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Excerpt from ...

Set Free: The Book About Hair by Richard Stein

(Stein's bio located at http://www.richardsteinsalon.com/bio.htm)

Cleaning Your Hair

Shampooing seems like it ought to be the simplest of all hair procedures. It isn't. Most of my clients really don't know all they should about how or when to wash their hair...or with what.

WASH DAILY

It has been my observation over the years that daily shampooing is not only acceptable; it is advisable. It is healthiest for the hair and scalp for two reasons. First, the hair itself--especially in the city--gets dusty and dirty. (Just look at your windowsill on a warm day after the window has been open for some hours, and you'll have a good idea of what has been deposited on your head--and in your hair.) Moreover, the same substances that make conditioning agents so effective in smoothing and protecting the hair shaft (waxes, silicon compounds, oils) are like magnets for debris in the air. In all likelihood, your hair needs to be cleaned of this junk every day.

Second, shampooing cleans the scalp, flushing it of oil and other surface products that have been shed--like dead cells--that can block its "breathing" and interfere with new hair growth. It also works to discourage infections and--perhaps most important--stimulates the scalp so it can continue to renew itself.

So wash as often as you like...every day, if possible. But be careful how you do it.

SHAMPOO DILUTION: SAVE YOUR HAIR AND SAVE YOUR MONEY

What I recommend to most clients is exactly what is routinely done at almost all salons: dilute your shampoo. The typical commercial salon shampoo is much too concentrated to be used just as it comes from the bottle...and this is equally true of the brand-name shampoos you are likely to be using. These products are overly harsh--especially when used on a daily basis; they are detergents, after all. They are also likely to leave a shampoo buildup that makes hair dull, limp, and sticky; at the same time, they may quite literally be eating away at each hair's structure with chemical compounds. Diluted shampoo may not entirely solve some of the problems inherent in using such compounds daily on your hair, but it will certainly minimize them.

I like to dilute my shampoos in a one-to-seven ratio of shampoo to water. And if you are conscious of such things--and want to do all you can for your hair--dilute with softened or distilled water...or one of the floral or herbal waters you will learn how to make later in this chapter.

You will probably want to make a week's worth of shampoo at a time. There are lots of high-tech houseware stores around now that have great-looking dispensers in which to mix your concoctions.

An added bonus with diluted shampoos--and the accompanying diluted negative effects--is that you can feel better about washing your hair more than once a day...for those people who wash after exercise or more often than usual when the weather is hot or muggy.

Two soapings are required when using a diluted cleaning product... but you'll still be saving shampoo! And remember, even an expensive shampoo is much less pricey when it is cut seven to one.

CHOOSING A SHAMPOO

I can't pretend to be happy with the products I see on store shelves. I avoid them myself and can rarely find one to recommend. My frustration with the quality of the products I found commercially available for cleaning hair was a strong impetus to the development of the Fleuremedy line of natural hair care products, which are based on the finest herbal and floral extracts and the fewest F.D.A.-approved chemical preservatives consistent with stabilization of the inherently unstable ingredients (to maintain shelf life). It is primarily these preservatives and stabilizers in other commercial preparations (as well as the artificial coloring and fragrances) to which I object. They can do great damage to hair and scalp.

But Fleuremedy isn't always available, and it is impractical to make an effective shampoo. (Don't use bar soap! It leaves curds in the hair and is drying.) So where do you go for shampoo and other personal-care products when you want to avoid some of the nasty stuff in the mass-produced variety?

I always feel fairly confident sending clients to their local health food stores for shampoo. Formulas vary, but you can learn a lot by reading labels. Don't be afraid to ask questions of the people who run the store; most are knowledgeable and anxious to help you educate yourself. Established lines have good quality control and many more natural ingredients than "commercial" products. I don't know about you, but I would always rather use the more natural product. (I'm sure you will agree that it is at least disconcerting to read "methylchloroisothiazolinone" on the label.) A good rule of thumb is to choose the product with the fewest chemical-sounding names and the most ingredients that sound comprehensible and/or familiar, like "oil of jojoba." Something you do want to stay away from in any product you use on your hair is alcohol. Although not frequently found in shampoo, it is a common ingredient of hair-grooming products like gels and mousses and can be found even in conditioners--a most unlikely place for something so drying.

Some ingredient benefits you might want to keep in mind when you are shampoo shopping: jojoba is good for dry hair; protein-enriched shampoos with milk, egg, or beer help with the reproteinization of damaged hair; and shampoos with henna, a natural vegetable product--and an ancient treatment technique--which coats the hair (see Chapter 10 for more about henna), will add body. Some product lines I particularly like are Orjene, Weleda, Rainbow, and Schiff. You can find these in health food stores and catalogs.

PROPER SHAMPOO TECHNIQUE

So how do you wash your hair? First, make sure you use the right shampoo and dilute it in the seven-to-one ratio I already mentioned. Next, be certain to wet your hair thoroughly so that the shampoo "spreads" quickly and cleans rather than builds up in globs. This is important.

When you are ready to shampoo, apply the preparation you will use to the temples first (this often ignored area can get flaky; it also helps you to move the shampoo up with the blood flow), then to the front, then to the back and crown. If you feel you need more shampoo to get the right amount of lather, apply a little more behind the ears and above the back of the neck, then massage the shampoo upward once more. (Think how often in brushing, combing and smoothing you go in just the opposite direction!) Use the pads of the fingers to massage gently (keep your massage "progression" in mind) until the whole head is lathered. Rinse (you can use regular tap water for this rinse; I suggest making your own herb or flower water--recipes to follow--for the final rinse) and repeat. But this second time, once the lather has been worked up, use a widetoothed comb and start at the ends of the hair, working the comb through carefully. You will start the stroke progressively closer and closer to the scalp as the hair begins to lather and detangle.

 
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hmmm interesting information, but a lot of it is totally opposite from what my hair stylist tells me to do. Anyway, she never lets me wash my hair everyday, but every other day cuz my hair is thin and it's highlight, and washing it everyday, makes the color of my hair fades and cause it to be more oily. You produce more oils by massaging your scalp and causing it to produce faster. I dunno if its good or bad, but i do notice my hair is less oily when i wash it less regularly. Also a lot of magazines and hair stylists suggest you don't wash your hair everyday.

Also, it's bad to dilute your shampoo because it will cause bacteria to grow in the shampoo from your water. Some people suggest that you don't leave your shampoo and conditioner in your shower so water doesn't get inside.

So now im confused. I don't know what to do anymore. My hair is too long to wash everyday anyway. hehe. It irritates me when it's wet. Damn it, i gotta chop off my hair, but my friends wont let me. They said its too nice to cut, but i hate it!!!!

Originally Posted by Californian Excerpt from ... Set Free: The Book About Hair by Richard Stein

(Stein's bio located at http://www.richardsteinsalon.com/bio.htm)

Cleaning Your Hair

Shampooing seems like it ought to be the simplest of all hair procedures. It isn't. Most of my clients really don't know all they should about how or when to wash their hair...or with what.

WASH DAILY

It has been my observation over the years that daily shampooing is not only acceptable; it is advisable. It is healthiest for the hair and scalp for two reasons. First, the hair itself--especially in the city--gets dusty and dirty. (Just look at your windowsill on a warm day after the window has been open for some hours, and you'll have a good idea of what has been deposited on your head--and in your hair.) Moreover, the same substances that make conditioning agents so effective in smoothing and protecting the hair shaft (waxes, silicon compounds, oils) are like magnets for debris in the air. In all likelihood, your hair needs to be cleaned of this junk every day.

Second, shampooing cleans the scalp, flushing it of oil and other surface products that have been shed--like dead cells--that can block its "breathing" and interfere with new hair growth. It also works to discourage infections and--perhaps most important--stimulates the scalp so it can continue to renew itself.

So wash as often as you like...every day, if possible. But be careful how you do it.

SHAMPOO DILUTION: SAVE YOUR HAIR AND SAVE YOUR MONEY

What I recommend to most clients is exactly what is routinely done at almost all salons: dilute your shampoo. The typical commercial salon shampoo is much too concentrated to be used just as it comes from the bottle...and this is equally true of the brand-name shampoos you are likely to be using. These products are overly harsh--especially when used on a daily basis; they are detergents, after all. They are also likely to leave a shampoo buildup that makes hair dull, limp, and sticky; at the same time, they may quite literally be eating away at each hair's structure with chemical compounds. Diluted shampoo may not entirely solve some of the problems inherent in using such compounds daily on your hair, but it will certainly minimize them.

I like to dilute my shampoos in a one-to-seven ratio of shampoo to water. And if you are conscious of such things--and want to do all you can for your hair--dilute with softened or distilled water...or one of the floral or herbal waters you will learn how to make later in this chapter.

You will probably want to make a week's worth of shampoo at a time. There are lots of high-tech houseware stores around now that have great-looking dispensers in which to mix your concoctions.

An added bonus with diluted shampoos--and the accompanying diluted negative effects--is that you can feel better about washing your hair more than once a day...for those people who wash after exercise or more often than usual when the weather is hot or muggy.

Two soapings are required when using a diluted cleaning product... but you'll still be saving shampoo! And remember, even an expensive shampoo is much less pricey when it is cut seven to one.

CHOOSING A SHAMPOO

I can't pretend to be happy with the products I see on store shelves. I avoid them myself and can rarely find one to recommend. My frustration with the quality of the products I found commercially available for cleaning hair was a strong impetus to the development of the Fleuremedy line of natural hair care products, which are based on the finest herbal and floral extracts and the fewest F.D.A.-approved chemical preservatives consistent with stabilization of the inherently unstable ingredients (to maintain shelf life). It is primarily these preservatives and stabilizers in other commercial preparations (as well as the artificial coloring and fragrances) to which I object. They can do great damage to hair and scalp.

But Fleuremedy isn't always available, and it is impractical to make an effective shampoo. (Don't use bar soap! It leaves curds in the hair and is drying.) So where do you go for shampoo and other personal-care products when you want to avoid some of the nasty stuff in the mass-produced variety?

I always feel fairly confident sending clients to their local health food stores for shampoo. Formulas vary, but you can learn a lot by reading labels. Don't be afraid to ask questions of the people who run the store; most are knowledgeable and anxious to help you educate yourself. Established lines have good quality control and many more natural ingredients than "commercial" products. I don't know about you, but I would always rather use the more natural product. (I'm sure you will agree that it is at least disconcerting to read "methylchloroisothiazolinone" on the label.) A good rule of thumb is to choose the product with the fewest chemical-sounding names and the most ingredients that sound comprehensible and/or familiar, like "oil of jojoba." Something you do want to stay away from in any product you use on your hair is alcohol. Although not frequently found in shampoo, it is a common ingredient of hair-grooming products like gels and mousses and can be found even in conditioners--a most unlikely place for something so drying.

Some ingredient benefits you might want to keep in mind when you are shampoo shopping: jojoba is good for dry hair; protein-enriched shampoos with milk, egg, or beer help with the reproteinization of damaged hair; and shampoos with henna, a natural vegetable product--and an ancient treatment technique--which coats the hair (see Chapter 10 for more about henna), will add body. Some product lines I particularly like are Orjene, Weleda, Rainbow, and Schiff. You can find these in health food stores and catalogs.

PROPER SHAMPOO TECHNIQUE

So how do you wash your hair? First, make sure you use the right shampoo and dilute it in the seven-to-one ratio I already mentioned. Next, be certain to wet your hair thoroughly so that the shampoo "spreads" quickly and cleans rather than builds up in globs. This is important.

When you are ready to shampoo, apply the preparation you will use to the temples first (this often ignored area can get flaky; it also helps you to move the shampoo up with the blood flow), then to the front, then to the back and crown. If you feel you need more shampoo to get the right amount of lather, apply a little more behind the ears and above the back of the neck, then massage the shampoo upward once more. (Think how often in brushing, combing and smoothing you go in just the opposite direction!) Use the pads of the fingers to massage gently (keep your massage "progression" in mind) until the whole head is lathered. Rinse (you can use regular tap water for this rinse; I suggest making your own herb or flower water--recipes to follow--for the final rinse) and repeat. But this second time, once the lather has been worked up, use a widetoothed comb and start at the ends of the hair, working the comb through carefully. You will start the stroke progressively closer and closer to the scalp as the hair begins to lather and detangle.

 
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Great information! That flower rinse sounds very interesting. When I rinse my hair after conditioning I use cool water, it closes the hair shaft which will allow the hair to lay smoother. Thanks for all that great info!
 
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Yeah, I know what you mean Maiho. I get conflicting advice too. So I have a similar philosophy which is "do what works for you." For example, my husband washes his hair twice a day. If I did that, I'd look like the end of a broom stick. I think beauty routines are like medicine: different formulas work for different people in differnt ways. You can generalize, but mostly the trick is finding your own unique routine/methodology.

I cut and pasted the article because I thought it was interesting. The thought of any extra bacteria growing in my shampoo really does not thrill me. LOL. There's enough creatures in life as it is.

The thing is... the guy who wrote the article has been doing hair for soooo long. He even has his own small line of products. He is so popular that women pay up to $500.00 for a hair cut from him!

Answer me this: Why is it that women are so into hair, yet it is men who get famous for doing it? Look at Jose Eber, Paul Mitchell, etc. What the heck? I don't think Paul Mitchell is gay either in case that has anything to do with it.

Thanks for your feedback. I thought it was fun to read.

Ciao

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