Most of us think our hair products are made to fix problems, but what if they are actually the source of your distress? Can our hair products cause our hair to shed, thin, break, or just cause excessive damage?
It depends on who you ask: even the experts will disagree on this question because there are so many factors that come into play to determine if products can make your hair shed or thin or become weaker.
What is certain is that improper use of any product can possibly cause harm to your hair, scalp or body, but to know if regular use of a seemingly good product will cause damage is hard to determine simply because each person may use their hair products differently.
For example, there are several brands of conditioners that say to rinse, but I will use as a leave-in and I have often wondered, could that cause damage? Or can it just create massive build-up? One thing is for sure: even if two people do the same thing with the same brand, it doesn’t mean they will have the same outcome because they have different hair. They may live in different climates, and have different health situations.
Sometimes technique is key, and a gentle application can have a drastically different result from someone who tends to be rough with their tresses. With overwhelming differences in people, usage and products, you just can’t be sure on many things, but we can be sure about a few. Here are a few cases where hands down the products may be causing damage to your strands.
Commercial Hair Dye
Hair dye can be extremely harsh to your hair, and for good reason. Many or most commercial hair dyes have ammonia and hydrogen peroxide in them to give you the rich colors you want to achieve.
“A very popular way to achieve permanent hair coloring is through the use of oxidation dyes…The preparation (dye precursors) is in the leuco (which means colorless) form. Oxidizing agents are usually hydrogen peroxide, and the alkaline environment is usually provided by ammonia.
The combination of hydrogen peroxide and the primary intermediate causes the natural hair to be lightened, providing a “blank canvas” for the dye. Ammonia opens the hair shaft pores so that the dye can actually bond with the hair and speeds up the reaction of the dye with the hair. Now people can dye their hair without bleaching it.” [Source: Wikipedia]