Beauty & Shopping, Hair

The Hair Q&A You’ve Got To Read – Tan Lili

What is the one important haircare trick you should do before you shampoo your hair? Does washing your hair every day strip your scalp of healthy oils? A hair expert from Shiseido Professional answers those, and more.


You know those stray wiry Maggie-Mee hair strands that stand out like a sore thumb? Confession: I used to pluck them out. The sight of such strands would – and still does – irk me; ignoring them was simply not an option.

That is, until my chat with Shiseido Professional’s Tien Goh, Senior Educator, Salon Business Division. I told her about my nasty habit, to which she exclaimed, “NO! You should never do that! What were you thinking!?” Oops. Below, Tien corrects other common hair mistakes we unknowingly make.

How do I get rid of wiry flyaway hair? Can I pluck it out?

girl pull hirIn one word: No!

A follicle has 25 cycles throughout its life; a strand of hair has an average life cycle of three to seven years. To put it simply, one follicle is able to “give birth” to 25 strands of hair before it closes and “dies”.

The wiry hair that looks like it is sprouting out, is actually your new hair growth. If you keep plucking it out you are shortening the lifespan of its follicle. I know of someone who kept plucking that one strand of white hair around the hairline but, turned out, that strand of white hair was in fact a cluster of white hair. After two years of plucking and terminating the follicles, it resulted in a tiny bald patch.

The solution? Apply hair serums for shine. Or, use a soft wax (created for long hair) which has light holding control to tame the flyaways while leaving behind a healthy shine. If you prefer an oil-free appearance, spritz on hair spray onto your palm then smooth it on your hair.

Should I comb my hair before shampooing?

Yes. During the shampooing process, the hair will get tangled, so combing it before will reduce the likelihood of badly tangled hair. Also, it helps brush away dust and dirt.

I don’t have a full head of luscious hair. How can I make it appear more voluminous without backcombing or using damaging styling products?

A powder-based product will help if blowdrying it daily is not your cup of tea. While the trend is to sprinkle powder onto the hair to create a fluffy appearance, some people experience difficulties in applying the power and feel it sometimes clumps up the hair.

Try using Powder shake from Shiseido Professional. Rather than being powder-based, this innovative spray-on product has got powder particles infused into its water-based formulation. It is able to create voluminous hair on any length, is easy to apply, and washes off easily. Probably the best feature about it is that it is anti-humidity, which makes it long-lasting – perfect for our weather!

Child girl with shampoo on her hair looks back in bathtubIs it true that washing our hair every day will strip our scalp of healthy oils?

Yes and no. The answer really depends on an individual’s scalp condition. It is advisable and okay to shampoo our hair daily due to our hot and humid weather, especially for those who sweat a lot or have a normal to oily scalp.

For some whose scalp is on the dry side where the sebaceous gland is not producing enough natural sebum to protect the skin, daily washing might be too drying. One symptom of a dry scalp include fine and powdery flake that falls off easily. If you have dry scalp, try Fuente Forte Scalp Care Shampoo and Scalp Conditioner from Shiseido Professional The Hair Care range; it is specially formulated for dry, sensitive scalps.

Please note that a dandruff shampoo will not solve the problem of a dry, flaky scalp as it will only further dry the scalp, resulting in more flakes. Dandruff is normally caused by insufficient shampooing or not shampooing daily for oily, sweaty scalps, which results in the growth of excess microorganisms, triggering a reaction in the scalp and making it irritated. A telltale symptom of dandruff is the appearance of oily, sticky, and yellowish clusters of flakes that stick on the scalp. For this, you will need to use a dandruff shampoo with an antibacterial formula to kill the microorganisms.

I have short hair. Is it necessary for me to use a conditioner after shampooing?

For hair to grow from the scalp to slightly over the shoulders, it takes about three years. In other words, three years of daily shampooing means the ends of your long hair would have gone through 365×3 times of washing. So, yes, it is necessary to use a conditioner after shampooing to seal and protect your hair cuticles against dryness (from the daily wash).

Choosing a scalp conditioner / light conditioner for short hair is advisable. Try Shiseido Professional The Hair Care Adenovital Scalp Treatment for light conditioning; it can be massaged into the scalp to promote healthy blood circulation.

Can massaging my scalp really stimulate hair growth?

Yes. Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to promote cell growth for all parts of our human body, therefore massaging your scalp does help maintain its health. But in the case of thinning hair, our lab has noticed a decrease and shrinking of blood vessels, so rather than solely relying on scalp massage, you might want to consider using a specially formulated hair product against hair loss.

Can I go to bed with wet hair?

Technically, the answer is no. If you often go to bed with wet hair, it doesn’t pose any direct health risks but, over time, your pillow will become a breeding ground for fungal spores, which can lead to problems especially for those with mould allergies and asthma.

Does exposing my hair to sunlight cause it to lighten over time?

Yes, the combination of UV rays, humidity and oxygen in the hair will result in natural oxidation, which leads to the lightening of the melanin in our hair. It is like a car parked outdoors; after a period of rain and sun, it will result in rust and oxidation.

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as (now, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.