Q: Why do anti-oil shampoos seem to make my hair oilier?
A : The problem is known as "rebound" oil production - a condition that occurs when you strip so much oil from your hair that it sends a message to your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. The greatest offenders are harsh shampoos, some of which are formulated for oily hair. To combat the problem, choose a shampoo for "dry," "sensitive," or color treated hair. These products are designed to give the most thorough cleansing without stripping the hair. So not only will you effectively remove all the oils, you won't trigger the "oil alarm" when doing it.
This holds true for oily skin as well. Indeed, experts say the body's natural response to skin irritation is oil production. So, the harsher the cleanser - and the more oil you remove - the more oil your sebaceous glands will produce. So what type of cleansers should you use? Look for products marked "gentle," like those recommended for dry or sensitive skin. They will remove excess oil, while leaving the barrier of fatty acids in tact. This will protect skin and keep oil production under control.
Q: How do I select the right moisturizer for my skin type?
A: It seems like there are zillions of moisturizer choices out there - and no way to know what will work best for you. But experts say if you use your skin type as a guide, you can substantially narrow down product choices.
Here's a quick guide that can help:
- If your skin is dry and/or sensitive - meaning it is easily irritated - look for a moisturizer formulated for that skin type.
If your skin is oily and acne-prone, your moisturizer should be labeled "non-comedogenic".
- If you wake up with your face feeling parched, then in addition to whatever daytime moisturizer you use, you also need a night moisturizer - one that is generally richer, thicker and heavier than a day cream.
Q: Why does my hair color fade, and what can I do about it?
A: As anyone who colors his or her hair can tell you, the shade you had when you left the salon may not be the same color you end up with 3 weeks later. This is particularly true for blonde hair, which tends to change color the most.
One cause of fading hair color is oxidation, a natural process that occurs when oxygen molecules in the air attach themselves to color molecules in your hair. The end result dulls and fades hair color. While there's not much you can about it, you do have power over one contributing factor: sun exposure. Indeed, the sun fades hair color much the same way it fades your living room drapes. Keeping your head covered will dramatically reduce the sun's fading power.
Shampoo and your water type can also influence color fading. Hard water that is mineral heavy (particularly well water) can leave deposits on hair that dull and fade color. This is exacerbated if you use a harsh or medicated shampoo, which can strip color as well. To reduce fading, choose a quality shampoo with gentle ingredients, and look for products for color treated or damaged/dry hair. You might also want to try a color enhancing shampoo, a temporary product that revitalizes hair and pumps up color between salon appointments. However, be sure to tell your colorist if try these shampoos. Some can impact the performance of permanent hair coloring.