Whether you rock your hair natural, relaxed or texlaxed, dryness is no respecter of texture.
Over this past weekend, one of my male naturalists… Wait! Have I ever mentioned that this blog caters to the hair needs of all sexes? Well, it does. Okay?..Okay! As I was saying, he sent a mail asking to know how he could keep his afro from going dry and hard.
Now, I do not believe that anyone should break the bank to grow an afro. All you need do is understand your hair and if there’s one thing afro textured hairs love most, it has got to be moisture. The best and most reliable moisturizer remains water and since water dries out quite easily when sprayed into hair, the only logical thing to do would be to find a way to make the water stay longer in the hair…Right?
So far, the LOC has proven to be one of the best and mostly used methods to keep afro hair moisturized, where:
L-liquid or leave-in-conditioner
How To LOC
1. Spritz your hair with the liquid, I use water but if you must use a leave-in-conditioner, ensure it is a water-based leave-in-conditioner (i.e. water should be the first ingredient you see when you look on the side of the bottle where the ingredients of the leave-in-conditioner is written). You can also mix the leave-in-conditioner with water in a spray bottle, the choice is yours;
2. Slather on some oil of your choice (I prefer coconut oil) and
3. Apply a cream (I use Shea butter) to seal in the oil and water.
With this simple and inexpensive method, your hair can stay moisturised all day long.
Does anyone have memories of those hairstyles back in the days where your hair is held up in a bun, slicked down with a gel and then a Bohemian-like wavy extension is attached to the bun? The general name for that style was ‘telephone wire’ or ‘telephone curls’.
Ranking second to relaxers, those gels are another episode of drying and moisture stripping agents in the hair industry. Regular gels and spritz gels have the same drying effects but with a gel like the Ecostyler gel and a host of other gels like it, our minds can be put to rest.
Where am I headed with this? A fortnight ago, I was styling (finger coiling) a client’s hair and she requested that I used a spritz gel so she could wear the style for some weeks. She went further to say that the last person who styled her hair used a regular gel and that the hair lasted 8 weeks.
At that point, I saw the need for a little hair chat and here’s what I told her;
Regular gels contain hair unfriendly alcohols. If you missed the post on unfriendly alcohols, click here
They strip hair of its moisture leaving it dry, tacky, itchy and more prone to breakage.
Don’t wear natural hairstyles for too long. This is due to the fact that natural hairstyles don’t permit you to wash/remove buildups while you still have the style on.
If you lack the time or resources to style your natural hair weekly biweekly, opt for protective styles that allow you to wash and tend to your hair while protecting your ends but don’t wear a protective style for longer than 6-8weeks.
Getting regular washes/co-washes rejuvenates the scalp and accelerates hair growth. We all need water to survive after all.
I wanted to let you know that lately, I’ve been taking extra minutes to inspect every hair or skin care product I lift off a shelf. Did you ask why?..
Well, Alcohol is my reason lol. The kind of alcohols present in hair products is vital to hair health and progress.
In Chemistry, there are Short Chain alcohols (volatile alcohols) and Long Chain alcohols (fatty alcohols). The former posses very few carbon atoms in their chain structure, thereby making them highly soluble in water and can leave hair or skin feeling dry, whereas the latter has longer carbon atoms in their structure, making them less soluble and more fatty (containing oils and lipids). Fatty alcohols are used in the manufacture of skin moisturisers and hair conditioners to give them slip and make hair softer.
Okay, don’t shoot me just yet, forget i ever mentioned Chemistry in the first place, just be on the look out for the following when next you shop a hair or skin product:
Hair/Skin Friendly Alcohols
Hair/Skin Unfriendly Alcohols
SD Alcohol 40
In addition, there’s a group of neutral alcohols present in hair product but have no effects whatsoever. They are the Benzyl alcohol and Propylene alcohol. Benzyl is just a preservative that is necessary for the shelf life of a product while Propylene is a humectant. Humectants are hydrophilic (water loving) alcohols that draw moisture from the atmosphere and then trap this moisture in the hair or skin. A good example is glycerine.
From now on, please look behind those beautiful jars for details on the ingredients.
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