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August 15, 2013

Stunted Hair Growth & Re-Moisturizing after Sealing


Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

Q: How do I re-moisturize my hair after I seal with a silicone serum? Won’t silicone lock the moisture out?

A: Silicones are synthetic oils. They make good sealants but they don’t do a perfect job. If they did, you wouldn’t have to re-moisturize at all because moisture would stay locked into your hair. But, that’s not what happens at all. If you seal with a silicone serum your hair will still get dry within a few days because moisture (water) can escape past the silicone. Hair sealed with coconut oil might need to be re-moisturized within a day; hair sealed with a silicone serum might stay moisturized for 2 days before it needs to be replenished. If moisture can get out, it can definitely be put back in. 


When you re-moisturize your hair after applying a serum, the moisture may take a few extra minutes to absorb, but it will absorb. Think of a silicone serum like a fence, not a brick wall. Silicone makes a stronger fence than any natural oil, but it’s still just a fence. Kinky hair is extremely porous compared to other hair types and it needs all the help with sealing it can get. Many face and body lotions contain silicone and you never have trouble re-moisturizing your skin. Your hair is no different.

Q: My concern is breakage and knots due to tangling. I big chopped 2 ½ years ago and my 4c coils are approximately 4 -5 inches long. By conservative estimates my hair should be 10-12 inches long by now. So, where is MY length? Once weekly I wash with Kinky Curly Come Clean, and condition with Joico K-Pak conditioner. In July I began doing twice monthly masks with Aztec clay mixed with Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. It doesn't get ugly until I try to detangle after washing! Right now I use Kinky Curly Knot today and a modified Denman brush, but nothing is working to reduce my single strand knots and breakage. My hair is too coily and too short to braid prior to shampooing, and finger detangling isn't working for me. Help!


A: When you say 4c coils, I know you’re talking about “extra kinky” coils, which means they are the hardest to comb and the easiest to break. Your breakage and single strand knots are due to mechanical damage that happens when you comb and brush your hair. When you have really kinky coils, you absolutely must use a conditioner that makes your hair easy to comb after washing. If the comb doesn’t glide through your hair after you wash and condition it, your conditioner isn’t doing its most important job.

Try Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner instead of Joico K-Pak. Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner is highly recommended for kinky coils because it makes detangling very easy, it contains hydrolyzed protein to strengthen the hair, and it has a low pH which helps smooth the cuticle. Comb the conditioner through (with a wide tooth comb) before you rinse it out because that’s the safest time to thoroughly comb kinky hair and minimize breakage. When it’s time to style, stay away from that Denman! Even though you’ve taken some of the pins out, it’s still too rough on your hair. Every stroke of the brush causes breakage, especially when the brush’s teeth get caught on knots and tangles. Start detangling with your fingers and then switch to a comb, preferably one with smooth teeth. To test a comb, lightly drag the teeth across your arm; if it leaves a scratch mark, the teeth are too sharp. Your length retention will drastically increase if you make those changes to your routine.

Hair Liberty (def): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself! For more info, visit www.hairliberty.org

17 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

Kinky Curly Come Clean to me is a somewhat harsh shampoo. I remember using it and it dried my hair out badly. It's almost like a clarifying shampoo to me...not saying it's the answer to all your problems or anything but I just wanted to put that out there...good luck with your hair journey!

mangomadness said...

Try detangling stretched hair BEFORE washing on hair--apply conditioner and/or oil, finger-detagle and follow up with a wide-toothed comb (the Denman may be rpping your hair out). Try washing in afro-puffs--Section your hair with an metal-free hair tie and wash section by section.

mangomadness said...

delete "on hair"
detagle=detangle

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your responses!

Could you recommend brick and mortar shampoos for tightly coiled 4c hair? Sulfate free, non-stripping preferable!

Anonymous said...

I have tight 4b curls and love Shea Moisture's products. Would highly recommend the Organic Moisture Retention Shampoo- it's not stripping at all. I usually follow that up with the SM Conditioning Mask and I'm good to go. Good luck to all my fellow tight curlies! :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment concerning the Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo-it's more of a clarifying shampoo. When I use this shampoo, my hair has a hard/course feeling afterwards, which is normal for a clarifying shampoo because it removes all impurities from the hair. The most important step to remember after using a shampoo like this is to use a very good moisturizing shampoo immediately after-followed by a deep conditioning (underneath a dryer with a shower cap on). This will make the hair soft again and increase elasticity. I love the Morrocan Oil shampoo and conditioner (moisture repair line). Good luck!

Chimmy said...

I recommend Giovonni Tea Tree Triple Tingle, it's like the greatest shampoo in the world, and if you have a Trader Joes near you I recommend their version of it as well. It's cheaper and feels the same. Also I would cut my shampoo, like mix it with water in a spray bottle. Put your hair in loose braids and put the spray bottle on the concentrated nozzle. You can then just focus on your scalp and let the shampoo rinse the rest of the hair. I am also having trouble with growth, I do have some, but not much. My one year is coming up too...It makes me sad, but whatever, I kind of just don't care as much anymore. Hair will grow, eventually. As for us, we just might not see the growth so much, I know mine just curls up to the point that I'm like did it grow at all? It did, but in order to really see the growth I think I'd have to measure it whilst pulling it lol. School is far more important than hair for me nowadays, oh well.

Anonymous said...

The Shea Moisture line really works well for me too. I would highly recommend them. I have a question to anyone reading. I have a pretty good routine and my hair is moistured (i think so) but my ends are always fuzzy. No matter what I do. I have done flat twist, 2 strand, braidouts, everything. As soon as I take them out, my ends are fuzzy. I even use an olive oil, shea butter mixture on the hair before I untwist.
Any suggestions?

Lorian said...

Apply shampoo to your scalp only before getting into the shower. To do this... slather your hair in slippery conditioner, detanlge with fingers gently...then wide tooth comb. Then part you hair straight back like you're about to do conrows and apply shampoo to scalp like oil...continue until whole head is covered. Gently massage shampoo in...then get in shower and rinse finger combing gently to make sure no new tangles form. Do not manipulate hair in shower...just let water run over length and keep brushing your hair back in 1 direction. This should keep your hair virtually tangle free. Then flat twist with fingers only while still wet. Use regular conditioner as a leave-in and apply generously. Seal with oil. Put a head band on daily until your hair is dry...then repeat with a co-wash or wear on out style! :) HTH.

luvmylocs said...

i pour shampoo/cleanser in a spray bottle and add water and maybe a squirt of a cheapie conditioner. i spray it on my scalp realizing the leftover gets on my hair which is okay. my scalp still gets clean but the shampoo isn't thick and it works better for me. i am actually going to try the newly reformulated cream of nature shampoos. they have 3 varieties including one that is supposed to be good for detangling.

Anonymous said...

You could also try terresentials mud wash. There's a long informative thread about it here: http://www.longhaircareforum.com/showthread.php?p=14293137

I'm not sure if CN has ever talked about it but Naptural85 on youtube raves about it and uses it. Supposedly it takes care of cleaning and detangling the hair very, very well. I've heard it also leaves the hair shiny and more moisturized. Alot of naturals note that their wash days are much less tedious.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 3:47 re. fuzzy ends, try sealing each twist/braid while WET with a pea-size amt of raw Shea butter.

Nina said...

I absolutely agree with using Joico Moisture Recovovery Conditioner. It has not failed me yet when it comes to detangling my hair. The best time to detangle is before I shampoo. I just spritz a little water on my hair and use a generous amount of the conditioner and my fingers glide right through the tangles.

Anonymous said...

I'm the same poster who talked about using Shea Moisture products. @Anon 3:47: Try spraying your hair with aloe vera juice. I do this after I wash out my deep conditioner and it really helps close my cuticles so that my twists aren't puffy. That way when I open up my twists the next morning there's no fuzz. HTH!

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Anonymous said...

the kinky curly come clean might be drying your hair out. I found Kinky Curly Come Clean to be too harsh for my tender 4a tresses. I would suggest you try one of the No Poo cleansers by Deva Care/Deva Curl or the terrssentials mud wash. Also, I would suggest washing your hair in sections. For moisture you will probably need to sit under the dryer or a heating cap with a heavy duty conditioner.

Hang in there. Once you find the cleansers and conditioners that agree with your hair along with the right amount of moisture your hair will become 100% easier to deal with.

Anonymous said...

If your looking for a gentle cleanser try Hair One, its sold in Sally stores, it's the store brand of Wen and will not dry your hair. I also use a water filter on my shower which helps a lot.

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