Thank you for popping by, I'm sitting here enjoying the Italian sun whilst I write this weeks instalment of The Hairy Truth for you. listening to the crickets and drinking my water (I would liked to have said enjoying a glass of vino however I'm trying to be better health wise and well its wasted calories that I'd rather be used on food) and its hot here so water is the best liquid to keep me, my hair and my skin nice and hydrated.
Today we are going to discuss how sulfates in our hair care effect our hair and skin. There's lots of comments around stating they may not be good for our health and others that claim they may be fading your colours and causing damage to your hair. So lets dive right in and find out what effect if any they are actually having.
WHAT ARE SULFATES?
Sulphates are surfactants that are found in almost all cleansing products, for skin, hair and general household cleaning. They are designed to separate grease and dirt from the host and as water passes over be washed away, they are also responsible for the foaming action we find when mixing them with water. They do this very efficiently and therefore are widely used across many brands.
The most commonly used sulfates are Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Ammonium Laureth Sulphate (ALS) and in many cases when a product claims to be sulphate free it's usually free from one of these not necessarily a surfactant itself.
Most shampoos contain around 15% or less
DO THEY HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON YOUR HAIR, SKIN AND HEALTH?
There are quite a few rumours floating around regarding sulphates and how they effect our hair, skin and health. They are rumoured to be linked to cancer, be harmful to our hair and skin, cause irritation and fade your hair colour.
Are they linked to cancer?
This one is the scariest of the rumours and thankfully I can safely say that no, they are not linked to cancer and cannot cause cancer. There is no evidence that suggests they are linked to cancer, 'sulphate are not carcinogenic' says the American Cancer Association. Three further agencies have also rated sulphates as being non-carcinogenic; The occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Do they cause irritation?
As they are the best at separating oil and dirt that will then be washed away, this also means they will remove natural oils from the hair and skin, this is not necessarily a bad thing as our hairs naturals oils will hold onto dirt. They can cause slight irritation if left on the skin for longer than required or for those with sensitive skin. Higher quality shampoo's will use lower quantities as possible to minimise skin irritation and contain conditioners and their own oil compounds to replace what the hair loses during cleansing.
Are they harmful to hair?
Some sulphates are harsher and more abrasive to the hair and skin than others. Sodium Laureth Sulphates are gentler to the hair and cleanse efficiently without causing damage, others are slightly more harmful but most shampoo and conditioner ranges will have conditioning ingredients to counteract this.
Do they fade your hair colour?
It's a very common miss-conception that sulphates cause your hair colour to fade. This is not the case and has been scientifically proven, Some ranges go sulphate free purely for commercial reasons.
ARE SULPHATE FREE BETTER FOR YOU THEN?
In order to be sulphate free but also do they same cleansing action there has to be a substitute ingredient, which will do the exact same job because after all they need to cleanse your hair and skin in order to be able to remove dirt and oil from your hair and skin.
They have the same effect on your hair and skin and in some cases are as harsh or harsher on them. They can however be less irritating so there is a benefit in some ways.
So there you have it.
Sulphates are brilliant at why they do, some are slightly harsher to the hair and skin than others but all in all many of the bad press around them is not true and mainly hearsay. Your slylist can recommend the best product to suit your hair type however whether it is sulphate free or not shouldn't really need to factor into it.
Until Next Time : Happy Hair Day
Nicola Iannetta x
Happy Sunday folks,
I hope you are making the most of this gorgeous weather we are still benefitting from over here in the UK, So while you sit enjoying the sun or in the shade enjoying the heat I have an interesting one for you all today. We're going to look at if there is a difference between salon professional and non-salon professional, If there is what it is and why it's of importance.
In short, I'm sorry to break this to you guys but yes, yes there is a HUGE difference when talking shop brought products compared to salon professional ranges.
So lets get to it, what are the differences?
This week we are only going to scrape the surface, so to speak, when it comes to talking about salon professional hair-care vs buying your favourites from the high-street.
I feel it is important to know what you are using a why you are using it.
The biggest thing you need to remember is your hair is not a living organism, once it has left your scalp it is dead, it degrades and is unable to repair, fix or rebuild itself. So how you treat it really has a massive effect on it’s health and condition. I hope that following this you will make much better hair care choices.
There are 3 main differences all have a massive effect on the health and condition of your hair as well as colour and cut longevity.
#1 : PH levels
I cannot stress the importance of this enough! This is one of THE most important factors.
Do you remember at school playing with the litmus paper and measuring the PH of different items? The colours changed depending on it's level and whether it was more acidic or alkali? Well believe it or not your stylist is also a scientist in many ways. During our training this is something that is mentioned but sadly it's not really something that is focussed on especially not to the extent it should be, and it's only later in our careers that we learn the real significance of it.
So all salon professional ranges will be PH balanced, At least all the ranges I have used over the years. Perfected to match and work with your hairs natural make-up and PH levels.
High-street brands are rarely if at all ever PH balanced and never actually display the PH so you don't actually know either way, their PH is usually way above that of what a healthy hair range should be. Prolonged exposure to higher PH levels will cause the hair to become dry, brittle, tangle more, split quicker and colours will fade quicker. Styles won't hold and hair will be fluffy, frizzy, and/or fuzzy.
For the tech savvy:
The effect it has on the hair: The PH level of a product has the ability to open and close your hairs cuticle layers. The higher the PH will open them and the lower the PH will close them.
These layers are the very outer layer of your hair strand and you have between 3-7 layers on average (white hairs have up-to 14 layers) and this is your protective layer of the hair.
They are responsible for keeping everything inside your hair inside it and everything from the outside world effecting the internal make-up of your hair, it is also responsible for your hairs shine factor, in order for them to do their job they need to be closed, smooth, flat and healthy.
Why this matters: OK so now you understand the purpose of the outer layer, if the PH is above that of a natural healthy hair it swells the hair opening those cuticle layers, this now means that they're unable to do their job effectively, elements from the outside world can now attack and effect your internal hair structure, degrading it's health. As the layers are raised your hair is more likely to tangle and damage is caused due to friction from them rubbing against one another which will begin to weaken, snap and fray them. Your hair would start to appear dull and over a short period of time lifeless, your colour will fade quicker (usually toward your ends)
How does this effect your colour?: If you have your hair coloured, even the high-street colour protect shampoos are usually high in PH level so it opens your cuticle and allows your beautiful colour to come out and protects it down the sink. Not in your hair. So your colour will fade much quicker.
Salon professional colour protect shampoos are within the healthy hair range but usually on the lower side as we have to raise those cuticle layer to get the colour inside and then after we close them back down to lock the colour in place. Increasing the longevity of your colour.
#2 : Surfactants and cleansing agents
This is also an important factor as it effects the condition of your hair.
Most salon professional ranges use milder cleansing agents as they are much kinder and softer on your hair whilst cleansing it.
These ingredients cost more to use so are rarely found in high-street ranges or if they are they are of a very low quantity due to their manufacturing costs needing to be very low for a high profit margin to be made in high-street shops. The harsher the cleansing agent the more it takes from your hair, they can be abrasive damaging your cuticle layers and removing moisture levels and the ability for your hair to retain those important moisture levels.
For the tech savvy:
What do they do: Surfactants are used to cleanse the hair, They are able to separate both dirt and oil from your hair, and they are able to do this brilliantly, so it's very common to find them in pretty much any cleansing product you may own. They are also responsible for the lather created when cleaning your hair. The more they lather does not mean the cleaner it is unfortunately, even though it usually feels that way. The kinder surfactants usually lather less than the harsher ones but this is not always the case.
Why does this matter: Milder cleansing agents are kinder to the hairs delicate and complex make up, Shampoo's are usually on the higher side of the natural PH level to allow the cleansing agents to properly cleanse our hair from any dirt, grease and product build up on the hair.
How does this effect your colour longevity: There is a rumour floating around in the wild about sulphate free shampoo's being better for your colours longevity, This is not exactly true. In some cases it is, those that use harsh surfactants and high PH levels will fade your colour quicker as damaged hair will not hold a colour the same as open cuticles cant stop it escaping. Mild and gentle surfactants have been scientifically proven to NOT have a negative effect on the hair. It all comes down to how well they cleanse whilst having as little to no negative impact on your hair and scalp. Most ranges (both salon professional and non-salon professional) will have moisturising compounds in their shampoo to replace any lost moisture created by the surfactant. Although the salon professional will do it better and more effectively by replacing what the hair actually needs at higher quality and quantities.
#3 : Silicone
This is another important ingredient which is found mainly in your conditioner.
Salon professional ranges will use higher quality silicones that are water soluble and again as the cost is much higher to use them you will find the high street brands opt to use lower quality versions, which are more plastic and wax based, as they are not water soluble they build up and suffocate the hair. Think of wrapping your hair in cling film. This will mean the hair may feel soft and shiny but underneath it will be very dry and brittle. thinning towards the ends even breaking off.
For the tech savvy:
What do they do: This man-made ingredient which stops the hair attracting moisture, Think anti-frizz. It is used to help create a shine, softness and silkiness to the hair. The higher the quality used the more water soluble it becomes meaning it is completely removed on every wash and will not build up unlike the cheaper versions which cling to the hair and build up which will suffocate the hair. Over time due to build up hair becomes dull and heavy, it also becomes brittle and fragile as the cheaper silicone has been building up and suffocating the hair shaft.
Why does this matter: Well the cheaper grade silocone that builds up on the hair is usually more of a plastic / wax material which will melt so not only does it cling to your hair but when you add heat it will melt, welding it to your hair.
How does this effect your colour: As cheaper grades cling to the hair it can cause a barrier to your colour meaning your colour may not take well or be as desired, This is not your stylists fault but the product line in which you're using and in some cases the final colour results may be patchy, not as vibrant or light as first hoped. Many salons will perform a deep cleanse on your hair prior to your colour service to ensure as much build up is removed and your colour result will be the best that they can be.
So there you have it, The main differences between salon professional and non - salon professional and what effect that has on your hair, your salon services and the longevity of your chemical services.
In short the salon professional brands will use higher quality ingredients which will not build up on the hair and will be designed to work with your hair cleansing and conditioning as needed. Non - salon professional will use the basics, much lower quality ingredients which have a negative effect on your hair over time.
YOU ARE DESCRIBING MY HAIR! HOW CAN I FIX THIS?
The best thing to do is speak to your stylist about what they would recommend for your hair type, colour and style. My chosen range is Joico, I recommend Joico because of their ability to rebuild, restrengthen and reconstruct hair better than any other range on the market and have been doing this for over 40 years now. They are the leaders in the hair reconstruction and hair-care industry.
If your hair is showing signs of being distressed and is coloured their K-pak series helps repair whilst protecting your colour. If you do not have your hair coloured they also have a K-pak for natural hair or you may need their moisture recover series. It all depends on what your hair needs and is missing with this range so you really do need to speak to a professional to ensure you use the best for your hair.
Your stylist is there for you, They will recommend products that they believe to be the best for your hair type and needs. This will benefit both of you as you will be using a range that will look after your hair and your chemical services that have been performed, as you are looking after your hair your stylist will be able to get the best version of any possible outcome for you, Blondes will be lighter, cleaner and more even, Vibrant colours will be more vibrant, Colour corrections will have the best possible outcome. Better colour results all round, longer lasting colour services, longer lasting styles, Healthier hair to work on so any chemical service will take evenly from root to tip. And your final results will be predicable.
Healthy hair is naturally shiny, vibrant and radiant, It holds colours and chemical services for longer, it's more manageable, softer, silkier, bouncier and holds a style for longer.
All in all spending those extra few pennies are 100% worth every penny and if that didn't sway you;
Higher quality products found in salon only ranges are higher concentrated so you only need the smallest amount. I advise my salon guests should be able to get their bottle to last around 3-4 months for shampoo and double that for their conditioner, thats only 4 shampoos and 2 conditioners per year! Styling products should last anything from 2-18 months depending on what it is, so actually pound for pound they cost much less than those found on the high-street, yet they are 100 times better for your hair and your salon services.
So there you have it. The 3 main differences between salon professional vs non-salon professional ranges and I hope you enjoyed reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing about them for you.
Until next time : Happy hair day
Nicola Iannetta x
Hi there and welcome back to the Hairy Truths.
This week I placed a poll up on my instagram account to see what you wanted to read about this week and the result actually came back 50:50, so I have decided to write this one first as it was the first that got voted for and next weeks instalment will be to go through and untangle the theories and ideas around salon vs high-street care and styling products.
So this week whilst we make the most of the beautiful sunshine here in the UK we are going to talk about how often you really should visit your stylists for your trims, colour touch ups and treatments in order to keep your hair in tip top condition and ensure it's as healthy as can be along the way.
Cutting - 6-10 weeks depending...
As briefly mentioned in last weeks instalment Does cutting your hair make it grow you should really have your hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks to ensure all split ends are removed and do not develop further, as this can lead to thin and fragile ends over time if left.
If you are growing your hair and you treat it well; this means you're following all your stylists product and care advice, then, you may be able to stretch your visit to 8 - 10 weeks but this is really best to check with your stylist as not all hair types can stretch that long. Finer hair may not be able to do this as they have 50% less protein make-up and internal structur than thicker hair types meaning they are more prone to damage and ware away quicker. So if you have very fine hair it is important you visit your stylist religiously every 6 weeks to keep your hair in as healthy condition as possible.
Blonde Root Touch Ups - 4 weeks
Everyone always refers to blondes as being high maintenance, and they are! Keeping your blonde fresh is not an easy task and requires regular trips to the salon and a good home-care regime.
Firstly - your touch ups need to be every 4 weeks. This is to ensure your regrowth is at the optimum growth to avoid banding. The area needs to be around 1cm to ensure you get a nice clean and even result due to the heat from your scalp effecting your final colour result, further than this will create bands to form where the colour/bleach lifts slightly differently due to the heat indifferences and those bands will be warmer and/or darker than desired so if you leave your intervals longer than 4 weeks your stylist has to allow for this. The area furthest away will need applying first and then your stylist will need to go back through and apply a new batch of colour to your root area ensuring an even lift, this requires more colour and double the application time on your visit and will therefore probably be reflected in the cost too.
Secondly - your home-care, Never ever cheat and go cheap, Blonde hair endures more stress than other colour so your home-care is even more imperative and will require more looking after than others, and sadly this is where most people slack. You've paid for your colour please don't neglect it now. Using lower grade products will leave your hair feeling dry, dull and brittle as they will not give your hair what it needs, your colour will have a lower longevity and when you re-visit the salon for your touch up your hair will have become more porous which will mean your colour will take unpredictably and your stylist will have to allow and plan for this when creating your colour formula. Your stylist can only give you the information you need to ensure you get the most from your beautiful blonde hair, what you do with that information is up to you. Those that follow their stylists advice reap the rewards with their blonde hair and future visits to the salon.
Tint Root Touch Ups - 6 weeks
Colours on darker levels can benefit from 6 week intervals as a realistic timeframe to ensure optimum colour results. Longer than this will require your stylist to apply mid range area first, allow to develop for a short time and then go back through and apply from your scalp with a fresh mix, Meaning more time is required and more product so will most likely be reflected in the cost.
If you stick to 6 weeks you may find, like my guests do, that you won't need your whole colour refreshing so usually my guests can expect to have 2-3 regrowth sessions before a full refresh is needed. This is when you follow your stylists aftercare advice to keep your colour for longer.
High and Low- lights in foils - 6-8 weeks
Foiling allows for heat to be retained a little better than non-foiling techniques so you can get away with leaving your visits a tad longer, 6 weeks is best but sometimes you can get away with up-to 8 weeks. Longer than this may require more time and product being used due to the heat indifferences so again will most likely cost more too.
Balayage, Ombré & baby lights - 20 - 36 weeks (6-9 months)
These low maintenance techniques usually cost more to begin with due to the timing they can take to do initially and the amount of product that is used during your visit however they have a much longer interval period between touch ups. This is due to their perfect natural grow out pattern and blended results so this means you can go as long as you like until you have your balayage / baby lights brought back up again. On average this is usually every 6-9 months for my guests.
However this doesn't mean you can neglect your hair in between, you still need to take proper care of your hair and have your trims as well as refresh your tones if your choose too. Many of my guests have fun with fashion tones between their 'full works' visit.
Fashion Tones - 1-8 weeks
The best thing about fashion tones is that they change so frequently and keep you fresh. Usually they are on a much more pastel tonal level meaning the time in which they last is very low and very difficult to give a timeframe on their longevity. Usually they last 1-4 weeks depending on their strength and the health of your hair. Those with stronger tonal values will last much longer, usually around 8 weeks. Sometimes longer than this.
If your are like me though, this allows for you to have fun without too much commitment, Peach this week, violet next and silver three weeks later, the choice really is yours and you can have as much fun as you like with it.
Conditioning Treatments - 1-12 weeks
This is a difficult one as it depends on the health of your hair and what treatment we are discussing, however, from my menu you have a choice of 3:
So there you have it, a guide to how often you should see your stylist. Your visit intervals will completely alter depending on what colours you have and your home-care so your stylist is always the best person to ask to ensure you are following the best timeframe and hair journey for you.
Until next time : Happy hair day
Hi there and welcome to The Hairy Truths.