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Hair colour is associated with any number of personality traits: We are all quite familiar with the most common ones : “Blondes have more fun” and ” Redheads have bad tempers.”. Let’s take a look at some of these stereotypes.
Blondes are supposedly lacking in intelligence, choosy, outgoing, flighty, and like to have fun. Now being blonde myself, I have to argue that most blondes certainly do not lack intelligence; they are actually very smart. Then I have to question the stereotype that most smart blondes are also flighty. In case, you didn’t know, flighty means slightly crazy. I would say that all blondes like to have fun, but they don’t necessarily have more than say brunettes or red-heads.
Now for the brunette stereotypes. Brunettes are supposedly trustworthy, faithful, even tempered, clever, gifted, confident, stable, and imagination less. Almost every brunette has a very avid imagination, and quite a few of them are most definitely not even tempered at all. Most are clever, but not all are gifted.
Time for the red-head stereotypes. Red-heads are supposedly hot-tempered, sensitive to pain, self-motivated, opinionated, alluring, impatient, powerful, loving, insightful, sincere, and excited. Most of these are true for the red-heads, but only 50% of them really have a hot temper; the most well-known stereotype of all time. Also, all of them are excited, self-motivated, and loving.
Moving on to dark hair (as in black or very dark brown). Dark haired people are supposedly reserved, calm, self-interested, sad, suspicious, competent with finances, mysterious, artistic, shadowy, and untrustworthy. Sound like nice people, right? Most people with dark hair are very nice, open, and friendly!
Last but not least, the grey/white are supposedly self-respecting, skilful, dignified, mentally powerful, emotionally obsessed, “forces of nature”, pure, clean, and old. For once. Maybe this stereotype is actually true.
In todays modern world, first impressions firmly create perceptions about people without even knowing who they really are. The first impressions you give to others can greatly influence how you are treated and viewed in many contexts of everyday life. It’s no wonder that for most women, the colour of their hair can say a lot about who they are. And, not surprisingly, why so many women want to portray a different stereotypical personality trait depending on their circumstances, such as their career. Hair colour is an identity — when you change it, you can become a different person.
A 2008 study done by Clairol found that 75 percent of American women dye their hair. This same survey revealed that 88 percent of women feel their hair has an effect on their confidence. It is also a signal or marker of how they see themselves, in addition to issues of attraction.
“There’s a reason why forty, fifty, and sixty don’t look the way they used to, and it’s not because of feminism, or better living through exercise. It’s because of hair dye. In the 1950’s only 7 percent of American women dyed their hair; today there are parts of Manhattan and Los Angeles where there are no gray-haired women at all.” ― Nora Ephron
A very important part of maintaining this appearance will be the type of shampoo that you use. For most people, this might be the least important decision of the day. Other decisions carry much more weight. Do you go gluten-free or vegan? Should you be banting or fasting? Those with coloured hair might be checking out the labels of shampoo bottles a little bit more closely.
Sulfate-free: You’ve seen the term everywhere… on label after label at the pharmacy, in magazine ads, and even in a few TV commercials. But what does it really mean? And should you be concerned that the shampoo in your shower isn’t part of this popular crowd? The term has even become associated with being “healthier” and “organic”. Here’s exactly what you need to know.
What Exactly Are Sulfates?
“Sulfates are detergents and they’re extremely good at what they do, cleansing [hair and the scalp] by cutting through dirt and grime,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist in New Jersey. The most common sulfates you’ll spot in ingredient lists are sodium lauryl sulfate (a.k.a. SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (a.k.a. ASL).
Sulfates have the potential to wreak total havoc on your hair. There are many negative effects that sulfates can cause to your hair shaft, hair follicles, and your scalp. Some of these include:
- Dry hair and scalp. Sulfates dissolve all of the natural oils on your scalp, thus leaving your hair and scalp dryer than normal.
- Scalp irritations. Sulfates have the potential to worsen dandruff and eczema. In turn they also leave your scalp feeling tight and itchy.
- Fading hair colour. If you colour your hair, the aggressive cleansing that sulfates give you will strip your hair of that colour, leaving you with dull, faded locks.
- Hair loss. Sulfates corrode and damage your hair follicles, which leads to hair loss. This is especially true if you don’t properly rinse shampoo out of your hair.
What’s in Sulfate-Free Shampoos, Then?
The short answer: Mild detergents that don’t completely wash away your hair’s moisture. Unlike traditional shampoos, sulfate-free ones don’t froth or create as many suds. Sulfate-free systems are more difficult to thicken, which means that chemists have to add more ingredients to make a nice product. Otherwise your shampoo would flow like water.
Who Should Use a Sulfate-Free Formula?
While sulfate-based shampoos do a great job of getting rid of oil and product buildup, they can also potentially dry out your hair, leading to a lack of moisture and sometimes even damage like split ends. So, if your hair is naturally prone to dryness, is coarse, curly or fragile, then a sulfate-free product might be a good choice for you.
So why switch to sulphate free shampoo?
Benefit #1: Reduces the chances of developing irritation or inflammation within scalp.
People with sensitivities to certain hair care products probably have experienced inflammation from sulfate-harboring shampoos. This irritation often causes a person’s scalp to become itchy, sore and unbearable to manage until it subsides. No one wants an irritated scalp. That’s why it’s important to avoid using products that contain harmful ingredients, such as sulfate.
Benefit #2: Increases moisture retention within the hair.
The hair is a haven for natural oils and other forms of moisture, such as those bought on by water and hair products. But, when you use a sulfate-harboring shampoo, your hair may lose the ability to retain moisture over time. Sulfate free shampoo, on the other hand, gently cleans your hair. That way, you don’t have to worry about dealing with excessively dry hair long after it dries.
Benefit #3: Improves and retains the hair’s natural oils.
The hair follicles produce plenty of natural oils that help keep the hair moisturized and healthy. However, the oil-stripping properties of sulfate often strip these natural oils out of hair, causing the hair to become brittle, dry and unmanageable. Sulfate free shampoo gently washes the hair without stripping out its natural oils. By helping retain those natural oils, you won’t have to worry about your hair becoming excessively dry nor developing an itchy scalp.
Benefit #4: Retains hair color in dyed hair for longer periods of time.
Ever shampoo and wash your hair, only to find that your hair dye’s starting to fade? What about after each time you wash your hair with a sulfate-harboring shampoo? That’s what sulfate does—it strips out oils and even pigmentation from your hair. Sulfate free shampoo doesn’t. This shampoo gently washes your hair without stripping out any of its natural and temporary properties –temporary, as in hair dye pigment. That way, you can enjoy your dyed hair for longer periods of time. So, don’t forget: always use sulfate shampoo on dyed hair.
Benefit #5: Prevents the scalp from absorbing harmful chemicals.
Did you know that studies found that sulfate can eventually be absorbed by the liver? When this happens, it mimics estrogen found in the body, which could potentially cause hormonal issues in people. The substance may also contain 1.4-dioxane, a substance that’s known as a harmful carcinogen. However, such information is still under extensive research, but the sentiment is still there for those concerned about using sulfate-harboring shampoos.
Bottom Line: Do You Really Need to Use a Sulfate-Free Formula?
If you know that you’re sensitive to sulfates, you should definitely opt for a sulfate-free formula to prevent any scalp irritation. It really all depends on your hair type; those with parched or color-treated hair may benefit from using a gentler cleansing choice to prevent their hair from feeling super dry, while those who have greasier strands will probably find that they need to use sulfates to truly feel like their hair is clean. But if you’re curious, by all means go ahead and try a sulfate-free shampoo to see if it works for you!
Oh, and just a bit of a friendly tip: Hair contains information about everything that has ever been in your bloodstream, including drugs, and is one of the most commonly used types of forensic evidence. That’s one thing about your personality that isn’t going to change if you dye your hair!
Tell us about more of the perceptions and facts about hair that you know of in the comments below.