Very often I have clients come in for a facial and they complain about increased numbers of pimples in the hairline and especially behind the ears and on the neck. When all these areas combine, or it’s just in the hairline around the face, it’s inevitably the shampoo and conditioner they are using….
The ingredients in shampoos (and definitely in conditioners) are designed to coat the hair. They ‘stick’ to hair. They do not rinse out. This is how the shampoo marketers can promise you shiny, silky, soft hair. The ones that offer thicker, full bodied hair are worse. The shampoos and conditioners that claim to make your hair curly are the worst.
The ingredients may work well on the hair, but they are really bad for the skin. These shampoo and conditioner ingredients will ‘stick’ to the skin and help clog pores, so enabling the potential for more pimples. The conditioners in particular have ‘clinging’ ingredients that can easily clog pores. Conditioners should never be used around the hairline – only on mid to long hair length areas. All-in-one shampoo and conditioners are REALLY BAD for clogging pores and enabling pimples at the hairline, behind the ears and the neck.
Detergents used in almost all commercial shampoos will also strip your skin of it’s natural lipid barrier, and these are the same detergents used in almost all commercial skin cleansers. These detergents make dry hair dryer and oily hair oilier, the same way that they make dry skin dryer and oily skin oilier by overstimulating the sebaceous glands (the more you strip your natural lipid barrier off your skin the more the sebaceous glands will produce sebum (aka oil) to replace the lipid barrier – you will never win this battle so don’t even try to! See the video ‘how the skin works‘ and check out the blog entry on the best way to deal with oily skin).
The best shampoo I’ve found that is gentle to the hair and gentle to the skin, and will not clog pores and cause blackheads and potentially pimples, is a shea butter based baby shampoo. My personal favourite is SheaTouch Baby Shampoo and Body Wash. It does not foam. It does not smell like a fake fruit orchard. There are no plants growing around you when you shampoo. There are no birds tweeting. In fact none of the seductive marketing BS you see in ads for almost all commercial cleansers. The facts are that the ingredients in commercial shampoos are BAD for your skin. The SheaTouch baby shampoo is GOOD for the hair and the skin. Yes, it’s great for sensitive skin too!
As with your skin, you should wash your hair in cool water. Yes, the hair and skin are part of one body system – the Integumentary system – so both require cool water, not hot or warm water! YES, use the SheaTouch baby wash as your body wash – because shower gels and soaps are SO BAD for the body skin.