Ease Detangling Woes & Save Your Hair
Detangling at any point in your hair journey can cause breakage, & splits; but you must take extreme care while transitioning as the line of demarcation is extremely fragile. You can make your own "detangling serum" in a snap out of herbs that can easily be found in your local health food store, or online at places like www.mountainroseherbs.com
Here's my favorite mix:
1 tablespoon Marshmallow Root
1 tablespoon Irish Moss
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add herbs to boiling water, and stir frequently until the consistency is that of a light gel. Once mixture has reached the desired consistency, strain mixture through cheesecloth, or a fine sieve. Add olive oil to serum, pour into a spray bottle, and use immediately.
How do you use this? Section clean, damp hair into four quadrants, adding the serum to each quadrant. Detangle each section thoroughly, and either braid/twist to keep each section neat, then rinse.
Why this works? Irish Moss is rich in trace minerals which is very beneficial for your hair. Also, Marshmallow Root, & Irish Moss both release a mucilaginous substance that has abundance of minerals and proteins, and themucilage that is released offers an incredible amount of "slip".
Protein is one of the key components when it comes to reducing breakage during your transition. Hair that lacks protein is exceptionally weak, and susceptible to breakage; especially around the line of demarcation. Your hair is comprised of mostly what is known as Keratin. Each time you chemically process your hair [relaxers, color treatments etc], it weakens the keratin protein structure, so regular protein treatments are recommend to temporarily strengthen the hair. How often you do protein treatments is determined by assessing the condition of your hair, an assessment is necessary as too much protein can cause breakage as well.
I also want to point out that thermal straightening, improper blow-drying techniques, and excessive use of heat can also contribute to a weakened protein structure.
How to assess if your hair is in need of a protein treatment? Is your hair "mushy", or "limp" when wet, does your hair "stretch" a lot when combed? Chances are you need a protein treatment.
What type of protein treatment should I use? For those that are weary of hard core protein treatments like Aphogee, there are always other options. One of my favorite treatments is a KeraVada Kera1010 It's two parts moisture, to one part protein, and the result is silky, soft, healthy, manageable hair. This product works so well, a deep conditioning treatment is not necessary.
Another favorite of mine is KeraVada Deep Conditioner, this gives an incredible amount of moisture. This was also a go-to product for me because it corrects issues with elasticity, porosity, lack of protein, and lack of moisture. - This is the perfect product for transitioner's, as most tend to have issues with elasticity, porosity, moisture, and protein deficiencies.
I have already talked about the effects of chemical treatments in relation to the porosity of your hair. This time I want to touch on other products that can also temporarily "fill the gaps" along the hair shaft to ensure moisture retention.
Cellophane: Cellophane's can also temporarily deposit proteins that bind to the hair shaft; what this does is fills the gaps along the shaft to ensure that moisture loss is kept to a minimum. Not only can cellophane's help temporarily correct porosity issues, but they also help impart an incredible amount of shine as well.
Jazzings, Adore, & Sebastian Colorshine's are all cellophane's that I have used with great results.
Henna Treatments: Can also work to temporarily correct porosity in the same way that cellophane's work. If you have a relaxer it is highly recommended that you use Body Art Quality Henna, as Henna that isn't BAQ is purported to have chemicals in it that can cause an adverse reaction when applied to relaxed hair.
Once you have corrected issues with porosity, it's time to feed your folicles with products to keep it soft, and moisturized. I tend to like products with added herbs, and essential oils, here are a few of my favorites:
Amla & Olive Heavy Cream - KeraVada Creme Brulee: This is probably one of the BEST moisturizing products I have used to date, and highly popular amongst transitioner's and naturals respectively. It contains a few of my favorite ingredients like Amla, Aloe, Olive Oil, and Brahmi!
Leave In Conditioner + Water Combo - Take your favorite light leave-in, dilute with a little distilled water, and add it to a spray bottle. For a more softeness, opt for rose water or spring water in lieu of distilled. Rosewater can be found in most Indian Grocery stores in the cooking isle for about $3/32oz
Seal In The Moisture!
You can use any oil to seal in the moisture from your daily moisturizing treatments. To seal in the moisture apply a light layer of oil to your hair. Oil molecules are a lot larger than the tiny spaces along your hair shaft, so they cannot be absorbed; instead oil acts as a barrier to lock the moisture molecules in. Beware that a build-up of oils can also lock moisture out, so it is imperative that you remove product build-up regularly. Any easy non-abrasive way would be to use Apple Cider Vinegar as a final rinse, this is used by many as a gentle clarifier.