Detangling and Clarifying Natural Hair

All products, whether commercial or homemade, can lead to build up on the scalp and strands. Conditioners meant to protect and nourish the hair along with stylizers that aid in holding styles work by coating the hair shaft. As product build up accumulates on the hair shaft it becomes a barrier to any other product used on the hair. In other words it blocks other products from getting through the cuticle. When I had dimethicone build up my hair would not be conditioned or moisturized no matter what product or how generous I was with it. Build up will clog the cuticles, which in return does not allow product in or out. And if you cannot get products like, say, moisture into the hair strands they begin to dry out and will eventually break off. I appreciated the need to clarify my hair after that dimethicone incident (which I got rid of using a clarifying shampoo – dimethicone is one of the stronger cones).

Nowadays I rarely have build up (noticeable at least) I think because I use very minimal products. Bi-weekly muds (in the winter it’s weekly), light conditioner (sometimes) afterwards and finally homemade leave-in conditioner and moisturizer with an occasional oil sealing. Maybe once every 6 weeks, I will deep condition using some type of food (yogurt, eggs, avocado etc) and a teaspoon of the homemade herbal hair oil. Even though I can count on one hand the number of products used on my hair (and I really have no visible problem with build up), I like to clarify my hair just in case.

natural 4c hair

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VO5 Shea Cashmere Moisturizing Conditioner Review

I don’t use a lot of commercial (store-bought) products but I have a few in my cabinet. Normally I use a light conditioner right after rinsing my weekly muds. The conditioner does just that – conditions my hair especially in case where the mud has a drying effect. With the strengthening muds like Brahmi, Henna and Bhringraj my hair loses it’s softness (hair feels strong and very rigid, almost the same as after a protein treatment but not as hard). A light conditioner efficiently moisturizer the hair to rebalance the strands elasticity and softness. Light conditioners work well for my light density hair (a.k.a low density/thin). Aside from re-balancing the hair, light conditioners are great for efficient rinsing since remnants from the mud cling to the conditioner and are washed out during the rinsing process.

Two things are important when I decide on a conditioner: first is the ingredients in the product and second is the PH of the product. There are ingredients like “cones” that just dry my hair out so even though some people swear by them I will not go near any product that has any kind of “cone” in it. After a terrible experience (that took me months to figure out the culprit was dimethicone) I began analyzing ingredients in the products I bought along with testing the PH (Ideal ph for hair is between 4.5 – 5.0). Once past these two features then it’s simply a question of whether I like the appearance, texture and effect the product has on my hair.

shea-cashmereb

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Herbal Infused Coconut oil

If I could only use one oil for the rest of my natural hair journey coconut oil would be a no-brainer choice for me. I consider coconut oil as my signature oil when it comes to hair care. Granted the oil does not work for everyone so it’s important to try out different ones and always go with one most agreeable to your hair. While I have deviated and tried a gazillion other oils for hair and body care, coconut oil is the only one that has been in consistent rotation.

Everything about whole coconut (solid at room temperature, not to be confused with fractionated) from its appearance, heavenly scent, ease of use, multiple functionality and effectiveness appeals to me. I decided to combine the oil with lavender to infuse not only fragrance but also the soothing and calming effects of the herb. Lavender is also a great herb for dry hair, which I definitely have. The end result was beautiful, high aroma butter with a greenish tint. Afterwards I whipped it to a fluffy luxurious texture that’s really easy to work with.

herbal Infused coconut oil for hair

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