an initiative of ACCORD


Hair hygiene - WHY?

No one wants to have a "bad hair day".

Hair has strong links to self-image, personal expression and emotional wellbeing. This applies most to head hair, which we can choose to cut, style and colour. But it also applies to body hair, the location and thickness of which we can modify by techniques such as shaving, waxing and depilation.

Hair grows from hair follicles in the skin, which also produce the oily lubricant sebum. It performs various important functions:

  • helping protect the body from physical trauma, insect bites and solar radiation
  • helping to regulate body temperature
  • detecting stimuli above the skin surface

Head hair can be classified as dry, normal or oily, depending on the amount of sebum produced. With low levels of sebum hair can look dull and coarse; at normal levels sebum keeps hair soft and shiny; at increased levels it can accumulate on the scalp causing hair to clump, attracting dirt and odour and making your head itchy.

Hair hygiene – HOW?

Shampoos are available to wash all hair types. As everyone’s hair needs differ depending on age, activity level, and (for women) throughout the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy, the best guide is simply to shampoo often enough to keep your hair feeling clean. There are also specific shampoos for coloured hair, treated & damaged hair, delicate baby hair, and to treat dandruff.

Conditioners are used after shampooing to help counteract drying caused by the elements and by styling, keeping hair shiny and smooth. As they perform a similar function to sebum, conditioners are most important if you have dry or styled hair. Conditioners are also available for all hair types.

Brushing and combing also helps you to manage oiliness as it distributes sebum through the hair, helping keep hair shiny and smooth and tangle-free.

Many people, especially women, choose to remove body hair from the underarms, legs and bikini area. There are many products available to assist with at-home hair removal: disposable razors, shaving creams, wax strips, warm wax and depilatory creams.

useful stuff...

The human body may be home to 10 times as many bacteria as human cells. Researchers believe the human body has over 500 bacterial species living in and on it.7 Trouble getting a date? 75% of women in a New York survey said they would only date a guy who showered daily.8   20-30% of handbags have faecal bacteria on the underside.22 In 2006, women spent an average of 54 minutes and men 43 minutes per day on personal hygiene.9
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