Get the foundation right - part one
How easily could you build a home if the concrete slab was full of dips and bumps? Would plants thrive in a field full of rocks? Ahh no. Creating results that are spectacular occur when a foundation is well prepared...since this theory works in just about any aspect of life, it's not surprising that it's even relevant when it comes to your hair.
Colours don't look as vibrant or shiny, or even last as long as they could if the hair itself is weak and brittle.
Haircuts don't look as sharp or shapely on hair that is weighed down, flat and lifeless.
Styling products and tools don't have the same effect on hair that is greasy or fried to a crisp.
Do you experience any of those issues? The cause is probably hidden way back in your hair foundation.
What does it mean to get the foundation of your hair right? It means taking things right back to what's going on with the strand. Is the strand feeling strong? Is it hydrated and always being nourished with moisture? Is it suffocating under a layer of product and grease or roaming freely without a care in the world?
Ok ok...lets get down to it.
How to create a healthy foundation.
Are we starting with a clean slate?
If you were to ask me what is hair's worst enemy without hesitating the answer would be silicone. Personally, I'm not a scientist nor am I interested in learning the meanings behind a bunch of different ingredients that I can barely pronounce let alone spell! Instead, this explanation is based on 15yrs of hairdressing experience touching and observing first hand 1000's of heads of hair. Making it a lil more simplified, this is how I explain silicone issues.
The product itself isn't what needs to be avoided, but rather the quality/molecule size of the silicone that we need to be aware of. While the split in product options tends to have supermarket shampoo's on the side to be avoided and salon shampoos on the side with the green light it isn't necessarily always the case (keep breathing, by the end of this those frustrated feelings of wanting the answer will be subdued)
When a shampoo/conditioner has a large size silicone molecule (which also tends to be teemed up with products at the cheaper end of the product scale) the silicone will actually build up around the strand of hair. The effect is like wrapping glad wrap around each strand of your hair. The result is that the hair is silky to look at and even to touch and it can also make the hair feel stronger. Umm what's the problem then you ask? Wait for what it does...
1. That 'glad wrap' is actually creating a barrier around your hair that is preventing other products from getting through. Meaning that when you do a treatment it just sits on that outside layer and doesn't touch your actual strand. Same with the conditioner you use each wash. The more the product builds up the less moisture that is getting to your strand (think how you could camouflage a cracked desert ground if there was enough 'glad wrap' on the top). Eventually your ends become more fluffy and harder to blowdry smooth, they even split more and begin to create breakage throughout your hair.
2. This layer on your hair is also heavy, it's like adding another strand to each strand of your hair. How long can your strands stand up to the weight? Hair with this build up sits flat and even with the most talented of blowdry stylists and styling products it can still be found lifelessly flopping down. How is a novice stylist supposed to create a result at home?!
3. If there is silicone in your shampoo, there is the chance that it's even wrapping on top of the natural oils in your hair really locking in that greasy flat look for you as well as stopping you from ever running your fingers through squeaky clean, light strands.
>>>> In effect, the problem of oily roots and dry ends has just been created. Anyone else notice supermarket shampoos advertising their products as solving this issue? Guess if you've created the problem you may as well capitalise on the attention of your fabricated market!!<<<
4. Semi hair colours sit on the outside of the hair strand, kind of just tucking themselves neatly in a lil under the cuticle. If the colours are instead grabbing onto the glad wrap you can understand why they slip out a lot easier than necessary. Pretty annoying spending money on a gorgeous new colour that, due to the foundation, didn't have a fighting chance.
5. Lightening products like bleach or highlights don't get it much easier either. These colours have a job to do and a time to do it in. Instead of being able to work their way into your strand and remove the unwanted colour molecules to create your desired look, they need to spend a good portion of their time just working their way through the barrier. By the time they make it to their destination and they only have time to do a quick grab and they can't remove all the colours that need to be removed...generally leaving those lovely gold tones behind.
6. Silicone doesn't grab onto the hair evenly meaning that the results can be patchy for both semi and foils/lightening. So, now not only does your colour not last as long as you like, or is a warmer tone than you wanted, it's now got these funny darker spots throughout it too.
Having a clean slate to work on actually does mean that money you pour into your colour will have greater success in getting you the look you actually want, and one that will last you the time you were promised it would too.
Wait, are you feeling confused? You remember it like it was yesterday. In a hair frustration moment you went to a salon, had the most fabulous of fabulous miracle hair product speech, and believing the smiling stylist, you paid the equivalent of your mortgage in shampoo only to find that your hair looked no different! Of course you went back to the cheaper products if you were going to get the same results. Why should you jump back onto the salon products side now?
One very important question....Did you remove the glad wrap layer before using the miracle products?
Salon shampoos/conditioners are designed to go into the hair strand and work their magic there. If you used them while your strand was still covered up what hope did they have? #oops.
Ready to demand a refund for every shampoo you've ever purchased yet? Meh, it's in the past. Let's focus on the future.
For now (since you've already taken in A LOT of info and it's getting hard to pull off spending time reading this as you working on that report your boss wants ;-) spend time analysing your hair. Where's it at? What have you been using? What results are you getting? Then stay tuned for part two where we help you get the results your hair confidence deserves.
All For Mary - Creative Director
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