Date
21 July 2018
The more the chemicals inside a shampoo bottle, the easier the irritation or inflammation that it can potentially cause. Photo: Reuters
The more the chemicals inside a shampoo bottle, the easier the irritation or inflammation that it can potentially cause. Photo: Reuters

Washing your hair in winter: Dos and don’ts

Winter is a time of important celebrations, with people greeting each other during Christmas and the New Year and offering wishes for happiness, good health and prosperity. It is also a time when our skin and hair need extra care.

During wintertime, our skin and hair are easily damaged because of dryness. Choosing shampoo products that suit our scalps and hair types and do not contain any nasty chemicals is therefore very important.

There are mainly three types of hair: oily, normal and dry.

Our hair types may vary with our daily routines, environment, stress and emotions. When there is excessive sebum, use a shampoo that is specialized for oily hair, then switch to a mild shampoo once improvement is observed. If the hair tends to be dry, use a milky type of shampoo which is rich in oil.

Be reminded that the more the chemicals inside the bottle, the easier the irritation or inflammation that it can potentially cause.

Harmful ingredients such as paraben, methylisothiazolinone (MI), methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) — the latter is also known as Kathon CG — are common preservatives found in shampoo and other hair care products.

People who wash their hair every day are exposed to these chemicals daily and have a higher chance of experiencing allergy or inflammation on the scalp.

Smart shoppers especially those with eczema or other skin problems should opt for products with a short ingredient list. The shorter it is, the less and the simpler the ingredients there likely to be. Products with lots of flavor or color choices, in contrast, contain more additives.

Before applying a product onto the entire head, try a little of it on the hairline to see if there is any reaction. If the skin becomes red or swollen, stop using immediately.

To find out whether a specific substance causes allergic inflammation, go to the doctor and do a skin patch test. It will make shopping for the right personal care products so much easier.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan 3

Translation by John Chui with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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