M.wilson

Writer & Editor

Research into chemical styling products and processes is picking up as an increasing amount of scientists are taking on the task of testing hair product ingredients, such as those found in straightening relaxers and colorants. A recent study conducted by the Silent Spring Institute has determined that a slightly higher incidence of serious health concerns is present in connection with some of the hazardous chemicals currently used in many hair care products; chemicals which for the most part are “untested and largely unregulated.” However, progress is being made as many “endocrine-disrupting” chemicals have already been banned both in the United States under Proposition 65 and European Union.

Searching For Good Products

Though the industry may be on its way to cleaning up its act, it’s probably a good sign that the trend in natural hair continues to thrive, and that many are reaping the benefits of natural-hair-care. For some people with certain types of hair textures, transitioning from relaxed to natural hair requires significant time and consideration. In these cases, it is possible that the hair is in a delicate state after being exposed to heat-treated styling for an extended period of time. For this reason, it’s probably a good idea to find a milder sulfate free shampoo that helps to retain moisture within the hair. Though effective, a sulfate-free cleanser may not lather like a regular shampoo, but tends to be much easier on relaxed and color-treated hair. 

Deep conditioning is one of the most important aspects of natural hair care and there are plenty of quality natural hair products on the market utilizing organic ingredients like organic honey, cupuacu butter, and coconut oil for example, which make for extremely soft and pliable hair that is easier to comb out and brush. Lemongrass, aloe, and amino proteins are excellent moisturizing, healing, and strengthening agents. Leaving these types of ingredients in the hair without rinsing it out right away to moisturize throughout the day is also suggested. De-tangling products, formulated for the sole purpose of combing out knots and tangles are highly recommended as one of the best ways to protect the hair shafts from breakage, and since wet hair is especially vulnerable. 

These days a greater number of people seem to be going for the naturally curly hairstyle, and with all the additional products available that help to: cultivate curls; to maximize shine while reducing frizziness; and that help to keep the hair moisturized as it dries and settles into a style; it becomes a more attractive prospect. The naturally curly style is also facilitated with the use of a diffuser blow-drying attachment. First, a curl-structuring product is applied to damp hair. Next using the hand and fingers, the curls are dried and molded with the diffuser while scrunching the curls into the desired shape. 

Natural Products For Natural Hair

As with skin, oil is probably one of the most effective moisturizers one can use and is a cornerstone of natural hair care. Applying an oil to your hair before detangling is a great way to smooth the hair follicles and prevent breakage. Although it is possible to use many of these oils on the facial skin, many avoid using them in the T-zone for example because of oil’s potential to inflame the sebaceous glands. Hair oils are great at seeping into the hair shaft and can be used abundantly though considerately since each oil can have a different potent effect. 

You can maximize the effects of oils by rubbing them into the pores and root hairs of the scalp and all throughout to the ends.. For dry and damaged hair, fatty oils like Omega 3 and 6, evening Primrose, cottonseed, and avocado are said to be very helpful. For finer, straighter hair that is difficult to style, use Tea Tree oil as a moisturizer and to soothe dry itchy scalps. Argan Oil, loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids, is excellent for coarse, frizzy hair and is one of the least greasy to the touch once it’s on the hair. Coconut oil, according to Cosmopolitan Magazine, is perfect for all hair types and is excellent to use weekly to replenish nourishment to breakage-prone hair. For those with itchy sensitive scalps, allergies, or conditions like dermatitis, and psoriasis, Kalahari Melon Seed Oil can provide some much-needed relief – while Almond Oil, which contains vitamin E, anti-oxidants, omega-6, and vitamins like vitamin C and protein, is a well-known dandruff remedy. It also repairs the hair shaft and boosts shine.  If your hair is fine-textured, Abyssinian oil (organic crambe seed oil) is a moisturizer that will not weigh the strands down. 

While there is a growing number of African American scientists formulating black hair products, it may also be helpful to consider hair growth vitamins to address internal issues that may be hindering healthy vital hair growth. Some experts recommend a basic women’s dietary supplement as opposed to the vitamins designed specifically for hair. In any case, supplements should be used cautiously, and you may want to make a personal experiment of adding them to your diet in small amounts as a way to identify if the effects are helping your hair or if perhaps you are overdoing it. Biotin is the most popular ingredient in the majority of hair supplements. Biotin is a B vitamin that helps the body to synthesize protein, the building block of hair, and facilitates the metabolism of fats and glucose. Keratin, vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin C, anti-oxidants, calcium, iron, zinc are some of the best ingredients to improve the elasticity of the hair follicle. 

Seasonal Styling

The elements of the seasons can present new opportunities and challenges when seeking protective hairstyles and products. Natural style a la summertime should ideally incorporate products that provide UV protection. Braided styles, which are great for sporting activities in hot uncomfortable temperatures, are some of the best protective hairstyles for physically active schedules in the sunshine. Of course, the slightly looser do-it-yourself braids, is one of the easiest choices for summer swimming. This is because these types of braids can easily be undone to allow chlorine and other dirt and chemicals to be cleansed from the hair while replenishing moisture and strength with conditioners and treatments.  

Accessories

Hair accessories during the spring and summertime can be especially flamboyant and feminine looking when it’s more appropriate to wear flowers, bright gold ornaments, faux crystalline sparklers, and things like little beetles and dragonflies in a style. Bobby pins are often jeweled and decorative, and lately are becoming a featured accessory because they help to hold styles in place and also look great in silver, gold, and jewel-like ornamentation, for example. Barrettes on the other hand, can sometimes do a little more to hold significant amounts of hair into a specific position out of the way. Scarves are a great way to create that elegant-peasant look so characteristic of the summer. Hair slicked back with moisturizing gel or conditioning styling product with UV protection, not only protects your hair from the sun but is a great way to secretly fasten your hair in a deep treatment, and is easy and super quick to do. You can also utilize a scarf or bandanna as a focal point of a loosely worn style that is only in need of an accent. Use it functionally to sweep the hair into a top bun, to keep hair off of your face during a hot or active day, or as a lively decoration that makes an outfit more interesting. 

Parting your hairstyle in different ways can create drastically differentiating looks. Multiple sections create the space for twists, braids, and knots and things that can end up looking very spontaneous and playful. You can part only the back for example so that the hair flows in waves or braids downwards in the back, and then coupled with two stylish sections parted in the front. Messy summer styles also look great, such as one swept up with loose curls tumbling down from the top in a kind of period drama look or what some call a faux-hawk – a great protective style to wear during the summertime heat.    

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