Beauty & Shopping, Hair

Before You Buy That Hair Product, Read This – Vanessa Tai

Back in my previous job, I used to write about hair, so I got pretty acquainted with all kinds of hair woes and how to treat them, whether through off-the-shelf products or DIY home treatments. However, with more and more products vying for our attention, how do we know which ones suit us best? Here, some points to consider before spending on that new shampoo or conditioner.

Do all my hair products need to be from the same range?

While it might be easier to just pick up the entire range of products when you’re at the drugstore, many of us also like experimenting with different hair brands to see which ones work best. That’s all well and good, but be sure to pick out products that address your specific hair care needs. For example, because I have coloured hair, I am using Goldwell Dual Senses Fade Stop Shampoo and Conditioner, which treats thick and coarse colour-treated hair. However, I also use Essential Nuance Airy Treatment twice a week to help repair my damaged cuticles.


Urban dwellers are literally spoiled for choice when it comes to beauty products.

Mixing of hair products is even more common when it comes to styling your hair. Because there isn’t one magic product to create the salon-worthy look you desire, very often you’ll have to mix-and-match products. For example, I like my hair to have that tousled, out-of-bed look but I can’t stand the sight of frizz. So I mix styling wax with a bit of hair serum for piecey hair that still has a bit of a sheen.

What are SLS and parabens, and should you be afraid of them?

SLS stands for Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate and it’s a type of detergent that’s commonly found in shampoos. It’s the ingredient that gives you that lather you so love, and makes your hair feel squeaky clean. While it may cause irritation to your scalp if left on for too long (for example, if you didn’t wash out your hair thoroughly), there have been numerous studies done that disproves the myth that it’s actually carcinogenic.

A good rule of thumb when washing your hair is to rinse out the suds for 30 to 60 seconds.

A good rule of thumb when washing your hair: rinse out the suds for at least a full minute.

Parabens are a type of chemical preservatives that are commonly found in cosmetic products. In recent years, it has been been given villain status because of its linkage to cancer. That’s because parabens have estrogen-like properties and because estrogen is known to promote the growth of breath cancer tissue, there are researchers who’re concerned that parabens may have the same effect. To date, there have been no conclusive studies about whether parabens are carcinogenic, but if you prefer to err on the side of caution, there are now a slew of paraben-free products to choose from.

If you feel your product is no longer as effective, don’t be so hasty to toss it out. 

In the market for a new shampoo because you feel yours isn’t working as great as it did before? Wait. It’s not that your hair has “gotten used” to the shampoo. Very often, the main reason why your shampoo (or any other hair care product) isn’t as effective as before is because of product build-up. As women with busy lifestyles, we’re often guilty of not rinsing our hair out thoroughly. All the gunk accumulated on our scalp may block out whatever benefits your hair care product has. Avoid this gunky situation by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo once to twice a week.

This blog post was intended for purely informational purposes only, and was not paid for by any of the above brands. 

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets

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