Sunday, August 18, 2013

Water and Natural Hair

Water Your Garden
 Watch it grow!

Our hair thrives in a moisture rich environment and water is one of the best ways to quench its thirst. Dryness after washing is a big concern for many women of color. If this sounds familiar, you may want to evaluate a couple of things.

Is your shampoo stripping your hair of moisture?
Is your tap water, hard water? 
These are just a two factors that will contribute to dryness.
Sulfates strip the hair of moisture, and after a wash, things can get a bit dry. If you have a shampoo with sulfate that you love you don’t have to ditch it completely, just limit your usage of it. Co Wash more often. Moisturize Daily. 
Sulfates are designed to remove dirt and oil from the hair. With frequent usage it can strip our hair of too much oil, leaving our hair dry, and hard. Sulfates can come in handy when you feel that your scalp, or hair has buildup, and co-washing will not be enough. Limiting your usage of sulfate shampoos will assist you with your dryness woes. You can also look for sulfate free shampoos as an alternative. 

Hard Water can lead to hard times...
Some Water Can make your hair hard, and dry. Hard water leaves microscopic mineral deposits on the hair, which leads to dryness and breakage. What is hard water? Pure water has a neutral PH value of 7.  Now our drinking water most likely does not meet this number, but you can test where your tap water falls on the PH scale by using PH testing strips. You can find testingstrips at any local pharmacy. 
If you find that you have hard water, or water with a PH value that isn't neutral, you can purchase a water purification system or you can implement chelating shampoos into your regimen. Chelating shampoos work to remove hard water deposits from your hair. It’s recommended that you follow up with a Deep Conditioning Treatment. To limit buildup, when I Mix my own hair products, I use bottled water for any recipe that calls for water. My Reviving Hair Mist, and Detangling Lotion are mixed at home using bottled water. Check out my personal  Home Made Hair Products  for more money saving recipes.

Hiding From Shrinkage? 
Aside from dryness, one factor as to why us curly girls avoid washing is the massive shrinkage. Regardless of shrinkage, (which can be annoying for some) cleansing your scalp, and reviving your hair with water is a necessity. Your regimen should strike a balance between protein and moisture, to grow healthy, long hair. 
Aim to co-wash your hair or use a moisturizing shampoo once a week, if your hair is not in a protective style. I fight shrinkage by braiding my hair after washing and LOCO'ing.  If I find that I want to further elongate my hair, I unravel the braids, and re braid my hair when is 90% dry. This give me the most stretch for my braid outs!