on your scalp. Basically, the idea is that your scalp produces oil that naturally cleanses and moisturizes your scalp and hair. The only reason to shampoo is to rinse those oils out when they have built up too much and give your scalp a reset. And the only reason to use conditioner is to then add moisture to your ends and close down the cuticle that comprises the outermost layer of the hair strand. Therefore, it would make perfect sense to only use the shampoo through the roots and the conditioner through the ends. Doing the opposite with either will leave your ends looking and feeling dry and dull and leave your roots looking and feeling greasy and heavy. Neither of which are a good look.

Myth 3: Dirty Hair Is For Dirty Girls

My name is Kate and I’m a dirty-hair-aholic. That’s right, I love it. I have trained my hair to go about 3-4 days between washings and still look great. And guess what? My hair is the thickest, healthiest, and shiniest it’s ever been. And I’m being completely truthful when I say that not washing my hair everyday is a big reason as to why.

I have to go back to science to explain exactly how it works. Long story short, you have hair follicles in your head that your hair strands grow out of. In those follicles are glands that produce a natural sebum or oil that naturally cleanses your hair. These oils cleanse your scalp, hydrate your roots, and travel all the way to your ends through hair-brushing to moisturize and add shine. When the sebaceous gland is allowed to secrete oils for a couple days at a time, it can properly do it’s job. But when it is washed out everyday (whether by store bought shampoo or salon professional), you’ll run into a couple problems. The first is that you will constantly be washing out these oils before they can effectively do their job, meaning you are never getting the natural benefits your body wants to produce. The second is that by replacing your “natural cleanser” with your shampoo, you are creating the perfect formula for greasy roots. You should be allowing your sebaceous gland to build up and only using your shampoo to wash out that particular build up. By not doing so, you are not allowing your sebaceous gland to secrete anything at any point and relying on your shampoo to do the deep cleaning, which it isn’t made to do. So you walk around with greasy roots, dull ends that never see natural moisture, and a huge bummer of a problem.

I recommend to all of my clients that they wash their hair about every other day. And be sure to note that when switching your routine in this way, it will take anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 months to fully adjust. I invest in a good dry shampoo (and recommend them to my clients as well) and use that on the days when my hair is just a bit too greasy to handle because I worked out that morning or the climate is a bit more humid. But on a typical day, I can just get up, add some curls, straighten my ends or do a quick blowout and I’m all set. And it’s also important to note that different hair types take to this routine differently. Ladies with curly, coarse hair can go longer than those of us with finer, wispier strands. But the important thing is that you are giving your locks enough time in between washing to naturally cleanse and hydrate, whatever that timing ends up being for you.

Myth 4: I Can’t Afford Salon Professional Shampoo

I truly believe that there is such a range in the cost of buying salon professional shampoo that it’s affordable for a lot of people. It’s your choice whether you want to buy Kevin.Murphy from me for $25 or Redken from Ulta for $12, but chances are you can afford it if you keep an eye out for good deals. Besides the benefit of salon professional shampoo being so highly concentrated that you can use about half of what you would use otherwise, you can also feel good about buying directly from your hairdresser and supporting small business. And also for splurging in a good investment, similar to how we all do with fashion.

I always recommend my favorite product lines to my clients. However, with the belief that any salon professional shampoo is better than generic, I refer them to places like Ulta or Beauty Brands if my shampoo just isn’t in their price range. And after I’ve completely run out of samples to give away. Especially during the holidays, you can often find liters of shampoo and conditioner sets for around $20 and stocking up then can save you a ton of money. But the bottom line is that when it comes to finances, the range for professional grade shampoo fits a large range of budgets.

Be sure to check in next Thursday for our next segment on Lies You’ve Believed: Wearing Your Hair. It will be all about your face shape, styles that flatter you and how to ask for what you know works for you. And until then, have a great week!

Sources: The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

              The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14102782 Caroline Jeffery

    love this! i’ll be back next week!

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Great, Caroline! Next week should be fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=552617283 Shell de Norraig

    You just blew my my mind! Now I have to re-think my whole hair washing strategy ;o)

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Thanks, Shell! I’m glad you found this helpful! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=184105230 Brittney Moore

    Can gals with pixie cuts make it that long without washing their hair? Mine is short, thick, and my strands are fine. My hair is SUPER straight. I’ve been told I have good texture (whatever that means?), and I’d love to save 5-10 minutes in the morning by not washing my hair. Also, I have no hair dryer, and I regularly come to work (with a quick, literal, blow dry in the car with the windows down) with damp-ish hair. Halp? I’ll be back next week for more myth-busting, thanks! 😀

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Love these thoughts, Brittney! I would recommend the BedHead dry shampoo for you.. Dirty Secrets Dry Shampoo. When I was wearing my hair very short, I used that (sometimes even on the same day as washing) to get some extra volume and to soak up any grease. It also smells delicious! I would say to use either that or a spray wax… Redken has a very affordable option. The spray waxes are great, though, because they give you a bit of hold, but they are still lightweight enough that you can go a few days using it without having to wash it out. And if you don’t have a blowdryer, this might be a better option than a dry shampoo because it will give you a bit of a style rather than just soaking up oil in between washing. And best part… it will save you a few minutes in the morning!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513767944 Rebecca Emily Darling

        I love the Bed Head dry shampoo — it’s such a great product!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1018710032 Jenn Lloyd

    What about Organix shampoos and conditioners? Are those typically all right?

    Also, every hair article I’ve read online sings the praises of not washing your hair everyday…and I have tried it, but I can’t do it. I have bought dry shampoo. I have tried going every other day, but I can’t go through a day when I haven’t washed my hair in the morning, unless I am staying in and vegging out in front of the TV. I usually cycle through three shampoos: Organix Coconut, Moroccan Oil, and Keratin Oil. I use one for a week, then switch.

    I get my hair cut at a local salon every 8 weeks and get a deep conditioning every time I go.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=657740696 Melanie Seaward

      A few years ago, I started skipping the shampoo in the shower every second day, but still wetting and conditioning my hair to keep it fresh. It works really well for me, my hair is very healthy and shiny now :)

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Hey Jenn! Great questions! It sounds to me from an outsider’s perspective that you might be adding too much moisture to your hair and possibly creating that greasiness with product. It seems like the shampoos you’ve said you use and that combined with the deep conditioner might be a bit too heavy…. but it’s hard to say without seeing your hair type. I know that I have finer hair, though, and if I were to use those shampoos, my hair would always be weighed down and somewhat greasy. In fact, I don’t know much about the chemistry of the Organixx line, but from time to time, I try products like that in my hair to see how they do. While on vacation this year, I forgot my shampoo and bought the Organixx to try. My hair has not been so greasy in a long time! Like I said, I’m not sure about the ingredients, but I know when I used it in my hair during vacation, I wore a lot of hats and braids to hide the grease! :)

      What I would highly recommend is talking to your stylist when you have your next haircut and honestly asking for her opinion. She probably knows your hair as well as you do! And if you aren’t too stoked on using the brand she carries, be honest and let her know what your concerns and price point are. She should be able to let you know what you should be using. And if you are that loyal to her, she might even be able to help you out in finding something that works beyond what would be expected of her. You never know!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1018710032 Jenn Lloyd

        Thanks for the tips! Do you have any suggestions for how to wash your hair less? Maybe that could be another article topic. :)

        • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

          Two words, Jenn: Dry Shampoo! lol Seriously! I don’t know how I lived without it for so long! I would use a dry shampoo at your roots on the days you don’t wash because it will soak up the grease and give you a little extra lift at your roots. I would also recommend switching out your pillow case more frequently while you are in the transition period of not washing as often. And keeping your hands out of your hair helps quite a bit, too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=727485647 Olive Peach

    Hey can you please recommend a shampoo for curly hair?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357850389 Isabel Kvåle

      Curly Wurly from Lush! Also, if you want salon shampoo, I hear Bed Head is a great shampoo brand. My hair is as straight as it gets, but I have many friends who praises Bed Head :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1567291007 Tracey White

      I have been using the DevaCurl line and I’m pretty happy with it. (My hair is straight in the photo but I promise it’s actually very curly in it’s natural state!)

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Olive, great question. I recommend Deva Curl. I love it because it’s formulated for different types of curl, which most brands don’t care to do. No joke… I permed my hair in 2009 just to learn how to deal with curly hair and I went through probably 15 brands of shampoos and products to try and find what worked. Deva Curl and Abba were by far my faves!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000130127367 April Ren’ee Allen

    I always wait a day in between washing my hair. When it was really long (like halfway down my back long) I could go all week with only washing it once. But now that it’s a super short pixie cut, the longest I can go is 2 days without washing. Unless anyone can recommend a good dry shampoo, I wish I could go longer without washing. D:

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019291192 Lowry Beall

      April- Lemme introduce you to your new best dry shampoo friend. It’s the best stuff ever. I’m a stylist and obsessed with it. Love it on my off/non shampoo’ing days!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=19902790 Larissa Howlett

        It’s true, I love Batiste! I use the Brunette version with a little dye so there’s no white residue. My husband also uses it to cover his grays :)

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Hey April! Great question and one I totally understand.. I had somewhat of a pixie a couple years ago… so fun! I’ve used the Batiste brand before and I think it just might depend on your hair type, but for me, it made my hair feel a bit greasy. However, I have insanely fine and thin hair, so I have to be really picky about what works for my crazy hair type! :) I can really only use Kevin.Murphy’s Fresh Hair or BedHead’s Dirty Secret. They retail around $15-22, but either one lasts me about two months. Hope all the advice helps!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592038555 Amy Elizabeth

    Is it true that with thorough conditioning in the shower and leave-in conditioner during the day (without shampooing; except for the occasional, nessecary cleansing) for several months will allow your hair to go back to its natural state, whether curly/straight/course/fine, etc?

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Amy, I’m not sure if I understand your question? Do you mean if it has previously been restructured with chemicals? Please clarify and I’ll be more than happy to look into it!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592038555 Amy Elizabeth

        Here is a link best describing what I’m trying to explain. It refers to the Curly Girl Method…I’ve tried it, and my scalp just becomes so greasy after a couple of days. But I would love to get the wavy-ness back in my hair!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357850389 Isabel Kvåle

    I only use Lush-products in my hair, not because salon professional shampoo sucks, but because my scalp reacts to the chemicals. I have psoriasis on half of my scalp, and can only use vegan shampoo. Lush products are made from fresh products, like fruits, oils from plants and even real sea salt. I have always treated my hair with care, but this helped me even more, because now my scalp is as happy as my hair! :p

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Isabel, I love this advice. I’ve used Lush for skincare and they are a great brand. Especially with considerations like psoriasis, you have to go with what you find works! And I’m really glad to hear that the Lush brand is what’s working for you… love them!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1392227647 Nicole Brant

      I also have psoriasis on half my scalp, and it’s making me nuts. Currently I wash every other day with a pyrithione zinc formula shampoo and use a topical cortiosteroid. This doesn’t seem to help much and the other medication makes it a greasy mess. Other than the Lush brand, do you have any other tips? I’d really appreciate any help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=180001340 Casey Beretich

    i wash my hair once every 6-7 days. it took me a very long time to train my hair to be able to do this, but im so happy that i did! By about the 4th day i am using dry shampoo and on the last day (possibly last two if i go 7 days) my hair is up. but since i have been doing this, my hair is much healthier and grows better (faster and with less split ends). At first everyone thinks it is too hard to do bc they think their hair looks gross. Trust me when i say that it feels much worse than it looks! Most people dont even know you didnt wash your hair unless you tell them. Use less conditioner when you do wash or a smaller amount of leave in. Run a flat iron through your hair to help evenly pull the oils through/out of your hair. do not play with your hair. do it once in the morning and then leave it alone. These are all the things that i have taught myself to do to be able to go longer periods of time in between washings. Im not a stylist, just my personal experiences.

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      All great pieces of advice, Casey! Are you sure you’re not a hairdresser? 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=626677026 Shannon Belanger

    Love this post!!! I have 3 hair stylists in my family. My Aunt owns her own hair salon and would agree with you 100% on everything! I always get weird looks when I tell people I don’t wash my hair but maybe twice a week. I’m guilty of the drug-store brand shampoos though and it has taken a toll on my hair.

    My favorite brands are the Paul Mitchell Color Protect line and also the It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin and also their conditioner. (I have somewhat fine/medium thickness color-treated hair).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=68117039 Felicity Meza-Luna

      I have long, shiny hair, that people tend to comment on a lot (and try to touch-ugg) I’m always asked “What do you do to it?” and when I answer, “I let it get dirty.” I tend to get the strangest looks. It’s true though, my hair is fine and bone-straight. I also try not to heat style it since it dries out so easy.

      Several years ago I had a stylist do the ‘shave the wax off my hair’ trick and switched to the affordable Aussie shampoo and conditioners. I get less build up but I don’t know I think it still leaves some, but wayy waaaaay less then Nexxus products did. I think it might be time to find something economical but better……

      • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

        Awesome feedback, Felicity! I would recommend heading into an Ulta or Beauty Brands where you can find a huge selection of salon professional brands in a huge range of price points. You can speak to a licensed stylist in their salon and have them give you the run down on which products are great for what without any pressure. Off the top of my head, I’d probably say something like Biolage from Matrix would be a good fit for you. Sounds like you already know the drill, though!

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Love it, Shannon! You’ve probably been hearing these lectures forever! lol Great feedback!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019641957 Mellanie L’Abbe

    Can you (or anyone) recommend a shampoo that is NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS that doesn’t cost 25$ a bottle? I have oily roots and can have dry ends and have EXTREMELY fine and thin hair. I have been using a VO5 clarifying shampoo (Eep!) and Paul Mitchell Xtra Body daily rinse and a dandruff shampoo twice a week to help with breakouts around my hairline. (I do the shampoo the roots and condition the ends thing) Also when I don’t wash my hair every 36 hours at least it becomes an oily, greasy looking, itchy mass of ick. Is this something I need to just power through during a long weekend? Because my own sweat gives me a rash, I’m so sensitive to Bloody Everything… Thank you for this article!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514333260 Micha Z Medenciy

      I’ve been using vegan organic hair products for a while now. I’ve fallen for Acure. You can purchase it a Whole Foods. It’s about $11 a bottle. You should give their line a looksie. You can easily mix and match shampoos and conditioners to find what works best for you. If there doesn’t seem to be anything in their line that suits your fancy, check out what else WholeFoods or your local organic shop have in stock. My go to local shop is Zenabelle in Bristol, RI.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=880615092 Emma Smurphy

      I don’t know where you live but LUSH products aren’t tested on animals. I find them reasonable. And the store assistants can advise you on what is best for your hair.

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      I would look into what these ladies have suggested. I would also point out that most salon professional products (including those in the $10-15 range) are not tested on animals. That is one thing the beauty product industry has really come around to and heard from their consumers! And if you ever wonder, you can just check the back of the product… there will be a disclaimer if the product is not tested on animals.

      I would also ask you why you are using dandruff shampoo? I would venture to guess that might be a part of your problem. A lot of women I’ve met use dandruff shampoo in hopes of preventing dandruff or because they have the wrong idea of what dandruff is. Dandruff is actually a green-ish, infection of the hair follicle. It smells, it makes your scalp incredibly slimy/greasy and you KNOW when you have it. It can only go away with medicated shampoo from a doctor. Or you can try some natural remedies that have been suggested here: http://hellogiggles.com/did-you-know-that-dandruff-is-a-fungus However, if you have simply just a dry scalp (white flakes and no sores on your scalp that look like scabs) then using a dandruff shampoo can throw off your balance even more and create a bigger problem. I would try to replace that with a shampoo that’s been recommended to you or using the natural remedy I found here on HelloGiggles. However, if you truly do have what appears to be dandruff, I would also consult a doctor.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019641957 Mellanie L’Abbe

        Thank you all so much for the suggestions. I live in NH so there aren’t a lot of options but I can always look online. I don’t have dandruff or dry scalp at all, just breakouts along my hairline that I read we’re probably seborrheic dermatitis and the suggestion was dandruff shampoo to fight yeast infection. It seems to help my breakouts and my hair feels fine. I would just like the thick hair everyone talks about. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513754634 Sarah North Youle

    Great article! What type of hair brush do you recommend (not brand necessarily, but natural/synthetic/plastic/wood, etc)? Also, what do you think of Ojon products (Do you have Ojon in America?)? They seem to be above salon-product prices (£30ish per product), but more widely available.

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Thanks for the response, Sarah! I typically like to use a smoothing brush with boar bristles. The reason for that is the boar bristles add a lot of natural shine which I can be lacking lately. I also really like to use the boar bristles right before shampooing my hair because they are really good at aiding in cleaning out any buildup. I had a client a few years ago who had pretty serious dry scalp and I got him onto a great regimen with a tea tree shampoo and had him brushing his scalp with a boar bristle every day. The brushing allowed him to stay on top of the dry scalp and help get rid of it much quicker. You can get the boar bristle brush anywhere… I usually just get mine at Sally’s for about $6-10.

      And about Ojon… I love it! I can’t speak to the shampoos and conditioners, but I’ve used their restorative hair treatment and it was amazing. Definitely a bit more expensive, but the ingredients are based in a nut oil found in Honduras and it gives serious restructuring. Sometimes when I was using it, I would even wrap it up in my hair and wear it all night. Love it!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513754634 Sarah North Youle

        Thank you for your reply! :) I’ll keep an eye out for a boar bristle brush, sounds like I need one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=796210102 Gabriela Perez

    I have curly hair and sometimes I use a flat iron to straighten it, but when I don´t, and want to use curls, I add a lot of products to make it look nice and pretty.
    I use shampoo to clean my hair from all that extra product, and now I’m confused, am I doing harm to my hair by washing it, or is that ok? or if I don’t will the natural oils clean the product?

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Hey Gabriela! Great questions! You do have to use shampoo to wash out all of that product for sure. And if it comes down to it, it’s more important for you to wash that out than to leave it for a few days and let it build up. But that all depends on the type of product you’re using and the routine you are using to style your hair.

      If you have curly hair, I would recommend a routine like this one: Washing your hair on day one and blow-drying it out. If you can blow-dry it out with a roundbrush, you’ll have a bit of curl or bend to your ends and a smooth, frizz free style. Then, you can usually add some curl with a curling iron if you need even more curl. I would wear your hair like that for one to two days, retouching the curl as necessary and wearing it in a loose bun at night to keep it somewhat tamed. Then, you can flatiron it and retouch it for a couple days primarily wearing it straight. Sometimes, you can even get away with a day or two of wearing it up on top of that, depending on how your week’s gone. I have most of my clients with curly hair on a routine like this with just a good serum for frizz, heat protectant, and a product that has hold. Kevin.Murphy’s Anti Gravity Spray has heat protection and gives tons of hold. But the biggest change I would advise you to make is using a blowdryer to dry your hair and wearing it curly for the first part of your week instead of starting with a flat-ironed look. That way, you don’t have to use tons of product to keep it curly and you can just work with what you’ve got! :)

      What do you think?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30320052 Cosette Christeen

        I’m a curly girl and I DONT wash my hair. Well, Lemme take that back. I wash my hair ONCE a month. Unless you’re using and insanely gentle shampoo, it just destroys curls. I urge all you curly folks out there to go to naturallycurly.com for your hair info. That site changed my life and my hair!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593518807 Katie Dohme

    If only there was a Salon Professional Shampoo that was 100% Organic and Natural for us people that are allergic to the chemically compounded and fragranced products they currently make… Maybe one day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019291192 Lowry Beall

      Here’s a great resource for a few natural and organic product lines. These days it is hard to find exactly what you’re looking for, as many products out there can be listed as “natural” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are. I’m currently working on an organic hair product line that I hope will come out in the next year.


      • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

        Great resource, Lowry! And Katie, I totally hear you about that problem. I spoke with a distributor from Phytologie, a French line that I absolutely love about this about a year ago. The brand is 95% natural, so why can’t they go the extra 5? Well, they told me that in order to ship into the United States, they are actually required to contain a small amount of parabens and other unnatural ingredients in order to meet regulations. I’m not sure why exactly… my guess is that they need those in order to maintain a reasonable shelf life. But that would be my best take on why there aren’t a lot of options in salon professional completely organic shampoos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1153218799 Brieana Workman

    I love this article. Keep em coming. Maybe next week you could elaborate on which brands are the best and worst speaking in terms of chemicals.?

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Love that idea, Brieana! And thanks for the feedback! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=98300016 Melissa Weckhorst

    I’d like to know if the salon professional brands that some grocery stores sell is the same quality as the same product at your salon. My stylist has told me that the professional brand products at, say, Fred Meyer (my local store), has more fillers and is not the same thing. But, you can’t tell from the ingredients list! It’s half the price, so it’s hard to resist! Maybe you can speak to that?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019291192 Lowry Beall

      Melissa- Unfortunately your stylist is right. There are many professional brands being sold at discounted prices at larger retailers that are almost guaranteed to be part filler or completely different products altogether. For example, not long ago the company Aveda tested several of their products being sold at a chain retailer and found that zero of them had their original ingredients. Not sure how you could absolutely tell the difference unless you took them to a lab, but I would always advise buying salon professional brands at a salon or a trusted beauty source. What’s on the bottle is not an indicator of its authenticity.

      • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

        Totally agree with your take, Melissa! It’s also important to note that if you look at the back of those products sold in Fred Meyer or Target, there is a disclaimer that says the product is only guaranteed when sold in a professional salon, which it obviously isn’t. Without your stylist’s input on which type of shampoo is for your hair type, the brand cannot guarantee it will work in the right way. To me, that’s a big warning sign to not buy it.

        Also, I’ve done some price comparing on those products and they actually end up being a few dollars more expensive than when you buy them in a salon or beauty store. I think it’s more psychological than anything, honestly. We believe as consumers that they must be less expensive because they are in the Target hair care aisle. But truly, they are a few dollars more if you take the time to compare. I wrote an interesting column about this on my website that you can check out, too for more detail on how that all works! http://hairwithkate.com/industry-insiders-the-truth-about-diversion/

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005570946622 Mer Cat

      I think it depends on WHERE you’re buying it. If it’s a national chain like Walgreens, CVS, Target, even Walmart, you’re fine. Major retailers like them aren’t going to risk a lawsuit or some other shenanigan just to sell fake shampoo. Places like Big Lots, Ross and TJMaxx sell either discontinued products, or products that other stores just couldn’t sell.
      Whether or not the products are more expensive, is a different matter, but they are most certainly not fake. I mean seriously, are we really supposed to believe that Target is FAKING shampoo just to make extra pocket money???

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1445859629 Artice Garland

    I don’t believe that producers like Paul Mitchell, Nexxus, Joico, American Crew, Bed Head, Redken, or TRESSemme (yep, they’re an old Salon brand in case you didn’t know) would risk diluting their brands by selling cheaper versions of the same products to retail stores – nor would it make good financial sense to maintain 2 formulations for 2 different products with the exact same name and packaging. Salons will often get newer products that are still being market tested. Some of these products go on to the ultimate goal – the grocery store aisles – while others end up being sold for scrap at Big Lots.

    Waxy buildup isn’t always due to cheap products. Put a huge glob of your favorite conditioner, forget to rinse thoroughly, and you too might be the customer with the nasty waxy crap on the stylists comb. It can also come from your water, your hormones, dandruff, or from the styling mud and hair spray required to help you fit into the Flock of Seagulls convention you attended last night.

    Important thing is to buy what you can afford and use a product that works for your hair. That may or may not be the product your stylist is pushing. Also, and this is really important, if your stylist only ever pushes the newest, most expensive products, he/she probably doesn’t have your best interests in mind. A good stylist knows the products across multiple price points and should be able to give you a recommendation based on what you are willing to spend.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005570946622 Mer Cat

      THANK YOU. The hair lies are so overwhelming sometimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005758213180 Penny Ribbons

    I can’t wait to read more!

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Thanks, Penny! Glad to hear!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505850445 Victoria Sandoval

    Okay what if you have colored hair? Like the Ombre? Colored on the bottom, not on the top? Do you shampoo the bottom w/ a color shampoo? I had virgin hair, I decided to do Ombre, so only the bottom half of my hair has color. You said we should only wash our roots and condition the ends, is this still true for someone like me?

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Great question, Victoria! I’m rocking the same pattern you are with my natural color near my roots, too! :) What I would recommend is still doing the shampoo through the roots and not the ends. Shampoo is still only made to cleanse your scalp and follicles and will just dry out your color at the end even more. What’s crucially important is that you are conditioning the ends. And if you are worried about color fading, there are a couple things you can do. Eufora has recently introduced a product called Color Revive which is color pigment that you add to your conditioner to brighten up your ends. If you do that, you’ll get the conditioning properties and also have vibrant color all the time. But if you are looking for just an option to keep your color from fading, I would use a shampoo and conditioner set that’s for color treated hair. The shampoo is not going to affect your roots in any way (even though they don’t have color on them), but trying to use a shampoo and conditioner that are not for color treated hair might fade your color quicker.

      Either way, the most important thing is that you are shampooing at the roots, conditioning the ends, and using a shampoo that is safe to keep your color locked in!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=865760240 Stephanie Archibald

    I only wash my hair every third day (and I only use organic vegan shampoo/conditioner). I have a fringe and it can get a bit lacklustre. When that happens I just pat through some cornflour and it’s like new again.

    • http://Hairwithkate.com Kate Allen

      Having a fringe is totally the hardest part about not washing, Stephanie! Very creative idea to fix that!

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