What exactly is shampoo? Isn't it just for when I wash my hair - to get my hair and scalp clean? Well, that was the original intention! But over the years beauty manufacturers have made "improvements" to shampoo formulas. They've added a whole host of ingredients designed to cling to the hair in order to provide extra benefits like thickening, smoothing, and frizz blocking. Sounds like a good idea, right?
WRONG! When you're washing hair everyday you're often loading up your scalp with harmful ingredients in shampoo. Read on to learn about shampoo myths, shampoo dangers and why...as we discovered…the most important thing about a shampoo formula isn’t what ingredients are put IN, but what ingredients are left OUT.
WHAT IS SHAMPOO?
“Originally, the job of a shampoo was to simply cleanse the hair and scalp. So the formulas only contained ingredients to remove dirt and oil,” says Gail Federici, CEO and founder of Color Wow.
Creator of multiple iconic hair care brands (the first to prescriptively address frizzy and blonde hair problems), Gail Federici has a long history of award-winning hair care product development.
“Starting in the eighties...and still going on today... “advanced shampoos” meant the formulas were multi-taskers with ingredients that could deliver secondary benefits - like thickening, smoothing, moisturizing, volumizing, de-frizzing, and glossing. Typically, these ingredients include silicones, thickening gums, and conditioning agents,” explains Gail.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE SHAMPOO INDUSTRY?
With the goal of improving shampoo formulas, manufacturers went from making simple, cleansing shampoos to 2-in-1’s, which meant putting conditioning agents into shampoos for convenience. Then came thickening formulas, sleeking formulas...even “shampoo-free” cleansing conditioners, known as no-poo’s (which were associated with the no poo method.
To deliver “added benefits” these formulas were engineered to leave behind “clinging” ingredients in order to change hair’s texture and appearance.
The problem? In attempts to “build a better shampoo” formulators lost sight of the actual job of a shampoo - to leave the hair fresh and clean.
According to Gail, “Adding these extra ingredients to shampoo formulas is counter-productive as they are engineered to not rinse off, and adhere to the hair. Non-cleansing ingredients (silicones, conditioning agents, oils, parabens) leave a film on the hair which makes it dull and weighs it down.” Washing hair everyday with these ingredients lead to complications.
Washing hair everyday, continually using these shampoos, loaded with added ingredients that build up - meant your hair was never truly getting clean.
WASHING HAIR 101 - SHAMPOOS THAT CAUSE HAIR LOSS
Unlike other hair products, shampoos are massaged directly into the scalp. You are supposed to gently massage the formula so that friction and cleansing agents help lift off dead cells and debris.
Why does this makes things worse? When you massage these so-called “advanced” shampoos onto your hair and scalp, you’re actually massaging ingredients like heavy silicones, conditioning ingredients and pearlizing agents directly onto your head.
The danger is that, in the long run, these residues can build up, block hair follicles and impede new hair growth…leading to thinning and hair loss.
In fact, many people are now familiar with the major class action lawsuit against the maker of a “no-poo” cleansing shampoo alleging hair loss and scalp irritation among other things. That case resulted in a settlement of $26,250,000 and although liability remained disputed, much anecdotal evidence between cleansing shampoos and hair fall out remains.
WHAT TO AVOID IN SHAMPOO?
“Really, it makes no sense to put ingredients into a shampoo that not only have nothing to do with the cleansing process, but in fact, do the opposite,” says Federici. When you think about it, it’s kind of a blinding glimpse of the obvious!
For a full list of ingredients to avoid in shampoo check out this blog post - and learn specifically about why sulfate is bad for your hair here.
HOW IS THE COLOR WOW APPROACH TO HOW I WASH MY HAIR DIFFERENT?
The “aha” moment came for us while we were developing the Color Wow range for color-treated hair. We couldn’t figure out why hair color never looked as fresh as the day it was done. We had just created a sulfate-free shampoo that was as gentle as water so we knew the color wasn’t leaching out when we were washing hair. But still, even after removing sulfates, the hair still looked dull and discolored after a few weeks.
After much analysis, the penny dropped. Our in-development shampoo formula, which contained silicones and conditioners, wasn’t really leaving the hair clean! The color was dull and distorted because of residues.
So, we did a 180-degree pivot! And, based on our new insight (and contrary to the industry norm) we completely revamped and edited our new formula. We pulled out all the unnecessary ingredients and only kept the basic, gentle cleansing ingredients. Color Wow Color Security Shampoo was born.
Color Wow Color Security Shampoo is unique among shampoos - it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients found in other shampoos. NO sulfates, NO silicones, NO parabens, NO natural or synthetic oils, NO thickening gums, NO conditioning agents, NO pearlizing agents…nothing that stays behind.
The formula is ideal for every hair type. But it is especially critical for those with color-treated hair, people concerned about hair thinning, and women who have extensions (Color Wow has no ingredients that will make extensions “slip”).