Kate Allen
December 14, 2014 10:00 am

The perfect shampoo. It gives your hair body, bounce and shine. It’s your secret weapon for transitioning from hot yoga session to date night. It is just heavy enough to weigh down your frizz and light enough to keep your volume in tact.

So what happens when that perfect shampoo you’ve finally found stops working? You know exactly what I’m talking about. Suddenly, your hair is looking a bit greasy after every wash or it won’t hold a curl to save your life. And you literally haven’t changed one bit of your routine. Ugh, the frustration! Was it reformulated? Has your water changed? Did your hair texture change? Are you mutating into a grease monster?!

While external factors like medications, chemical use on the hair, or even just a change in season can all certainly affect how your hair behaves, usually the answer is a bit more simple. Simply, your shampoo did its job.

Oftentimes, you invest in a great shampoo and find you are obsessed with its benefits because you have specific concerns. You buy a moisturizing shampoo because the season changed and your ends are dry. After about a month, your hair looks shiny, doesn’t have static and feels soft and full of moisture. Or, you buy a volumizing shampoo, hoping it will give body to your limp locks. It does and you absolutely love it. OR, perhaps you have problems with your scalp feeling too oily, so you invest in a great balancing shampoo. You just love how it regulates your sebum production and finally, your hair is more Gisele than greaseball.

The point of investing in all of these shampoos is to solve an issue you have. But once you have your solution, you may have to reformulate and find a daily, balanced approach. Sometimes that solution ends up being way too much for your hair once it’s in a more moderate, healthy state. For example, that moisturizing shampoo finally gave your hair the shine and softness you needed. And since your tresses were depleted, they soaked up the moisture and you saw results very quickly. But after six months, when your hair is more “normal” and not so in need of replenishment, that moisture can be too much and have the opposite effect you wanted, leaving your locks greasy.

Or that balancing shampoo might be doing too good of a job at regulating your sebum to the point where six months after beginning to use it, your hair is now dry and flaky and your scalp tends to itch. What happened is simply that your scalp is now balanced and no longer in need of the benefits of an oil regulating shampoo, so it’s actually drying you out.

So what do you do when this happens? Every line has a basic, daily shampoo that is a bit more gentle and can be used more on a regular basis. Those are always a great option if you find your hair is much easier to manage than it has been in the past. If your hair is on the coarser side, the smoothing shampoo might be too heavy after a few months, but the basic hydrating shampoo is a lighter, more gentle option. I also always suggest using a detox shampoo on a regular basis no matter what you use for shampoo because that will ensure your scalp and hair are cleansed, exfoliated and its pH balanced before you even have to think about what else to do.

Another great option is to alternate with different shampoos for different concerns. If you are platinum blonde and need to maintain moisture and a vibrant tone, use a purple shampoo once a week to keep brassiness out and a moisture shampoo to replenish your ends the rest of the time. If you have fine, thin hair, that thickening shampoo you’ve been using might have done its job for awhile, but during the winter, it’s leaving your hair with more static and on the dry side. Use your thickening shampoo once a week and alternate with a light, hydrating shampoo in between to maintain a proper balance.

Kevin Murphy calls their products “skin care for the hair.” I would say that at the heart of how we see and think about changes in hair, we could always go back to this philosophy to know what to do. It might seem like a simple approach, but paying attention to changes in your hair can make a huge difference. It’s usually just as quick and easy as that. Your shampoo only stopped working because your hair is in need of a slight change, so listen to that, switch it up, and enjoy the feeling of not stressing about starting over in the shampoo department.

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