click here for part 1
WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT… (cont’d)
HUMECTANTS: substances used to attract and bind water to the hair.
Vegetable Glycerin: a popular humectant derived from vegetable sources (avoid synthetic glycerin). Use it in combination with another conditioning agent if planning to use heat-styling methods. I personally avoid glycerin because in the winter time, the cold air sucks the moisture out of your hair and exacerbates the humidity in the summer. Also avoid it if your hair is chemically colored (especially red tones) because it may strip/grab unbound dye molecules.
Honey: a humectant composed of simple sugars and trace amounts of various minerals, vitamins, proteins, amino acids, and other nutrients. It adds moisture and shine. For best results, combine with oils or conditioner. Honeyquat is a quaternized conditioning agent derived from honey which has 10 times the moisturizing powers of glycerin.
Humectants Of Natural Origin You May Have Never Heard Of: Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Hyaluronic Acid, Inositol, Glycogen, and Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS).
Hydrolyzed Proteins: Elastin, Collagen, Silk and Keratin
HOW TO LOCK IN MOISTURE: TECHNIQUES / PRACTICES
Clarifying: This is an important underrated step that removes excess oils and product buildup from the hair. If you have buildup on your hair the moisturizer cannot get thru to reach the cuticle. You should clarify your hair every other month or 1x a month especially if you use heavy oils. This can be done thru a diluted 25–50% apple cider vinegar wash or half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in with your conditioner.
Daily Spritz: Your spritz should contain goodies like: essential oils, nutrient-rich carrier oils and water/aloe vera. It will remain fresh in the refrigerator for a week. If kept longer invest in a commercial grade preservative. Spray it on your ends every night and if needed in the morning then seal with a heavy oil.
Sealing with Heavy Oils: This step is important because it seals the cuticle with the moisture technique you have used. Locking in moisture with a heavy nutrient-rich oil like castor (my favorite), wheat germ, un-petroleum, etc. can help prevent breakage.
Baggy Method: An effective technique especially in the wintertime. You can baggy the hair ends or the whole head. You can even baggy your box braids or cornrows. Apply moisturizer / conditioner to the hair and wrap ends with saran wrap or whole head with plastic cap. Then put on a hat, headwrap, put hair in a bun or attach a bun/piece to cover the ends. Watch for “soggy” hair – this can be a sign that your hair is too moist resulting in weak, fragile hair that leads to breakage.
more to come! thoughts?