Should I Really Use Grease on My Natural Hair?

By: Hair Liberty's Nicole Hollis

Q: Should I really use grease on my hair?


A: Grease is usually a combination of petroleum (cleaned up sludge from the earth) and mineral oil (even cleaner, liquefied sludge from the earth). Petroleum-based products come from the same Earth that we pollute everyday with factory run off, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, etc. Questions about the safety of mineral oil and petroleum in cosmetic products come from concern that they may not be clean enough after coming from such a dirty place. The petroleum and mineral oil used in medicinal creams (Neosporin, for example) gets cleaned much more thoroughly than the stuff used in hair products.

Read More!>>>

How to Protect Your Hair While Swimming


by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

Swimming is fun and relaxing whether you're doing it for exercise or just to cool off. You don't have to limit your pool time for your hair, but you do have to take some extra precautions. Chlorinated water and constant friction from swimming will take a toll on African American hair. Spend a few minutes before and after swimming to help your hair survive the summer.

Key Tips
  • Rinse your hair with tap water before you get in the pool.
  • Don't wear a swim cap if it pulls too tightly or rips out your hair at the hairline.
  • Always shampoo after you swim, chlorine does not rinse out.

Is It Really Bad to Grease Your Scalp?



by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

If you grew up in a traditional African American household, a jar of hair grease was never too far away. Oiling the scalp with thick grease was thought to be a staple of any good hair care regimen. Today, experts advise against oiling the scalp, but many African American women still believe that hair grease is a part of obtaining healthy hair. But is it really helpful? Or can it cause more damage than good?

Read More!>>>

Unavoidable Damage and Length Retention- Natural Hair Care


glam idol, Mia!

Mo' Hair, Mo' Problems
Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

When you're enthusiastic about hair care and dedicated to a healthy hair journey it can be difficult to be objective about your hair. It's easy to talk about things that keep the hair healthy like gentle handling, good conditioners, and low manipulation, but if those were the only things that mattered, everyone's hair would be doing great. In reality, despite meticulous efforts to grow a long, thick head of hair, many women still struggle to maintain length and reach their other hair goals. To get past a length hurdle or stop persistent breakage you have to realize one important thing: Damage is unavoidable. If your hair isn't making progress that means it's being damaged faster than it can recover. Many natural women already steer clear of heat and chemical treatments, but mechanical damage is still an issue and it can be difficult to recognize.

Read On!>>>

Everything You Need to Know About the Science of Tea Rinses


by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

What is a tea rinse?
A tea rinse is done by pouring a cup of tea, commonly green or black, over the hair to reduce shedding or stimulate hair growth.

How is it supposed to work?
The caffeine in the tea penetrates the hair follicles.

Is there any proof that tea rinses make hair grow faster or reduce shedding?
One scientific study shows that caffeine can stimulate hair growth when used in tiny amounts (0.001% caffeine in water). The same study also found that applying too much caffeine to the hair follicles can actually stunt growth. A different study found that caffeine in shampoo can penetrate the hair follicles when left on for 2 minutes. Both studies were done on the hair follicles of men with androgenetic alopecia. So, no scientific studies have been done to test the effects of caffeine on a woman’s scalp who doesn’t have a hair loss disorder.

Generally, the current evidence says that caffeine definitely penetrates hair follicles and may stimulate hair growth, but no one knows for sure. It’s impossible to say how much additional growth you might see, if any. Don’t expect more than an inch or two per year. There are no published scientific studies on caffeine and shedding.

Read On!>>>

Understanding Fine Natural Hair

by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

After studying African American hair in depth, doctors and scientists have found a lot of common features. Hair of African descent is likely to be very curly, dry, and fragile by nature. Those are the more universal characteristics, but obviously every black woman's hair isn't the same. One of the most important differences between hair types is one that's often overlooked when discussing black hair: strand thickness. Strand thickness or diameter refers to the size of each individual strand of hair on your head. That's different than the number of strands on your head. You may have a lot of hair, but each of those hairs can be fine, medium, or thick.

This picture shows actual strands of hair that were photographed using a special imaging system. The hair on the left is much finer (or thinner) than the hair on the right.


Strand thickness is important because it's closely tied to which products work well for your hair. Differences in strand thickness can result in one person loving a product and another person hating it, especially with regard to leave-in conditioners and stylers. Fine hair requires the most care, so it's important to figure out if your hair falls into that category. Even though black hair needs lots of moisture, using too much product or one that's too heavy, can make fine hair look stringy or sparse.

The most accurate way to determine your hair's diameter is to measure a few strands using a machine similar to the one used for the picture above, but you really don't need to be that exact. See if any of these scenarios sound familiar...

Read More>>>

Minimizing Natural Hair Damage


by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

When you're enthusiastic about hair care and dedicated to a healthy hair journey it can be difficult to be objective about your hair. It's easy to talk about things that keep the hair healthy like gentle handling, good conditioners, and low manipulation, but if those were the only things that mattered, everyone's hair would be doing great. In reality, despite meticulous efforts to grow a long, thick head of hair, many women still struggle to maintain length and reach their other hair goals. To get past a length hurdle or stop persistent breakage you have to realize one important thing: Damage is unavoidable. If your hair isn't making progress that means it's being damaged faster than it can recover. Many natural women already steer clear of heat and chemical treatments, but mechanical damage is still an issue and it can be difficult to recognize.

Read On>>>

Scalp Massage for Healthy, Natural Hair Growth


by Nicole Harmon of Hair Liberty

You can massage your scalp to slowly stimulate hair growth. It's a great technique for areas that have thinned due to weaves and braids. The key to seeing results is consistency. Massaging your scalp a couple of times a week may not make a difference. Commit to a daily massage for at least a month for your best chance at success.

Read On!>>>

How Do I Know if a Product is pH Balanced?

 by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

Q: How do I know if a product is pH balanced?


A: Out of all of your products, the pH of your shampoo is most important. The beneficial pH range of shampoo is 4.5 to 6.5. A shampoo with a higher pH may strip the hair of its natural oils leaving it frizzy and fly away even after you apply your styling products. You may not mind a little frizz, but when a high pH shampoo leads to fly aways and generally unruly hair that usually leads to more manipulation which leads to breakage. To retain length, it’s best to keep your hair as well controlled as possible. African American hair is particularly sensitive to pH, so this is a case where a little extra TLC is important and will make your hair care routine easier. To find the pH of a shampoo or any other product, try these tips.

Read On>>>

Split Ends Even After a Trim?


Hair Liberty's Nicole Harmon, our Resident Curl Chemist, is answering your most urgent hair questions. Check it out! 

Q: I have split ends all the time even right after a trim. How can I get them to stop?

A: Your hair splits when the cuticle has been completely worn away. That can happen anywhere on the strand, but it’s most likely to happen at the ends because they’re the oldest hair. The cuticle is made of about 7 layers and those layers get damaged every time you style your hair. Damage is unavoidable, but if split ends are always popping up that means you’re pushing your hair passed its limit. Are you using heat? If you heat style your hair, you must only do so after your hair has been freshly shampooed and conditioned. It’s also really important to use a heat protectant. If you’re still getting split ends after taking those precautions, you may be using too high of a setting. Whether you’re using a blow dryer, bonnet dryer, flat iron, or curling iron, you should turn the heat down. If you usually use high, use medium, if you usually set the temp to 350°F, set it on 300°F.

Read On>>>

Revisiting the Idea of Protein Overload

Hair Liberty's Nicole Harmon, our Resident Curl Chemist, is answering your most urgent hair questions. Check it out below! 

Q: I'm interested in your comments on "protein overload." My hair seems to have a hard time absorbing moisture, staying moisturized; products evaporate quickly, hair dries very quickly after getting wet, conditioner seems to just sit on top instead of penetrating. A stylist suggested I might have protein overload as I have been using Giovanni's Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture conditioner religiously for about 6 months (high concentration of soy protein, 4th ingredient). Does protein overload exist? If not, what do you think is going on with my hair? I definitely have noticed a change.

Read On>>>

Frizz Fighting Products That Really Work

by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

There are times when you need your hair to look like perfection. Maybe you have an exciting date or a big meeting at work. You take the time to put every strand in its proper place, but within minutes of going outside, the best twist out ever or the most polished blow out turns into an undefined mess. That's because humidity in the environment brings excess moisture to your hair. The humidity may be from rain, or because you live in Texas or Florida, or because you're sweatin' out your hurr in a hot club. Wherever the excess moisture comes from, it's usually not enough to make your hair look wet, just enough to swell your strands and make your hair poof out. So frustrating!

Unlike many other hair care problems, the strategies for fighting frizz are more about product than technique. To protect your hair from humidity, you have to seal like your life (okay the life of your hairstyle) depends on it. Here are the must haves:


Frizz Fighter #1: A protein conditioner/treatment

Rinse out products that contain hydrolyzed protein temporarily patch up some of the cuticle holes in porous hair. If African American hair doesn't get additional protein regularly, it will frizz out very quickly no matter what you do. Make sure to use a strengthening product at least once every 2 weeks. Salon quality protein conditioners will leave your hair smooth and strong, not stiff.

Product recommendations

Curlisto Deep Therapy Masque
Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner for Dry Hair
Nexxus Emergencee Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor
Ouidad 12 Minute Deep Treatment

Natural Hair Troubleshooting

by Nicole of Hair Liberty

No one's hair is perfect! Pinpoint your specific hair issues and start finding solutions to your biggest hair problems.

Problem: Dry, Brittle Hair
Your hair feels dry to the touch. Sometimes, it looks wiry and/or feels stiff. The breakage never stops.

Solution: Your hair is telling you that it needs more moisture. Apply a water-based moisturizer once or twice a day. If your hair seems very dry, add moisturizer until your ends are slightly damp and then gently put your hair up while the moisturizer absorbs. Thick, creamy moisturizers are the best choice for damaged or chemically-treated hair.  You may also seal this moisture in with an oil.

Read More>>>

Product Breakdown: Aveda Damage Remedy

by Nicole Harmon of HairLiberty

Product Breakdown: Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair, $24


Product Description from Aveda


Our daily leave-in treatment instantly repairs damaged hair by 26%*, helps protect from heat styling and detangles to help prevent further damage.
*After 1 application of Daily Hair Repair in a clinical tensile test.

Active Ingredients

Chenopodium Quinoa Seed

This is a type of hydrolyzed quinoa protein that binds to the hair shaft and penetrates the cortex. Chenopodium Quinoa Seed works the same as other hydrolyzed proteins to patch damage and give the hair shine. To read more about this ingredient, click here.

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol
Cosmetic scientists created this ingredient over 10 years ago by combining hydrolyzed wheat protein with silicone. Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol helps chronically dry hair retain moisture and reinforces cuticle layers that have been cracked during heat styling. This ingredient is also used in products by Curlisto, Ojon, and Fekkai.

Methyl Soyate
Methyl Soyate is a combination of soy oil and methanol. It is used in cosmetics as an emollient which means it makes the hair feel smooth and soft.

Product Instructions

Application is key. Use an amount about the size of a quarter for medium-length hair. Work it in your hands and apply it through damp hair.
To maximize results, focus on the most damaged areas and distribute the leave-in treatment evenly.
*Nicole’s Tip: Kinky hair almost always requires more than a quarter size amount. Focus on distributing the product evenly and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you’re done.

Nicole’s Recommendation

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair is worth a try. It should leave your hair soft, moisturized and shiny. The ingredients are highly effective but lightweight so you won’t have to sacrifice volume. You’ll need to use the product after every wash to keep getting the damage repairing benefits. That’s why the description and product name emphasize the word “daily”. Start out with a sample size. If you use the whole sample in one application this product may be out of budget at $7 an ounce. Aveda stores and salons will give you one free Damage Remedy Sample Pack when you bring in this coupon.

Hair Liberty (def): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself! Go to hairliberty.org to get expert advice for kinky and curly hair.


Have you ever tried Damage Remedy? What was your experience?

Make Your Straight Hair Last Longer

by Nicole Harmon of HairLiberty

Use products that promise humidity protection

When your hair is straight, your roots are usually the first to revert back to curly. That's because sweat or humidity in the air has penetrated the hair closest to your scalp and made it swell. "Humidity-blocking" products condition your hair by wrapping each strand with a lightweight protective film. Follow up your leave-in conditioner with a thorough application of a styling cream or foam that says "humidity protection" or "anti-frizz". Try Tresemme Smooth and Silky Anti-Frizz Secret Crème, Hair Rules Blow Out Your Kinks, Motions Light Styling Foam, or Living Proof Straight Styling Treatment.

Choose a "flexible" hold hair spray or skip it

Most hairsprays make your hair stick together at the ends. If you run your fingers through your hair or put your hair in a ponytail, the hair-sprayed areas are likely to break. If you need to make sure every hair stays in place, choose a hair spray that says "flexible", "workable", or "natural" hold. Always spray from as far away as possible for the best results. To get the most days out of your straight hair as possible, skip hair spray altogether.

Protect your hair from shower steam using a moisture-wicking headband and a shower cap

You'll definitely wear a shower cap in the shower, but your hair may still frizz from the steam. Keep your hair away from the water by putting on a moisture-wicking headband like the ones made by Nike and Under Armour. The microfiber in the headband will absorb moisture and trap it between the threads of fabric. Put on the headband, then the shower cap, and keep your shower short.

Wrap or pin curl your hair at night and tie on a scarf

Your straight hair will last longer if the strands aren't allowed to rub up against each other while you sleep. If your roots revert quickly, take the time to pin curl your hair at night after applying a very small amount of moisturizer or serum to each section. Tie a satin or silk scarf over your head to keep your hair in place and your edges smooth. You can get away with less bedtime prep, but the better your hair is protected at night, the better it will look the next day.

Following these tips can make your straight hair last for weeks, but that's a long time to go without washing your hair. If your scalp starts to get itchy, it's begging to be shampooed and conditioned. You can buy yourself a few extra days by blotting excess oil from your scalp with an alcohol-free toner or a mixture of 1/8 cup aloe vera gel and 3 drops of tea tree oil. To keep your hair healthy with minimal breakage, it's best to shampoo and condition at least once a week.


Hair Liberty (def): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself! Go to hairliberty.org, to get expert advice for kinky and curly hair.

Does Roux Porosity Control work?


Hair Liberty's Nicole Harmon, our Resident Curl Chemist, is answering your most urgent hair questions. Got one for her? Email me at [email protected] using "Hair Liberty" in the subject line and she may answer your question right here on the blog.

Q: Does Roux Porosity Control work?


A: Yes, Roux 233 Porosity Control Corrector Conditioner is a great product for porous hair. It contains emollients and hydrolyzed protein which are two types of ingredients that temporarily patch up cuticle damage. The key word is temporary. There is no product, even one that says “Corrector” that can turn the raised cuticles of kinky hair into the compact cuticles of naturally straight hair. If you used Roux Porosity Control Corrector Conditioner for 3 months with amazing results you would still have porous hair, but the porosity wouldn’t be as troublesome. When your hair’s porosity is under control, it can stay moisturized between washes and handle low to moderate manipulation with minimal breakage. If you stop giving your hair ingredients like the ones in Roux 233 breakage and dryness will come right back.

The best any product can offer is that it will fill in and protect damaged areas from breakage for a few washes at a time. Most treatments only last 1 or 2 washes, but there are salon conditioning treatments that last longer. You can keep your hair’s porosity under control by faithfully using products that keep it moisturized, strong, and looking good. Roux 233 Repairing Shampoo is gentle, conditioning, and pH balanced so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to use the whole system. The gentler your shampoo, the longer you can experience the benefits of repairing treatments like Roux Porosity Control before needing to re-apply.

Hair Liberty (def): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself! Go to hairliberty.org, to get expert advice for kinky and curly hair.

Hair Steamers and Natural Hair


Hair Liberty's Nicole Harmon, our Resident Curl Chemist, is answering your most urgent hair questions. Got one for her? Email me at [email protected] using "Hair Liberty" in the subject line and she may answer your question right here on the blog.

Q: If heat isn’t required for deep conditioning, does that mean hair steamers are a waste of time too?


A: Not necessarily. Steamers are bonnet dryers that produce moist heat instead of dry heat. They basically create a humid environment similar to a hot shower or a hot day in Florida. The warm, moist air from a hair steamer gently lifts the hair’s cuticle layers to help reconstructing conditioners absorb faster than they would on their own. If you’ve invested in a hair steamer, try these tips to get the most out of your treatments:

Tip #1: Always use the steamer before you shampoo, not after. The point of the steamer is to gently lift the cuticle and make it easier for strengthening ingredients to penetrate into the strand. Once you fully wet your hair in the shower, each strand gets flooded with water which causes the hair shaft to swell. You’ll condition your hair at that time too, but the real benefit of the steamer is to allow penetrating ingredients to squeeze under the cuticle layers before water hits your hair directly.

Tip #2: For the best results, apply an overnight or pre-shampoo treatment to your dry hair then use the hair steamer. Just like with a bonnet dryer, it’s important not to sit with conditioner on your hair for long periods of time unless the instructions tell you it’s safe. To get the most out of your steamer use it with a professional pre-shampoo treatment like Kinky-Curly Midnight Miracle, Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment, L’Oreal Everstrong Overnight Hair Repair Treatment, or Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme. Pre-shampoo products balance strengthening ingredients with sealants so everything doesn’t get rinsed away when you wash your hair. They’re also usually formulated with non-irritating preservatives since they’re meant to be on your hair for 8 hours or more. You can also try this DIY recipe from British Trichologist, Philip Kingsley:

Pre-Shampoo recipe for Very Curly Hair

2 eggs
1/4 cup full-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or double cream
1/8 cup castor oil
1/8 cup filtered tap water
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

-Juice and pulp from 1/2 of a grapefruit
-Blend ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight and use as required. Massage into hair and scalp for five minutes then leave to penetrate for 20 minutes. Shampoo out and use conditioner for dry hair. Repeat weekly.

Recipe source: http://dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4435/Give-hair-salon-treatment.html

If a hair steamer is out of your budget, don’t worry, you can still do extra things to deep condition and strengthen your hair. What always matters most is the quality of the product you use and how thoroughly you apply it. Try a pre-shampoo product (or the Philip Kingsley recipe), make sure you apply it to every strand from root to tip, and leave it on for the full recommended time before you wash your hair.

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 hairliberty.org.

FAQs- Deep Conditioning and Natural Hair

Hair Liberty's Nicole Harmon, our Resident Curl Chemist, is answering your most urgent hair questions. Got one for her? Email me at [email protected] using "Hair Liberty" in the subject line and she may answer your question right here on the blog.

What is deep conditioning?

“Deep Conditioning” is often suggested as a remedy for dry or damaged hair. The goal of deep conditioning is to strengthen damaged hair and prevent breakage. To deep condition you must use a conditioner that contains ingredients that can absorb into the hair strand. Examples of penetrating ingredients include hydrolyzed protein, amino acids, cetrimonium bromide, panthenol and some silicones.

Does deep conditioning require heat?

No, it’s a common myth that deep conditioning requires heat. If a conditioner works with heat, its instructions will tell you to apply heat for a specific amount of time. Heat will only increase the effect of a conditioner if it has been formulated with penetrating ingredients. Conditioners that require heat don’t work better than conditioners that tell you to apply and rinse after a few minutes. It all depends on the ingredients.

I like sitting under the dryer. Is there any harm?

Yes, sitting under a bonnet dryer for long periods of time with conditioner in your hair can cause harm. The instructions on your conditioner tell you the safest way to use the product. Studies show that preservatives and other chemicals in cosmetic products can cause eczema and a type of alopecia called telogen effluvium.

We’re used to thinking of eczema as a skin condition that runs in families, but frequent exposure to cosmetic chemicals can cause a type of eczema called “acute contact dermatitis”. Symptoms of acute contact dermatitis include itching, bumps, tenderness, and dry patches. Studies show that acute contact dermatitis on the scalp leads to a form of short-term alopecia called telogen effluvium. The condition causes excess hair shedding for up to 6 months.

When you leave a conditioner on longer than the recommend time you may be increasing your exposure to cosmetic chemicals that have been linked to eczema, alopecia, and more serious health problems like cancer. Adding heat increases your exposure even more.

Can I sit under the dryer if I only use natural/organic products?

It will always be safest to follow the instructions on your conditioner. Just because a product is labeled “natural” or “organic” doesn’t mean it’s safer than anything else. Some natural ingredients cause more allergy problems than synthetic ingredients. There are also loopholes in FDA guidelines that allow manufacturers to omit certain ingredients from the label. The manufacturer is the only one who knows exactly what’s in the bottle and whether it’s safe or not to use the product with heat.

I think I have contact dermatitis on my scalp and excess shedding. What do I do now?

1) Make a decision today to follow the instructions on your products. Don’t leave in rinse-off products and don’t let rinse-off products sit on your scalp for long periods of time.
2) Visit a Dermatologist or Trichologist for a scalp evaluation if possible.
3) Don’t scratch your scalp when it itches. Micro-cuts on the scalp can lead to bacterial infections.
4) Be patient. Itching, bumps, and the other symptoms of acute contact dermatitis usually go away within 4 weeks after the exposure stops. Excess shedding due to telogen effluvium should stop within 6 months.
5) For extra softness and easier detangling when you wash your hair, do a pre-shampoo oil treatment each week.

References:

AetnaInteliHealth. Health A to Z: Eczema. Available at http://intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/9339/9501.html.

Antonella Tosti; Bianca Maria Piraccini; Dominique J. J. van Neste. Telogen Effluvium After Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Scalp. Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(2):187-190.

CW Hughes, E. Telogen Effluvium. Medscape Reference. Available at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1071566-overview.

Environmental Working Group. 2008. Study: Almost Half Of All ‘Natural’ Personal Care Products Contain Known Carcinogen. Available at http://ewg.org/node/26160.

Flyvholm MA, Menné T. Allergic contact dermatitis from formaldehyde. A case study focusing on sources of formaldehyde exposure. Contact Dermatitis. 1992 Jul;27(1):27-36.

Toribo, J., et al. "Allergic Contact Dermatitis In A Girl Due To Several Cosmetics Containing Diazolidinyl-Urea Or Imidazolidinyl-Urea." Contact Dermatitis (01051873) 63.1 (2010): 49-50.



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

The Efficacy of Shampoo Bars



Hair Liberty's Nicole Harmon, our Resident Curl Chemist, is answering your most urgent hair questions. Got one for her? Email me at [email protected] using "Hair Liberty" in the subject line and she may answer your question right here on the blog.

Q: I want to try shampoo bars, but I’ve seen mixed reviews. Will they work for my hair?

A: To answer this question, we need to examine the labels of two popular shampoo bars:

Oyin Handmade Grand Poo Bar

Ingredients- purified water, glycerin, sodium stearate and sodium oleate, sorbitol, stearic acid, lauric acid, African black soap, cocoa butter, cetyl alcohol, coconut oil, lavender, tea tree and citrus essential oils

Karen's Body Beautiful Bodacious Beauty Bar (Shampoo Bar), Juicy
Ingredients- purified water, saponified olive, coconut and safflower oils, jojoba oil, shikakai & amla herbs, apple cider vinegar and panthenol

These shampoo bars are made with slightly different recipes, but they are both made of soap. Soap is made by mixing water, fat from a vegetable oil or butter, and sodium hydroxide (lye).
For all intents and purposes, the “sodium stearate and sodium oleate” in the Oyin Poo Bar are the same as the “saponified olive, coconut and safflower oils” in the KBB Shampoo Bar. Oyin used the scientific names for soap in their ingredients list, while Karen’s Body Beautiful used more laymen terms. In the “sodium oleate” listed in the Grand Poo bar, the “sodium” comes from sodium hydroxide and the “oleate” means the fat used was from olive oil.
Soap has been made using sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide for centuries, but it’s always had two major problems:

1) It’s impossible to make pH balanced soap. As we know, sodium hydroxide has a high pH and the resulting soap usually has a pH around 10. An expert soap maker can make a soap bar as low as pH 8. Attempting to lower the pH below 8 will make the soap resemble mud (not a solid bar anymore). Some hair types aren’t affected by high pH, but curly-kinky hair is pH sensitive because of its naturally raised cuticles. It’s always best to use shampoo with a pH between 4.5 and 6.5.

2) Soap causes soap scum in hard water. If you use a shampoo bar in tap water that contains a lot of calcium, the calcium will attach to the saponified olive oil/sodium oleate and form scum that settles on your hair (and leaves stains in the tub). Those mineral deposits will make your hair more prone to tangles and knots. Hard tap water is common in Southern California, the Mid West, and Texas. If you have hard water, your hair and skin will feel and look better if you avoid soap.

*The Karen’s Body Beautiful Beauty Bar contains Apple Cider Vinegar, but it’s not in a high enough amount to counteract hard water.

There’s a learning curve to going natural and it takes time to learn what works best for your hair. If you are just starting out on your healthy hair journey, I recommend avoiding shampoo bars. You will find a good regimen for your hair more quickly if you use products that are scientifically proven to work well for your hair type.

Instead of paying around $10 for a shampoo bar, it would be better to spend the same amount to get a large bottle of Nature’s Gate or Avalon Organics shampoo. Those products are made with gentle cleansers, they’re pH balanced and they include ingredients to counteract hard water. If you’re still curious about shampoo bars after you find your holy grail regimen, feel free to experiment. You’ll get a better sense of whether you like them or not after you’ve had some experience with a well-formulated shampoo.

If you choose to wash your hair with a shampoo bar or any other soap, always rinse the soap scum off of your hair at the end of your shower using 1 cup ACV mixed with 1 cup warm distilled water.

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

What's the Best Oil to Use on My Hair?


Hair Liberty's Nicole Harmon,

Q: What’s the best oil to use on my hair? How should I use it?


A: There’s really no wrong way to use vegetable oils, but just like any other product, when you find the right oil for your hair, everything from detangling to styling will be easier.

Oils for Conditioning
  • Best Choices: Coconut, Olive, Avocado, and Castor Oil
  • These oils are high in saturated or monounsaturated fat. Oils in this category are easily absorbed through the cuticle layer into the inner cortex of the hair. Once the oil is inside it can give the strands a bit more strength against breakage.
  • Best Use: Apply generously to dry hair an hour or more before shampooing. For a faster treatment, cover with a plastic cap and sit under a bonnet dryer for 20 minutes on low.
  • These oils should not be applied to wet hair because water will only prevent the oil from absorbing (remember water and oil don’t mix).
  • Coconut, Olive, Avocado, and Castor Oil are considered medium to heavy oils. If you have fine natural hair, don’t use these to style or your hair may turn out stiff and piecey looking.
Oils for Sealing
  • Best Choices: Almond , Grapeseed, Flaxseed, and Sunflower Oil
  • These oils that are high in polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats stay on the surface of the strand instead of absorbing inside. When the goal is to seal moisture into your hair, you need oils that stay on the top cuticle layers.
  • Best Use: Make your own finishing spray by putting one of these oils in a mister or spray bottle. Spray on damp or dry hair to seal in moisture or add shine to a wet set or blow out.
  • These oils can also be used as pre-shampoo oil treatments when you don’t have time to wait for the benefits of a conditioning oil.
  • Almond, Grapeseed, Flaxseed, and Sunflower Oil are light enough to be used on fine strands without making them look weighed down and greasy.
None of the oils mentioned here last longer than 1 year once opened. Expired oils make your hair more prone to sun damage, so they are not worth using. Maximize the shelf life of your oils by keeping them away from heat and light. Store them in a cool, dry place like a kitchen pantry or a closet instead of the bathroom cabinet.

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...