Question of the Day: Water Dries Your Hair Out?

Q: Hi, I just had a natural stylist tell me that plain water dries your hair out. It sounded counterintuitive but maybe that’s because without anything else the moisture of the water is zapped from your hair plus anything else you had so it’s drier than before but a water based product with something else in it has a greater chance of not vanishing from the hair.

A: Yep, that’s pretty much correct. Water moisturizes our hair, but when water dries, it’s gone, so there is no more moisture unless you have added a conditioner to coat your hair. This is why I kind of give a yuckity yuck to naked hair (no offense), I always use a leave-in at least. Also, water rinses the sebum (oil) from your hair, so if you are not replacing that sebum and constantly rinsing, your hair is not going to be protected. I love water based products because they make the product easier to absorb, but besides that, water isn’t going to help you much on dry hair.



My Poor Little Injured Isabella…

Okay, so…she’s not really injured anymore. Well sorta – she is a LOT better but I am certainly going to baby her this week.  After my last post, Joe Parker, one of the owners of Cush Cosmetics, reached out to me via Facebook with more advice that I wanted to share with you all. Joe is super helpful and certainly knows about the chemistry of hair. This is what he told me about the reaction – and it gives more detail to the issue (and is still easy to understand):

For low pH, you seal the hair. If it is extremely low pH you are swelling the hair in some cases above 100% of normal volume. On the molecular level, you are reorienting the hydrogen bonding(reversible process) The net results are limp and tangled hair. At low pH, the cuticle is sealed then becomes raised due to the extreme swelling, hair becomes frizzy and limp due to disorientation of the (alpha) keratin protein structure.

For high pH, you are opening the cuticles. On the molecular level, you are breaking the disulfide bonds (irreversible process). The net result before conditioning is limp and tangled hair.

In this case, water is your friend. You have to re-orient the double bonds in your hair. Cream based DC are good.

This certainly makes sense to me. Today after I rinsed my DC, I used Oyin Hair Dew, Aloe Vera Gel, and a bit of my Knotty Girl Leave-In. All water based products, and my hair turned out pretty good! Here’s my baby…she will be getting the royal treatment all week…and…I’m going to Whole Foods right now to return some products I just bought. Sorry, but I’m a little over trying new things at the moment!

Talk to you all later and thanks Joe!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

When I buy products, I am very focused on the ingredient over any other factor – what the company claims, testimonials, word of mouth, all of it. I’m really trying to learn what my hair likes and doesn’t like to get consistent results with styling. Throughout my PJ journey, I have come across some ingredients that are almost always in my favorite products, and I just wanted to share. Remember, your hair may not like the same things as Izzy, but it’s always worth a try:

– WATER: Seems stupid, right? But seriously, Izzy loves water based products. I use more butters and oils for night moisture or scalp massages, but I’ve found that she acts the best when I’m finishing her off with something water based rather than butter/oil on wet hair (shea butter on my wet hair? naaaaw son!).

– Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is absolutely my new all-star starting QB. I’d give it some groupie love if I could. I tried AV when I first big chopped, and really found it to be too watery/light on my hair. It was basically like finger combing water through it. I have no idea what changed, but I currently LOVE LOVE it. It’s fairly inexpensive and does an awesome job with “getting the white out,” softening a gel hold, and moisturizing my ends. Also, some of my fave prods are AV based, like AfroVeda’s PUR Whipped Gelly and Aubrey Organics Mandarin Magic.

– Honey: Mmmm….honey. So sweet, and I love getting honey in my face while I rinse out honey/olive oil treatments, lol! It makes my hair feel so good after I rinse it out, like I’ve swirled it in clouds and silk (okay, random comparison). Honey is a humectant, and holds onto moisture (unless you are in a low dew point). I started using straight honey in my DC, but obviously can’t keep it in my hair b/c it’s STICKY, and love my products that contain honey – Oyin’s Honey Hemp Conditioner, Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair & Body Butter, NuNu Love Handmades Coconut Puddin’…I just think it’s great. I’m going to start adding honey and castor oil to my thinner cowashes.

– Rosemary: Rosemary apparently stimulates the hair follicles and hair growth, reduce hair loss…yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah use this herb and your hair will grow. I’m not going to spit any of that game at you. My love of rosemary is based solely on the fact that I love how it makes my scalp tingle. Does that mean my hair is being “stimulated”? I have NO idea, I just like it! It’s like Izzy is having her own little party and I’m the only one who got invited. And y’all know I love VIP!

Well, there you go – some of my favorite ingredients for my hair. Now…what are yours?