Shady Marketing Is Getting You To Buy Haircare Products That Don’t Actually Do Anything | Evie Magazine

2022-11-07 16:28:50 By : Ms. Rose Wong

Most of us have probably picked up a product waiting for the magic results…only to have our hair literally fall flat. We all want volume, shine, protection, and hair regeneration, but it seems like to achieve these goals we also need thousands of different products that do this and that. It’s disappointing to pick up product after product expecting different outcomes, especially when money is involved, but all we’ve done is fall for some very compelling advertising. The truth is, shady marketing is getting you to buy haircare products that don’t actually do anything.

I have straight hair, while you might have wavy, curly, or kinky hair. My hair is fine, while yours may be thick or coarse. For years now, women have been buying hair care products according to their specific, unique hair type. But do we really need to?

Influencer Abbey Yung has thoughts about this. Yung was so intrigued by the tricks and gimmicks of the beauty industry that she actually took a hair science course from the research organization TRI Princeton, which quickly dispelled the majority of sexy marketing techniques the beauty industry heavily relies on to make a profit. One of the big ones, as we all know, is marketing products according to hair type. Yung’s hair investigation led her to bust this big myth. 

Whether your hair is coily, straight, or otherwise, the chemical makeup of the hair is “virtually identical.” Basically, there really isn’t any need for different products with drastically different ingredients for different types of hair. Though different hair types can benefit from different types of detanglers, deep conditioners, or protectants, what’s good for my straight hair is probably fine for your curly hair as well. 

There isn’t any need for different products with different ingredients for different hair types. 

Be wary of any brand or gimmick that specifically markets a product that will help grow your hair. Not only does this make the cosmetic product a drug instead of a beauty one (because it changes your physiology, as Yung explains), but that makes the product subject to the Food and Drug Administration’s Code of Regulations as a drug. And we all know how reliable the FDA is...

Because of this, hair care brands have found a way around the explicit “hair growth” label. They do this by using key words and phrases such as “preventing hair loss,” “hair regeneration,” “promoting healthy hair,” or “anti-aging.” Even if a brand’s marketing doesn’t specifically say the product will help your hair grow, be sure to check out what other related claims it might make. Chances are, it’s just trying to skirt FDA regulations, and you’d be much better off investing in collagen or biotin products, supplements, or hair oils to help the health, renewal, and longevity of your hair.

Our hair is actually made up of protein, and keratin is a type of protein. Tons of products claim to contain keratin to condition and rejuvenate the hair for fuller, healthier looking strands that also prevent damage, but these products don’t actually permeate strands and change the composition of the hair – they just coat the strands like any other run-of-the-mill conditioner. 

However, higher-end brands like Olaplex (with higher price tags, understandably) actually contain different protein ingredients specifically made and patented for this very purpose. But, you’re no better off buying keratin-labeled products than you are using any other conditioner. 

For those of us with colored hair, myself included, we’ve been supposedly educated on how sulfates, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals are wreaking havoc on our expensive dye jobs. Many shampoos and conditioners are now “sulfate free” for this very purpose: to protect color-treated hair.

The causes of color fade are actually hard water, UV rays, and heat usage.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the causes of color fade are actually hard water, UV rays, and heat usage. This means that we could be buying sulfate-free products to protect our hair, but if we're subjecting them to the sun, showering, and flatirons we're still weakening the color and its vibrancy. Where dye jobs are concerned, it’s probably better to invest in quality heat protectants and conditioning treatments than it is to solely rely on supposedly “clean” products to protect our color-treated hair. 

Any product that promises to “detox” is a big go-to item for our beauty routines and haircare regimens. And we’ve all seen the (really gross) strand detox video containing tons of leftover product that circulated around the beauty corner of the internet not too long ago.

But like any other “detoxing” product, it doesn't live up to the hype. Yung argues that you can deep clean your hair all you want, but “detox is not a real thing, it’s just become an accepted marketing term for cleansing and removing buildup.” Most recommended detoxifying products are usually hair butters, masks, leave-in treatments, serums, or oils…which just contribute to build-up instead of removing it. Like so many other products, they don’t do much except make your scalp oilier and weigh your hair down, instead of removing the supposed toxins.

Sneaky marketing claims rule the health and beauty world, and they probably always will. That’s the nature of the business after all, but if we as consumers are better informed, we’re better equipped to pick effective products to invest in. 

Hair can be a huge point of worry for us, especially as we age. Our environment and lifestyle choices might even be speeding up the process, sadly enough. We’re easily liable to fall into the carefully worded traps that persuasive advertising sets for us, but we (and our wallets) are all much better off questioning any bold or nicely packaged claim that will supposedly transform our lackluster hair overnight. 

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