The Science Behind a Good Hair Care Routine

The Science Behind a Good Hair Care Routine

There’s no denying that a daily hair care routine is vital to rocking your best hair. And you probably also know that curly hair needs a different routine than straight hair. We dedicate so much time, money and effort to taking care of our locks, but we don't always know the science behind the styling. At Lu, we've spent more than four years studying what hair needs at a microscopic level so we could design the right products for every hair type. And we're always happy to share our knowledge!


What Makes a Good Hair Care Routine?

Photo of three Lu shampoos.

Your hair is often the first thing people notice about you. The style and condition of what’s on top can leave a lasting impression, so it’s important to dedicate time to finding hair products that work for you and a routine that’s backed by modern science and not a science experiment that can leave your hair in a mess. A good hair care routine isn't just about preventing frizzy hair, but also protecting and improving your hair health, and even promoting hair growth.

Healthy hair involves a mix of medical and biological factors, scalp care, hair care procedures and environmental factors. When we use cosmetics, we change the physical and mechanical properties of our hair, which is why the products we use might help us achieve the look we want, but don't always treat our locks well over the long term.

Listen to Your Hair 

Hair talks, and not just metaphorically. According to a study by Maksim Plikus, hair follicles communicate to signal to other hair when to grow. Hair also communicates with you to tell you what it needs and when. When your hair is oily, it’s trying to tell you that it’s producing too much sebum, or hair oil, due to hormone imbalances, stress, headwear, the wrong hair care routine, and even the weather. Oily hair was a common problem we encountered when developing Lu, which is why all of our hair care products feature Impossible Keratin™, a vegan keratin formulation that targets excess oil and restores hair strands back to their healthy best.  

Consider Your Hair Wash Routine

While oily hair may require more washing, overwashing can strip these natural oils. Many people routinely wash their hair just because they always have. Instead, you should only wash your hair when it’s actually dirty to remove grime and product buildup. If you cut down on washing, you’re encouraging your hair to restore its natural balance. 

Always Condition

Whenever you shampoo your hair, be sure to restore sebum by conditioning afterwards. Hair conditioner seals the hair cuticle, which is the outer layer of your hair, to give it that shine we all desire. Conditioning isn’t just a great way of adding moisture to dry hair, it can also help oily hair to slow down sebum production. When hair feels moisturized, its production of oil slows down. 

Don’t Leave Out the Leave-In

A leave-in styling cream or leave-in conditioner hydrates your hair while hair follicles are open after a shower. It clings to your wet hair, locks in moisture, and makes your curls pop by soaking up the product as it dries. Lu offers three leave-in styling creams that help prevent frizz and nourish your hair all day long. 


What Can a Bad Hair Care Routine Do To My Hair?

Photo of a young woman examining her hair.

Just like a good hair routine can make your hair stand out, a bad one can cause serious damage. 

Bad Products Can Wreck Your Hair

  1. Sulfates: When you use shampoos and conditioners with "bad" sulfates, your body produces more sebum to balance out the natural oils that these products strip out from our hair, which can lead to oily hair. But not all sulfates are equally evil. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are the ones you want to avoid, because they tend to dry out the skin and hair. A sulfate-free shampoo is part of a healthy hair routine.    
  2. Parabens: Scientific studies suggest that parabens can “disrupt hormones in the body and harm fertility and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes, and increase the risk of cancer,” according to The Environmental Working Group
  3. Phthalates like DEP (diethyl phthalate) and BzBP (benzyl butyl phthalate) have been linked to everything from eczema and asthma to developmental issues in children. Companies don’t even have to list phthalates on the label, so look out for products containing “fragrance,” which is usually code for phthalates. 
  4. Colorants brighten what’s inside your bottle but can have side effects that include irritation of the scalp that can lead to hair loss. If you want to keep your hair looking lush, avoid products that contain colorants usually disguised as a combination of FD and C, or D and C with a number. 

Lu is dedicated to the science of healthy hair, which is why all of our products are free of these harsh chemicals.

Ditch the Heat

Did you know that heat styling tools can spark an unwanted chemical reaction in your hair and even temporarily change the texture of the hair strand? This can lead to heat damage, dry hair and dullness. The ideal option is to air dry. If that doesn't work for you, use a heat protectant or attach a diffuser to your hair dryer, which helps protect the hair cuticles and dry hair in a natural way. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends not straightening your hair more than two to three times a week using heat styling products, and not letting your iron exceed 347° Fahrenheit.  


The Science Behind a Lu Hair Care Routine

A photo of various Lu shampoos, conditioners and styling creams.

Keratin is a fibrous protein formed by a unique blend of amino acids that makes up 95% of hair. Unfortunately, you lose keratin links every time you comb, blow-dry, dye, or flat-iron your hair. That's why selecting a product that contains keratin is so important. Lu's proprietary vegan keratin formulation delivers game-changing results that exceed regular keratin treatments. Impossible Keratin™ goes one step further than other keratin products by actually increasing hair tensile strength, which measures how much stress it can handle before hair breakage occurs.

Impossible Keratin uses 18 different vegan amino acids sourced from wheat, soy and vegetable fermentation. These are blended with vegan collagen and silk amino acids, which are used at the right amount to ensure a significant improvement in hair strength and flexibility. The result is a complex that delivers three times the strength and flexibility of regular keratin treatments. It helps your hair look good, but more importantly, feel good.

And you don't need to be a scientist to know what feels good.