I get a lot of clients who come in upset about their dry hair. I always follow with the question “What products are you using in your home regimen?” The most popular replies are,
Now, while these listed ingredients can be equally beneficial to your hair, they are not stand alone moisturizers. Essentially, these are popularly misused natural hair products.
The listed ingredients are actually oils. Oils are lubricants used to restore natural oils that may have been stripped during shampooing and/or styling process, and also to seal. But, if not used in conjunction with a really good moisturizing leave in or cream moisturizer, they can seal in dryness and repel any moisture from entering the strands of the hair. The greatest confusion comes from the fact that shea butter in its raw state is creamy or solid. But, this is just the state of the oil before being pressed or liquefied. Now if they are mixed with other essential oils and a moisturizing component, known as a humectant, then it now has the ability to retain moisture. Water is also a good source of moisture, so mixing with water is a better option.
Glycerin and water combined is popular because glycerin too is a humectant. But, if not immersed in moisture, it will actually draw it from the nearest source. This explains why glycerin and water or glycerin laced products work better in the humid summer as opposed to the dry winter.
The humidity in the air, breeds an environment of moisture, allowing it to absorb the moisture from the air into your hair. But, if used in drier conditions, it will actually suck up the moisture in your hair. Be careful with glycerin as its effectiveness is based upon its surrounding conditions/environment.
Coconut oil, though easily passes through cuticle, will give a greasy feel, but doesn’t supply lasting moisture. You may need to reapply as needed. Or mix with other oils like olive oil (this is my favorite combination), avocado oil, or jojoba oil.
1) When seeking a good moisturizer, water should be listed first. This makes a great base.
2) Also, if it is promoting itself as “100%” shea butter, vitamin E, jojoba oil and so on, verify that there isn’t anything else listed. (When mixing your own moisturizer)
3) Other humectants to look for: honey, panthenol, sodium lactate, sorbitol (just to name a few).
4) When purchasing products, read the ingredients. I love spending time in the store reading ingredients and determining which products are true to their advertisement. Ingredients are listed by potency, so for example: if it is said to be moisturizing, yet lists mineral oil as the 2nd ingredient, or alcohol, avoid at all cost.
Mineral oil gives the illusion of moisture, but quickly evaporates, leaving you to have to use more frequently. Products that has alcohol listed within the first 3 ingredients are prone to drying out the hair. Good alcohols are: Cetearyl, Cetyl, and Stearyl. These are fatty alcohols that won’t dry your tresses.