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Tag Archives : shampooing

Anabel Kingsley’s Tips for Shampooing & Conditioning

Last week a friend phoned for advice as she changed her hair colour from light brunette to a gorgeous ‘Scandinavian blonde’. After having frantically googled tips for caring for bleached hair, she was left torn between conflicting information. ‘I’ve been told I shouldn’t wash it’ she said ‘because the natural oils will be dried out.’ It seems when someone gets a new look they’re bombarded with new advice – and more often than not that advice is full of urban myth.

Urban Shampoo Myths

Recently, we’ve seen an explosion of this surrounding the co-washing and ‘no poo’ movement. Cleansing conditioners and other similar products are popping up left right and centre, promising to keep locks healthy and shiny with no need for shampoo. While co-washing is better for your hair than no washing at all, the facts out there are misleading. Even though ‘natural’ oils do offer the hair some protection by helping to reduce friction, they do not hydrate the hair shaft; it is the water, and not the oil content of your strands that does this. This means that shampooing actually helps to restore moisture.


Although co-washing does involve wetting your hair, it’s akin to only washing your body with moisturizer, and will have similar results. Just think – there are roughly 20 thousand oil glands on the scalp (more than your underarms!), not to mention sweat glands, so bad odour will be an issue. Oils on your scalp are also the perfect breeding ground for yeasts and bacteria, so forgo shampooing for more than two days and you’re likely to end up with a case of dandruff and itching. Lack of body and volume are also something to consider, especially if you have fine hair.

But What About Cleansing Conditioners?

Simply put, these are a re-hash of ‘two-in-one’ shampoos that were invented 30 years ago; new name, same idea. The problem with these is that they are neither great at cleansing nor at conditioning. Hair itself is negatively charged, so for a shampoo to remove grime, it too needs to be negatively charged to repel dirt away; and for a conditioner to work well it must be positively charged, so it is attracted to the hair shaft. Cleansing conditioners try to take both of these benefits into account in a formulation, but it’s just not as effective. Shampooing should take roughly 60 seconds of your day, so if you put in that little extra time, you’ll get much more from your hair care routine.

Needless to say, I assured my friend to keep washing her hair as usual and got a very happy text by the end of the week. As she put it her tresses ‘had progressively improved condition with each wash’.

Tops Tips for Shampooing & Conditioning

  • Shampoo as often as you can to keep your scalp environment healthy, and your hair shiny and full of bounce.
  • If you find your hair is dry, coated or rough after shampooing, chances are you are using the wrong shampoo/conditioner. Choose a shampoo that’s geared towards your hair texture, and a conditioner that takes your hair’s general condition and length into account. For instance, if you have fine, processed hair, use a Body Building Shampoo and Moisture Balancing Conditioner. Don’t apply conditioner close to your scalp. It’s not needed here and will simply weigh your roots down. Starting at your ends, gently comb conditioner through to your mid-lengths for the best results.
  • Piling hair on top of your head when shampooing can cause tangles, breakage, and as a worst-case scenario, matting. Gently massage shampoo into your root area, and let the suds run down through the lengths of your hair.
  • If you think you’ve rinsed your shampoo enough, rinse again! Improper rinsing is a common cause of dull looking locks.
  • If your hair is dry, coloured, bleached or past shoulder length, apply a weekly pre-shampoo conditioner, such as our multi-award winning Elasticizer for an extra moisture surge. If your hair is particularly damaged, do this 2x weekly. Towel-dry by gently squeezing out excess moisture. Rough drying and ‘twisting’ will raise the hair cuticle and undo a lot of the work of a conditioner!
  • Shampoos are not a ‘do everything’ product. For extra body after shampooing, apply a volumizing spray to your roots. I love Philip Kingsley Maximizer as it’s light-weight, but offers enough hold to keep my style bouncy throughout the day.

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Summer Hair Myths Debunked

Having practiced trichology for over 50 years, I have heard a fair few misconceptions about hair in my consultation rooms, ranging from the misguided to the downright absurd. I thought I would share the more common ones, and, as we are in the height of summer, they shall be summer themed, too!

Myth: Sitting In The Sun is a Healthy Way to Lighten Your Hair

Truth: While UV rays will not do as much immediate damage as pouring bleach solution onto your hair, the chemistry behind it is still much the same. The sun degrades your hair’s protein structure, leaving it brittle, dry and prone to split ends and breakage. Marry that with chlorinated and salt water and you have quite the recipe for disaster. If you enjoy the ‘sun-kissed’ look, leave your hair unprotected in the sun for small amounts of time, and then apply a waterproof protective moisturizing cream, such as my Swimcap. This will give you the best of both worlds!

Myth: Applying Oil Moisturizes Dry Hair

Truth: Certain oils can definitely help moisturize and soothe dry skin, but apply them to your hair and you’ll just end up with very greasy locks. In order for oils to have an effect on your hair, they need to be applied in an emulsion. If not, they will simply sit on top of the cuticle and not penetrate it. Hair moisturizers are most effective when applied in a cream form, and then left on for a minimum of 20 minutes. Almost all my clients with bleached hair, and/or hair past shoulder length; use my multi-award winning pre-shampoo conditioner, Elasticizer, once to twice per week in the summer.

Myth: Shampooing Dries My Hair

Truth: If you find the summer has dried your hair, do not reduce the amount you shampoo to ‘remoisturize’ it. Time and time again I hear this, and it always has negative results. Your cortex’s water content is largely responsible for your hair’s elasticity, so the act of shampooing actually adds hydration. During shampooing, a small amount of water passes through the cuticle into the cortex, and is then sealed in when you smooth the cuticle with conditioner. Just like your skin, strands of your hair can become dehydrated and dry – and shampooing helps to replace lost moisture. I will say this though: You may want to change the conditioner you use to a heavier one during the summer. If you have very fine hair, applying the product sparingly to the mid-lengths and ends is all that is needed. I recommend Moisture Balancing Conditioner for those with fine, yet processed or overly brittle hair.

Myth: A Summer Juice Fast Will Rejuvenate My Body and Hair

Truth: This myth is a more recent one that I have heard, and one which couldn’t be more wrong! While initially a week or two of ‘juicing’ may make you feel lighter and brighter, the long-term effects on your hair, and body, are terrible. Firstly, your hair is a non-essential tissue, yet also the second fastest growing tissue your body supports. This means that your body never prioritises its energy requirements and any disruption to nutrition, as well as any rapid loss of weight, often results in your hair shedding 4-6 weeks after the fast. I can literally set my watch to it. Secondly, your hair is composed primarily of protein, and so removing protein from your diet will certainly have a detrimental effect on your hair.

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