Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All About Hair: The Dry Hair Checklist

  I'm in love with this photo! Go Solange! [source]

Battling issues with dry hair can really be a pain. It can be hard to achieve your favorite hair styles, lead to breakage, and just plain frustration. Before completely scrapping your hair products and shelling out big bucks for new additions to replace old favorites, check out this dry hair checklist and see if there are any changes you can make to your hair regimen.

(1) Take A Look At Your Shampoo Regimen: How often do you clarify your hair? A lot of times our favorite shampoo's are formulated to gently cleanse, and moisturize the hair. Most shampoo's labeled "mositurizing" are not formulated to remove heavy product and mineral buildup [mineral buildup can come from the use of tap water]. If you use styling products that contain silicone's and they aren't water soluble [and most aren't], it is recommended that you clarify at least twice monthly. Silicone's are notorious for sealing the hair shaft thus preventing moisture and other nutrients from permeating the follicles. 

What this means: 
If you use products that are heavy on cone's, you may notice your moisturizing products don't work as well as they used to. Your hair may "feel" moisturized upon distributing the product, but as it dries it begins to feel hard, brittle, and dry. 

The Solution:
Check the ingredients on the back of your products [shampoo's, conditioners, and styler's], and look for these ingredients: Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Amodimehticone, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, as these are all silicone's that are NOT water soluble [water soluble cones are: Dimethicone Copolyl, PEG Modified Dimethicone]. If you use these non-water soluble silicone's it is best to clarify your hair every two weeks with your favorite clarifying shampoo [Lanza Daily Clarifyer, and Neutrogena Anti Residue Shampoo are two of my favorite clarifier's] and follow up with your normal moisturizing shampoo to replenish the moisture, as well as restore the PH level of your hair. 

Tip: Try to avoid hair polishers and serums, as a lot of the polishers and serums on the market today are comprised mostly of silicone's. Instead, opt for natural alternatives to increase sheen. Click here to read my post on natural alternatives to shine serums, and hair polishers. 

(2) Take A Look At Your Moisturizing Regimen: What are you using to moisturize your hair? In what order are you using these products? Did you know that the molecules in most oils are too big to permeate the hair shaft? What this means is that most of the oils you use on your hair, are not capable of moisturizing it. Instead they seal the hair shaft acting as a barrier to trap moisture in, and protect the hair.

What This Means: 
If you apply any type of oil prior to your conditioner, or moisturizer, it is possible that these products are unable to permeate the hair shaft because of the oil barrier. Your hair may feel moisturized initially, but the feeling quickly turns into a dull, dry, hard, greasy mass of hair after just a few hours.

The Solution:
Make sure you always apply your water-based moisturizer/conditioner prior to applying your oil-based products. For instance, apply conditioner to freshly shampooed hair, then your oil-based product to seal in the moisture, and add additional sheen. Some of my favorite water-based moisturizers are: 

Here are a few of my favorite water based hair creams [these can act as stylers that double as moisturizers]:

(3) Shampoo In The Mirror: Often product buildup can occur from improper shampooing techniques. The crown, and areas a few inches behind the temples are often overlooked when shampooing, and those areas usually have the most buildup. 

The Solution:
Make sure you focus on cleansing your scalp, using your fingertips to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, and cleanse your scalp of water-soluble product buildup. Opt for shampooing in sections of four, as this makes getting the hair cleaner much easier than tackling your entire mane at once. I find that shampooing in the mirror helps, as I usually finger-part and inspect the roots of my hair looking for any areas that are sticky, or covered in film. 

Other issues that can cause dry hair:

Porosity - Usually caused by chemical treatments, as well as improper thermal practices. When the hair is overly porous, it is filled with holes along the hair shaft, in which the moisture escapes. - Click here to read my post on porosity. 

Mineral Buildup - This is a problem I experienced early on in my hair journey. I have very hard water which left mineral deposits on my hair. The mineral deposits also can act the same way as silicone's in that they create a barrier along the hair shaft which keeps moisture out! In order to combat issues with mineral buildup, clarify twice weekly, or implement a weekly Apple Cider Vinegar rinse in your hair care regimen. The Apple Cider Vinegar acts as a gentle clarifier to remove product buildup, as well as mineral buildup.

Here's the mixture for the rinse:
2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar [found in the vinegar section of your local supermarket] mixed with 2 cups of Spring Water. Rinse out your conditioner as usual, then pour this mixture over your head, and gently towel dry. It may have a slight odor [due to the vinegar], but it will dissipate over time. 

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  1. Thanks for this article. Very informative.

  2. I love this. I've been getting into the bad habit of avoiding using shampoo and instead co-washing every other day.

    We all know that you need to do a good cleansing once a week or every other week. These are great tips. I'm going to give number 2 some thought. My hair gets so dry!

  3. Love this post.... I would swear your lil butt became a Dr in

  4. Great info! I make bath and body products and candles, so I'm very familiar with the whole process. And yes, FNWL has amazing products. Making your own stuff is so much fun! I'm in the process of launching my bath and body/candle business. Can't wait to share it with everyone!

  5. This post is great! Today I was just thinking about how my hair was dry today. Ty for the tips. Also I know this nothing to do with this post but you should go to its a great site for recipes

  6. does the cone in Canto Shea butter classify as a hard cone?


  7. Great post! I love the ACV rinses your last post encouraged me and def a great addition to my regimen, I noticed most of my products are cone heavy. Def something I have to reconsider since I'm working on a new more efficient regimen. Thanks for the tips.

  8. You are sooooooo good! I am a HUGE fan of mixing ACV and olive oil together, cleans my scalp right up.

  9. @MzTeaze; Thank you, I am glad you found it useful!

    @The Audacity of Color; Thank you! And yes definitely take a look at number two! It was a major issue for me in the beginning of my hair journey!

    @Tina; Thank you!! LOL

    @Rosalind Jackson; Hey! A fellow mixtress! Good luck on launching your line!

    @Anonymous; Thank you for the recommendation! I am headed over now! And good luck finding that moisture balance with your hair!

    @Coily Mystic; Yup, I just checked the ingredients, it has a few non-water soluble cones in the ingredients.

    @Hell Notes For Beauty: Thank you so much! And definitely take a look at those cones, while they offer temp shine, and better combing, they can definitely seal off the hair shaft...

    @Fashion Intel; Thank you!!! LOL And oohh I am going to have to try that one!

  10. Please help! I'm not understanding. Should I shampoo (or co-wash), and then put my Infusium 23 liquid, and then put an oil like coconut oil or my shea mix. What is the order in plain words for me. Haha! I don't get it when they say because certain products lock moisture out we should put oil in our hair, but does it go first or after. Thanks so much!

  11. thank you!!!!!!!!! I have been sharing the post with everybody

  12. Oyin's whipped pudding smells so good and is a staple of mine.

    You're right about the clarifying part. All of the moisturizers and conditioners needed to keep dry hair soft cause build up so hair becomes weighed down.

  13. cyssantana; No worries, here is what you should do:
    Shampoo + Condition + Leave-In + Oil = Extra luxe soft hair!

    @Rosie; You're welcome, thank you for spreading the word!

    @big Chop; It's a staple of mine too. I love their products!

  14. Thanks! I have a question. I'm kinda confused. Lets say that u apply ur water based product and then ur oil based product. Then that time in-between ur next wash day you are supposed to moisturize as needed with something light, like a spritz. How can it be "moisturizing" if the previous day u sealed your hair with an oil, which is acting as a barrier?

  15. Thank you so much. I was having the exact problems you described; my hair looked moisturized but dried crunchy. Used your tips and got awesome results. Washed 2x w/ Suave daily clarifying, slept in a mixture of egg yolk and jojoba oil, washed w/ moisturizing shampoo, conditioned w/ Joico K-Pak, rinsed, spritzed w/ acv/spring water mix, added Shae butter, more Joico as leave-in and Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz. Whew! Long process but so worth the results! Thanks again.

  16. I am having a problem with moisture. I normally wear two stranded twist for 3 to 4 weeks at a time.I add oils to keep my hair moisturized yet this time I am experience a dry, itchy scalp. I've purchased Carol's Daughter's Tui Leave-in Conditioner but no avail my hair still itches. Should I clarify or wash with my tried and true CURLS cleansing cream shampoo, which is a staple I've used prior to transitioning or should I use something that can detox all of th possible buildup. Thanks!

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