As tightly coiled naturals, one of the biggest complaints that you’ll usually hear is that our hair is dry. The nature of our tightly coiled strands can create some challenges where hydration is concerned. Causing many of us to be on the ultimate quest for a level of hydration that we often don’t achieve.
Some natural hair myths will lead us to believe that our solution is at the bottom of a jar of thick rich butter or floating freely in our favorite oils. I would like to suggest that neither of these options provides any significant benefit when it comes to hydration and that we should change our focus if healthy hydrated strands are what we are trying to achieve.
This week, be prepared to have your current way of thinking severely challenged. Come with an open mind as we take a closer look at why I stopped using heavy oils and butter and how it has helped me significantly on my healthy hair journey.
Before we jump into my reasons why lets first consider the expectations that we’ve set for our hair and how that dictates the level of satisfaction that we will have on this journey. There are some realities that you must accept, especially when it comes to tightly coiled curls and how we expect them to look feel and perform. The Surface texture of your hair dictates a lot about its appearance and knowing yours can reduce frustrations and provide more clarity about what you should expect from your hair.
You should also consider that hydration is less about the appearance or look of shine and more about how your hair behaves. The elasticity of the strand, the ability to form and hold a curl, and the presence of frizz. The hydration level of your hair is not necessarily a permanent state but is one that fluctuates and requires consistent replenishing.
Now that that is settled, let’s take a closer look at my reasons why.
Heavy oils and butters contribute to product build up
There is some debate over whether or not oils or butter can be absorbed into the hair strand. The reality is, depending on the size of the molecules, it can be possible for some oils and even butter to penetrate the cuticle layer. What is also true is the fact that even if a small portion of these products can be absorbed, there is still a significant layer of oil or butter that is deposited onto the hair strand. This layer of oil or butter will remain on the strand until it is thoroughly cleansed away. Any layers, not adequately removed during the shampoo process, will remain on the hair strand and ultimately lead to product buildup.
Heavy oils and butters block your hair from being properly hydrated
Somehow, we have all been convinced that hydration comes from the application of oils and butter onto the scalp and hair strands. This thought could not be further from the truth and is often what causes our strands to be dry and dehydrated. While oils and butter can give a shiny appearance that we often associate with hydration, they don’t do anything to increase the hydration levels of the hair strand.
Your hair becomes hydrated during the cleansing process when the cuticle layer is lifted and water is allowed to freely penetrate the hair strand. Water can also be absorbed from the atmosphere through a similar process. The presence of greasy, oily, buildup on the hair strand will block the hair from being hydrated in this way. Because oil is not soluble in water, any buildup left on the strands will not allow water to be received by your hair.
The abundance of heavy oils and butters can lead to hair damage
The constant quest for hydration often creates this cycle where we rely on oils and butter to provide hydration. These products often make our hair drier, but instead of seeking out better ways to increase the hydration levels of our hair, we often continue to use them without much success.
The continued use of oils and butter without properly cleansing them off of your hair strands will cause your hair to be severely dehydrated. Dehydrated strands are often dry and brittle, rough to the touch, lack definition, and have little to no elasticity. These can be tell-tale signs of damage and continued use of oils and butter without properly hydrating the strands will often result in breakage and/or loss of hair.
What I do instead
The first step to increasing the hydration levels of your hair is to properly cleanse the hair to remove any build up left behind by the use of these heavy products.
Once your hair is thoroughly cleansed, you will need to be consistent with your cleansing sessions. Now that your hair is free of significant buildup, take the time to assess the look and feel of your hair in its cleansed state. Use it as a point of reference to help determine the key characteristics of your hair and set realistic expectations for its look, feel, and performance.
No need to worry about how to start your journey to healthy, hydrated strands. Visit us today and let’s start a curly conversation. At Bold Kulture Beauty, we will give you the tools needed to be successful and will gladly guide you on your journey to healthy hydrated strands.