It is a regular question and an even more regular headline. What is the truth about the impact of the wave of hair products now on the market? We take a closer look.
Hair We Go
Putting product in our hair is, judging by the fossil record, an essential part of what it is to be human. Ancient but preserved remains show evidence of dye. The options available for the 21st Century boy or girl are staggering in their range. Mousses, pomades, waxes, gels, volumizers, texturizers, shine drops, straightening balms lotions and sprays. Even more recently the market for these products has exploded for men, pomades like Brylcreem had pretty much had it to themselves since the 1920's. While not as diverse as the range available to women the popularity of gel and wax in particular has rocketed.
What Is So Bad About Hair Products?
Against a backdrop of the ongoing class action suit against a shampoo manufacturer accused of causing hair loss, there are certainly plenty of other scare stories doing the rounds. They usually revolve around the alleged ability of some hair products to interfere with the happy functioning of hair follicles, and so causing hair loss. Gel and wax, the boys' favourites, are all too often the target for the articles - It is easy to make a prima facie case for these viscous products settling on the scalp and blocking a follicle. Fortunately, the truth is undermining this appealingly easy image to conjure.
It is possible to damage your hair with product, that mass of kerotin is organically intert but can be made to split and fray. Damaging actual hair follicles is a very different thing, even a powerful medicine like Minoxidil is only capable of a small effect. All hair products are made from a pretty small selection of chemicals, none of which are especially toxic or damaging... you are likely to ingest more poison through your food, or in the air your breathe.
The most potent chemicals you might use would be dyes, which is why many hairdressers will pull your hair through a holed sheet to treat it... keeping it away from the scalp. People who dye regularly and frequently allow those harsh chemicals to come into contact with their scalp run the risk of developing an allergic reaction.
Do's and Don'ts
So all things considered there are no serious concerns associated with hair products, as least as far as their potential for triggering hair loss is concerned. Be careful when colouring your hair, if you can keep the chemicals away from your scalp so much the better.