My sophomore year of college I took statistics (bear with me here). Contrary to the belief that stats are irrelevant to life as we know it, I learned one very important fact. I have been fooled again and again by the hair industry- in particular- the store brand industry.
How could this be possible? Well, there are these people called Copy Editors, whose job is solely to twist and manipulate words to sound pristine, proper, and persuasive. Essentially, a Copy Editor can take any statistic and put it into a context which is misleading (by not providing all the necessary information one would need to come to a clear conclusion of the study).
Okay, I know I’m losing you here. Basically, the shampoo that says “Prevents 99% of Split Ends” isn’t actually doing what you think it is. (I’m talking to you, Pantene). The conditioner that promises to make your hair will grow 10x faster is full of bologna and the hairspray made for natural hair is a dirty little liar. Do you catch my drift?
So, what are the top 3 lies of store brand hair products and how can you avoid being scammed?
1) Number Claims:
A. Pantene Pro-V Everlasting Ends Shampoo prevents 95% of Split Ends
What you think it means: If you use Pantene Pro-V Everlasting Ends Shampoo you will only have hair that is 5% split ends from the moment you begin using this shampoo.
What it really means: The shampoo will prevent the formation of split ends before the splitting process begins. Here’s the problem: hair begins splitting almost immediately after you get a trim. When you brush and style your hair, important layer are stripped away. Therefore, this shampoo is unable to actually prevent anything- not to mention we need to HEAL our split ends instead of just prevent.
B. Pantene Pro-V Repair and Protect Shampoo repairs 6 months of damage in one use.
What you think it means: After you wash your hair one time, all the damage from hair within the last 6 months will be healed.
What it really means: The back of the bottle gives the truth away once again. It says “visibly”- meaning that after one wash 6 months of damage will be “healed” visibly. The study probably involved measuring shine of hair- one head that was damaged and one head that was “virgin”. If, after the study, the shine of each was the same, the above claim would become plausible- without actually having studying the core of hair to see if internal damage exists. In reality, not part of the hair is healed at all.
2) Make Hair Grow Faster
Unfortunately, there is no magical formula to make hair grow faster. The most a shampoo or conditioner can do is stimulate the scalp- but even this isn’t directly making your tresses grow quickly because – to stimulate the scalp – you have to massage it with the shampoo/conditioner. Want to see an increase in growth? Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables! A healthy, functioning body means healthy, growing hair.
3) Specially Formulated For (Insert Promise Here).
While it is possible for a product to cater to a certain hair condition, it is very rare that a store brand product will contain enough of the right ingredients to fulfill their promises. The most insane plea that these brands spit out? That their products cater to a particular to an ethnicity. Once again- Pantene (when will they just give up already?)- has a line called “Women of Color” that they market to being ideal for relaxed and natural hair. PLEASE! The ingredient combination is virtually the exact same as the “white people” version. Just the fact that they try to market a product as being “better” when it isn’t should reveal that the store brand industry can not be trusted.
Now the big question: How can I avoid being scammed by the hair industry?
The answer: STOP purchasing over-the-counter hair products. Rather, give your trust to the real professionals.