Saturday, September 5, 2009

Best hair advice ever

I'm a no-bullshit kind of gal, which will come as no surprise to you if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time. I love girly stuff, and I love the idea of creating illusions with hair/makeup/accessories, but I don't really have much tolerance for legerdemain where hair products are concerned. Do not lie to me, is basically my mantra. And I would wager that many of you feel the same way.

And that's why I loved this recent post by Paula Begoun that tells it like it is about hair and hair products. I sometimes lose patience with folks obsessed with hair care (yeah, yeah, guilty as charged!) to the point where they opt for marketing hype or some kind of emotional attachment over fact or science. Some people want to believe that something is good for their hair even when all evidence -- including the product's performance on their own hair! -- points to the contrary. They want to believe that natural products are somehow superior or they want to believe that expensive products are preferable to the ones in the drugstore. And nothing will convince them otherwise.

If you secretly know that you might be one of these types of people, do read Paula's post. And then read the post by my friends at The Beauty Brains about natural products.

I suspect I will take heat for this post. I can already see the comments: "All I know is that my hair does better with natural products." "My scalp breaks out when I use drugstore conditioners." "Cheap products make my hair feel like crap." To these comments, I would counter: "What is natural about your products? Is it the absence of parabens? The lack of anything you cannot pronounce? Has your scalp ever broken out from something not sold in a drugstore (and if not, how do you know that it wouldn't?)? Is it possible that some expensive products could also make your hair feel like crap?"

What I'm getting at is that we all want to feel pampered and special, and we want to believe that our product choices are informed and reflective of our self-respect. But the facts are no secret: there really is not a huge amount of difference among products. Yes, there will be ingredients that some hair likes more than others -- no question about it. But are those differences reflective of the retail price of that product? Over and over, I read that they aren't.

My hair has its preferences, and yours does, too. But it seems to be a question of ingredients, not price.


Katrina said...

Preach on, Jill. I can pay $5 or $25 for coco betaine. I can use $30 bottles of sham-poop that still leave my hair dry and rough. Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients!!!

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this topic!!!! Thanks for saying it.

Kelly said...

I think that those of us who are or have been CG often end up getting sold a load of hooey. This is because there's a huge overlap between "organic," "natural" etc., and silicone-free products. So we understandably end up in the health foods stores or the organic aisle for hair products. But they cost more, not because they are cone-free, but because of all of the "natural" baloney! Like Katrina said, it's about ingredients. For example -- for me, pricy, "natural" products (I won't name names...) still make my hair look like crap if they have a lot of aloe in them. It's like your post title a while back: We need to be smarter curlies.

Raina said...

I have used Paula's Shampoo before, and it is one of the best shampoos I've ever used. When my hair was healthy, I could use it and not have to use conditioner afterward. This was when my hair was naturally straight and not colored.

In my personal experience, you don't always have to pay outrageous amounts of money to get a good product. That being said, I have yet to find a good drugstore foundation for oily skin. Eyeshadows seem to be the other product I refuse to buy from wal-mart. I do love my e.l.f. mascara though!! You can't beat it for a buck!! it works better than a bunch of $20 buck mascaras I've tried.

I'm not sure where I stand on hair care products yet. I know what Paula says specifically about SLS and the laureth version. However, when using pigment dyes on my hair, I noticed that even sodium laureth sulfate would pull out more of the pigment when I washed. When I used a non-sulfate surfactant (or really a more gentle one) my green wouldn't fade as much. To be honest, I think its because the alternate surfactants aren't as efficient as SLS and its brethren.