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«publishing brains Brains Publishing – New York, Chicago Copyright © 2008 by Brains Publishing All rights reserved. Published in the United States ...»

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Real Scientists Answer Your Beauty Questions

Real Scientists Answer

Your Beauty Questions

edited by Sarah Bellum



Brains Publishing – New York, Chicago

Copyright © 2008 by Brains Publishing

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Brains Publishing.


The authors have attempted to make this book as accurate and up to date as possible,

but it may contain errors, omissions, or material that is out of date at the time you read it. Neither the author nor publisher has any legal responsibility or liability for errors, omissions, out-of-date material, or the reader’s application of the advice contained in this book ISBN: 978-0-9802173-4-6 Printed in the United States of America First Edition For Beauty Brainiacs everywhere...

Real Scientists Answer Your Beauty Questions Table of Contents Who are the Beauty Brains viii ix What’s the Purpose of The Beauty Brains?

Section I Hair Chapter 1 Hair Products and how they work The shampoo secret companies don’t want you to know Is Paul Mitchell making your hair break Is Ojon Restorative Treatment any good 5 Two natural oils that make your hair shiny and strong 7 Is Pantene good or bad for my hair 8 Are salon products in stores the same as those in salons 10 Do curling shampoos really work 11 Chapter 2 Tips on Caring for Your Hair Drying dilemma – What’s the best way to dry your hair 14 Three simple secrets to save your scalp 16 Want shiny hair? Avoid the dirty dozen 17 How to tell if a dandruff shampoo will really work 19 You don’t have to use body wash to get yourself clean 21 Top 10 split end busters 23 How to clean your hair with conditioner 25 Hair extensions may be killing your hair 26 What everyone should know about straightening irons 28 How to kill lice and not your hair 29 The cause of smelly hair syndrome 30 Ten tips to stop smelly hair 32 Chapter 3 Hair Myths How to tell if you’re spending too much on conditioner 33 Will copper stop dandruff

–  –  –

Left Brain The most hardcore skeptical scientist of all the Beauty Brains, the Left Brain peruses the world of science to bring you the latest developments and how they might apply to the cosmetic world.

Right Brain Still scientific, but a bit less militant, the Right Brain has a good eye for the humorous, and human interest, side of science. The Right is particularly skilled in interpreting advertising claims.

Sarah Bellum The more sensitive Beauty Brain, Sarah focuses on the aesthetics of the cosmetic world and is more likely to find stories on the pages of People than Pubmed.

The Other Lobes The other Brains work behind the scenes researching questions, reviewing the latest beauty technology, and keeping up with the day to day business of running this website. As we continue to grow, you’ll be hearing from some of the other “lobes.” All of us use “brainy” nicknames because being anonymous lets us blog about all kinds of products from many different companies without any bias.

viii What’s the Purpose of The Beauty Brains?

There are literally THOUSANDS of cosmetic products constantly bombarding you with confusing and sometimes, false information. The Beauty Brains was started in 2006 to help women understand the real science behind the beauty products they use everyday. We have taken questions from people around the world about all beauty topics including hair care, skin care, make up and even cosmetic surgery.

We’re here to help you cut through the confusing, misleading and sometimes false information that the beauty companies bombard you with. Our goal is to explain cosmetic science to you in a way that’s entertaining and easy to understand. We believe the more information you have, the better you’ll be able to find products that you like at a price you can afford. So, you can listen to the advertising. Or advice from a friend. Or what your stylist tells you. But if you want to really understand cosmetic products in an unbiased, scientific way.

In this book we’ve collected more than 100 of our best questions and answers to make learning about cosmetic science easy and entertaining. By giving you honest, unbiased information, The Beauty Brains can help you become a smarter shopper so you’ll be able to get the products you like at prices you can afford.

–  –  –

Chapter 1 Hair Products and How They Work The Shampoo Secret Beauty Companies Don’t Want You To Know Conny tells The Beauty Brains she has a very sensitive scalp with fine hair and suffers from hair loss and dandruff. Dermatologists have advised her to use a clear gel shampoo that has to be clarifying or deep cleansing. So, she’s tried Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo, Suave for Men Deep Cleansing shampoo, Neutrogena Anti-residue shampoo, and Prell Classic original formula. She’s not happy with those choices and is asking us to set her straight.

Hair Products and How They Work - 1

The Right Brain responds:

While we hate to disagree with dermatologists, we don’t understand why they recommended a deep cleansing shampoo when you have dandruff. Deep cleansing type shampoos will remove the surface flakes, but only a dandruff shampoo can control the cause of flaking and itching. So we’d recommend finding a good dandruff shampoo instead of chasing deep cleaning, clarifying and anti-residue products. This may seem confusing to you because the beauty companies tell you there are SO many different kinds of shampoo.

But in reality, every shampoo on the market falls into a few basic categories.

Only 4 different shampoo types in the world All shampoo can be categorized by their basic functional category. So then why are there eleventy million products on the market, you ask? Because the companies that sell shampoo need to find new ways to talk about their products to keep them sounding new and exciting. There’s nothing wrong with them being creative about their names and claims as long as the companies are honestly depicting what their products can do. But you can be a smarter consumer if you can see beyond the marketing hype and understand the functionality of these 4 basic shampoo types.

1. Deep Cleansing Shampoos (Also known as Volumizing, Clarifying, Balancing, Oil Control, and Thickening.) These shampoos are designed to get gunk off your hair and scalp. They typically contain slightly higher levels of detergents so they foam and clean better. They include the examples above as well as salon products like Paul Mitchell Shampoo 2. and Frederic Fekkai’s Full Volume.

2. Conditioning Shampoos (Aka Moisturizing, 2 in 1, Smoothing, Anti-frizz, Strengthening, Color Care, Straightening, and Hydrating) This kind of formula is all about leaving a moisturizing agent, like a silicone or Polyquaternium 10, on the hair to smooth it. It’s very good for dry hair, especially if you color treat or heat style but it can weigh down fine hair. Good examples of this type includes most of the Pantene formulas and some products from the L’Oreal Vive collection and Dove ProCare.

2 - Hair Products and How They Work

3. Baby Shampoos (Aka Kids shampoo, and Tear-free) Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is the classic example but this category also includes Touch Of An Angel and The Little Bath. These are milder, lower foaming surfactant formulas that are designed not to sting or burn your eyes. They’re better for babies but they don’t clean hair as well.

4. Anti-Dandruff Shampoos (Aka Anti-itch, Flake Control, and Dry Scalp) Head and Shoulders is the leading dandruff product; other examples include Nizoral and Redken Dandruff Control. These are medicated shampoos that contain a drug ingredient that controls itching and flaking. In the United States these are considered to be Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs.

The Beauty Brains bottom line Hopefully, this helps you better understand the marketing hype around shampoo names. We’re not saying that all shampoos are the same, or even that all shampoos in a given category type are the same. There are real performance differences so it’s important that you shop around and find a product that performs the way you like at a price that you can afford. But just don’t get too hung up on the names the companies use to describe the products. That’s the marketing part of the industry, not the science part.

Is Paul Mitchell Making Your Hair Break?

Jackie’s question:

About a year ago my stylist starting using Paul Mitchell products on me and I haven’t loved my hair since! Now it’s damaged and it breaks easily. My stylist blames me using the flat iron. I know that doesn’t help BUT I used the flat iron for years and have never had this happen. She tells me that’s because I had my hair colored so much. I have never had these problems until she switched to Paul Mitchell.

Is it possible that his products make my hair start to break off and thin out?

Hair Products and How They Work - 3

The Left Brain’s snappy comment:

Jackie, thanks so much for the question. I see how you could think that Paul Mitchell made your hair go bad, but I doubt that’s really what happened.

Paul Mitchell products are not different enough from other products you’ve been using (except for being overpriced), so there is likely a different reason you’re experiencing hair breakage. It is natural to leap to conclusions like this, but they are often incorrect.

Instead of worrying about Paul Mitchell, I’d blame 3 other factors for your

hair problem:

1. Flat iron usage is VERY bad for your hair. That’s probably the most immediate cause of daily breakage. If you want less damage consider ironing less frequently.

2. In the long run, the worst thing you can is chemically color your hair. Coloring breaks down the hair’s protein making it weaker. Frequent chemical processing literally pushes your hair to its “breaking point.”

3. The first two factors are worsened because you’re getting older and your hair is weaker. As we age our hair gets less dense and more prone to breakage. That’s probably why you’re seeing so much hair breakage more recently - Father Time is catching up with you!

What to do So, what can you do? Well, the shampoo doesn’t matter much as long as you’re using a conditioner. The Paul Mitchell conditioner is good, but so are many other cheaper, mass market brands like Fructis, Pantene, or Tresemme.

You might consider using one of these every time you do your hair. The conditioner should provide enough lubrication so that pulling on it with a comb does not break the hair. It may even provide some protection against the heat of the flat iron. If you’re not using a conditioner, be sure to use a conditioning shampoo like Pantene 2-in-1. This should help slow your hair breaking problem.

4 - Hair Products and How They Work

The Beauty Brains bottom line:

In truth, heat, coloring, and age are all conspiring against you to break your hair. You can’t do anything about the aging process but if you stopped coloring and reduced the heat exposure, your hair would break less. Of course, then you might not like how it looks. Such is the price we pay for beauty!

Is Ojon Restorative Treatment Any Good?

Anonymous Asks:

I was curious about what you thought of the Ojon products, specifically their restorative hair treatment. Is this any better than other products, and how would it work to improve your hair?

The Right Brain Responds:

Ojon’s oil treatment consists of palm oil, fragrance, and a few extracts. It’s particularly interesting because recent research has shown that only SOME oils will actually penetrate the hair. Mineral oil and sunflower oil, for example, will not penetrate. But coconut oil (which is essentially the same as palm oil) will filter deep into the cortex because it is so similar to hair’s natural lipids.

Oil conditions hair Why is that a big deal? Because the natural oils in your hair help make it flexible and waterproof. Washing your hair removes some of these natural oils.

So it is possible that applying coconut oil to your hair can fight some of the effects of this oil loss. Once inside the hair, the oil serves as a re-fatting agent.

However, this type of conditioning won’t have much effect on the cuticle, the outer layer of hair, so you’ll still need to use a good conditioner to smooth the hair and make it easier to comb.

Is it a good value? Well, that’s another question. Any other coconut oil based product should do about the same job and should be much cheaper. Off hand we can’t recommend any specific brands, but look for products that feature

–  –  –

Is there anything to their rain forest hype? Well, their rain forest story seems well intentioned but this ingredient isn’t proven to work any better or any differently than non-rain forest ingredients. Coconut trees only grow in tropical climates, but there’s nothing special about trees from the rain forest.

So, if you like Ojon’s products and you want to support their cause AND you can afford the $55 for this product, then by all means buy it. But don’t buy the product just because they tell you their rain forest extract is better.

The Beauty Brains Bottom Line We haven’t tested this product but based on recent scientific research, the palm oil used by Ojon should penetrate the hair. Therefore it could protect your hair from over-washing. However, at $55, it’s a bit pricey so shop around for other coconut oil products because you may be able to get the same effect for less money.

–  –  –

The Left Brain provides an oily update:

Thanks for your kind words, Lina. Yes, studies have shown that coconut oil actually penetrates the hair to help make it stronger. And as it turns out, olive oil also has penetrating properties. Scientists at the Textile Research (J. Cosmet.Sci 52, 169-184, 2001) tested Olive oil, Avocado oil, Meadow foam seed oil, Sunflower oil, and Jojoba oil. Their results showed that straight chain glycerides like olive oil easily penetrate into the hair. Polyunsaturated oils, like Jojoba oil, are more open in their structure so they don’t pass through the layers of cuticles very well.

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