Black Hair Care By: Kaitlin Jackson
Why is my hair different? • Hair consists of 3 bonds: disulfide, hydrogen, and salt bonds. • Disulfide bonds are responsible for the curl in black hair. The more disulfide bonds, the kinkier the curl. These bonds can only be broken by chemical reagents (relaxers!). • Hydrogen bonds are the most flexible bonds in hair. Easily broken in the presence of water and heat and are the primary bonds responsible for changing our hairs overall shape. • Salt bonds are formed when a positively charged amino acid is bonded to a negatively charged amino acid. They are abundant throughout the cortex (center of hair strand) and are broken by pH changes in the hair.
Porosity • Older hair is more porous than newer hair. Hair with low porosity doesn’t absorb moisture as much as porous hair and is resistant to chemical treatments. • Highly porous hair absorbs more water when wet but loses even more as it dries. • To check if your hair is porous perform a test on freshly washed and dried hair. Slide your thumb and forefinger up one strand. If you feel bumps or it feels uneven it’s porous. • Another characteristic of porous hair is that it wets easily when you prepare to shampoo it. • Low pH products and styling treatments reduce the hair’s porosity by constricting the cuticle and causing it to tighten. High pH products have the opposite effect and increase the hair’s porosity by swelling and lifting the cuticle scales.
Breakage • How do I know? • Breakage vs shedding- just before a hair is ready to shed, it stops producing melanin so it will have a characteristic white tip. If it does not have this, it’s breakage. • Moisture-Protein Balance- To be able to tell if your breakage is due to moisture deficiency or protein deficiency, perform a wet hair test. Get your hair sopping wet in the shower and before applying shampoo to it, perform a few tests.
Breakage • Moisture Deficient • If you pull on your hair and it doesn’t spring back into its normal wet position or if it doesn’t stretch far before breaking, your hair is inelastic and is a symptom of moisture deficiency. • If your hair feels hard or rigid while wet this is also a symptom of moisture deficiency. Well-hydrated hair tends to feel soft and supple. • If it takes a noticeably large amount of time for your hair to feel wet this may be due to lack of moisture.
Breakage • Protein Deficient • If you can pull on your hair and it stretches a long time before actually breaking, then your hair is super-elastic and is protein-deficient. • If your hair feels too soft to the point that it may feel fragile, your hair is protein deficient. Protein strengthens your hair and can make your hair feel harder and stronger. • If your hair can’t hold a curl when you curl it with a curling iron or put curlers in it until it dries, this is also a symptom of protein deficient hair.
Breakage • Causes of moisture deficiency: • Excess sun exposure • Harsh shampoo products • Heavy oil use • Overuse of heat styling • Causes of Protein deficiency: • Excess sun exposure • Overuse of chemical treatments (relaxing and coloring) • Overuse of deep-conditioning treatments in a regimen
Breakage • How do I fix it? • Maintain a moisture-protein balance. Perform a wet hair test frequently to see if your hair needs more protein or more moisture and treat it accordingly. Listen to your hair! • Wash your hair 1-2 times a week-Washing your hair replenishes the stress caused between washings due to regular styling and any other harsh conditions you may be exposed to. Be sure to always follow a washing with moisturizer and an oil to seal it in
Breakage • How do I fix it? • Chemical processes- generally those who undergo chemical treatments require more protein treatments than those with natural hair. These processes break the protein structure in your hair. For the first month or so after one of these processes, you may need to apply a protein conditioner once every 2 weeks. After the first month, about once a month from then on may be necessary. Be sure to follow up a protein conditioner with a deep conditioner. When you’re not using a protein conditioner use a moisturizing conditioner. Deep condition your hair about once a week. These estimates vary for each person. Be sure to evaluate your hair periodically and decide whether you need more protein or more moisture.
Breakage • How do I fix it? • Naturals- Natural hair tends to have a better moisture-protein balance than hair that has undergone chemical processes. A protein conditioner may be necessary about once every 6-8 weeks. When you’re not using a protein conditioner, use a moisturizing conditioner. These time periods can vary for each person. Evaluate your hair periodically to see if your hair may need more moisture or more protein
Breakage • How do I fix it? • Moisture Deficient- If your hair is moisture deficient, use a moisturizing conditioner most of the time. Look for a sulfate-free shampoo to use for each washing. If heavy product buildup occurs and your hair is moisture deficient, use a chelating shampoo but be sure and follow up with a deep conditioner. Use a deep conditioner once a week. Use as cold of water as you can tolerate to rinse out your conditioner. This causes the hair cuticle to close and lock in the moisture from your conditioner. Use a water-based moisturizer after each washing and apply a polar oil to lock in your moisturizer. These time periods may vary for each person, evaluate your hair and decide what your hair needs.
Breakage • How do I fix it? • Protein Deficient- Using either a protein conditioner or protein treatment may be necessary about once a month. Follow up a protein conditioner or protein treatment with a deep conditioner. When not using a protein conditioner, use a moisturizing conditioner. These time periods are flexible and may vary for each person.
Breakage • Possible regimen: • Moisture Deficient: • Choose a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner from the same brand. • Choose a deep conditioner. • Select a water-based moisturizer and polar oil. • Wash with your moisturizing shampoo and conditioner once every 5 days • Every other washing use your deep conditioner instead of your moisturizing conditioner. Leave it on your hair with a conditioning cap for at least 30 minutes and rinse with as cold of water as you can tolerate. • Apply a water-based moisturizer after each washing and a polar oil. • Apply your moisturizer and polar oil throughout washings when necessary.
Breakage • Protein deficient • Choose a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner from the same brand. • Choose a protein conditioner and a deep conditioner. • Wash your hair with your moisturizing shampoo and conditioner once a week. • Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and protein conditioner about once a month. Follow up the protein conditioner with a deep conditioner. • Follow up each washing with your choice of moisturizer and oil. • Apply your moisturizer and oil between washings when necessary.
Split Ends • How do I know? 3 main types of split ends • Splitting Ends- Splitting ends occur when the outer layer of the hair is broken and the inside is exposed. This results in a sharp turn normally near the end of the strand of hair making a V-shape. • Split Ends- You know a split end when you see one because it appears as if one strand of hair goes into several different directions near the end of the hair. • TrichorrhexisNodosa- This is a type of split end which normally occurs due to overuse of heat. Excessive stress near the end of the hair can cause the innermost layer of the hair to explode. This results in a V-shape with a white dot at the node of the V.
Split Ends • Trichorrhexisnodosa
Split Ends • Causes • Split ends are caused by stress to the ends of the hair. This stress can be from overuse of heat, rough brushing, improper hair accessories, and chemical processes.
Split Ends • How do I fix it? • The only real cure for a split ends is a pair of scissors. Once it is split it is not going to reseal. However, there are products that claim to fix them meaning that they can temporarily reseal it so you don’t have to cut your hair if you really don’t want to. Understand that this is only temporary. Once the product is washed out your end is still split.
Split Ends • How do I fix it? • Heat- As a general rule of thumb, don’t apply heat to your hair more than once a week. Excessive heat is the leading cause of trichorrhexisnodosa. • Chemical Processes- For those who undergo relaxers or color treatments, try to lengthen the time span between appointments (at least 8 weeks). These processes break your hair’s protein structure leaving the hair weaker than natural hair; thus it’s easier to split and break. • Detangling- When combing your hair, be sure to use a moisturizer and start at the ends. Brushing from the roots without detangling the ends first can cause split ends or pulling out entire strands of hair. Start at the bottom of the hair and detangle it, then work your way up in 2-3 inch segments. • Moisture-Protein Balance- Maintaining your hair at a healthy moisture and protein balance makes it strong. This is a necessity to prevent split ends. Weak areas along the ends of your hair cause it to split and break.
Split Ends • Possible Regimen: • Choose a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner from the same brand. • Choose a protein conditioner and a deep conditioner. • Wash your hair twice a week. • Use the moisturizing shampoo and conditioner once a week and the moisturizing shampoo followed by the deep conditioner once a week. • Once every 6-8 weeks wash with the moisturizing shampoo followed by the protein conditioner and deep conditioner. • After each washing apply a moisturizer of your choice followed by an oil. If your hair tends to feel dry choose a water-based moisturizer and a polar oil.
Shampoo • The most distinguishing feature of a shampoo is its cleansing ability, which is primarily determined by its surfactant content. Surfactants are cleaning agents designed to remove impurities such as dirt, oil, and other debris from the hair.
Shampoo • Sulfates are surfactants commonly used in today’s shampoo formulas to lift product residues from the hair and scalp. Sulfate-based ingredients always contain some version of the word sulfate on the ingredients list. • Ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate are harshest and tend to be the best cleanser, followed by sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. TEA laureth sulfate and sodium myreth sulfate are gentler sulfate detergents. • Sulfate shampoos literally strip the hair, removing not only undesirable product buildup but also your hairs natural oils needed for your hair to remain supple. • Cocamidopropylbetaine (CAP-B) is a popular secondary surfactant in sulfate-free shampoos and is better for use on black hair.
Shampoo • Look for shampoos with a good lathering ability. Superior lathering and foaming enhances the spreadability of shampoo product throughout the hair. Strong lather is an indication that hair is clean and that no products or debris are present to reduce the lather. Also, lather makes shampoo products easier to work through tightly coiled hair, reducing the need for manipulation.
Shampoo • There are 3 main types of shampoo: • Moisturizing- Moisturizing shampoos, especially those that are sulfate-free, cleanse the hair gently without stripping it bare of natural oils. Many black hair products contain oils such as petroleum, petrolatum, and mineral oil which provide sheen or shine to the hair giving the appearance of moisture. In the absence of truly moisturizing ingredients, the best these oily products can do is supply the appearance of moisture but aren’t actually moisturizing. Over time these oily products can lead to chronic dryness. Oils and moisturizers must never be confused for one another. Oils create a barrier around the hair fiber, preventing moisture from entering or exiting the shaft.
Shampoo • 3 main types of shampoo: • Clarifying shampoo (sulfate)- If your moisturizing shampoo isn’t removing enough residue, upgrade to a clarifying shampoo. Sulfate-free shampoos are good for weekly cleansings because they’re very gentle. However, for stubborn heavy product residues you may need something stronger. Product build-up has occurred if: your shampoo is not lathering as well or seems to not be working in general, your hair and scalp feel coated your hair feels limp and flat, with less body and movement, or you are getting unexplainable hair breakage, despite balancing protein and moisture in your regimen.These are best used about once a month and are usually clear colored because they lack the cloud-colored, opaque ingredients that typically add softness to the hair.
Shampoo • 3 main types of shampoo • Chelating shampoo- necessary to remove mineral deposits from the hair. Chelating shampoos work on a deeper level, affecting the hair’s bonding structure. Chelating shampoos are more potent than clarifiers because they work below the surface of the hair shaft. If your experiencing heavy product buildup, clarify before you chelate. A clarifying shampoo might be strong enough to remove heavy residue so a chelating shampoo is unnecessary.
Conditioner • Conditioners are water-based, low-pH products that are added to the hair after shampooing to smooth and soften the hair cuticle. They contain humectants, moisturizers, oils, and small amounts of proteins to improve the overall quality of the hair.
Conditioner • Cationic ingredients- work together to improve the hair’s shine, sheen, and pliability. 2 main ones: cationic surfactants and cationic polymers • Cationic polymers- They add structure and thickness to the hair. They also improve manageability and reinforce existing curl patterns in natural hair. Polysaccharides and proteins make up the largest group of natural cationic polymers. The polysaccharides commonly used in conditioners are chitin, cellulose, and cellulose derivatives such as hydroxyethyl cellulose.
Conditioners • Types of Conditioners: • Instant Conditioners- Thin and lotion-like. These watery products generally are best suited for those with fine or oily hair and are the best “rinse-out” conditioners to leave in. Because of their high water content and the large molecular size of their ingredients these conditioners only coat the outer parts of the hair shaft and do not deep condition well. They’re best suited for those with fine hair who require a conditioner formula that does not deposit cationic substances too heavily on the fiber. They’re also great for daily washers, those who work out, and those who conditioner wash their hair.
Conditioners • Cream-Rinse Conditioners- These contain a large amount of cationic and shaft-smoothing ingredients such as silicones, oils, and emollients, all of which support hair detangling. These conditioners work well for protecting hair against damage from heat styling that may follow a shampoo and conditioning session.
Conditioners • Deep Conditioners- These contain a concentrated mixture of cationic, moisture-boosting elements and proteins to both reinforce the hair cuticle and impart moisture to the strand. The proteins in the formula ensure that the hair retains the moisture it receives and secures it deep within the fiber to support the hair until the next deep-conditioning treatment. These should be used once a week on damaged hair and hair that is just beginning a new hair regimen
Conditioners • Moisturizing Conditioners- Moisturizing conditioners work to increase the moisture content of the hair and improve its elasticity. They smooth the cuticle and soften the hair, improving its manageability and eliminating frizz. They contain a high percentage of cationic surfactants and polymers, which boost the moisture content of the hair shaft and reduce and neutralize charges along the strand.
Conditioners • Protein Conditioners- These conditioners temporarily rebuild the cuticle layer of the hair shaft by filling in areas of weakness along the strand and often contain very few additional conditioning agents. The molecules in basic protein conditioners are too large to fully penetrate the hair shaft. Thus, the hair retains the strengthening properties of these protein conditioners for about 7-10 days
Conditioner • Leave-In Conditioners- They come in both a cream and liquid form. Creamy leave-ins are best for thick, coarse hair. Sprays are more suitable for finer hair types. Leave-in sprays and mists are great for touching up and reinvigorating natural hair curls and coils throughout the day. The best way to achieve crisp, bold curls and coils on textured hair is to apply a leave-in conditioner product to the hair while it is sopping wet. Spray based products are superior moisture boosters for relaxed, braided, sewn-in, or twisted styles.
Moisturizers • Moisturizers support the hair’s infrastructure by replenishing internal water and other essential elements that have been lost naturally to styling, chemical processing, and coloring. • Moisturizers come in the form of light sprays, creams, custards, pastes, and puddings. Sprays work well for those with fine hair or braided styles. Heavier creams and custards are generally best for those with thicker, coarser hair.
Moisturizers • Good moisturizers will always contain water as a first ingredient. Water is the ultimate moisturizer. However, water tends to enter and leave the hair fiber as it pleases. As a result, additional moisturizing agents, such as humectants, are needed. • Humectants draw moisture from the surrounding air and bring it to the hair or skin. Too much humectants can leave the hair with a sticky or tacky, coated feel if applied too heavily- honey is a common humectant
Moisturizers • Emollients are lubricating film-producing ingredients that fill in cracks along the cuticle surface. They can be water or oil-based and include fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol and ceramides • Occlusive agents are product ingredients that block the entry and exit of water through the cuticle. Common examples include petrolatum, mineral oil, waxes, other oils, silicones. They’re responsible for most of the shine moisturizers provide. They can often leave a heavy film on the hair fiber though. When allowed to buildup, they can prevent necessary moisture from entering the hair shaft. Petrolatum is the worst offender and creates the strongest moisture barrier. Lanolin, mineral oil, and silicones follow petrolatum in strength in that exact order.
Moisturizers • Black hair moisturizers should always have water as a first ingredient and very minimal occlusive agents. • The best times to apply moisturizing products are just before bed, prior to combing or manipulating the hair, before outdoor activities, and after you’ve rinsed out a conditioner or leave-in conditioner during your normal shampoo/conditioner regimen. • For those with fine hair, leave-in conditioners often work well as water-based moisturizers
Oils • Seal in your moisturizer with an oil. The heavier the oil, the stronger the seal will be and the longer it will last. • Oil-based moisturizers are preferred for naturals who press or straighten their hair, or anyone who sets their hair. Water-based moisturizers will always cause the hair to revert. A moisturizer with a higher synthetic oil or silicone content will better seal the hair against intrusion from external moisture and humidity in the surrounding air.
Oils • Petroleum-based oils such as petrolatum and mineral oil (liquid petroleum) along with silicones comprise the synthetic oil group. Since these oils’ molecules are too large to penetrate the hair fiber they form a film on the hair fiber. Since they’re non-polar and hydrophobic, these oils are unable to bind to the hair’s keratin proteins.
Oils • Oils derived from plants, flowers, seeds, and fruits are healthier oils to choose. They form light, semi-permeable films on the exterior of the hair cuticle to help seal in moisture. • Polar oils offer the most permeable oil seals As sealants, they protect well against internal moisture exit and external moisture entry. They offer the greatest flexibility for black hair. Some examples of polar hair oils include coconut oil, almond oil, sunflower seed oil, argan oil, and castor oil.
Oils • Alternatives to oils include serums and butters. • Serums are finishing products that add shine, manageability, and often layers of heat protection to the hair. These products contain silicone ingredients, such as dimethicone, that coat the hair strands and reduce friction between the cuticle scales of neighboring hairs. Since they’re generally lighter than oils, they are the sealant of choice for those with frizz-prone hair or those who wear straight styles or roller sets.
Oils • Hair butters are thick, semi-solid, wax-like products that offer an alternative texture to traditional oils, Butter products work well for those with hair types that require products with a bit more weight or have difficulty staying moisturized. Natural butter products are extracted from plant seeds or made directly from other oils combined with a thickener.
Ingredients • Shampoo lathering ingredients: • A class of surfactants called foam boosters enhances the thickness of shampoo lather. Common foam boosters: cocomidapropylbetaine, cocamidapropylhydroxysultaine, lauramide oxide, lauramidediethanolamine (DEA), Cocamidediethanolamine (DEA), and cocamidemonoethanolamine (MEA).
Ingredients • Clarifying Shampoo • Common ingredients in clarifying shampoos include acetic acid, EDTA, sodium citrate and trisodium phosphate. These ingredients are are deep cleansers, degreasers, chelators (mineral-deposit removers), and pH balancers. • Chelating Shampoo • The ingredient EDTA is a common chelating ingredient that latches on to minerals and removes them as the hair is rinsed. Sodium citrate and trisodium phosphate are other common ingredients in chelating shampoo formulas. A few less common ones are disodium EDTA, EDTA, HEDTA, oxalic acid, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, sodium oxalate, TEA-EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium EDTA, and trisodium HEDTA.
Ingredients • Conditioners-cationic surfactants • quartenium-22, quarternium-26, and PPG-9 diethylmonium chloride. These ingredients deposit themselves minimally and leave very little residue • Conditioners- cationic polymers • celluloses, polyquarternium-4, polyquarternium 7, polyquarternium-10, polyquarternium 11, polyquaternium 24, polyquaternium 29, and polyquaternium 44.
Ingredients • Protein Ingredients- • Amino aicds • Animal protein • Cholesterol • Collagen • Keratin • Milk protein • Panthenol • Soy protein • Wheat protein
Ingredients • Moisturizing Ingredients • Alpha hydroxyl acids • Aqua • Cetearyl alcohol • Cetyl alcohol • Glycerin(e) • Glycerol • Glyceryl triacetate • Lactate • Oleic acid • Palmitic acid