Do You Know What Your Shampoo and Conditioner Actually Does? part one

Greetings! Thank you for joining me in my journey for curls. I am a licensed cosmetologist of 6 years and an experienced curl artist. My passion is in teaching women how to embrace their curls and allow them to reach its fullest potential! I am so excited that you chose to read my first official blog on my new Pursuit Of Curls page. This is part one of a three part series called “Do You Know What Your Shampoo And Conditioner Actually Does?’. In this series I will explain the basic understanding of our products and attempt to correct some misinformation. Say for instance, the opinions of natural hair and how to treat it.

Many people tell me they don’t like their curls. They say it is easier to just straighten it because it is easier to have straight hair. They think their curls:

Doesn’t clump

Is too frizzy

Doesn’t last more than a day

Feel much too dry

Look very dull

These are common issues for many curl-friends and I totally get it! Proper clarification and deep conditioning will solve most of our common issues. These two systems together will help increase hydration hair need to stay voluminous and healthy. Hydration is so important when maintaining your natural curl. Your hair has to be able to breath to absorb moisture. You need to properly cleanse your hair to allow it to remove buildup that is preventing your hair to be it’s best.

So how does shampoo actually work and why do we need it? In order to answer this question, you must first understand a little how hair works. All hair (yes, even natural hair) produce natural oil called sebum which is our bodies way of naturally producing conditioner and nutrients for our hair. These nutrients, when not removed, also collect bacteria and can be a food source for microfauna (its as bad as it sound) that can lead to dry, itchy scalp. This buildup can also lead to dandruff, hair loss and even worse, baldness. Oiliness is not good for any hair type and adding more oil is not giving you the benefits you think you’re receiving.

Naturally not all hair types experience the ‘oily’ feeling when our sebum builds up, but that is determined by texture and thickness. The more texture you have the harder it is for sebum to travel down the hair shaft, making more textured naturally dryer. Does this mean that these hair textures doesn’t need shampoo? Absolutely not! We must not forget about scalp health.

Shampoo must have surfactants that collects dirt and build up. Build-up happens when heavy oils and butters build up, preventing water and oxygen from penetrating in our scalp and our hair cuticles, and permanently changing our natural texture. Not to mention that build up will also make your hair visibly dull and weigh down your hair. Cleansing will remove unnecessary buildup and allow your hair to remain healthy and happy. So what shampoo should you be using? Hydrating shampoo will be your best friend, but be very careful with the sourcing of your ingredients. Lauryl sulfate is one among others that are naturally stripping and drying. This sulfate should not be in your weekly wash routine. Instead, reach for shampoos with cocoyl sulfates which are more nourishing and healthy for your hair. How often you use these shampoos is completely up to you, however I do recommend not going past 7 days without washing your hair.

Now lets talk about conditioners and deep conditioners…….. I’m not too huge on ingredients of conditioners. Obviously low-silicone conditioners are going to be more beneficial long term for your hair. Nourishing conditioners are going to have coconuts, shea butters, and other heavy ingredients, but leave the heavy ingredients in your conditioners. I am also going to suggest to dilute, dilute, dilute. When I am applying conditioner I apply to very saturated, very wet hair. I only apply about a large gumball size amount for thick, thirsty hair. As I am working the conditioner in the hair, I always apply a little more water every few seconds. This will ensure that your conditioner stays activated and your cuticles stay open to absorb more products.

Does this scare you, adding more water and less conditioner? It really shouldn’t. Quality conditioners are going to have water soluble components that need water to help break down the ingredients. Without the break down, conditioner is going to just sit on top of your hair strands, and what we actually need is for conditioner to adsorb into the hair to help retain moisture and hydration. That requires your cuticles to stay open and water to absorb in your hair as well.

I recommend monthly deep conditioners unless your hair is chemically treated. Protein is actually not as necessary as some people may think, so if you are not chemically treated, focus more on mask treatments that will build up your moisture retention. Color treated hair is a little different. Because hair color breaks down proteins, they need to add in a little more to help build strength. I recommend color treated clients to use a mask treatment after every shampoo service and come into the salon for a protein treatment. This way, they can maintain healthy curly hair even if they got highlights or a balayage. Coloring hair allows curlies to express their personal expression, and its through self expression that allows us to reach our full potential.

That concludes part one of a three parts series call ‘Do You Know What Your Shampoo And Conditioner Actually Does?’

I’ll catch you at part 2

Peace, Love, and Pursuit Of Curls

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