Snow in June?!- Preventing White Flakes

Snow in June?!- Preventing White Flakes

Snow in June?!
Nope… just product induced White Flakes
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China writes:

So you just tried a new product combo and you’re super excited to reveal the results. You begin taking down your twists, only to find that white flakes are everywhere! This has happened to me so many times. And the worst part is that it’s happened to some of my best twist-outs. The products work great to define my hair, but leave a hazy white case. It’s frustrating because you don’t always have time to start over, nor would you ever want to. What should I do? What do you do?

CN responds:

This has happened to me countless times… it’s truly unfortunate and sometimes infuriating! I try to look at flakage on a continuum:

|Minor Flakage– Roll with it
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|Flakes Throughout-Avoid manipulation, bun, and hope for the best
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|White Balls– Rinse and start over

Since I’m not one for gel anymore, I very rarely have to deal with ‘white ball’ drama. Fortunately, as I’m sure most of you know, white balls are readily apparent– they crop up as soon as you try to apply a finicky gel over your leave-in conditioner. In this case, you’re undoubtedly annoyed but simply jump back in the shower, rinse, and start over. It sucks, but what can you do?

With flakes, it’s not that easy. They can range from minor microscopic particles that can only be detected when you shake your head (I find that these usually dissipate on their own), to a dull cast that when manipulated, flakes off and looks like dandruff. The problem is that you usually can’t detect the flakes until the hair has dried… which means you must come to a decision. Do you start over? Or do you roll out?

I’ve done both, but I usually opt to roll out and hope people kindly stay out of my personal space, lol. Recently, after being heavy handed with Aveda’s Defining Whip, I had a case of minor flakage. The set was perfect and I decided it looked too good to start over or pull up… plus, I didn’t have the time, and I had an important meeting to attend. I was slightly self-conscious about flaking around my edges, but I quickly got over it, and did my best to keep my hands out of it. Luckily, the flakes had magically disappeared by the end of the day!

To deal with major flakage, I’ve bunned until my next wash day, being careful not to disturb the hair too much… brushing, combing, or scratching the scalp can sometimes stir up more flakes than you can shake off. This is the worse, especially if your hair (sans flakes) turned out great.

Best treatment for this epidemic? Do your best to prevent it. I always say less is more… it reigns true for this situation as well. Also, it can be hard to predict which product will be the culprit– not all products that go on white and remain that way for a while after styling dries flaky… not all products that are clear and undetectable on wet hair, dry that way either. Bottom line, always opt for less product than you think you need, and take note of which product combos don’t play well together.

Has this ever happened to you? What would you do? Have you discovered any creative ways to remedy the situation?