LaSophistiquee says…Redken came out recently with a hair exfoliator “Nature’s Rescue Refining Sea Polish .” Is there any point in exfoliating one’s hair? Does it do any good? I, for one, use a lot of products: shampoo, conditioner, hair styling mousse, heat protector… then blow dry. Should I get rid of the buildup?
The Right Brain responds:
Hair exfoliation is a made-up marketing idea if we’ve ever heard one! Let’s take a look…
Sea Polish hyperbole
According to Redken, the ultra fine granules in this product gently remove impurities and restore hair with incredible smoothness and shine. You use it after shampooing, apply to sections of hair in a gentle rolling/circular motion to smooth and revitalize from root to tip. Rinse and then follow with a deep conditioner.
Hair exfoliation excitement?
Exfoliation is great for skin, so it must be great for your hair too, right? Mmm, not really. Scrapping off the top layer of cells makes sense in the context of skin where the dead cells can make your skin look dry and patchy. Removing them is ok because basal layer is constantly producing new skin cells that rise to the top to replace the dead ones.
But hair is totally different. You only have 5 or 10 layers of cuticles protecting the soft protein core. If you scrub those away, you’ll have more breakage. You want to smooth them down and keep them in place, not abrade away the top layers to make them smooth. I would be very careful about using this product on a frequent basis.
So what about getting gunk off your hair? As Lindygirl pointed out in our Forum, ” If you use a lot of products you should do something to remove buildup.” But that “something” could be as simple as using a high cleansing, low conditioning shampoo on occasion. Unfortunately, scrubbing particles are not the most efficient way to remove layers of silicone and styling resin residue.
Reviews for Redken’s refiner
Interestingly, this product is getting pretty good reviews. A number of people on the Redken site, and other places, swear their hair feels great after using this. Some of the reviewers seem surprised “I used this product and my hair already feels like I conditioned it even before I used my conditioner!” This shouldn’t be surprising at all when you look at the product’s ingredients and see that this IS a conditioner.
Water, pumice, cetearyl alcohol, dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate, hydroxethylcellulose, glyceryl stearate, glycerin, caprylyl glycol, cetrimonium chloride, parfum, hydroxypropyl guar, algae/algae extract, aloe barbadensis/aloe barbadensis leaf juice, citric acid, hydroylzed soy protein, benzyl salicylate, hexyl cinnamal, citronellol, linalool, eugenol, geraniol, limonene
Besides the water and pumice (the scrubbing bits) you’ll see several conditioning ingredients – the methosulfate quat, cetrimonium chloride, and the guar. Of course this product makes your hair feel good, but that doesn’t mean it’s from the scrubbing/exfoliation.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
While you do need to deep clean your hair if you’re using a lot of styling products or heavy silicone conditioners, you do NOT want to use any kind of scrubbing particles that can strip away your hair’s precious cuticle.
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Image courtesy Maiawalczak.com