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What Your Mother Never Told You About Shampoo

Shampoo: how much do you need?

Shampoo: When less is definitely more.

The two most common problems we hear is that their hair is either frizzy and “always does it’s own thing,” or it is great right after shampooing but is completely limp and hangs like a curtain that has seen better days by the evening.

The first problem of frizzy hair is often due to the ends of the hair being dry and damaged and, between you and me, shampoo is doing more harm than good.

And don’t you start reading to me what’s on the label of your shampoo bottle about how it is feeding your hair lovely protein or some other total lie.

Your shampoo is doing nothing of the sort.

The problem of limp hair is often associated with usually fine, straight hair.

In this case, your shampoo may be okay (I say, MAY be okay) and I would suspect the culprit is your conditioner.

Both of these problems can begin to be solved by using LESS shampoo or conditioner, LESS often.

This doesn’t mean you can’t necessarily wet your hair everyday to make it easier to style, if you find that helpful.

But it is well worth playing with not washing and conditioning your hair every time you step into the shower and seeing if this is effective for you.

In this article you will learn a little about shampoo.

What is shampoo really doing to your hair?

What is shampoo actually for and what does it really do to your hair?

First of all, shampoo and soap are two different products. Just because I say shampoo might be damaging your hair (or merely not helping the situation) does not mean you have been duped and you could have been using a good old bar of soap all these years.

The biology of hair is well known and pretty simple.

If we all wore our hair short, it would need as much care as your fingernails do – that is to say, not much care at all.

The cuticle or outside layer of your hair, as you probably know, is made up of scales that lie more or less tightly on top of each other like roof tiles.

These scales shift around as the hair swells when it is wet and then shrinks back when the hair has dried.

This is why humid or rainy days can make some hair types develop its own plan for the day – usually not in line with your plan!

These scales slide back into place harder and smoother when they have had a slightly acidic bath and all major brand shampoos have the correct acidity levels to achieve this positive effect.

This is where the classic advice to rinse your hair in dilute lemon juice or beer comes from. It really does work, but it seems like a waste of beer to me.

Soap is slightly alkaline, the opposite of acid, which leaves your hair, if you could look under a microscope, a bit spongy and stretchy. The cuticle is left not so hard and more likely to flake and break.

Plus, soap has the added disadvantage of clinging to minerals in the water, basically making soap scum, which is not doing anything good for your hair.

So don’t abandon your shampoo for soap!

Shampoo’s main job, of course, is to remove dirt, oil and all the hair styling products you put on your hair.

Now no one likes dirt, but unless you work in a fish tinning factory or a coal mine, I have news for you, your hair is probably not as dirty as you think.

But what about oil from your scalp?

What about the oil from your scalp?

If you suffer from frizzy hair, the problem is that the oil (or “sebum”) is actually your own body producing the conditioner your hair needs to stay healthy.

And the more you shampoo, you wash this sebum away and make it almost impossible for your body to do its natural job!

The old wives’ advice to brush your hair 50 or 100 times a day was how women in the past helped distribute the sebum more evenly down the entire length of the hair.

This isn’t entirely necessary and brushing damaged hair is not really a good idea (and if you have curly hair, you probably already know that you should not be brushing your hair at all. Not ever.)

But if you want to help your hair along, combing your hair when it is dry with your fingers is absolutely the most gentle way to work out snarls, groom out loose hair and spread that natural (and FREE) sebum down to the ends of your hair.

Your skin on your fingers cannot catch on the scales of your cuticle the way brush bristles do, making this the absolute kindest way you can treat your hair.

You do end up with fingers full of old hair, which isn’t terribly nice, but your hands are easier to clean than your brush.

Should you use shampoo at all?

Is it necessary to even use shampoo at all? You can certainly experiment with going shampoo-free.

Indeed many women with curly hair use shampoo maybe once or twice a year.

This is true. And their hair isn’t stinky or full of spiders. Their hair is really healthy. Their natural sebum is doing all the work for them.

If you don’t get on with the no-shampoo method, try using the tiniest dot of shampoo it is possible to squeeze out of the bottle.

Rub your hands together and only use this diluted shampoo where your scalp feels it could use a scrub.

You will not get a lovely mound of soap suds with this method but this actually means that your shampoo is dealing with dirt.

If you are shampooing and you get a nice head full of bubbly lather, your hair was actually pretty clean, so you were just using shampoo for the heck of it.

Soap lathers first, because it is just simply formulated to make bubbles (some soap formulas, such as olive oil based soap, have almost no lather but clean just as effectively), and second, because it isn’t actually encountering any dirt.

How about a really good, expensive shampoo full of protein and peptides and sunscreen?

This is a big topic – one of my favourites – and it is in my opinion the biggest rip off that the shampoo companies are putting over on the general public. I’ll talk about that in another article.

If you have hair that goes  limp, you have the opposite problem.

If you have hair that goes completely limp, then we’re talking about the opposite sebum distribution problem.

It isn’t necessarily that your scalp is very oily, but that your hair is probably very smooth, so the oil travels down the length of your hair very easily – too easily!

In your case you usually need a normal shampoo, with no silicone added, because this coats your hair and makes it shiny but ultimately really weighs it down.

Further, silicone does not wash out easily with shampoo and it just builds and builds with every wash.

Along the same lines are volumising shampoos. All these products do is add a film of styling product along the length of each hair.

This film may feel fine first thing in the morning, but it will ultimately weigh your hair down.

These types of products are also difficult to wash out and do build up if you use this type of shampoo repeatedly.

So if you suffer from limp hair, shampooing is a good thing using a basic shampoo for fine or normal hair, but even you may not need to wash your hair every day.

Your issue very possibly is with your conditioner.

In the next article, I explain what conditioner actually is, what it does (and doesn’t do) for your hair and how much of it you need.


Enjoying yourself? Don’t stop now.

Here are some more posts you’ll enjoy:

Struggling With Styling Slippery Hair? Tutorial Video

Living Dangerously So You Don’t Have To  Tutorial Video

Hair Clips For Fine Hair: Melissa’s Top Picks  5 Video Series

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK for some top quality hair clips you’ll simply adore.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out what our customers are saying about us …


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A French Pleat In 4 Easy Steps

Forget all that teasing, a mouthful of hair pins and half a bottle of hair spray.

The classic French pleat style is dead easy … once you know how!


Click here to order our French Handmade U Pin, or

Visit Stone Bridge for more French hair accessories

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Riding With The Top Down

Does Your Hair Give You Freedom Or Stop You From Doing Fun Stuff?

You know how I normally go on and on about hair clips? I do actually think about other things sometimes.

For instance, there is so much cool science news as the moment. From finding neutrinos that might travel faster than the speed of light to the news that coffee might lower the risk of depression in “older” (read “better”) women (Whoo hoo! I’m less depressed already! Where’s the coffee?) I’ve been having a lot of fun delving into my favourite topics of personal and pointless interest.

Daughter Number Two even gave me a theme tune in the film she just finished for her “About Me” school project: Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science”

My Theory About Fun Stuff

I am a sucker for fun stuff. I don’t like denying myself anything that sounds like it might be a good time.

Bad TiesFor example, when our next door neighbours (who are lovely, don’t get me wrong on this) sent round notes last year warning practically the entire village that they were planning a Black Tie garden party which would be huge, involve live music and no, we weren’t invited I immediately send round a note saying we were planning a Bad Tie garden party which would be huge, involve the neighbours’ live music and yes, everyone and their children were invited.

But no one was admitted unless they had a bad tie.

The local charity shop did a roaring trade in ties that week.

My theory about fun is you should grab every opportunity to celebrate or enjoy yourself because goodness knows life will throw a load of crap in your direction too.

You need to do your best to offset badness with goodness so you can stay in balance.

Let Your Hair Down

There’s that expression, “let your hair down” to describe the decision you make to break from the seriousness, relax a little and have a good time.

Mazda Miata Convertible

Put the top down!

However I think you’ll agree with me that once you’ve crested the age of about 30 it can be hard to have a good time socially unless you feel confident that your clothes and hair look at least presentable.

Clothes, with the exception of shoes, can be easy to manage with most outfits being able to transition these days with ease from work to dinner out to cooling your heels with friends in the garden.

But hair, especially long hair and especially where there is Weather with a Capital Dubbya like in Britain, can make you think again when someone proposes the sort of fun that might blow your hairstyle to smithereens.

Like having a quick go on the roller coaster before ducking into the charming French restaurant where you’ve got a table booked.

Or just putting the top of the convertible down on your way to the theatre because – shock, horror – it’s a rare warm evening at the end of September and Beloved Husband is in a good mood and feeling right with the world.

How positively boring to say, “No, darling. It will mess up my hair.”

How dare your hair control your life like that!

In these situations you don’t need to let your hair down. By gum, you need to put your hair up.

Fortunately, at Stone Bridge Hair Accessories, you can find a selection of hair clips that are perfect for keeping in the glove box of your car, your gym bag or you desk drawer at work.

Not only do they do the job and hold your hair properly, they actually look smart and make your hair look good.


Something For The Weekend Ma’am?

The Weather forecast predicts temperatures in the mid-20’s later this week.

So, go ahead. Let’s take the convertible out for a spin.


Hair Accessories Perfect For Taking Out Your Mazda Miata Convertible

Plage French Banana Hair Clip

Plage French Banana Hair Clip

Heather Knit French Ponytail Elastics, Set of 3

Heather Knit French Ponytail Elastics, Set of 3

French Hair Sticks, Savannah Collection

Allure French Hair Stick, Savannah Collection

Shop All New Hair Clips

Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories UK

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Got Fine Hair? Stone Bridge Has Got Hair Clips You’ll Love

Hair Clips for Fine Hair

Stone Bridge Arpege Cuffed Elastic for Fine Hair

Have trouble finding hair clips that will hold your fine hair? I’ve put together a complete series of videos and demonstrations showing you precisely which hair clips work best for fine hair and, more importantly, why.

Click here to see my personally recommended hair clips for fine hair

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