Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oil is NOT Moisturizing

I learned that:

Hair is mainly made up of protein: keratin
Hair is very porous: what goes inside the hair can also come out
Hair needs moisture for elasticity and nourishment


Hair loves water. The issue is that water can easily be removed from the hair through the pores.  Therefore, the water needs to be SEALED in in order to keep the hair moisturized.

I never heard of sealing in moisture until recently.  I thought that using a moisturizer alone will keep my hair from drying out so easily.

Not so much in my case.

I have suffered from dry hair on many occasions and thought my hair was dry because I didn't put enough oil on my hair.  I thought the oil was what moisturizes my hair.  In the end, my hair never felt anymore moisturized than before applying the oil (or shea butter).  All the oil did was weigh my hair down and left it shiny but grimy (from using too much).

So, I discovered that oil doesn't moisturize the hair because its molecules are too large to diffuse into the pores along the hair.  The oil just sits on top of the pores as a blockage.  It prevents anything from leaving the hair and entering it.

This is why oil is used instead as a SEALANT for the hair AFTER moisturizing it.  The moisture goes inside the hair and the oil is used to seal up the pores to block the moisture from leaving the hair. 

In conclusion, it is ALWAYS important to seal your hair with some type of oil or butter AFTER applying water or whatever moisturizer you use in your hair to ensure that your hair is moisturized.  Sealing the hair before moisturizing benefits nothing because the oil would prevent the moisture from moving into the hair.

See the importance of order?

I am so excited to be learning about my hair...this information is amazing!  I have been so misinformed about my hair for a VERY long time and am so glad God has revealed this to me to incorporate into healthy hair practices for my daughter and me.

Protein/Moisture Balance

OMG. I didn't know there was so much chemistry behind my hair.  I always knew that moisture was important for my hair (although I failed to keep my hair moisturized on a consistent basis before the beginning of this month), but I didn't realize the importance of protein on my hair.  I learned that too much moisture can cause my hair to be very soft and mushy like fine baby hair, which can lead to breakage.  To counteract that, a protein treatment can be used to strengthen the hair back to its normal state.  However, too much protein can make the hair very hard and brittle, which, too, can lead to hair breakage.  This is where moisture will come in handy to help counteract that.  Also, too little moisture and too little protein can cause breakage. So, there must be a balance between the two to ensure your hair is both strong, moisturized, and elastic. (I think I am understanding this correctly...::shrugs::)

I am still learning more about this balance but at least am aware on some probable causes for hair breakage.  Honestly, I haven't done a protein treatment or a deep conditioning in a very hot minute because I didn't really understand the purpose of doing these two things.  Now that I have been reading about other women's routines, I might consider incorporating protein treatments and deep conditionings to my regimen if necessary.

However, I think I am going to do a protein treatment on May 1st when I take my braids out.  But first, I need to find some good natural products to use for the treatment. I know some women use eggs and mayo for their protein treatments so I might use these myself since I don't really want to have to spend money on something when I have stuff already in my kitchen.  I am not entirely sure but I think you are supposed to deep condition after the protein treatment to help rebalance your hair but I need to look up some more information. I just wanted to jot down what I have been looking up lately.  I really want to perfect my regimen so I can stick with it for the long run (if that is even possible). I know hair acts differently in the winter because of dryness and summer because of heat and humidity.

AHHHHH, there is so much to this hair journey!!!  Hopefully it won't be so overwhelming once I get the information pat down and find out what works best for my hair.

Here is a video I want to use as a reference:

Another video explaining the moisture/protein balance:

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