Friday, July 08, 2005

General Black Hair Health- Choosing the right Shampoo and Conditioner for your hair.

I hope you are finding these helpful

It is important to choose a shampoo and conditioner that is right for you. Hair gets dirty when sebum, an oily substance secreted by the skins sebaceous glands, coats the hair shaft. Dead skin cells and airborn dirt stick to the sebum.

It goes without saying that a well-balanced diet is essential to healthy hair growth. Poor diet can be reflected in hair quality to an amazing degree, dandruff, dry hair and even hair loss can result. Stress can also cause a problem in both hair loss and dandruff. Both of which can be very detrimental to a healthy head of hair.

The type of shampoo that you use is a purely personal choice. One of the best shampoo types to use is a shampoo with a balanced P.H. value. These shampoo's will return your hair to its natural P.H. level and make manageability easier.

For thinning hair, either naturally thinning or caused by wearing styles such as tight braids, you will find some shampoos have a special ingredient advertised as a hair thickener as well as a shampoo that will make your hair look thicker. These shampoos actually coat each strand of hair with a layer of protein each time you use it thus making the hair appear thicker. These shampoos are really very good and can have quite a beneficial effect on most people. However, napptural hair can fight against excessive use of proteins, causing brittleness and hardness. If this happens to you after using a protein shampoo or conditioner, rethink using it. Check the label on the back of the shampoo or conditioner to see what it contains and either avoid it or use it depening on your result.

Proteins, keratin and amino acids all bond to the hair shaft to fill-in the cracks caused by poor treatment of the hair, these will strengthen and protect your hair. However egg protein will not bond with your hair so is really just a gimmick.

Moisturisers rehydrate your hair as they do your skin. Look out for urea, lactic acid and lecithin. Balsam is a resin that stiffens hair to add volume, which explains why conditioners containing it are the best sellers. Its use may not always be beneficial, so you need to evaluate how it works for you. Panthenol, vitamin B5, unlike most vitamins, does penetrate hair and is essential for strength and healthy growth.

Protein shampoos do not penetrate the hair but they coat it thus providing more bulk. A protein shampoo acts similar to a shampoo and conditioner in one. Protein may not agree with your hair, so try it a few times and if it makes your hair hard or unmanageable, toss it away.

Silk helps to make hair appear shiny by coating the hair and reflecting the light. Napptural hair is not by nature shiny unlesss it is styled into form such as twists or coils, or straightened so don't expect a shiny afro ;) no matter how much silk is in the product.

Jojoba is a richly moisturising oil (actually it's not an oil, it's a wax ester) and is great for dry and damaged hair, but it's also very expensive and the amount found in conditioners may be minimal. In fact probably just enough to put it on the label. If you want to use jojoba oil to its fullest, I recommend buying some to use out of the bottle. A little goes a long way.

You can see how many different ingredients can be added to conditioners and shampoos to help take care of the hair. You can even add your own ingredients to your shampoos and conditioners for added benefits. However, I recommend you stick to the inert natural oils and honey type preparations when adding to a store bought product as chemical combining could cause unwanted reactions in the product.

Choosing the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair can be a matter of trial and error.

You should avoid using the same shampoo all the time as your hair will eventually build up a resistance to it and your hair will suffer - so about every ten washes you should use a different shampoo to wash out all your old one. Also, clarifying shampoos are a good idea in the event of product buildup. The results will make rather a noticeable difference to the shine/sheen and manageability of your hair.

How to shampoo to encourage hair growth

If possible, wash your hair leaning over a basin or the bath, so that blood circulation is increased around your scalp and hair roots. Continue this by gently massaging your head with your fingertips while shampooing, begin at the nape of the neck and use the pads of your fingertips, keep your nails well clear and don't use your entire hand. Gently rotate your scalp (not your hair) with circular movements, travelling towards the crown of your head. Do this in a slow gentle fashion for a couple of minutes.

Next exert a little more pressure as you move towards your hairline. At the same time use the thumbs to move over your ears towards the temples. Take your time and relax and enjoy your shampooing ritual, you will feel the benefit after you have finished. After shampooing rinse your hair well, then pat your hair dry with a towel as opposed to rubbing it with the towel. If you can get someone else to shampoo and massage your hair and scalp for you then you will feel that it relaxes you even more.

Use a conditioner after every wash as it smoothes down the tiny scales that cover each hair. This seals the inner core of the hair against damage from the weather. Conditioners also help to prevent static buildup. Rub the conditioner into the your hair and leave for a couple of minutes. Rinse off and wrap hair in a warm towel to absorb the excess moisture. Do not rub the hair dry with the towel just pat dry then style.

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A wide toothed comb should be used to keep your hair in good condition. A comb should have rounded teeth with no rough edges. If you use a brush, only use a brush made from a good natural bristle, such as boar. I recommend the Denman group of brushes. I find they have fantastic detangling qualities and effectively remove shed hair without damage. Whatever brush you choose, the bristles should be firm but flexible, secure in the base, with rounded ends to prevent damage. Wide handles brushes are often easier to use than narrow handled one if you have a lot of hair to work with.

Every time you wash your hair, wash your brush and comb, and make sure everyone in the household has their own brush and comb. Cleanliness is very important in looking after the condition of your hair.

Your hairdresser should be a friend to you and not just someone who cuts your hair. Find someone that understands NATURAL hair and your style of haircut. Tell them about your worries, they will be glad to give advice to you about anything that is a problem for you. If your hairdresser does not give you correct advice, change hairdressers. There are lots of them around, and once you find the one for you stick with them.

Stay BeautifulAnnieth Wollery

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