Your contributions are needed at the end of this article! This post comes courtesy of an email from a hairdresser and cosmetology tutor of 15 years. She says,
'I am interested in why you believe that your science provides answers that stylists can’t (link to my profile). I do agree with many of your explanations but some things you say are wrong and I say this with many years of experience. For example, deep conditioning (we recommend treatments with heat) or your view on using shampoo and oils (many clients actually have oily heads, so why make it worse, just use a brush to spread the oil?). Do you think your opinion may be more balanced if you had a hairdresser contribute?'
So today I will be the devil’s advocate! Here are two statements (both are not real, just examples!)
Subjective – I have seen 1000 clients and about 900 had oily heads. Therefore, I conclude that 9 out of 10 people have oily hair.
Objective – I tested the scalps of 1000 subjects with straight black asian hair and found that 900 produced 35± 2mg of oil per day while 100 produced under 20 ± 2mg. Therefore 9 out of 10 people with straight black asian hair produce on average atleast 35 mg of oil per day.
Good science is specific and well thought through. Now questionable science does exist too, but this is where the power of science lies. For example, the famous paper linking parabens to cancer had its flaws openly criticised in another publication. Science is self balancing, simply put, the fear of other scientists getting their claws out is enough to make even the most confident scientist ask for 3 more experiments – just to make sure.
Now, I wouldn’t attempt to school a stylist on the fine points of layering, point cutting or colouring hair. Equally, I wouldn’t expect a stylist to explain to me the finer details of protein adsorption or solubility or the chemistry involved in formulation. We can certainly benefit from each other – for science to exist, we need questions (for example, product A is terrible – can you make it better?) and for hairdressers to have products, we need scientists.
Finally, I do not report ‘my ideas’. I report the science with a few pithy comments. My articles are really not that controversial, except for those with a set way of thinking. I have no vested interest in presenting wrong information which is why I cite sources and always say that every individual has to make their own choice. Science is not static and the ink never dries on a scientific paper. If there is a credible source able to challenge any of the work presented here, you will definitely hear about it right here. I also say, if you think something is wrong, present me with a scientific paper and I will listen.
Now this is an open discussion- feel free to state your mind!!
1. Are the articles here really that controversial?
2. Does science have a place in your hair care routine?
3. Do you place more value on advice from a particular source and why? (maybe your friend because she has nice hair or a hairdresser because you have been going there for years or from a website because it has a range of opinions?)