Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Natural Hair Care

If you've read my first article on here then you know that I've gone "No Poo."  I've almost made it a month and I'm very happy with the results.  I think my hair seems thicker, I have less fall out, and it also seems to be growing!

In case you haven't read the article and are wondering what in the world "No Poo" is I'll be happy to give you a brief explanation.  This method is basically "washing" the hair without the use of commercial shampoos/conditioners.  Often people choose to use things like Baking Soda Wash and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse, or a rye wash, applesauce masks, ACV only, and some make it to the realm of WO or Water Only.  Water Only seems to be the holy grail of "No Poo."

My hair is crazy curly/wavy and long (past my shoulders).  It tends to get dry but still remains soft.  My scalp tends to get oily fast and the rest of my hair remains dry.  I've noticed brushing my hair with a Boar Bristle Brush really helps distribute the oils.  I also tried Plopping (see video below).  Funny name, right? 

Plopping is great for naturally curly hair.  You basically comb/brush and style your hair and then plop your hair in the middle of the cotton T-shirt and then wrap the shirt around your head.  I've never seen my hair so wavy and curly. 
Sometimes it can be difficult to know what your hair needs. One way to understand what it needs best is to test the porosity of your hair.  There are 2 tests the float test and the slip and slide test.  For the float test you pull a few strands and place them in a dish of water. Let the hair sit in the water for 2-4 minutes.  If your hair is still floating it has low porosity and if it sinks you have high porosity.  The slip and slide test simply involves running your fingers up a shaft of hair.  If you feel little bumps as you move up the shaft then you have high porosity hair and the cuticle is lifted and if you are able to glide smoothly the hair is low porosity.
You want to strive for low porosity hair.  This type of hair repels moisture.  It's the healthiest hair type and is often very shiny. It is however prone to build up of products.  This is another reason why "No Poo" is a great idea!  The best kinds of moisturizers for this type of hair include jojoba oil, shea butter, coconut oil, and mineral oil.

Medium porosity hair is the most manageable.  The cuticle isn't as smooth as the low porosity hair, it is slightly lifted.  This type of hair holds styles well however over processing can easily lead to damage.

High porosity hair is often very damaged due to processing.  In this type of hair there are actually gaps in the cuticles.  These holes allow too much moisture in and cause your hair to be frizzy. On this type of hair you want to use anti-humectant products and leave-in conditioners.

I've used 2 different oil masks on my hair to assist with the dryness.  Most recently I just used a little coconut oil and left it on over-night then did by BS/ACV cleanse.  In the past I've used a concoction I made from Extra Virgin Olive Oil, African Hair Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and a few drops of mint and left on overnight.  Both make my hair very shiny and manageable.