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I’m a big believer in the idea that, when it comes to your hair care regimen, it is by far more important how you handle your hair than what hair care products that you use on your hair. This is because most of our damage and hair care problems come from how we choose to style our hair. Weaves and braids are the number one reasons why our hair doesn’t flourish like it should. However, there are times that hair products can solve your biggest hair care problems.
Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dandruff is a scalp condition that is characterized by an itchy scalp that flakes. A fungus called Malassezia that is naturally found on the scalp causes dandruff. Natural remedies like tea tree oil or over-the-counter dandruff shampoos can effectively treat the condition and provide relief. I have personally used and recommended Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. Apply it only to the scalp and leave it on for five minutes before rinsing. Use another shampoo for the lengths of your hair.
Dry hair can be caused by the way you choose to style your hair. However, for some other women, it can be caused by a lack of moisture from their regular hair care regimen. Use a really moisturizing shampoo like Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Shampoo. One of the best ways to inject moisture into dry hair is by incorporating deep conditioning treatments every time you wash your hair. I’m a fan of both DevaCurl Heaven in Hair when I wear my hair naturally curly, and Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Hair Mask for when I wear my hair flat ironed.
To deep condition properly, section your hair into four and apply a generous amount of conditioner to each section. Comb through to make sure each strand is properly coated and cover your head with a plastic processing cap. Sit under a bonnet or hood dryer for 20 minutes. Rinse.
Breakage usually comes from how you physically manipulate your hair when you style it. Although you must address the underlying cause of breakage and remove it all before you can have healthy hair, you can do monthly protein treatments in the short-term to keep the breakage from getting worse. You have two options: Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment (For Professional Use) or Nexxus Emergencee Treatment for Damaged Hair.
The Aphogee treatment is hardcore. It’s very sticky and can be hard to apply. However, it is the strongest protein treatment that I know of on the market. Use this for extremely damaged hair. The Nexxus Emergencee is good for hair that is damaged but not severely damaged. It’s also a lot easier to apply than Aphogee.
To effectively use a protein treatment, you want to follow the directions on the bottle. Next, always follow up a protein treatment with a deep moisture treatment with very little to no protein. Because after using a protein treatment, your hair will feel hard, dry, and hard to manage. You’ll want to inject elasticity and softness back into your hair. Again, I like DevaCurl Heaven in Hair or Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Hair Mask. Apply one of these after you rinse out your protein treatment. Cover your head with a plastic processing cap and sit under your hooded or bonnet dryer for 20 minutes. Rinse.
Protection from Heat Damage
First, if your hair is heat damaged, see the section above about damaged hair and lay off the heat until you’ve nursed your hair back to health. There is no product that can give your hair 100% protection from heat so make sure you are using the lowest heat setting possible to straighten your hair and do no more than one or two passes (preferably one).
Use products that contain silicones to help prevent heat damage. Silicones offer some protection against the heat because they have an incredible ability to cling to the hair to form a protective barrier. I like Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Shampoo, Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Hair Mask, and Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Hair Serum.
Before using any kind of heat on your hair, apply a heat protectant. I love Theorie Heat Shield Thermal Spray after I have applied Living Proof Prime Style Extender. I then blow dry and flat iron my hair. Note: never use oil, butters, or grease as a heat protectant. They will fry your hair making your hair look greasy and weighed down.
Frizzy, Undefined Curls and Coils
If your Wash and Go’s are looking a frizzy, undefined hot mess, start injecting more moisture into your hair. Deep condition with heat using the products and directions under “Dry Hair.” After deep conditioning, apply conditioner to your hair while its sopping wet and leave it in. I use DevaCurl One Condition Decadence or Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner.
Next, rake a curl cream through your hair. I use Original Moxie Shape Shifter Re-forming Crème or Innersense Quiet Calm Control. Top this off by raking through a gel such as Original Moxie Just Gel Styling Concentrate or Innersense I Create Hold. Allow your hair to air dry (if you can stand it) or use a hair dryer until your hair is completely dry. Note: don’t touch your hair until it is dry. This will cause the frizzies.
Extremely Dry Hair
So, you deep condition your hair every time that you wash it, but it is still ridiculously dry. It’s time for the LOC (or LCO) method. LOC stands for liquid, oil, and cream and that is the order that you apply your products in. I personally use the LCO method.
The liquid can be water or a spray conditioner. I use water. For the cream, I use DevaCurl One Condition Decadence as a leave-in conditioner. For the oil, I use SheaMoisture 100% Pure Argan Oil. If your hair needs even extra love, baggy it at night.
First, apply your products and then put your hair in a loose bun or ponytail. Next cover just the bun, ponytail, or the whole head in a plastic processing cap. Sleep with the cap on overnight and remove it in the morning. Style your hair.
Hard to Detangle Hair
Some women have healthy hair, but no matter what, it’s just extremely hard to detangle. For situations like this, you need a good wide-toothed comb. I like Ouidad Double Detangler Comb. Next, you will need a really good detangler. I like DevaCurl Heaven in Hair or Kinky-Curly Knot Today. Both have lots of slip.
Keep a water bottle handy if you need to rewet your hair. Get it as wet and slippery as possible before attempting to detangle your hair. If necessary, use your fingers for stubborn knots and take your time!
Color-treated hair needs lots of love in the form of extremely gentle and moisturizing hair care products. First, use a shampoo that is either sulfate-free or use a sulfate shampoo that is extremely gentle. I like Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Shampoo. It has sulfates, but it is extremely gentle.
Next, use a color-safe deep conditioner such as Theorie Helichrysum Nourishing Hair Mask or DevaCurl Heaven in Hair. Apply a plastic processing cap and sit under a hood or bonnet dryer for 20 minutes. Rinse. When you are in direct sunlight, use a hat to prevent the sun’s UV rays from fading your hair color.
Flat or Thin Hair
If you have flat or thin hair, you will want to use products that are labeled as “volumizing.” These products contain polymers that will add volume, weight, and thickness to your hair. Use EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-In Conditioner and top with EVOLVh TotalControl Styling Cream.
Note: products that are labeled as “For voluminous hair” are loaded with polymers that will make your hair look fuller. These polymers can build up on your hair over time. If you use a mild sulfate shampoo, you should be ok. If you feel like your hair is starting to look limp or weighed down with product or you aren’t getting the same results from your go-to products, consider adding a clarifying shampoo to your routine once a month.
In conclusion, if you are handling your hair with love and care, but still can’t seem to solve some of your biggest hair care problems, scrutinize the products that you are using in your hair care routine. It may be that they aren’t satisfying your hair care needs at the moment. It’s not always the case that your problems can be fixed with the right products, but sometimes it is.