"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Monday, January 17, 2011

Did Someone Say MOISTURE? : When Washing Your Hair

Water is the ultimate moisturizer for our hair but the big challenge we face is actually retaining the water in our strands. Here are a few tips to keeping your hair as moisturized as possible through a wash and retaining gained moisture while washing.

1. Pre-poo as often as you can :

A pre-poo is a pre shampoo treatment meant to give the hair some back up moisture and strength and to prepare the hair for the shampooing to come. If you do not shampoo your hair (and all you do is wash with a conditioner), you don't really need a pre-poo treatment.

2. Try using shampoos with mild surfactants :

A surfactant is a substance that is used to lower the surface tension of a liquid thus allowing a better spreading. In the case of shampoos, surfactants gather the dirt and buildup in your hair and lifts them so they can be washed away while you rinse. Sometimes, depending on how strong the surfactant is, surfactants strip away all the precious oils in our hair strands, and in the process we loose any gained moisture or any one we already had before washing. Examples of common surfactant are : sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate. Practically 90% of  commercial shampoos contain at least one of these surfactants. But ladies beware, these surfactants are very very stripping and will leave your hair dry (completely without moisture). Try as much as possible to avoid them! If you really have to use a shampoo with any one of these surfactants (or any other one containing sulfates), try picking one with lots of oils and always wash with a mild, moisturizing shampoo afterwards to regain some moisture. An example of a mild surfactants is :  cocoamilopropyl Betaine.

3. Try treating your hair as much as you can :

Deep treat often! A good deep conditioning treatment is meant to penetrate into the hair strands all the way into the cortex to provide much needed moisture. If you cannot deep condition during each wash (maybe because you  wash your hair too often during the week) try maximizing the conditioning effects of your conditioner by adding oils, essential oils, humectants etc.

4. Use a good conditioner :

A good conditioner is meant to not only smoothen your cuticles, but also to provide a sort of protective barrier around the hair strand to protect it from external damage. Signs of a good conditioner are :

- Easily detangles hair
- makes hair feel really soft
- makes hair feel strong
- has a lasting effect

We all have different hair that reacts differently to different things but for most of us, there aren't a lot of conditioners with al these benefits. In that case, try jazzing your conditioner up or using more than one conditioner in conjunction.

5. Use cold water for the last wash :

After you have detangled your hair and you are ready to get out of the shower, try rinsing your hair with cold water. Cold water helps close the cuticles and this helps retain much needed moisture. When doing this, try standing up straight because if you bend your head over, your cubicles will not easily be flattened down.

6. Don't use a towel :

If you can, use an old t-shirt and don't rub it against your hair but gently dab the hair with it. If you do use a towel (like me) then use the ones that do not absorb water like crazy. I have one of those and I think they are partly made of polyester...But when you feel them with your hands you will know they are not as drying as other ones. And again, do not rub, dab. This helps you retain extra moisture.

Well that's it for this keeping the moisture level as high as possible while washing your hair! If you have any tips do share!

Stay blessed and funky sisters!

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