Saturday, May 11, 2013
Weekend Wonderings: Increasing the moisturizing power of a conditioner and frizzy vs. curly hair
In this post on basic conditioner recipes, Kate asks: I've been making your Basic Rinse Off Conditioner (Daily version with 4% BTMS-50, 2% Cetyl and 92.5% Water) for two months now and i like it! But I would like to know: what's your opinion about adding 5% oil and reduce water content to make the formula more moisturizing?
You can easily add 5% oil to a conditioner recipe as the Incroquat BTMS-50 or Ritamulse BTMS-225 or other quaternary cationic compound is an emulsifier, meaning it will allow oil and water to come together and stay together in a homogenized or uniform way. The question is - do you really want to add oils to your conditioner?
We think when we have dry hair that we need more oils, but oftentimes what we need are film formers, which will trap moisture in, or humectants, which will draw water from the atmosphere to our hair and offer moisturization. Oils can be an awesome addition to a conditioner - especially something like coconut oil, which we know has an affinity for our hair proteins - and they can behave as film formers, but they aren't really moisturizers. They aren't adding moisture to your hair, only trapping in what is already there. Consider adding a hydrolyzed protein (hydrolyzed silk proteins or amino acids tends to be a good one for dry hair as is Phytokeratin, which is soy, corn, and wheat proteins) or humectant, like glycerin, propylene glycol (or another glycol), or Honeyquat, which does double duty as a humectant and a cationic polymer to condition your hair. Don't go over 6% in a rinse off conditioner or 3% in a leave-in conditioner for any of these things because you don't want the stickiness that generally accompanies these ingredients. As always, start low and work your way up to see if you like the ingredient.
If you do want to add oils, 5% is probably more than enough for most hair types. (Heck, 1% can be more than enough for oily hair types!) Add it to the heated oil phase of your product.
Hair care section of the blog! Lots and lots of recipes for conditioners there!
In this post on Conditioners: Humectants and frizz, Fire Fox comments: Frizzy hair is not a hair type, I assume you mean wavy/ curly. Frizz is just waves or curls that have been subjected to the wrong products or haircare techniques. I appreciate you don't mean anything by it but subtly negative comments like that help perpetuate the myth that wavy/ curly hair is always poufy or frizzy and needs hardcore 'taming' (AKA straightening) to make it pretty. Plenty of curly girls use humectants to tame pouf and frizz depending on the dew point and the porosity of their hair, also to help the hair hold moisture. Ingredients commonly found in curly hair products or used in DIY include glycerin, aloe, honey and propylene glycol.
I'm a frizzy haired girl, not a curly girl. (Frizzy hair is a hair type.) My hair hasn't been subjected to the wrong techniques or products and it isn't curly - it's frizzy. It absorbs water causing the hair shaft to swell, which causes the frizz. It isn't curly hair and I don't benefit from the suggested ways of treating that hair type. I have no idea where you arrived at the idea that I suggest any type of straightening or "taming" because I don't advocate either, although I'm not really sure what you mean by taming. I suggest using anti-frizz products to keep one's hair from being too poofy. (I have a feeling you've only ever read this post or very few posts on the blog based on a few of your assumptions. I encourage you to read further to get a sense of my writing style and philosophy.)
humectants, that's her choice, but they aren't advised for our hair type at all. Using these ingredients can cause damage to the hair strand that can lead to breakage. If you look at any product intended for frizz, you will see a dearth of the ingredients you mention. They are counter indicated for frizzy hair due this hair shaft swelling, which leads to increased friction and damage. Humectants are not a frizzy girl's best friend! What is suggested for frizzy hair is to keep water out using silicones like cyclomethicone or dimethicone or silicone alternatives. Take a look at any "smoothing" product, and you'll see these ingredients come up time and time again because they really work well!
Frizzy hair is not curly hair - curly hair can be frizzy, but frizzy hair isn't necessarily curly - so the suggested methods you suggest for caring for it aren't the same as what you might use for curly hair.
I admit I was upset about the statement that I was making "subtly negative comments" about frizzy hair. I need to make it very clear that I do not think the only way frizzy hair can be pretty is when it is "tamed". I honestly have no idea what this word means as I can't remember using it in a post ever, let alone about frizzy hair. I'm a bit confused about this whole comment because I am a frizzy haired girl who uses products to reduce frizz because hair that contains a lot of water can become damaged as the hair strands swell and rub against each other, and we know that friction can cause damage. (Click here for that post.) I don't straighten my hair - I tried it once and it was a lot of work for a result that lasted maybe three hours - so I'm confused about this statement as well.
As an aside, I'm not sure why hair care is such a contentious issue. The meanest comments I've ever seen directed at me were about hair care. (I'm not saying this was a mean comment, but I'm not happy with the implication that I made "subtly negative comments".) People misinterpret what I say in posts about hair care all the time - the one above has many many inaccuracies - and the reason I've asked for no anonymous posts was due to the attacks upon me in the post on cleaning one's hair with baking soda. If you feel I'm wrong, approach me assuming I want to learn and want to know more. (Check out this post on how to approach me if you think I'm wrong.) The goal of this blog is to share information, and the last thing I want to do is share the wrong information!
If you have a Weekend Wondering, visit this post and share your thoughts. I check all the published comments from the past week when writing these posts, but I check there first! Join me tomorrow when we look at a few Back to Basics Weekend Wonderings!