Hair Journey

‘So called’ Natural Hair no-nos

Hey there.

I decided to do some research about these natural hair must-nots and find out what they’re all about. We’ve all heard about sulphates drying out hair, mineral oil keeping moisture out, silicones causing build up e.t.c. Makes you wonder, companies didn’t start using them in products out of malice right? I mean there are two sides to every coin. A big portion of the natural community only looks at the bad side though. Let’s flip it and see what we find.

Mineral Oil

Also known as petroleum jelly/petrolatum/paraffin liquidum; most common being vaseline. Its a by-product of crude oil, after the things like fuel have been separated. The type used in the cosmetic industry is highly refined and has been used for ages!

Pros:

  • Remarkable sealant, that is, if you’ve moisturized beforehand. For natural oils (coconut, olive, jojoba, avocado…) the moisture retention effect decreases with time because they’re absorbed into the shaft; but mineral oil remains on the surface so your hair will not loose moisture with time.
  • It coats the hair thus reducing the effects of forces exerted on the hair through combing, by reducing friction.

Cons:

  • Blocks water movement in both directions: in and out. So as much as its a great sealant, your hair doesn’t get any more moisture.
  • Has no nutritional value.

So from what we’ve learnt, there’s nothing wrong with using mineral oil, as long as you know what it does and how to make it work for you. Do you boo boo 😀 its magic for some.

Silicones

Anything that ends in ‘cone’, ‘col’, ‘conol’ or ‘zane’. They are used in hair products for their ability to form a film around the hair surface increasing slip, shine, smoothness and heat protection. Believe it or not, they aren’t as bad either; moderation is key though.

Pros:

  • Provides great slip because of the film it creates around the hair preventing tangles.
  • The film created gives hair shine, smoothness, combats frizz and acts as a heat protectant. Isn’t that fantastic? 🙂

Cons:

  • Most of them are not water soluble so with time create build up that weighs your hair down. Though there are some water soluble ones. If you want to find out the exact names, read more here.

There is a way to get rid of build up, thank heavens: using a clarifying shampoo. It strips your hair of everything though so be sure to deep condition afterwards.

Sulphates

They are used in hair products, mostly shampoos, for their ability to lather and clean. They’re also used in toothpastes, soaps and detergents. The human mind is funny, once you see foam its proof that the shampoo is working :D.

The thing with sulphates is they strip not only dirt and excess oil but also natural oils that your hair desperately needs, making your hair dry, frizzy and your scalp itchy.

If you’re an avid user of sulphate shampoos, be sure to deep condition after every wash. I use a sulphate shampoo once in a while when my hair feels sad.

So after all that reading, its clear that they are not all that bad. Of course the all-natural way is best, but there’s nothing wrong with mineral oil, silicons and sulphates for some people as long as you know what they do and how to make them work for you.

References:

Black Hair Kitchen

Curly Nikki

Naturally Curly

And Google

I hope you learnt something. See you on the next one.

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6 thoughts on “‘So called’ Natural Hair no-nos

  1. Helpful, but well not thorough & specific enough to totally reveal entire truth. Therefore, quite misleading. But at least a starting point. But some young ladies will indeed suffer hair loss if this is all they read. Your writing style is refreshing and delightful in tonal quality, worth a revisit!

    Non-Soluble Silicones actually do impair elemental absorption by way of their hexagonal (honeycomb) configuration. But they do not entirely stop such absorption. Yes, Sulfates do strip non-soluble silicones as well as dirt, debri, microscopic-sized insects, and natural oils. So sulfate-based shampoos should be used at least once monthly if one consistently (&/or daily) uses products with Non-Soluble Silicones.

    In addition, I would highly recommend treating ones hair BEFORE usage of any products with Non-Soluble Silicones as a means of prevention against effects of such ingredients.
    1st Time:) A homemade protein/keratin/moisturizing treatment. [One that includes natural and/or organic nutritives versus chemicals; which will serve to protect the hair prior to applying any Non-Soluble Silicone substances to the hair.

    2nd Time:) An intense, overnight homemade moisturizing treatment loaded with natural & organic moisturizing ingredients such as: olive oil, 100% pure aloe vera, 100% vitamin E oil, Vitamin’s C, D, A plus B-Vitamins in liquid formulation if possible. Key here is to apply this treatment overnight and shampoo hair with a gentle, SULFATE-FREE co-wash or shampoo. Other ingredients that can be added dependent upon texture, desired intensity, etc. are Kukui Nut Oil [moisturizing, strengthing), Almond Oil [hi-protein], Shea Butter, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, and palm-warmed & squashed 100% natural Virgin Coconut Oil – Expeller Pressed & Unheated. All nutritive to varied hair types.

    Great Homemade Resource:
    http://www.SophieJuliano.com (check & see?)
    (An Australian female that appears consistently on one of those A.M. Morning News shows. Not sure I have her name correct. My sincere apologies.)

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