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Why has my shampoo stopped working? Does hair ‘get used to’ shampoo?

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No matter what your hair goal is, we all need a hard-working shampoo and conditioner to remove oil build-up in the scalp and moisturise the dry ends of our hair. Sometimes you think you’ve found ‘the one’ when it comes to these essential hair products, but why do shampoos always stop working? Your favourite shampoo will work wonders for a month or so and then randomly stops becoming effective, leaving your scalp greasy and ends dry as a bone. Express.co.uk chatted with Lisa Shepherd, brand owner of The Hair Boss by Lisa Shepherd to find out why our much-loved Shampoos & Conditioners suddenly appear to ‘stop working’.

Have you ever noticed that your shampoo seems to stop working? You aren’t alone in this thought process.

It is completely gutting when you think you’ve found a solution to your greasy, weighed-down and flat roots and then that miracle shampoo suddenly isn’t as powerful as it was a few washes ago.

The same applies to conditioners – why do conditioners always start off deeply hydrating and end up giving you underwhelming results later down the line?

You may have heard rumours that your hair becomes accustomed to the shampoo or conditioner, but is this true?

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Hair colourist and owner of The Hair Boss Lisa Shepherd says your hair doesn’t get ‘used to’ a shampoo or conditioner.

The expert said if a shampoo or conditioner is working for you to start and then starts to give underwhelming results, it’s probably not what your hair needs.

Lisa said: “It’s not actually about your hair getting ‘used’ to a shampoo or conditioner, it’s mostly about your hair needing different types of shampoo and conditioner at different times.”

So how do you know what shampoo to use at what time? What about conditioners?

To put it simply, Lisa said: “How often should we be using different shampoos and conditioners would be as often as you feel you need to – if the hair stops responding then switch it up!”

You need to wash your hair with the right shampoo or conditioner for its state at the time.

For example, Lisa said: “When you first get your hair coloured or bleached you are likely to need a shampoo, conditioner or treatment that is packed with protein and moisture.

“However, once your colour starts to settle and grow out, greasy roots and dry mid-lengths and ends will become more prominent. This also seems to be more apparent around menstrual cycles; it’s evidentially linked to chemical processes.”

When this happens, you’ll need to change up your hair care routine to cleanse the greasy roots.

At this point and when your hair colour starts growing out, Lisa said you’ll need a dual-action shampoo such as The Hair Boss Balayage Shampoo that will “cleanse the greasy roots whilst adding a lightweight conditioner to hydrate the ends.”

Feel like your hair is full of product and needs a detox? Use a detox shampoo, such as Hair Boss’ The Virgin Shampoo, or any other shampoo with the word ‘detox’ or ‘clarifying’ in the title.

If you’ve damaged your hair or bleached it too much, try using a rich shampoo such as The Hair Boss’ Overworked Shampoo or any shampoo that is targeted towards this hair type and promises to repair it.

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Once you’ve treated your scalp, you can choose a shampoo for your hair depending on its condition that day.

Lisa said: “I recommend flitting between all three of the shampoo types I mentioned to keep your hair guessing and to quench your hairs differing needs.

“We need to think of our shampoos like cleansers, one day we need something lightweight like a micellar water, the next we may need something more comforting and more moisturising.”

You also need to swap your conditioners depending on the state of your hair.

Lisa said: “Our conditioners vary in texture, whether that be a mist, foam, lotion (we’ve just launched the new and unique The Conditioning Lotion), oil, masks.

“There are four to five ways to love your conditioner by choosing the texture that suits your hair at that time, again taking into consideration if have you just had a chemical process, if your hair is feeling particularly unruly, super-static, lacks body or is it that self-care day when your hair just needs that extra bit of TLC?”


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