It’s been a few weeks since my last post in the Revive Your Hair series – but to refresh everyone’s memory, I’ve decided to revisit healthy hair practices and techniques that will help our hair thrive. The older the “healthy hair game” gets along with advancing social media (i.e. Instagram), the less interest people have in truly learning how to take care of their hair. It’s all about the latest trendy style, quick product reviews on hold, curl and shine, and captions less than 140 characters explaining one’s regimen. I’m happy that the brands are now paying attention to us (hair bloggers, internet hair forums and YouTubers) and are pouring money into marketing for us, that’s awesome! However, just because we see a product appearing ubiquitously around the web at the same time doesn’t always mean its best for our hair. The most important thing to remember when selecting your products is always read the ingredients!
The ingredients of a product will determine how healthy it is for your hair and help determine what works for you. Not the brand, not the label, not the name but the ingredients! If your hair constantly feels dry, but you moisturize it every day – you may be using product that contains mineral oil or lanolin, which do absolutely nothing for the hair. If you deep condition weekly but your hair still seems to be brittle and break easily, perhaps you are using a protein based conditioner and your hair is craving moisture.
Remember, black hair requires moisture much more than protein, especially if your hair is virgin (not relaxed, colored or chemically treated). Therefore for products that will remain in our hair (moisturizers, leave-in conditioners) you want them to be water-based. In every moisturizing product I use, water is the first listed ingredient. Sulfate shampoos are notoriously drying, so unless you are clarifying or neutralizing your hair opt for a sulfate free version. Instead of oil moisturizers that contain mineral oil that only gives the appearance of moisturizing your hair, try natural oils or butters (whipped shea butter for example). Lastly, try to use products that have mostly natural ingredients (not synthetic), they are usually labeled as being 100% organic. Check out the list of humectant (moisturizing) versus protein ingredients below for more information on things commonly found in hair products.
This isn’t meant to be an extensive list, just a reminder to pay attention to WHAT you are putting on your hair and HOW your hair responds!