Interview: Hair no evil

A beauty scientist speaks about dealing with hair and scalp problems.

Saadia Qamar April 19, 2011


Rene C Rust is a beauty scientist based in Germany and a member of the European Hair Research Society. He began his career at Procter&Gamble (P&G) where he developed a few skin care, anti-aging products and colour cosmetic products, before moving onto hair and scalp care.

Rust is currently visiting Pakistan. The Express Tribune, met up with the beauty scientist to learn about hair care solutions and the role a dermatologist plays especially at a time when hair loss issues are on the incline.

What sort of hair problems typically occur?

There are all sorts of hair conditions which cause problems. As hair grows, it tends to age.

From less hair-fall to the major issues like hair fibre break-off which results in proper hair fall.

What are the most common hair problems which you have come across?

Again, there are a variety of problems, which come about. Especially shine and lustre at the surface of hair gets destroyed. Hair gets frizzy, [as the] humidity [level] goes up in the summer. The most common way of preventing this is by using good shampoo and conditioner.

In what ways does dandruff impact people?

One’s confidence gets largely affected. 50 per cent of the world’s population is affected by it, some more severely and others have mild [dandruff-related] problems. There is a myth that it is contagious and that [poor] hygiene creates dandruff, but that’s not true.

What’s the difference between dandruff and just having a dry scalp?

It is a very common misconception. In fact, most cases of the scalp problems are in fact problems of dandruff. Dandruff occurs on an oily scalp, as a truly dry scalp is a very rare condition. It is difficult to treat the dry scalp, but it’s very easy these days to treat dandruff with modern products, but one must remember that once you get dandruff, it is will always come back and you need to control it.

Should people consult dermatologists with regards to their scalp condition or can this problem be treated by home remedies?

Dandruff can easily be treated by using appropriate shampoos on a regular basis. After three to four weeks if the problem still persists, I would recommend  seeing a dermatologist.

Does the application of oil play a role in improving hair growth and work as a conditioner?

Pure and natural oil, which is concentrated, can make your hair more oily and your hair condition can worsen. Whereas, almond oil is beneficial for skin and hair.

Is it true that using the same shampoo over a period of time reduces its effectiveness?

No, it’s a myth. There is no scientific evidence that using the same shampoo over a period of time reduces its effectiveness.

In Pakistan, most people appreciate long hair. What tips would you suggest for long and healthy hair?

In Pakistan long and strong hair is a big thing. One must protect one’s hair and use the shampoo and conditioner which suit it best. Brushing hair rigorously can lead to damage. The usage of straightening iron or curling tongs give a very attractive and striking look, but high temperature tends to break hair down. Never use straightening irons on wet hair, do it fairly quickly and never go beyond a high temperature of 180 celsius.

Does a balanced diet contribute to healthy, shiny and beautiful hair?

It does contribute to it. If you lack vitamin supplements in your body, some part of your hair will surely get affected. Drink a good amount of water as hydration levels play a vital role, not only on your skin but even on your hair as it affects your hair growth.

Do you have any advice for Pakistani consumers?

People really should deal and address these problems. Use the right quality of product for better hair care solutions.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2011.

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