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August 15, 2013

Maintaining Natural Hair in Humidity- Silicone or Coconut Oil?


via TheBeautyBrains

CYW says…I have curly colored hair. I was wondering if silicon serum or coconut oil would be best for fight frizz? Or is there a third product I should consider in this nasty humid weather.

The Beauty Brains respond:
You raise a very interesting question and one that we have never seen addressed in the technical literature. However we can still give you our best guess.

Silicone coating vs coconut oil penetration
One way of fighting frizz is to waterproof the hair so it won’t absorb moisture which causes the fibers to bend and twist. Silicone and coconut oil are both good waterproofing agents although their mode of action is very different. Silicone coats the hair forming a barrier which prevents water from penetrating while coconut oil penetrates inside the cortex where it waterproofs from the inside out.

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So in theory, either could work very well but we’ve never seen anybody test these two approaches head to head, so to speak. The good news is this question is what we in the industry call a “testable proposition.” With a little work on your end you could do a half head test on yourself and answer the question on your very own hair. Here’s how it would work:

Half head testing
First, comb your hair down the middle to split the two sides as evenly as possible. Treat one side with the silicone serum of your choice and the other side with coconut oil. (You may have to adjust your application technique since silicones will coat the surface almost instantly while coconut oil requires some time to soak in and penetrate.) Then style your hair as usual. When you go outside and your hair is exposed to high humidity, check the mirror to see if one side or the other shows more frizz.
Yes, may be a bit messy and it is more work for you but since this is a reasonably controlled experiment on your very own hair it’s probably of more value to you then some abstract scientific study. If you decide to go through with the experiment, write back and let us know your results.


How do you attempt to humidity-proof your curls? 

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