Lately I’ve been looking around at the hair on other ladies heads and I have noticed a difference — other relaxed women’s hair seems a lot shinier than mine. Most days, especially days where I am not flat ironing, my hair is dull. Even if you look back on most of the pictures that I’ve posted on here, you’ll see that there is not much shine/sheen regardless of whether it is flat iron or rollerset. So now, I’m on a mission to bring back the shine.
This build up is often caused by overloading the hair with too many products that contain non-water soluble ingredients such as mineral oil, petroleum and some silicones. And after checking the ingredients lists of my staple hair products, I’ve realized that just two of them contains mineral oils, none contain petroleum and two of my all time favorite products contain some water insoluble silicones (e.g. Cetearyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone [Nexxus Humectress], Dimethiconol [Chi Silk Infusion and Nexxus Humectress], and Stearyl Dimethicone).
If your hair products contain these product that’s no reason to abandon them (because I certainly will not be), instead it becomes important to use clarifying shampoos or ones that contain sulfates when cleansing your hair to ensure that your hair is free from these ingredients. My favorite Chelating Shampoo (Mizani Phormula-7) contains Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, which is a fairly common sulfate.
Hard Water/Calcium Build Up.
Hard water has higher amounts of Calcium, Magnesium and other minerals in them that leave such deposits on the hair, which can have dulling and drying effect on the hair. This can be alleviated with water softeners, water conditioners or chelating shampoos. I am going to use my chelating shampoo more often to see how that improves my situation.
High Porosity Hair.
High porosity hair means that the hair cuticles are raised leading to a rougher surface on the hair shaft which will not reflect light in the same manner that hair with a smoother cuticle layer will. The very nature of having relaxed hair leads to higher porosity hair and because of that I’ll be using products like Porosity Control and/or Apple Cider Vinegar rinses to lower my hair’s porosity/lay down the hair cuticle. I won’t use it weekly but I will be using it more often than just on relaxer day (every 12 weeks).
Using Silicone Products Without Heat.
Yes, we are back on silicones. Silicones are beneficial ingredients to have in your conditioners and styling aids because they form a waterproof barrier around the hair shaft, which lowers the hair’s porosity, makes the hair feel smoother, prevents moisture loss and prevents the absorption of humidity from the air. But I’m starting wonder if those benefits can be attained when the hair is not styled in a straight fashion through flat ironing and smooth rollersets (which I can only achieve with heat). I haven’t run across any evidence or other sources to back up my thoughts on this issue, but I’m willing to avoid these products when airdrying to see if there is a difference in the outcome of my hair.
Some commonly used silicones for this purpose are:
- Cyclomethicone (Chi Silk Infusion, Sebastians Shaper Plus, and EQP Silkening Polisher);
- Dimethicone Copolyol;
- Amodimethicone (Nexxus Humectress);
- Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone (Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Restucturizer); and
- Dimethicone (Nexxus Humectress).
The lesson that I am taking from this is that I need to be more thoughtful in choosing products that will compliment how I style my hair. Right now I’m headed to the State Fair but when I back, I’ll be washing my hair and incorporating some of these new thoughts and ideas.
First, I’ll be pre-poo-ing with Proclaim Natural 7 Oil (not for any reason mentioned above, but I bought it recently and have been looking forward to giving it a try). Next, I’m going to cleanse & chelate with Mizani Phormula-7 followed by a 30 seconds with Roux Porosity Control. Deep Condition with silicone containing Nexxus Humectress and using Aphogee Green Tea Restructerizer and GVP The Conditioner as my leave-ins. Then because I’m incorporating all these silicone products I will be rollersetting and sitting under the hair dryer until my hair is completely dry (maybe even a silk wrap, but I’m not sure yet). I will report back tomorrow with my results. Hopefully, I will see better results as far as shine goes, if not I’ll try a different combination with the next wash and see what comes of it.