Cubelixa’s question…Ok, thanks to you I have already learned that silicones are not as bad as some people say; that the first 5 key ingredients of shampoo and conditioner of different brands are often the same or at least similar; and that the herbal stuff they throw into their products don’t do much for my hair but are mostly there for selling/marketing reasons. Now my question is: what (ingredients) does my hair really need to stay healthy and grow as long as I want it to?
The Left Brain’s answer:
The truth is your hair doesn’t “need” any topical ingredient to keep it “healthy” and growing long.
No such thing as healthy hair
It’s a common misconception that hair can be healthy. Hair can be no more healthy than a shoe lace, a cotton blouse, or any other non-living fiber. The hair on your head is not living tissue. It is dead, keratinized protein. Hair cannot be healthy. Of course, it can look healthy or not-healthy but that’s not the same thing.
What does hair need?
So, hair doesn’t need any topical treatment. However, hair follicles (the living tissue below your scalp that makes hair) do need vitamins, nutrients, and other critical elements that it gets from the foods you eat. This is why it is important to eat a healthy diet to have healthy looking hair.
One other factor
Although there is no ingredient you can put on your hair to make it healthier or improve growth, the particular hair style you wear can have an effect on growth. If you wear pony tails, do a lot of heat styling, or otherwise physically damage your hair, it will negatively affect hair growth.
Read more in the Beauty Brains Forum thread on healthy hair.