Yes, Your Shampoo Can "Stop Working"


Right after, “Should I get bangs?” and “My hair never holds a curl?” but before “Try Shimmer Lights, it's purple?” is the line “My shampoo doesn't work anymore?” Some may argue that a shampoo's a shampoo—and those people are surly old men that live in houseboats who don't, in fact, even use shampoo. They probably use the 2-in-1—no, several-in-1 stuff—whichever's on sale or within arm's distance. Some, though, notice minute details like loss of volume or slight changes in texture. And for them, this post exists.

Product build-up is a factor in not-quite-perfect hair, and can be dealt with the occasional use of a clarifying shampoo. These are also great if you need more volume for a specific look, but clarifying shampoos are notoriously drying and shouldn't be used more than once a week, according to Kimberly Pierce, senior colorist at Ion Studio (Arizona Muse and Caroline Trentini are clients). You'd trust her product recs if you met her in person—she has long, reflective, thick platinum waves with rich golden tones throughout. Her hair's got volume, but shine for days—that healthy shine that definitely isn't sprayed-on dimethicone, you know?

She says to, “think of your hair as you do your skin—it needs change-ups with the season. Sometimes you need a creamier cleanser and heavier moisturizer, then you'll notice your skin will become sort of greasy in the summer months and you switch to oil-free versions. Same goes for shampoo and conditioner. Maybe you'll always use the same shampoo and be happy with your hair, but if you see things get oily quicker, or that your hair is drying out, that's when you know you should change to a new formula for a bit. Your skin's changing oil production definitely affects your hair?”

It's sort of a 'duh' way to think about haircare. It's not really that your shampoo “stopped working?” it's that it's not as effective as it once was because maybe you're sweating a lot more than you did back in January. And it's not that you have to give up what was once your favorite shampoo (hell, for some of us it also serves as a signature fragrance), just maybe consider having options to give your hair what it needs based on those factors we can't control—i.e. the climate—and switching things up as often as you would skincare. Thus, the endless haircare aisle at your local Duane Reade.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Image via ITG.