Mythbusters: Does Switching Hair Products Damage Hair?

When I was in high school, I was quite particular about my shampoo. I wanted one with a scent that would last for the entire school day, so I kept trying different shampoos to find the perfect one for me.

Until one day, when one of my grandmother’s sisters told me not to keep switching shampoos. Apparently, switching shampoos, and hair products in general, too often can damage my strands. 

A quick search on the internet tells me that I wasn’t the only one who got that lecture from my elders. That’s why today, on ZALA Mythbusters, we’re here to see if switching hair products can really damage hair.


The myth: switching hair products

The full story actually goes longer and far more interesting than what I shared above. Although you’re not supposed to switch hair products too often, you’re also not supposed to stick to the same brand for too long.

Back in the 1990s when I was growing up, people were encouraged to swap brands every few months or so, because apparently, our strands will get used to the formula and thus will no longer benefit from it.

Confusing, isn’t it? Basically, you can’t stick to the same brand for long, but you also shouldn’t swap it out for a new product too soon. If you stick to the same brand for too long, your hair will apparently become immune to it and thus will no longer see positive effects.

And if you swap your product for a new one too soon, your hair will be damaged due to the change in formula. Apparently, you’re supposed to correctly guess when the best time to switch is, and it has to happen at least once or twice a year.

At least, that’s how the myth goes.

Is switching hair products really necessary?

I won’t even give a long answer to this one, because surprise–it’s not.

There’s no such thing as your strands becoming immune to a certain hair product. If your hair condition suddenly changes after 8 months of using your current product, it’s more likely that something else changed, not that your hair is immune to the product itself. 

For instance, people who experience this change after a couple of months automatically assume that it’s because their strands are already immune to their shampoo, conditioner, or hair serum.

What they failed to realize is that after a couple of months, the weather has already changed. Colder months usually start at the latter parts of the year, and this is also the driest time for many places in the world.

If your hair suddenly becomes duller and limper around this time of the year, perhaps it’s simply because it’s getting colder and drier, hence the effect. How long you’ve been using your products has nothing to do with it.

Does switching hair products damage hair?

As for the main question in this article, I’ll give you a short answer as well. No, switching hair products does not damage hair. Even if you use different hair products every day, just like this woman did as an experiment, your hair probably won’t become worse than it was when you started.

Also, trying out different hair products can help you see which one suits you best. Remember, different hair types take to different hair products. Don’t be scared to give different brands a try. It’s the best way to find the perfect match for you. If only I could tell that to my high school self!

For more ZALA Mythbusters articles, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

February 29, 2020
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