Products and curls – The Perfect Combo!

“Made for each other” is not a phrase for gender alone. Products and curls also fall under this category. Every curl needs it’s product and in turn products cannot exist without we curl heads. Products are life in the curl community. They give our curls shine, definition, moisture, volume, length and so on. However, does product brand has a role to play in this? Do we really need a particular brand value to survive? Is there a brand of holy grail products in this world? Read on to know….

There are numerous curl heads around the world and every curl is different from one another. And so is the product suitable to each one of them. What’s effective to others might not work for you. This is majorly due to the ingredients featured in a particular product. Not all curls will like similar ingredient. Some will like more protein in them and some others may prefer more of moisture based product. Similarly, there are various other factors which effect this such as the living environment, climatic condition, humidity level etc. All these directly or indirectly effect our hair and there by the products we use. Thus, a product which is being used in a particular country or region may not deliver a similar result at a place where you reside.

Therefore it is very important to understand your hair and analyse what is good and bad for your curls which will help you to choose product wisely and worthy. There are millions of products available in the market these days, among which there are many which are quite affordable and are easily available. And if you know your curls better you will be able to sort out what’s best for you, not by any particular brand value or just by recommendations instead by reading the ingredients and knowing what’s in it. Investing on something due to ignorance will only empty your pockets. A proper routine and consistency is what your curls need the most to grow and stand out. There are no magical products which will do wonders to your curls rather the wisdom in you is the real magician who can sparkle the magic in your curls. ๐Ÿ˜‡

 

Protein and its sensitivity on hair

Protein plays a major role in strengthening your hair. It Increases shine and elasticity and helps in hair growth as well. We require a balance of moisture and protein in order to have healthy hair. However, how do we know this requirement and how do we decide if our hair needs more protein or more moisture? Well, we will be able to know this by performing the below test.

  • The Strand test – Take a strand of your hair, wet it with water, then gently stretch it. If it returns to its original length without breaking, you have properly balanced moisture/protein levels. However, if it stretches more than it should and breaks, you probably need protein. If it doesn’t stretch much, you need moisture.
  • Go by feel – Stringy, limp, or sticky hair generally needs more protein. If your hair feels tough or hard, it probably has too much protein in it. However, if your hair is dry, tangled, and weak, it needs moisture. Overly soft hair that is breaking and won’t style has too much moisture.

If your hair needs more moisture, just follow a regular deep condition treatment (see my earlier post on deep condition).

And if your hair lacks protein, you could do a protein treatment such as a gelatine pack treatment and use hair products containing protein ingredient such as Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Soy protein, milk protein, silk protein or keratin.

What is Protein sensitivity?

If you experience dry, stiff, and brittle hair after using a particular product with protein or high level of protein percentage, it is a good indicator that you might be sensitive to protein. You could examine this especially after doing a deep condition treatment since it is suppose to moisturise your hair.

If you find yourself in such a situation, there are two possibilities:

  • There could be a protein build up in your hair and you will need to clarify your hair with a good shampoo which would do the trick.
  • And the second is you could actually be sensitive to protein and need to ditch all your products containing protein ingredient such as:
    • Amino acids
    • Animal protein
    • Collagen
    • Keratin
    • Milk Protein
    • Panthenol
    • Rice protein
    • Soy Protein
    • Wheat protein etc.

My experience with Protein sensitivity

As I have already mentioned in my earlier post (The Unknown fact) that my hair too is sensitive to protein. And I realised it first while using COCONUT OIL which is immensely rice in protein. However, I was also using hair products having ingredients such as Panthenol and other Hydrolyzed proteins. Thus, I had to totally avoid them to regain my curl texture and moisture. It took me a while to understand my hair but I am happy that i finally did.ย ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Refreshing my curls!

Refreshing your curls on a non wash day is as important as washing/styling your hair. However, it depends on your curls, amount of frizz and number of non wash days. I personally do not prefer to refresh my curls on all non wash days. I preserve them up in a pineapple or bun and mostly avoid refreshing on the first day succeeding wash. But if you are a working women you will need to refresh them depending on how your curl behaves on that particular day.

There are lot of ways to refresh your curls. You could use your hands to do it or you could use a spray bottle.

My Way:

I refresh my second day curls by spraying some fresh water on my hands and gently smoothing all over my curls and done ๐Ÿ™‚

The third and fourth day curls usually needs a bit more moisture and definition. So we need the following things:

  • An empty spray bottle.
  • Your regular conditioner or leave in conditioner.
  • Hair gel.
  • Few drops of Essential oil or cold press oil.

The ingredients listed above are used in combination as per my hair need.

If my hair lacks moisture I mix water, conditioner and essential oil in a spray bottle and slightly spray over my hair and scrunch if required.

And in case my curls needs more definition I use water, essential oil and hair gel instead of conditioner and scrunch well again. And ensure not to spray too much as it will weigh down the hair.

My curls definitely looks different on a wash day vs refreshing days however I still love them to core. We must learn to embrace our curls. Have a lot of patience, follow a right routine and keep the hope alive ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wash day vs Refreshing day

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Deep condition – My holy mask!

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Deep conditioning is such an important aspect of a healthy hair care especially when it comes to curly/wavy hair. Since curly hair is naturally dry it needs a lot of moisture in order to have soft and bouncy curls. And thus we must ensure to deep condition our hair at least once a week.

There are lot of ways to deep condition your hair. You can purchase any deep treatment mask from the market suitable for your hair type or you could make a DIY (do it yourself) mask at home such as avocado and banana mask, mayonnaise and oil mask, egg mask etc. Or you could even use your regular conditioner to do a deep treatment.

As I have already mentioned in my previous posts, my hair is sensitive to protein. And at the beginning of my hair journey to deep condition I had purchased the ogx hydrating macadamia oil mask but my curls did not respond well to it as compared to other ogx products which I got along. I even tried the avocado, banana and coconut oil mask but the results were not very impressive either. Eggs and mayonnaise were all delivering similar results. Once again Ingredient was the key and king here and panthenol was the villain.

Gradually through time and research I decided to deep condition using my regular conditioner. May be by adding a few ingredient into it to make it more effective. So I used my ogx quenching coconut conditioner, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of olive oil. And there you go!!! It was a miracle mixture indeed. My hair felt so soft and moisturised after wash. It was like never before and a result beyond my imagination.

My deep treatment routine:

  • Wash and cleanse my hair with ogx quenching coconut shampoo.
  • Divide my hair into equal sections and apply the deep treatment mask.
  • Secure hair in a hair clip and put on a shower cap/grocery bag.
  • Leave the mask on hair for about 45 minutes to 1 hour and rinse it off.
  • I skip my for regular conditioning after this and proceed on to apply leave in / hair gel.
  • Scrunch hair with hands and then with cotton t-shirt.
  • Plop for half an hour and air dry.

Flaxseed gel – My ultimate favorite!

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Hey friends! As all of you know hair gels are heaven for curly girls. And I myself have used a number of them but nothing was as good as homemade flaxseed gel. Here are some pros of this gel.

  • It has a very good hold which gives a great definition to your hair.
  • It is a natural shine enhancer.
  • It is budget friendly.
  • Quite easy to make and would hardly take around 15 minutes.
  • Do not dry out the hair.

So here is the recipe to my ultimate favorite hair gel.

Ingredients required:

  • Flaxseed – 1/4 cup
  • Water – 2 cups

Method of preparation:

  • Put the flaxseed and water in a pot and put it in high flame on stove.
  • Once the water starts boiling bring the heat to medium.
  • Keep Stirling the mix for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  • You will find the water thickening a bit. A texture like egg white.
  • Remove the mix from stove and strain it.
  • Allow it to cool.
  • Refrigerate it in a glass jar and use it per requirement.

*Make sure not to over boil the flaxseed as it will thicken the gel too much and make it difficult for application.

*Use a considerable amount of this gel for very good hold.

*Add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice (optional)

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My Curly hair routine!

In order to have a defined, moisturized and frizz free curl one must follow a regular hair routine which should include a hot oil treatment, deep conditioning and a protein treatment (if required for your hair) once a week or at least once a month. I was able to get a transformation by following such a healthy and strict regime. Therefore today i would like to share my haircare routine and techniques with all of you.ย I do not use much product on my hair. Just a shampoo, conditioner, hair cream (occasionally), olive oil and a homemade hair gel. The steps which i follow are:

  • I use the Ogx quenching coconut shampoo to wash my hair. I prefer diluting the shampoo with water. So i start by gently massage them onto my scalp using my fingers and use the lather to wash my remaining hair as well in lukewarm water.
  • Next i divide my hair in five section and gently rake in my Ogx quenching coconut conditioner and comb through each section to untangle any knots.
  • I leave the conditioner on hair for about 15 min and then wash it off. However i make sure not to wash it off entirely and leave some on hair.
  • After this i again divide my hair in sectionsย including the crown hair and apply a tiny bit of my same conditioner as leave in or Ogx curling perfection cream.
  • Now to seal in the moisture i rake in a little bit of olive oil into each section of hair.
  • Finally smooth in my homemade flaxseed gel and scrunch well with hands first and then followed with my cotton t shirt and plop my hair for about an hour and always air dry.

Once my hair is 100% dry i scrunch them again to break the gel cast and i am all set ๐Ÿ™‚

 

“My current favorite hair products”

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Wet hair Vs 100% dry hair

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The Unknown facts!

After all the efforts put in by me on research, products and a regular routine my expectations were not met. I was so distraught. However, as everybody says patience is the key to success. So i decided to give a second go at my research and i dug in deep to know what my hair really lacked.

After a month and a half of continuous research i was educated with a fact which was imprinted in my mind since childhood. The reason my hair was acting so strange all this time was mainly due to one particular product. A product which i was probably using since i had hairs on my head :p and that is “COCONUT OIL” :0 Yes our own pure virgin coconut oil. And the reason for this is my hair is protein sensitive and low in porosity and coconut oil has abundance protein which is not good for protein sensitive hair. During my childhood my mom used to apply coconut oil on my hair every other day and i being a keralite was definitely obsessed with it. It has taken a long time for me to realize this but the truth has finally sunk in. And i also identified the ingredients which are protein equivalent such as Panthenol, wheat protein, milk protein etc being present in hair products such as shampoo, conditioner, hair gels. And this is the reason my hair did not respond well to Giovanni or Natures gate products. However, OGX did not have any protein ingredient but i was still using coconut oil when i purchased them which made my hair dry again. But now i am more than satisfied with my curls. I have understood and rectified a sin i was doing to it since very long. I finally and forever fell in love with my curly hair.

Thus, one should get to know their hair well before investing in a product. Probably do a hair porosity test. Understand what is good and bad for your hair. Do not run behind products blindly just because a third person has suggested or is using it. Read the ingredients well because the fact is “Everything is not for everyone”