Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Humectants & Hair Care

Those of us with naturally curly hair know that dry hair can be a problem. The tighter the curl, the harder it can be to retain moisture. There are a number of ways to avoid dry hair one in particular being humectants.

What is a Humectant? Benefits?

A humectant is a substance that promotes moisture retention. Some may also notice in warmer weather, natural hair feels more moisturized, while in colder weather, the complete opposite. Humectants mainly benefit natural hair by drawing moisture present in the environment and infusing it in to the hair.

When is the best time to use a humectant?

You can add a humectant to every day hair products including conditioners, hair butters and sprays. However humectants thrive in summer/spring conditions, when moisture is present in the air. Moisture is absent in cold seasons like winter. This attributes to dry hair by taking moisture from the hair and expelling it in to the environment. This limits the use of humectants during the winter time to deep conditioners. Insulated heat created with the plastic cap during deep conditioning treatments creates an ideal environment for humectants.

Natural Humectants

Vegetable glycerin
Silk amino acid
Aloe Vera Gel/Juice

All of these can be purchased at whole food stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or online. Humectants should be used in moderation; Honeyquat, silk amino acids, and vegetable glycerine can be used with a 2-5% ratio to products, which can be as little as 4 to 5 drops. Aloe vera is a bit more flexible with a 50:50 ratio. Good luck and Happy hair care!