For those of us who experience dry hair, it can be such a source of frustration. Every time we turn around, companies release wonderful products on the shelves. We try them, and end up stocking our cabinets with an entire collection of puddings, creams, oils, leaves in, yet our strands are still thirsty.
Why is that? sometimes the answer is so simple yet hidden in plain sight. It's all about chemistry. I will keep my Chemical Engineering degree on the shelf and make it very clear and crisp for you. This is my battle as well. I have had very dry hair most of my adult life. One of my Trini loctitian used to call me "late for school hair". Meaning your hair is so dry that you will always be late for school in the morning getting it combed.
I had to slowly educate myself on how our hair absorbs and retain moisture. Here's the skinny:
1. Shampoo hair, sulfate free shampoo best for weekly washes- clarifying sulfate shampoo once a month.
2. Open the cuticles of your hair by raising it's PH, clay masks are perfect for this step, some advocate for mixing a tbs of baking soda in conditioner and let it sit on your hair for 30 minutes. I will not advocate for baking soda based on the fact that some people are sensitive to the stuff.
3. Deep condition you hair with a MOISTURIZING conditioner ( there will be a post on how to spot conditioners that are moisturizing vs. those that are more "Protein" treatments). Now that your cuticle are raised, they are ready to absorb moisture, drink up! Use a plastic cap, and get yourself busy, cleaning or cooking, 15-20 minutes is all you need.
3. VERY IMPORTANT STEP. SEAL your hair with a cold water Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Rinse. This lowers the PH of your hair, allowing your cuticles to close and lock in moisture. If you do not do this step, your cuticles remain raised, which will allow all the moisture to escape and give your hair a '"rough to the touch" feeling.
4. After rinsing, you can also add a dab of a cream moisturizer, seal with an oil like #RonniesOil, or light butter. Why a dab? when your hair is well conditioned, you do not need to overload it with products, and plus you don't want your hair ashy with all these creams. okayyyy!
5. Go out and be awesome.
Because I have especially tightly coiled hair, I sometimes add a dab of glycerin to the cream moisturizer to further help my hair feel smooth to the touch, and not get snagged on pillows, scarfs etc.
This same method can be applied to straight styles, only after your do your cold water rinse, you would add heat protectant prior to blow drying and flat ironing. You can research more on product PH, clay mask recipes, etc. but I wanted this to be very simple for all to get and apply to their routine.
In Love, Health, and Presence of Mind
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