1. Shampoo Thoroughly - Don't underestimate the importance of thorough shampooing! Product residue is a hindrance to shine, and makes for dull, lackluster hair that may also lack body. I generally part my hair in four sections and thoroughly shampoo each section whilst in front of a mirror, vs standing over a sink
What To Do:
Depending on how much product you use daily/weekly; it may be best to clarify the hair at least twice monthly, and then follow up with a moisturizing shampoo. Following up with a moisturizing shampoo deposits nutrients, and moisture into the hair shaft, and also restores the PH Balance of the hair; which prevents that stiff, dry, brittle feeling that may sometimes happen after clarifying.
Why Should I Clarify That Much?
If you use an excessive amount of product [and more importantly non-water soluble silicones], your regular shampoo may not be able to cleanse your strands of leftover creme's, butter's, oils, glycerin, etc. This results in product buildup on the scalp as well as the strands of your hair.
Natural Alternatives To Clarifying Shampoo's:
Bentonite Clay: 1/2 cup Bentonite clay + 1/2 cup water, mix well; then apply the mixture to hair with an applicator brush. Leave on for about 30 minutes, then rinse! Or This Conditioner with Rhassoul and Bentonite Clay!
Apple Cider Vinegar: [1/2 cup ACV + 1 cup water, spritz hair with mixture, then cover with plastic cap] for about 20 minutes prior to shampooing, as this will gently clarify the hair.
2. Rinse Cool - When you rinse out your conditioner, rinse it old using COLD water; as this closes the cuticle. This is extremely important as a closed cuticle reflects light much better than an open cuticle. Closed Cuticle = Shine.Using warm/hot warm water to rinse out your conditioner should be a no-no as heat tends to OPEN the cuticle.
If your cuticles are closed, your hair is less prone to frizz, tangles and matting
Styling your hair with raised cuticles can lead to breakage, and split ends
3. Always Use A Leave-In Conditioner + Seal In The Moisture - This helps keep the cuticle closed, and also makes for properly hydrated hair. It is also imperative that you use a water based solution as your leave-in of choice [water based molecules are smaller, therefore more permeable], and use an oil to seal in the moisture [the larger oil molecules acts as a barrier to help keep water molecules trapped inside of the hair-shaft].
My Leave-In Conditioner Recommendations
KeraVada Caramel Soufflé
My Oil Recommendations:
Jojoba Oil - Perfect for those with fine hair [yet suitable for all hair types], this oil absorbs easily and doesn't leave a greasy residue
Coconut Oil - One of my favorite oils for sealing in moisture. Be careful as a little does go a long way, too much can leave your hands, hair, face, and clothes greasy
Olive Oil - Great for highly textured thick hair
4. Seek Ingredients That Enhance Shine - Skip the silicone's, and look for products that contain some of the following ingredients, as they are water-soluble [which means they don't "stick" to your hair like silicones], and lightweight [won't weight your hair down].
Look For These Ingredients:
Silk Amino Acids - This is a water soluble protein that binds to the keratin in the hair which protects the shaft and also helps seal in moisture. Products containing Silk Amino Acids imparts shine to the hair, and also increases manageability. >>Transitioners should seek out conditioners and styling products with Silk Amino Acids as it is also beneficial in strengthening chemically processed hair.
Lecithin - This multi-purpose ingredient imparts shine, strengthens hair, maximizes hair growth, and restores hair texture.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse: This is another natural product that helps close the cuticle, and restores the PH balance of the hair. This is also a good rinse to implement if you have hard water, as this gently removes mineral deposits left behind from tap water.
How to Use It:
After rinsing out your condish, do a final rinse with TWO TABLESPOONS of Apple Cider Vinegar per THREE CUPS of bottled spring water [Start off with this formula, then up the ante with the ACV as needed]. Simply pour this mixture throughout your hair [be cautious of your eyes, this stuff burns], and voila.
There is no need to rinse out the ACV. You will notice a distinct smell, however as your hair dries the smell dissipates.
For an added treat, add 1 teaspoon of honey to your ACV rinse for additional shine and moisture