We have all watched the Dawn commercials where birds lives are saved from oil spills, because Dawn has the power to wash off the strongest, most occlusive oils right? What you may not know, Dawn is also used to remove hard to get buildup from hair, it's actually a staple by some locticians to clarify lots that are discolored, lint filled and heavy with twisting pomades and gels.
Photo Credit: National Audubon Society
Why detox? well for starters many of us want the flexibility of having different styles, but unbeknownst to us the products used for our last style affects the results of our next. Once again, I will mention there's a reason hair dressers wash our hair many many times at the shampoo bowl. We have all been at a hairdresser wondering how many more shampoos she will do, I have never counted but I feel I have been where my hair was shampooed 4-5 times. Why you ask, well hairstylists are trained to know and feel when the hair is truly clean. They usually wash our hair until it squeaks!
The reason for that is to start each new style, you have to remove any products that can hinder you getting the results you need.
For heat styling, applying high heat on hair that is still dirty with heavy products ( butters, or oils, oils that are not heat protectant) will slowly burn your hair, damage it and ruin its elasticity. Applying heat to hair that is laden with old products also produces flat silk presses with no movement and body.
Let's now talk about moisture and product absorption. Conditioning hair that is still dirty with oils, butters, or heavy styling products means the hair is already saturated with something else or that water or other products cannot get through the occlusive layer to reach the core of the cuticle.
The best way to explain this is to talk about how vaseline is called a skin protectant, it can be use on cuts, rashes to protect the skin from being further irritated by moisture ( sweat, water, etc), well if it protects the skin because it creates a barrier to keep moisture out, you can imagine that no conditioning agent from your favorite conditioner can enter.
So when you use products like pomades, waxes, edge control to slick down your hair for a bun, you cannot expect to shampoo it twice with a "moisturizing shampoo", and truly "condition it, and flip into the next straight style or curly style.
You hair needs to be free of products for it to get soaking wet, for it to absorb the conditioner, or for it to absorb your favorite styling product.
Why do I mention detoxing ( instead of saying wash your hair well), well sometimes it might take a few washing sessions to get your hair to be truly free of all occlusive buildups, but to jump start the process, start with a clarifying shampoo and shampoo your hair gently from the scalp, root to tip massaging along the length of your strands to prevent tangling. Shampoo and rinse as many times as needed until your hair feels clean of all products. Use a conditioner that is light well formulated with conditioning agents as the top ingredients on the list. and then style your hair.
Do this regularly and watch your your hair start feeling soft to the touch, resilient, and its hair's true texture reveal itself over time.
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