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Stylists Speak Against Sealing With Butter and Oil, Say It “Suffocates” The Hair

Avatar • Apr 14, 2014

oilssuffocatinghair

A few weeks ago, I had the absolute amazing opportunity to participate as a panelist in the Ouidad #FRIZZ101 hangout. I got some great information on managing frizz in dry climates, deep conditioning, and more. If you’re interested in the whole hour, go right ahead and watch. But if you want to hear Ouidad say something that *might* make you believe your entire natural hair journey has been a lie (of course I’m being dramatic), fast forward to 34:09 when Renee of In Her Shoes mentions using oils to seal in moisture and add shine:

Ouidad cuts in and says, “Oil does not seal in moisture.”

WHAT?! What do you mean, oil doesn’t seal in moisture? Ouidad goes on to explain,

Oil coats the hair and repeals natural moisture [from the environment]. It causes dehydration, dullness, and frizziness. Our hair is like us, it needs to breathe. If we suffocate it [with oils], it dries out.

Ouidad did go on to mention that there are water soluble oils, as well as oils like coconut oil that are very beneficial for natural hair — but that they should not be applied directly to the hair. They should be included as ingredients in products that you feed your hair. Does that mean everything we’ve learned about natural oils as sealants is a lie? Do oils seal the hair or suffocate it? For further clarification, I reached out to Jennifer Rose (@jenniferrosenyc on Instagram) of Bellissimo Hair Spa in NYC. She had this to say on the matter:

Applying a light oil to hair after styling or before bed for daily moisture is great. But it is the IDEA of ‘sealing’ that I have an issue with. You SHOULD have to apply your oil or spray‐on moisturizer daily, that means it is truly being absorbed. If you put oil in your hair Sunday and it is still there Wednesday, your hair is lubricated, NOT moisturized. Oil does not “seal” moisture into the hair. If you have to L.O.C., that means your L is a crap product.

Apparently, these two textured hair professionals are on the same page. Although some may discredit Ouidad because her client base is not exclusively Black women, Rose’s specialty is caring for, maintaining, and growing natural hair. Despite their differences in clientele, they are both leaning toward the same idea: chill on the overzealous use of oils and butters. You aren’t doing your hair any favors.

So are we suffocating, sealing, smothering, or spot‐on?

I find their choice of words interesting. Suffocating. Lubricating. Suffocating means to literally kill by preventing the access of air. Lubricating is the action of applying an oily or greasy substance to diminish friction. Sealing, of course involves creating an inpenetrible barrier that allows nothing to escape, but also nothing to enter. Semantics aside, oils and butters have always been touted to help lock moisture within the hair, helping it remain hydrated longer. But by that same token, oils and butters (with the exception of coconut oil) are never touted as moisturizers by any blogger or vlogger worth their weight in conditioner. Because by that same function of sealing moisture in, moisture is also kept out — and to an extent, repelled from the hair. So technically speaking, hair can be both sealed and suffocated (while being lubricated, haha) with oils and butters.

My opinion on the matter? I think it boils down to three main points:

  • How much butter/oil are you using?
  • How frequently are you using it?
  • How are you actually moisturizing your hair?
  •  
    While I can’t speak to what works for others, I can definitely share what works for me. Truthfully, I’ve never been a huge fan of sealing. Partially because I’m super heavy‐handed with product and would turn my hair into one big greasy curl, and partially because I prefer to focus on incorporating moisture into my hair through the right product combinations. For me, there is some truth to what Jennifer Rose said in terms of “crap products”, and what Ouidad emphasized in terms of oils and butters being ingredients in the products used to nourish the hair. But first, let’s address the elephant in the room first: there are some crap products out there. Some products, by ingredient choice or formulation (or by manufacturers taking shortcuts to save money), are absolute crap. No name‐dropping here, but we can all probably name at least 3 products that are junk in a bottle.

    On the other hand, even though a product may not be crap in and of itself, it may indeed be crap for my hair…or make my hair feel like crap. Even though I’m a product junkie with no recovery in sight, I refuse to hold on to products that don’t work for my hair. There is absolutely no point in wasting my time (or money) on a product that doesn’t work to meet my hair’s needs. Supporting Ouidad’s point about oils included in products, for the bulk of my hair, hydration, nourishment, oils, and everything else under the sun comes from my leave‐in and moisturizer.

    There are two exceptions to this of course: my scalp and my ends. Because I have psoriasis, my scalp can get itchy and dry at the drop of a hat. To help quell this issue, I lightly apply oil to my scalp (mixed with a little peppermint or rosemary essential oil) and massage it in for a few minutes. The second exception is for my ends. They tend to dry out easily (more than likely because I never protectively style and wear wash and go’s 96.8% of the time), so I have to be diligent about keeping them moisturized. Every other day, I apply water‐based moisture (via spray, lotion, or Q‐Redew) first, then follow up with a ceramide‐rich oil or butter blend lightly applied and worked into the ends. But again, this works well for me. Every glorious head of hair is different, and has different needs.

    So in the end, what say you, naturalistas?

    Did we all jump on the butter bandwagon too quickly, or are we just doing what’s right for our hair? Does this information convince you to not use oils or butters at all (except for in products), in moderation, or will you continue your regimen as usual?

    For more transitioning and natural hair tips from Christina, check out her blog, The Mane Objective. You can also find her on YouTube,Instagram and Facebook.

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    About Christina Patrice

    Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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    […] Do Butters and Oils “Suffocate” Our Hair? […]

    Kira-lee
    Guest
    Kira-lee

    I have been saying this on various posts — if you need to LOC every single day i believe something is wrong, whether products used, methods or general maintenancae of hair. With my fine, (what seesm to be) low porosity hair I know I can’t tack on butters or heavy oils but I did try LCO with lighter oils like coconut, grapeseed or argan oil. Recently I have been just using a water‐based leave in and/or a creamier water based moisturiser and then my styler of choice and then only use one of these lighter oils to take down my… Read more »

    VJ
    Guest
    VJ

    I love this post! When I was relaxed, I NEVER used oil, grease, or butter. Only a good DC and leave‐in. I had super healthy SL approaching APL hair. I always believed my hair did not like to be oiled or weighed down. When I went natural, I hopped on the first oil train moving and rode that thing religiously. I co‐washed every 2–3 days and LOC’d afterwards. Worked wonders for my TWA, but days later, I was still having to wipe oil/grease/product off my hands after touching my hair. Close to a year later and I’m currently on the… Read more »

    Tyler
    Guest

    With oils I think you just need to make sure you’re laying it over water or a moisturizer instead of dry hair. Then you should be fine.

    Tyler
    onelittleblackdress.com

    ChaNita
    Guest

    Love your blog!

    Elodie
    Guest
    Elodie

    I do understand their point of view…oil can be an “heavy load” especially for certain types of hair…I recently big chopped after years of locs and between my 4C hair, the weather as right now is the dry season in the Caribbean and my post‐partum hair changes, I feel like oil is not doing so much good to my hair. And especially the legen‐ you all know what I’m talking about‐ dary JBCO because it’s too thick. So now I use shea butter and coconut oil for prepoo or rinsing and use a very light butter to seal. But the… Read more »

    jocelina
    Guest

    I’m not a big fan of butters as i don’t feel any difference with it beside negative. I do love to use coconut oil after washing on my damp hair. when I (co) wash i love oil rinsing as it does wonders and helps with detangling and moisturizing my hair. I don’t use oil everyday besides a bit of coconut oil after i moisten my ends My hair never feels greasy because i use a little and that is enough. if you’re hair feels greasy when touching it then i guess you are using too much and are suffocating it… Read more »

    JenniD
    Guest
    JenniD

    Nice post! Makes you think about the products we all use on a constant basis. I’m laughing at some of the conversation cause this 4b/c girl has stopped fighting frizz aka my hair’s natural way of behaving, for years.The use of oils and butters as staples is so very cultural to most men and women of the African dispora. To dismiss them because to “hair experts” say so is kinda jumping the gun a bit. My opnion is that there are good oils and bad oils out there for diffrent people. All are not created equal. Every time I’ve tried… Read more »

    Dananana
    Guest
    Dananana

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. We should consider the source.

    Vee
    Guest
    Vee

    Completely agree! Ouidad has only ONE oil (which they call serum) available for people to buy, so of course they wouldn’t want you using oils, since that would cut into their profit margin. Interesting how they knock down DIY’s, and at home styling… they are so good at saying(not in this one, but other videos) that only a stylist can really take care of your hair, not YOU. Excuse me? I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you right! I do agree that too much oil isn’t going to work, and if it’s the wrong oil, also not going to… Read more »

    Deedeemaha
    Guest
    Deedeemaha

    If the LOC method, oils, butters etc are suffocating my hair, it has suffocated it down to my bra strap. My hair is the longest ever. I must say I’m not heavy hand with product, I believe a little goes a long way. So I say, “more power to hair suffocation”. Lol

    Andie
    Guest
    Andie

    Ahahahahahaha, agreed!!!!

    RedPaperLantern
    Guest
    RedPaperLantern

    My first thought‐ She is selling a product, so it would be prudent to consider the source of this information. Second thought‐ I use oils and butters on my hair and body and I must say that my skin is rarely overly dry like it used to be and when I am not being lazy, neither is my hair. I will continue to use coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera gel, avocado oil, argan nut oil, and oilve oil. I find that people get “distracted” by new products a lot, not sure why.{{shrugs}} Anyhoo, as someone above said, “if it… Read more »

    ChaNita
    Guest

    Well said!

    anastasia
    Guest
    anastasia

    Yesssssss!!

    Jasmine
    Guest
    Jasmine

    I use the L.O.C method but i only do it after i wash before i style and my my hair has been retaining quite a bit of length so i don’t think my hair is suffocating. However i feel that if you have to moisturize and “seal” everyday its time to rethink your situation because clearly something is not working

    Redseouls
    Guest
    Redseouls

    I’m trying to figure out just how in the hell one can “suffocate” something that is dead.

    Vee
    Guest
    Vee

    I also think that too, I can get the scalp, and yea, that isn’t good, my scalp tell me straight up if it thinks I’m doing something stupid, but the actual hair… uhh… ^_^

    Elle
    Guest
    Elle

    Congrats on the panelist opportunity! To your questions: 1. Fruit & vegetable oils are NOT occlusives like petroleum jelly. They do not form an impenetrable barrier. Moisture is able to move. What is this ‘suffocate’ nonsense from Ouidad? 2. I’ve never seen fundamental differences in ‘White hair’ and ‘Black hair’, so IMO all advice is valid. Some curly‐kinks, just like straight‐haired mommas, do use oils and some don’t. I don’t. 3. I agree with RedPaperLantern, these are 2 in a long line of self‐taught and traditionally schooled ‘hair gurus’ SELLING PRODUCTS and their philosophies. 4. Ouidad and Rose know hair… Read more »

    BUtifullyHuman
    Guest
    BUtifullyHuman

    Wow… Elle broke it all the way down. It is good to conduct your own research and trust your own evidence. There may be some theory behind these ladies’ words. But like Elle said, What works, WORKS. Besides, hair is DEAD anyway… how does it suffocate? IJS

    LBell
    Guest
    LBell

    You said almost everything I was going to say and did it much more succinctly. Thank you! Some additional thoughts: Once again I’m grateful for having gone natural at a time when experimentation was a requirement rather than an option. It was through experimentation that I learned that 1) water alone left me with dry hair, 2) oil alone left me with dry greasy hair depending on the type of oil I used, and 3) the combination of water followed by oil gave me hair that was soft, touchable, healthy, etc. That was what worked for MY particular head of… Read more »

    Knotty Natural
    Guest

    RE: ultimately *I* am the expert on what works for MY hair.

    I say that ALL the time…even to a ‘professionally trained stylist’

    anastasia
    Guest
    anastasia

    Y’all killin’ me in the best way w/ the wisdom!!

    anastasia
    Guest
    anastasia

    Yesssssssssss!!!! Elle, I think I love you! hahaha!!

    SilkyTresses
    Guest

    Okay. I love your response because I learned something. I did a dash of research about occlusive before running back to this page and it seems her “Shine Glaze” may be full of them…

    ChaNita
    Guest

    This is a complete lie. I use nothing but oil (100%, natural, and organic) and my hair loves it…not grease, but oil. My hair has grown significantly because of the oils that I use on my natural hair. I don’t use products on my hair except on Wash Day. If you look at the benefits of oils, you’d think differently. Maybe on hair other than 4C down to a 1, it doesn’t work. But as for me and mine, my hair can’t live without it.

    Besides, say what you want, but I think we know our hair better than others.

    JazzWife
    Guest

    I have always touted oil’s lubricating qualities. Oil does not moisturize. If an oil or butter is absorbed into the hair shaft, your hair will feel great. I stopped using butters first. It has been about two years now. I have only recently stopped using oils completely. It has been about six months now. My hair is no worse for the wear … in fact, my hair really likes the new oilless routine. But I think one’s ability to go without oil or butters is about finding a product that provides what your hair needs, your own comfort sans oil,… Read more »

    Neytiri
    Guest

    Your hair is not like your body, it does not have lungs and therefore does not need to “breathe”. Your hair is a fiber, a dead fiber made of protein. It does not need air to “survive” because, as state before, it is not even alive lol. For me, oils, work. I feel like stylists at salons be hating on the methods natural haired girls use because it means that they lose money. Oil works for me, for some it may not.

    suffocatingmyhairlol
    Guest
    suffocatingmyhairlol

    Completely agree its a mere scare tactic to get some attention! Youtube and blogs have revolutionised how we taket care of our hair and unfortunately for stylists it hits them where it hurts…their wallets! So I will carry on suffocating ma hair! Lol
    The terminology used is very negative so ignoring this article.…

    timber24
    Guest
    timber24

    I thought the reason we use oils/butters, was because, the sebum, natural oil on our scalps, had difficulty getting to the ends, because our hair is curly?

    If the sebum was doing it’s job on our hair, then the need for oils would be reduced.

    As it is, I know what my hair is like without oils/butters, so I’ll just do for me, what’s best for me.

    SilkyTresses
    Guest

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

    Sometimes, it just comes down to not forgetting the basics!!!

    Sandi
    Guest
    Sandi

    Why is applying oil to hair before night‐time great bu the idea of sealing it bad? Do we not seal moisture into our skin with moisturizers and how is that suffocating anything?

    Oil does wonders for my hair, especially avocado oil and castor oil. I’m grateful to all the ladies on BGLH who have shared their experiences with it because they have helped me.

    Jacky
    Guest
    Jacky

    Ummm…Not to be rude but have these ladies ever done a test to see how natural hair would react without oils? From someone who has, i would rather not stop using oils as they work for me and really well. Also, I’m really sorry to say this but Ouidad IS selling a product so i doubt if her advice is actually true or just to promote the sale of her products by discouraging the purchase and use of 100% organic oils. I don’t really use store bought products( except Herbal Essence Hello Hydration ), Everything else is au natural, straight… Read more »

    Ms Marcy
    Guest
    Ms Marcy

    I only have two thoughts. One: Is the LOC method working for you? Two: Is what you’re doing cheaper than the products which are manufactured? I began this last stage of my natural hair journey with all of my products coming from a company who sales their products at Macys. Although the amount I spent in a month using that line, did not give me the results I now have ( 10x better results using oils and my own butters ). Likewise,the amount of money I now spend lasts for 3–4 months. If we all go back to playing the… Read more »

    Dananana
    Guest
    Dananana

    Right? All I know is, I spent under $75 at Camden Grey on unrefined oils in March, and I’m maybe a quarter of the way through what I bought. I even have a couple bottles that haven’t been opened yet. $75 for at least 6 months of product (a bit over $12/month) or $20 for 8oz? The choice is yours, ladies.

    RedPaperLantern
    Guest
    RedPaperLantern

    This!!!!

    fabulousBabe
    Guest

    Come on. Indian women have been using ayurveda herbs and oils and some in the rural areas do not use chemical conditioners. Yet they have luxurious healthy hair and they say the oil is suffocating. If so I will continue suffocating my hair

    tanyfaye
    Guest
    tanyfaye

    Many natural hair bloggers and vloggers have grown their hair to great lengths by moisturizing and sealing.

    I think, especially for type 4 hair (unless you doing the water only method where your natural sebum will coat your strands ‘like oil’) it is imperative to seal on the moisture.

    We go through a lot to get that moisture in there.….then to let it evaporate before it’s even had a chance to absorb itself (with no oil, this WILL happen), sounds like a joke to me.

    Maybe for type 2 and lower type 3 hair this might work 🙂

    bri
    Guest
    bri

    lol this doesn’t even work for most type 3 hair. Its a joke~

    SuzyQ
    Guest
    SuzyQ

    Hair and nails are made up of dead cells…so can you really “soffocate” something that already dead? Just do what works best for your hair and stop listening to all these critics.

    Ally
    Guest
    Ally

    I’ve had great success applying the LOC method and not. Although I think that has a lot to do with the chemistry of my hair/genes. Lately, I have been questioning whether this whole LOC method is necessary (no shade to those who do it), and after listening to her I think a lot of what she says makes sense. She answered a lot of the questions I never knew I had. In the end, you have to find what works for you. Very informative. Thanks for the post.

    Yvette
    Guest

    Definitely a ‘to each her own’ situation IMO. I use to seal with oils but the greasiness became unbearable. I now seal with Aloe Vera and my hair loves it. However, my ends are very delicate so I HAVE to seal them with JBCO or Shea butter.

    CherishBomb
    Guest

    I think it’s bull. If I put nothing but water or a moisturizer on my hair, you better believe in a couple hours it will be dry all over again. There is nothing wrong with using butters or oils to hold in moisture when our hair is too kinky to let the sebum properly travel down the strand. It’s supposed to be the job of sebum to seal in moisture, but if it isn’t making it down the strand, then it’s time to supplement. Someone made a comment about not needing oils when relaxed. Relaxed hair is straight and therefore… Read more »

    ROCKY
    Guest
    ROCKY

    I think these representatives of hair styling product companies and salon professionals are simply trying to get people back into the “consumer” side of natural hair care. The Ouidad rep is saying you shouldn’t apply any one product directly to your hair, but a blend of it mixed with other products (i.e. THEIR products) and the salon professional just wants everybody to stop doing their own hair and make an appointment! Sounds like a load of crap to me.

    janaowayo
    Guest

    Oil is natural, it comes from the earth. I highly doubt it’s detrimental to my hair’s health. I noticed that the author of this article changed the title. At first the title made it look like the author agreed, but she/he then switched it over to shift blame completely on the stylist after reading comments I presume. I absolutely love this website, it has allowed me to connect with many other naturals and wonderful black women. However, this website spews a lot of crap. They repeat the same things over and over again, they just simply slap a different name… Read more »

    janaowayo
    Guest

    their*

    JenniD
    Guest
    JenniD

    Not to be snarky but welcome to the Internet! It is extremely important that you don’t take everything you read here or else where on the internet, especially blogs, at face value. When an article such as this is posted it is not the author’s intention to see things THEIR WAY but usually is used to promote discussion on different hair care practices products etc. I don’t know why people keep saying this website says to do this then the next week they say do that or this other thing that contradictions itself. No one should be so gullible as… Read more »

    Hahsia
    Guest
    Hahsia

    Hi, coming from an unbiased opinion, and technical communicator by trade, I feel the need to defend the authors. I’m not completely aware of the different situations with authors deleting items. However, in regards to removing false information, I don’t think you or any other person should feel offended by them removing the false information. From the perspective of a professional writer, it is truly embarrassing to write‐up a document that contains even one error. At least, I feel terrible, like I have failed and disappointed the intended audience. However, I too go back and remove the false information, and… Read more »

    Deb
    Guest
    Deb

    All you said can be applied to almost every (big) natural hair website out there. I’m not saying it’s right but it’s a very widespread practice in the natural hair community.

    Poshnera
    Guest
    Poshnera

    I can only partially agree with the two stylists. I have fine hair and too much of oil or butters will weigh my hair down and is just too much for my hair and scalp, it just sits there. On the other hand, saturating my hair and scalp with a great conditioner and lightly using a leave‐in, oil, or butter works great. I think it depends on what your hair can handle, the climate, and the products you use. But I would never go outside with nothing on my hair or just a leave‐in it would evaporate in seconds.

    Nicole
    Guest

    I would have to say I agree with their points. I mainly use my jojoba oil to add shine to my hair and on my scalp to massage and promote growth.

    Trisha
    Guest
    Trisha

    Through my own experience, I agree as well.

    Ubah Luar
    Guest
    Ubah Luar

    i agree to:D

    Noush
    Guest
    Noush

    [img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/image-21.jpg[/img]

    Even in the bible oil is said to be used for hair along with many other things. Oil works for me i will continue to use my oil.

    Ubah Luar
    Guest
    Ubah Luar

    Wauw…this i will remember.…good stuff..the Bible never lies! (my opinion)

    Jennifer
    Guest
    Jennifer

    At the end of the day, it depends on whether your hair is flourishing or not with what you’re doing to it. Is it growing? Are you retaining length? How does your hair feel? If all of the above answers are positive, I say don’t change a thing. I get the point that some heavier oils and butters can be too much for the hair. For example, I can’t use shea butter often or castor oil on my strands. My hair is fine, and both those things will weigh my hair down, make it sticky and cause build up. If… Read more »

    koiya
    Guest
    koiya

    dont get me wrong i LOVE this website buut…it seems to be that somewhat a week after posting an article it swears its kinks on, another article is posted contradicting that last.
    i dont know what to believe anymore!

    jjac401
    Guest
    jjac401

    Yes, there are articles that contradict each other and this could be most confusing to a newer natural.

    Because different products work for different hair I believe that most of it is worth reading. The more information we can obtain the better.

    Skye
    Guest
    Skye

    While I can appreciate bringing the “opinions” of stylists to our attention (even though I am generally mistrustful of stylists as a whole), I am disappointed that this article did not include any research articles to support or dispute these claims. Part of embarking on an HHJ is learning to be responsible for your own hair, so to tout stylists “opinions” seems counter‐intuitive on a natural hair website. I use the word “opinions” with quotes because that’s exactly what those stylists have given us. Certainly nothing based in fact. Just their own personal theories. If you’ve been on a hair… Read more »

    Iva
    Guest

    I’d love to hear JC of the Natural Haven(i.e. a scientist) weigh in on this. Not that I distrust (all) stylists but…I’d prefer to hear more about this from someone who is unbiased.

    Jo
    Guest
    Jo

    I’m very unlikely to believe what any company representative says about products other than their own. It sounds like she’s saying “Your oils and oil mixtures will not work unless it’s in our products”. To be honest, my hair feels better off with pure extra virgin olive oil than a product with Olive Oil as a minor ingredient among a crowd of questionable chemicals.

    cacey
    Guest
    cacey

    wow, CONTROVERSIAL, PROVOCATIVE, downright‐ shall i name it????! HERESY!!!!! but i actually agree with her, based off my own experience. i found that just putting standalone oil on my hair made it dry and crispy, even if i’d added all the other stuff like butters and liquids, and creams etc. well, my hair doesn’t tend to like product (at least, not a lot of it) anyway, but i found that it tolerates oils when they’re already in some kind of product. ORS moisturizing lotion and my hair are like this‐ *crossed index and middle finger* even though it has that… Read more »

    Ubah Luar
    Guest
    Ubah Luar

    I never seal my hair…it makes it dry stuff, greasy, crunchy and brittle and the styles last to short. Therefor i prever misting it with jojoba oil and water 2x a day.….

    To Each Its Own.…do what works best for your hair:)

    Alycia
    Guest
    Alycia

    I have 4b hair. I am a former product junky. I have yet to find a stand alone product to just use on my hair without oil or shea butter (unless I’m just twisting my hair for a week or two). I use water and/or a moisturizing product and seal it with shea butter or castor oil and my hair loves it. When I was doing twist outs on a regular basic using the LOC method, that is when my hair had the most growth AND minimized breakage.. just saying. But we should all just do what works best for… Read more »

    lv
    Guest
    lv

    i may have to take the advice of these so called “professionals” with a grain of salt. Woman are growing and nuturing their own natural hair to new heights—in ways that the “professionals” never did. Not speaking against all salons or for all women, but the methods used by the salons were just not working. I have not been to a salon in close to two years. cant find one. i am looking looking; but would they use the quality products that I use? would they use extreme caution with heat like I would? i just dont know???

    GeekyDiorGirl
    Guest
    GeekyDiorGirl

    Interesting that a lot of naturals mix things up in their kitchen instead of buying a lot of products and now suddenly its being said that this isn’t good for hair. What makes their product different from something I mix in my kitchen other than the products added in a lab? If its an all natural product that they are selling then what’s to stop that from damaging my hair?

    Mscafeaulait
    Guest
    Mscafeaulait

    This all comes down to dollars and cents. Ten years ago there wasn’t much interest (in the haircare market) in providing products for those that decided to break free from relaxers (and those that never relaxed, for that matter). DIY products became the way to fill that void. Imagine, the numbers of relaxers being purchased decreasing, along with the amount of other products typically purchased by those that relax. That made a huge dent in their profits. What better way to sway the masses than to begin a campaign against what has been working for naturals? The media believes that… Read more »

    Errin
    Guest
    Errin

    Well…most stylists have never been a big fan of natural hair and it seems that they are now getting on the band wagon. Its a little disturbing to think that once we have embraced both our natural hair and methods that work for us, including the LOC method..that they are deemed not good enough. I’m sticking to what I know…using some good old castor oil as a sealant.

    t.c.
    Guest
    t.c.

    The only hair rules I believe in are eating a nutrient dense diet, taking extra good care of your ends, and deep conditioning at least once a week to keep the scalp clean and healthy. . Everything else means nothing to me. If oiling your hair works for you, do it. if it’s not working, then don’t do it. The moment I started to do what was right for my hair and let go of all these natural rules and regulations, I started to maintain length like crazy. I don’t use any oils, I use heat every week, I wear… Read more »

    t.c.
    Guest
    t.c.

    I meant to say “deep conditioning and washing at least once a week to keep the hair moisturized and the scalp clean and healthy.”

    imani
    Guest
    imani

    I have to say that oiling my hair daily works for me because I noticed that my hair isn’t limp or greasy on a daily basis. I remember my white college roomate being fasinated by the fact I only washed my hair weekly.she said if she goes more than 2 days without washing it,it gets greasy& limp. There were times during my perm years when id slap a liitle too much moisturizers (like pink oil, etc) on my hair & grease my scalp& end up with limp straggly hair. I now look back & think my hair was coated! It… Read more »

    African Naturalistas Hair Products
    Guest

    One thing I am sure of is this: No oil is soluble in water. None on earth. If it dissolves in water, it definitely can’t be called an oil

    cheni_zim
    Guest
    cheni_zim

    All marketing drivel. We already know that too much oil is not beneficial for your hair, just like how too much moisture weakens the strands. Oil itself does not moisturize bar a few that have have penetrating properties that I personally use before I shampoo. Sealing in moisture is imperative for hair growth, some people may have hair that hangs onto moisture better than others and may not need as much. But trust Mr without oil even if ur only oil is the sebum that your scalp produces your hair would not be as moisturised. Oils have been used for… Read more »

    Chasadie
    Guest
    Chasadie

    ^^^ THIS.

    merry
    Guest
    merry

    Whatever…

    I’m not coming to the salon or buying those products. So there.

    SilkyTresses
    Guest

    LOL! I love it!

    I am in sales and have been for 10 years‐ SUCCESSFULY‐ and being one sided and disingenuous is not the way to do it.

    Knotty Natural
    Guest

    When I read this article, I thought it was a huge contradiction of what I KNOW works for me, and many others. Let’s remember, these folks are trying to sell you a product. Take it with a grain of salt and do what you know has worked for you. One thing about oils I will say, is that based on whether your hair is thick or thin, you may need to experiment with oils to see which will work best for you. Thick oils aren’t for some people because it will weigh their hair down. Castor oil is a staple… Read more »

    Miss Mo
    Guest
    Miss Mo

    Oh please, save it. I love natural, aromatherapy and essential oils. Will never stop using them on my skin and hair.

    You can promote your products/services but don’t go knocking others down while at it.

    Hair suffocation must be an awesome thing since millions of people have healthy long hair as a result of it.

    JustJoy98
    Guest
    JustJoy98

    Wow, I actually enjoyed the comments more than the article, and that bible scripture, so on point. Well I live in Arizona, so moisture is every thang we have little to no humidity, so Ima do what it do, my fro is growing and thriving with help from butters and oils.

    Ale
    Guest
    Ale

    I too am loving the comments more than the article hehe

    lauren
    Guest
    lauren

    I think to each its own my hair loves oils and butters and its not suffocated I think to make such a huge general statement that no one should use oils is ignorant especially when the majority of long healthy haired naturals use them and get great results and I know there is nothing wrong w naptural85 alicia james and several other naturalistas manes so im not gonna let 2 people convince me to drop what works. Maybe some people dont like or benefit from them but to each its own but that sounds like terrible advice for the majority

    Deb
    Guest
    Deb

    Well my hair must be in to some kinky stuff because it loves being “suffocated” by oils.

    mochachick10
    Guest
    mochachick10

    Water spritz, leave‐in conditioner, seal w/ olive oil, rock my midback length natural hair and go. Haven’t stepped into a salon in 2 years and have longer hair than I’ve ever had with my supposedly “suffocation” method.

    cheryl
    Guest
    cheryl

    Say that, sista! They are just trying to get us to come to the salon because they see a lot of black women are embracing their natural hair! Ha ha Ha!!!

    krokan
    Guest

    Well they are entitled to their “opinions” but there are way too many beautiful sista’s walking around with gorgeous, shiny, thick, long hair to prove them otherwise. Plus if they feel like that then why do they sell the Shine Glaze? They tryna “suffocate” folks hair? lol If you are a fan of butters and ain’t worried bout suffocating something that’s already dead check out my site and help a young sista reach for the stars. http://www.shop.kinksandall.com
    I appreciate it :C)

    jjac401
    Guest
    jjac401

    As soon as I saw the word “suffocate” I knew this was just a sales pitch. Hair doesn’t have pores so to suffocate the hair strand would be impossible. Not to mention the scalp itself produces sebum, an oily substance.

    mlank64
    Guest
    mlank64

    Gotta love the marketing strategy regarding “suffacating”. Nevertheless, since I’ve being natural for almost 3 years the one thing I’ve learned is that there are no rules except one…know thy hair. As some posted already…I’ve seen exceptionally long hair on women who use oils and some who only use a small amount to none. It depends on your own individual strands, porosity, thickness or thinness of hair. Personally, my hair loves grapeseed oil. I have low porosity hair with thin strands so my hair can’t handle real thick oils like castor or olive oil. But, I do need something to… Read more »

    SilkyTresses
    Guest

    I have disagreed with several of Ouidad’s principles‐ however this one is just WRONG. In the video she says to use her Shine Glaze rather than oil because she is **PROMOTING** her Shine Glaze. The first ingredients in shine glaze are: Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethiconol. Link: http://www.ouidad.com/Shine-Glaze-Serum. SO, these ingredients don’t repel moisture and natural elements??? THEY DO. Silicones‐ which I love‐ would play the same role as large molecule oils and super large molecule butters in sealing smaller moleculed water (and other small molecule conditioners and moisturizers). When sealing, oils are MORE beneficial because not only do they have… Read more »

    cheryl
    Guest
    cheryl

    And the doctor has spoken and left the building! Brilliant!!

    dolluv
    Guest
    dolluv

    Like someone else mentioned, these folks are pushing their products and services. they realize that a lot of us are not relying on products as much and are using raw ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera and oils. The LOC method works well for me.

    ida voyder
    Guest
    ida voyder

    That’s why I make my own products. I don’t buy anything! And to top it off I’ve been natural my whole life. I’ve never had a problem with my hair growing, in fact people tell me that my hair grows very fast. No one cared for years and years when petrolatum, mineral oil, and those products that have in parabens were pushed on people — in fact many people are still using them at the expense of their health. I guess that now people are seeing that the gravy train is kinda low they are looking for ways to keep… Read more »

    Wazakauye
    Guest

    FUNNY! Funny people! Well, my hair must be masochistic

    Nappy 4C Rocks
    Guest
    Nappy 4C Rocks

    ya know the natural hair community/movement is causing these big‐time hair companies to lose much $$$$…they review blogs, websites and youtube that dedicate to natural hair growth and regimens to throw in negativity so we can 2nd guess ourselves…on how we treat our hair…the terms we use ‘co‐wash’ ‘reversion’ ‘pre‐poo’ when MAJOR hair companies start using these terms on products to sell to us…their pockets are truly hurting…now this…oil and butters are suffocating our hair?! really?? Sorry Pantene and Ouidad

    cheryl
    Guest
    cheryl

    Don’t believe the hype…these companies see that their profit margin is being threatened by natural haired women embracing natural, raw products and are becoming mixologists in their own kitchens. Do what works for your hair…I find it funny when brands like Dark and Lovely (a premier producer of creamy crack) start making natural hair care products! Completely laughable..SMH!

    cheryl
    Guest
    cheryl

    Don’t believe the hype…they are worried about their profit margin since many naturals have become mixologists and starting making natural products with raw ingredients in their own kitchens! It makes me laugh to hear Ouidad the “curl experts” (who mostly catered to non‐black curlies) tell us what works for OUR hair! Just like Dark and Lovely (a premier producer of creamy crack) suddenly making products for natural hair!! Laughable at its best!

    Mscafeaulait
    Guest
    Mscafeaulait

    This all comes down to dollars and cents. Ten years ago there wasn’t much interest (in the haircare market) in providing products for those that decided to break free from relaxers (and those that never relaxed, for that matter). DIY products became the way to fill that void. Imagine, the numbers of relaxers being purchased decreasing, along with the amount of other products typically purchased by those that relax. That made a huge dent in their profits. What better way to sway the masses than to begin a campaign against what has been working for naturals? The media believes that… Read more »

    KP
    Guest
    KP

    Whoa!?! It’s $21 for a 2.5oz baby bottle of the Shine Glaze! *shivers* I think I’ll stick with my oils for less than $10 for a 16oz bottle.

    Gia
    Guest
    Gia

    Oil has never done my hair wrong. I oil my hair once every 2–3 days after water and/or moisturizer and my hair always come out soft, shiny, moisturized and fluffy, especially after the oil sinks into the shaft. This may work well for others but I’ll continue to use my oils to seal.

    B
    Guest
    B

    They act as if we’re drowning our natural tresses with globs of oil and butters. My hair loves olive oil and coconut oil, as well as shea butter products. Ever since returning natural, my hair has been in the most healthiest state it’s ever been, and I use oils daily(not a lot of course). Try again;)

    4B I Think
    Guest
    4B I Think

    how can we suffocate something that is already dead? Hair. If they would’ve said it suffocates the scalp, maybe. But like all others on this blog I will stick to my regular routine. #NEXT!! Happy growing everyone.

    Laila
    Guest

    I tTOTALLY agree that oil doesn’t seal moisture in the hair, well at least my own hair.. Here’s the gist.. My hair was feeling dry at some point even after I has spritz it with water and used coconut oil and olive oil to seal, it would still remain DRY! I was sad and confused. I created a homemade moisture/protein deep conditioner, my hair felt better just for that day and went back to being dry. One night while I was done with my wash day routine, I decided to put my hair in twists and I grabbed my Shea… Read more »

    Deedeemaha
    Guest
    Deedeemaha

    My understanding is Shea butter is an all natural product. It is a creamy‐colored fatty oil substance made from the nuts of karite nut trees. It can be in oil or butter form.
    Perhaps that the oil butter that works best to loc your moisture in best.

    Jaleesa
    Guest

    Could it just be the the coconut oil maybe? I experienced the same thing for a while and I noticed the protein(overload) in frequently used coconut oil made my hair dry. From then on I used a mix of olive oil and shea butter.

    Ashley DW
    Guest
    Ashley DW

    I’ve experienced a similar problem. My hair drinks the coconut all up so at the end of the day my hair is dry again. I have to apply it much more frequently if I skip adding a butter.

    Deb
    Guest
    Deb

    In my experience, shea butter is too thick so my hair ends up feeling waxy and sometimes drier. Argan oil mixed in with a bit of castor oil is what works for me. Everyone should just listen to their hair.

    bsbfankaren
    Guest
    bsbfankaren

    My hair LIKES butter very much, thank you. It is the one go to product I have that works to keep my hair (yes!) lubricated so that I can style (along with water, the best moisturizer ever!) without experiencing breakage.

    I’ve been at this for three years, and know what works for me. If lubrication and retaining water rather than allowing my hair to frizz up badly by NOT having butter on my hair and just taking the water in from the air, works for me, than that is all that matters!

    Antoinette Stewart
    Guest

    The less product period the better MY hair reacts. Finally found two oils that agree with my hair. Hemp seed & Sweet Almond oil — hemp for my scalp and the almond on my ends on wet hair. Good to go! I’ve tried every natural, ethnic, curl product on the market and there is always something wrong with formulations that my hair feels suffocated, greasy and trapped lol. My strands are complicated at least 6 different textures and curl patterns.… I guess simplicity is where it’s at for me.

    3b — 4i lol

    Dananana
    Guest
    Dananana

    I just discovered hemp oil, and it is the truth for my hair! I like its price point too… $6 for 16 oz is wayyy better than $20 for 2.5 😀

    Tamara
    Guest
    Tamara

    Don’t silicones coat your hair shaft? Don’t they prevent moisture from entering and leaving the hair? Ouidad uses silicones in her products. Why are silicones okay and oils not?

    merry
    Guest
    merry

    yes, they do. but she won’t talk about that.

    trackback

    […] much as I am a blogger and writer, I am also an avid reader of BGLH and I did not miss the recent video highlight of Ouidad discussing hair and her opinion on using oil on hair. To be specific the quoted portion […]

    trackback

    […] much as I am a blogger and writer, I am also an avid reader of BGLH and I did not miss the recent video highlight of Ouidad discussing hair and her opinion on using oil on hair. To be specific the quoted portion […]

    trackback

    […] much as I am a blogger and writer, I am also an avid reader of BGLH and I did not miss the recent video highlight of Ouidad discussing hair and her opinion on using oil on hair. To be specific the quoted portion […]

    trackback

    […] much as I am a blogger and writer, I am also an avid reader of BGLH and I did not miss the recent video highlight of Ouidad discussing hair and her opinion on using oil on hair. To be specific the quoted portion […]

    Shanay
    Guest
    Shanay

    Honestly they can say what they want to but what really works? If it was a case where persons who used oils for sealing were experiencing issues with their hair then we could say OK there might e something to their argument but since sealing in moisture I have experienced length retention beyond belief. It works and thus I will not stop using it. Our hair is not like other hair and it needs the sealant.

    trackback

    […] Sealing Can Damage Your Hair???!?! […]

    trackback

    […] much as I am a blogger and writer, I am also an avid reader of BGLH and I did not miss the recent video highlight of Ouidad discussing hair and her opinion on using oil on hair. To be specific the quoted portion […]

    elodie
    Guest
    elodie

    Hair is like nails, their composition is the same, saying that oil suffocates the hair is like saying oil suffocates your nails, its ridiculous, the only thing that actually need to breathe is our scalp, the rest is total non‐sense.

    .T.
    Guest
    .T.

    The Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian women in my part of the world have used coconut oil for a very, very long time, applying it to damp hair to “seal” the moisture in, and didn’t seem to have much problem retaining long, healthy looking hair. All that by applying it directly to the hair and without any of the other ingredients you find in commercial hair products on shelves.

    Commonsense
    Guest
    Commonsense

    I don’t listen to people who have products they need to sell. Ouidad, is trying to sell products. And this notion about hair “breathing” is nonsense! Hair is “dead” when it leaves the scalp.

    Oil works fine as a sealant when I deep condition. The end result is shiny, soft, silky curls, probably better than the end result of her products. Stop listening to everything you hear and follow what works for you ladies!!!!!

    Amaya
    Guest
    Amaya

    I agree. She didjt mention her profucts have silcons which is much much harder to get out if your hair then oils, which anyone who stioped using SLS & chemical shampoos knows about. It takes months to a year to get silcones out of your hair. So much for letting hair “breathe”. Curly hair is only dry because sebum doesnt reach our ends from the scalp because of the curl pattern. Straight hair people get an oil spill of sebum and sebum is a sealant(I’m hiping as effective as joboba oil) so techically their hair isnt breathing either. This is… Read more »

    Sophie
    Guest
    Sophie

    Interesting points, but I can’t help but feel like this conveniently points us to ouidad products! I tried their leave ins and those were “crap” for my hair! Hard and dry *shudder*. I think if your hair feels nice and is retaining length at a reasonable pace then it is healthy enough to keep doing what you’re doing. Hair doesn’t have pores so comparing it to the rest of the body needing to “breathe” isn’t a great analogy even if you’re talking figuratively.

    Darlyn
    Guest
    Darlyn

    I don’t believe this company.

    Agent 99
    Guest
    Agent 99

    well the only thing I can take away from this is that Ouidad is charming & trying sell her products by being down to earth. Good for her, but to state an absolute like seems a bit arbitrary. Sell away, but I wouldn’t disparage something that works & has been working for thousands of men & women… maybe she meant *mineral* oil, or something else not so absorbent — who knows. Olive & Coconut oils especially continue to work absolutely brilliantly for me, and I’m not going back! lol if I get some kind of gift basket situation for mi… Read more »

    Kay Bee
    Guest
    Kay Bee

    The trick with our hair is timing. Oil on dry hair results in greasy, drier hair. Oil on soaking wet hair results in moisture locked into the shaft and healthy defined curls. The panelists got one thing right though. Coconut and shea oils are great conditioners, lousy sealants. If you want to coat the hair shaft to lock in moisture you need to use (wait for it) petroleum jelly.

    Imani
    Guest
    Imani

    Petroleum jelly! That stuff is a dust magnet for my hair! I avoid it like the plague bc it picks up every damn piece of lent that blows my way.i go for lighter sealants, smaller molecules that actually penetration the hair shaft a little and give me lasting moisture & allows moisture IN more easily. Petroleum weighs my hair down in a bad way!Sooo bad! Other oil sealants don’t weigh my hair down as much & can be reapplied when needed. It took me forever to eliminate “dust & lint magnet” ingredients like petroleum & mineral oil from my staple… Read more »

    CurlsForTheGirls
    Guest
    CurlsForTheGirls

    I agree petroleum is a good sealant, but I WON’T put it on my hair. Shea butter works great as a sealant for me. Oil only makes my hair shiny, then hours later it’s dry again. I’ve tried every oil. No matter how much oil I apply to dripping wet hair after my leave in, the result is promising upon application, but dry, oily hair hours later as stated. Castor, shea butter and jojoba oil are the best sealants because they have thick consistencies, but aren’t as trash as petroleum. Jojoba oil is a wax by the way. I have… Read more »

    Artemis513
    Guest
    Artemis513

    I find it interesting that the same people who find that those who slather their hair in butters and oils are the same people who believe they naturally don’t have a curl pattern. When Ouidad is talking about curly hair needs to breathe, and that hair has a pulse, she means that is has an affinity for moisture and it (moisture in the hair) has an exchange with the environment. Lightweight products facilitate that and the (healthy well‐conditioned) curl pattern is left able to do what is does naturally, have spring, bounce and resilience without a ton of drama. A… Read more »

    Yahoo
    Guest
    Yahoo

    tl;dr

    TheDiva
    Guest
    TheDiva

    Your comment completely misses the point of why this movement started in the 1st place. If ladies of kinkier hair types had these amazing professionals that were so knowledgeable about natural hair we wouldn’t have went out of our way to DIY! Most of them jumped/are jumping on the bandwagon!! They didn’t know nor promote jack about healthy & long natural kinky hair. They permed, pressed, and fried our hair. I went natural before the movement and hairdressers didn’t want to get anywhere near my hair unless I wanted it straightened. You also are wrong about our hair being held… Read more »

    Maria
    Guest
    Maria

    I call BS! Hair is dead protein it cannot breathe, moreover she wants us to trade in the natural oils for silicones which are notorious for dehydrating the hair and blocking moisture.…Huh?? I am not going to take the word of a non‐black woman whose hair and that of her clientele is of the silky persuasion over the word of my fellow sistas in the struggle. Its easy to be contrary when you’re trying to sell a product but reality speaks for itself; my hair started to thrive when I learnt about sealing in moisture with oil/butter. In the 4… Read more »

    Ale
    Guest
    Ale

    I agree with you. I’ve been natural for many years now but had never heard of sealing with oil and butter until a few months ago via naptural85. I always used to use leave‐in conditioners to moisturize my hair. When I would style my hair I would notice a lot of hair coming out but I figured that was normal because everyone else that I knew also lost a lot of their hair while styling and detangling. Naptural85 introduced me to coconut oil and shea butter and my hair has done a complete 180. I have 4A hair and before… Read more »

    brlbeleza
    Guest
    brlbeleza

    I love Jennifer–I think she really knows her stuff so I’d love to know what product(s) she recommends.

    Lisa
    Guest
    Lisa

    After co washing, i seperate into sections for twists and I use a leave in conditioner and seal with an olive oil & coconut oil mix on twists.. Keeps my hair moisturized for up to 3 days and then i just repeat it until wash day which is once a week.. Works for me.. Sealing with oil has always helped me, but i cant speak for everyone else.. Depending on the hair and technique you use, their opinions are neither right nor wrong..

    Naturalcurlslover
    Guest
    Naturalcurlslover

    I think a lot of people are missing the point. Oils don’t help with moisture. I don’t even believe they seal on moisture. I tried coconut oil, olive oil, Argan oil, jojoba oil, and other oils but they always left my hair very dry and brittle then when I just use water, organic apple cider vinegar, and few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and Tamanu oil to make a nice smelling product that lubricates the hair. I think it allows the water glide through the hair better like when you add oil to an engine to help it work… Read more »

    trackback

    […] by Black Girl Long Hair […]

    jackie
    Guest
    jackie

    I believe they right when this whole moisture and SEAL with oil stuff came along… people hair was thriving and growing and yes staying moisturized just fine w/o sealing with oils…another stylist more recent said the same thing„ she never mositurizes and seals and her hair stays hydrated from the conditner she uses.

    Ale
    Guest
    Ale

    I’ve been natural for many years now but had never heard of sealing with oil and butter until a few months ago via naptural85. I always used to use leave‐in conditioners to moisturize my hair. When I would style my hair I would notice a lot of hair coming out but I figured that was normal because everyone else that I knew also lost a lot of their hair while styling and detangling. Naptural85 introduced me to unrefined coconut oil and shea butter and my hair has done a complete 180. I have 4A hair and before coconut oil and… Read more »

    Shaneka
    Guest
    Shaneka

    I think the bottom line is to do what works for your hair. I can relate to some of the things said in this article. Whether she is trying to sell her products or not I think there is some truth to the fact that sealing hair may not work for everyone. If I use a leave in or add water to my hair then proceed to seal with a butter or oil my hair may sometimes feel good but then feel dry or hard or brittle on the ends within the same day. I have tried so many different… Read more »

    adrienne dumas
    Guest
    adrienne dumas

    I think they are right i just stopped sealing moisture with oils and (fingers crossed) these past 9 weeks been a bliss„ i admit iam heavy handed with products„, but now that i stopped sealing my hair feels softer, easier to style and just better lol.. and i find i don’t have to wash my hair more than once a week since stopping sealing, now its once a week or sometimes once every 10 days. my hair type a mix of 3b and 3c.

    Cientxa
    Guest
    Cientxa

    I was looking for information on beeswax as a sealant when I came across this site. Good source of pros and cons on oils. I am changing my hair grooming routine using steam instead of product to detangle. It works really well but I noticed that coconut oil and castor oil were leaving my hair dry. Perhaps they were being absorbed but the end result was dry looking hair and ends. I decided to try lighter oils (avocado and almond mixed)and used a beeswax cream product to seal and it was amazing how it changed the look and feel of… Read more »

    adrienna
    Guest
    adrienna

    I believe her, long before there was no such thing has moisturzing and sealing and folks hair was thriving and growing.. i think in these modern times why many of us our hair is so dry we are using too many products in the hair„ I used moisturize and seal for a year„ all it did was make my hair greasier, where i needed to wash it more frequent, which made it more drier, and mess my pillowcases up… so no thanks i went back to using a water based moisturizer alone ( ableit) a good quality one, and my… Read more »

    Cientxa
    Guest
    Cientxa

    I don’t like too much product even water based creams because it end up as a sticky knot magnet unless you shampoo twice a week minimum.
    I am coming up on 2 years comb‐free natural hair and I have experimented with half a dozen techniques. My best routine is a simple go to oil, shampoo often, and spritz moisture/steam daily.

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