Curls 101: What’s In Your Hair Care Products?
Are you struggling with retaining growth, having issues detangling or dealing with a dry scalp? The ingredients in your hair products may be a big factor in some of these common natural hair issues. I’ve learned that I should be aware and educated on key ingredients that contribute to maintaining my healthy hair. I’ve recently been on this no-silicone trip, and as a new natural (1.3 months in counting) I tend to learn something new about my hair EVERYDAY. Today is no different.
As women of color we have to understand that our hair is very fragile and more so than likely, brittle. This isn’t the best combination. BUT, with the right care and hair products we can eliminate some of the daily stress we put on our hair just by reading the label on our hair care products!
What are the Best Ingredients for our Hair?
Contrary to popular belief some of the best products for our hair are emollients and silicones……….. ( PAUSE) … I can see the look on your face now. LOL .I know, I know. As a brown skin girl the word silicone may have you shaking your neck instantly. But wait – please understand that silicone’s are not as bad as you may think. Silicone products actually help restore your hair. Let’s back up a minute as discuss emollients; which are just a fancy word for oils. Emollients penetrate the hair cuticle’s giving nutrients and moisture to our hair.
Here are some of the best “Oils” * some emollients penetrate better than others*
- Olive Oil ( anti –inflammatory)
- Macadamia nut oil
- Sesame Oil ( anti –inflammatory)
- Jojoba Oil ( known to reduce frizz)
The key is finding which oil works best for your hair, this can all be trial in error when finding a proper sealing oil, but know that for Kinky and coily hair, all emollients work to help bring back strength and shine.
That being said, emollients work even better with silicones. Silicones, often known under the more common dimethecone, place a light film over the hair cuticle to protect it from the damaging effects of daily wear and tear. This is fantastic for an emollient in that it not only protects the hair from splitting or breaking, it also keeps nutrients and emollients inside the hair cuticle. And because it creates that protective film, silicone makes combing and styling our hair much easier.
Remember some ingredients are great, and some are just downright toxic. As always, when it comes to your health, research and education are key.
A NOTE TO MY BROWN SISTERS:
If you do use products that contain silicone, you will need to shampoo your hair more often. Many in the textured, kinky and coiled hair community prefer to avoid silicones in order to avoid shampoo (which if done too often can dry out our hair). Unless you’ve recently big chopped, silicones will do more for your hair than not. If you are concerned about silicones PLEASE CHECK OUT THE ADDITIONAL READING LINK BELOW, about which are water-soluble and which aren’t. The best offense to a silicone defense is to be educated.
Additional Reading: What’s the Scoop on Silicones? (Source Natural Curly)