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Last updated on April 4th, 2019
I know lots of you have tried Hairprint, an amazing product that restores your natural hair color. I tried it over a year ago and continue using and loving it (read more about my experience with Hairprint, here). Some of you told me that the product worked out great for you, but some did not achieve the results they expected. I receive lots of questions as to why. I would love to help figure that out. Recently, the Hairprint company informed me that it found out that certain ingredients in shampoos or other hair products may prevent the Hairprint product from doing its job.
As you might know, there are lots of shampoos that claim to make your hair healthy, smooth, hydrated, moisturized, restored, thick, etc. The truth is no shampoo can truly do that. Instead, there are ingredients in the shampoos that coat your hair, hiding the damage caused by chemical dyes or other factors.
I remember the times when I dyed my hair with chemical dyes, I could not comb my hair without using tons and tons of hair conditioning products. Hair dyes contain coating ingredients. Once the coating came off, my hair looked awful and it was time to dye my hair again. When you use chemical hair dyes, you have to resort to using coating agents so your hair looks good.
When you decide to transition to Hairprint, these hair coating agents may block this gentle product from working. Makes sense, right? The Hairprint Company recommends using a clarifying shampoo before Hairprint application. Clarifying shampoos are supposed to contain strong surfactants (aka detergent or cleansers) that will remove any buildup the coating agents created. Clarifying shampoos are not good to use on a regular basis because they will strip your hair of natural oils as well. Use it only if your regular shampoo or conditioner or other hair products you may use have coating agents.
Here is the list of hair coating agents of which to be aware (this list may not include all coating ingredients):
The most common silicone used in shampoo is called dimethicone. Silicones are very common in shampoo/conditioners because they make the hair smooth and shiny. Silicones are not water soluble they will build up and up on your hair. It takes a powerful clarifying shampoo to remove them. There are no scientific studies as to whether silicones are damaging for the hair. However, some healthy hair experts believe that silicones can clog the cuticles and contribute to hair thinning or even hair loss.
To spot silicones, look for ingredients ending with -cone, -conol, -col, or -xane.
Guaternary Ammonium Compounds (aka “quats”)
They also impart a “slippery” feeling to the hair. There are a number of different quats. Some may cause skin and respiratory irritation such as quaternium-15 and benzalkonium chloride. The safest out of them is Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride but it appears that the health data on it is limited.
These are the ingredients to avoid:
- Babassuamidopropalkonium chloride
- Benzalkonium chloride
- Benzethonium chloride
- Methylbenzethonium chloride
- Cetalkonium chloride
- Vegetable Oil Quaternary
- Stearalkonium chloride
- Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (this is a common quat used in almost all so-called “natural” shampoos, including the ones I reviewed on my blog here and here.)
- Behentrimonium chloride
- Behentrimonium methosulfate
Proteins in shampoos and conditioners can stay in the hair for a few days to a few weeks depending on the size of the protein and how it is applied. Smaller proteins will lodge inside the cortex of the hair and larger proteins adhere to the cuticle. Keratin and silk proteins stay in the hair the longest. If your shampoo has those, you might have to use a clarifying shampoo. All other proteins should not pose a problem. To be on a safe side, do not use a shampoo with proteins prior to Hairprint application.
Hair wax that helps achieve that “wet” hair look are problematic. John Master’s shampoo has copernicia cerifera cera wax that may be problematic, too.
Various ingredients with the word “PEG” in the same such as PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Cetyl PEG/ PPG-10/ 1 Dimethicone. They have high molecular weights, which is problematic because they may leave behind and create hair coating.
As you can imagine, hairprays have polymers such as polyvinylpyrrolidine. Polyvinylpyrrolidine is also a glue used to laminate wood.
These are all those greasy, waxy substances used to style hair (and the punch line to a great Cohen Brothers movie).
Look at your shampoo to see if there are any hair coating agents in it and let us know in the comments what you find.
Do not see any hair coating ingredients? Congratulations! Share this post with your friends who use Hairprint.
For more information on application Hairprint guidelines, head over to the Q&A section on the Hairprint website.
Read my original review of Hairprint over here.