Friday, February 6, 2015

What hair type do you have?

Do you have oily hair? Dry? Normal? How do you know? 

If you have to wash your hair every day or every other day because of oil build up, you have oily hair. If you wash your hair with a very mild shampoo and you still feel you have an oily scalp, you have oily hair. If you have very very dry ends to the point of them breaking off, but you have to wash your hair every day because of a greasy build upon your scalp, you have oily hair with dry ends. In short, when you're looking at recipes on this blog with an eye to making something for your hair type, consider the state of your scalp, not the state of your ends. 

Almost all of us with longer than shoulder length hair will have dry ends. If you've dyed, permed, straightened, or treated your hair in some way, you'll have dry ends. If you regularly straighten or blow dry your hair, you probably have dry ends. If you have oily hair and dry ends, and you make products thinking you have dry hair, you will never have a clean feeling scalp. 

If you have oily roots, create your shampoo for that hair type, not for the dry ends. Make awesome products for the ends of your hair, like conditioners and leave in conditioners, and use those only below the scalp.

What ingredients can you include for oily hair? Check out this surfactant chart to see which ones might be good for your hair type. I like DLS and C14-16 olefin sulfonate for my oily hair, but there are other choices. Something like niacinamide, MSM, or honey matte might help to reduce oil if you have quite a lot of it, but otherwise, just choose your surfactants wisely. 

What ingredients can you include for dry hair? Make sure you're using a daily use type of shampoo with some mild surfactants, like SMO taurate or polyglucose/lactylate blend. Add loads of re-fattening ingredients, like glycol distearate or water soluble oils. 

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TracyH said...

Thank you for this post! This is exactly what I have been questioning myself for a long time. This really clears up the definition of which shampoo to make.

Paige B said...

Something to note, if you can power through it, reducing how often you wash your hair will eventually slow down the amount of oil your scalp produces. I used to wash my hair every day, like most women. To be fair, I didn't have truly oily hair, but it felt gross and greasy if I left it. The thing is, I have very long, VERY thick, wavy/curly hair, that is a real chore to wash. I also now wear it curly, so I don't want to go through all that hassle every day. Plus, I colour it red, which fades like crazy with every wash. I now wash my hair once a week and it doesn't feel disgusting or look limp and greasy by wash day. I had to go through some time feeling itchy and greasy at first, but once I stopped stripping the oils from my scalp so often, my scalp stopped pumping out oil to replace it. It's the same principle behind the oil cleansing method. Before long, my skin stopped trying to quickly replace the protective oils I used to strip from it every time I washed, and my skin has never been clearer. I know this idea isn't for everyone. Whether it's because people can't or won't go through the difficult period of adjusting - which can take a few weeks, or because they just don't feel it works for them, not everyone wants to take this route. But for me, washing my hair less frequently and drastically reducing or eliminating the surfactant cleansing of my skin has not only reduced the time and work of my beauty routine, but significantly improved my skin and hair. Don't get me wrong, I BATHE twice a day, but I don't get my hair wet more than once or twice a week (and only wash once a week), I use the OCM on my face and sometimes on my body, and I try to only use very gentle surfactant cleansers on the parts of my body that need more cleaning than water alone can do. Again, I must be fair and say that I don't have truly oily skin and hair, so I can't comment for people that do, but I have found that the counter-intuitive method of washing LESS has gone a long way to make my hair and skin less oily, greasy, and problematic. Plus, my hair colour lasts significantly longer. I can only say that if you want to try it and see if it works for you, power through the adjustment period and see.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you commented that a former reader disagrees with your point of view is disrespectful. Just provide your evidence and let it speak for itself no need for mudslinging. Its ok to disagree among colleagues and maintain some degree of professionalism.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Michele. Could you please enter your comment on the appropriate page? It makes no sense here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan

I, too, like many others, have always had to wash my hair every second day, thanks to oily roots and dry ends.

Have been playing around with the concept of a water-based, leave-in conditioner and heat protectant combined in one, after seeing a brief comment you'd made in one of your blogs (not sure if you remember me emailing it to you a month or so ago?).

I've since tweaked the ingredients a few more times (and possibly will a few more), but it's the only thing I use on my hair now after washing and conditioning.

It doesn't just protect my hair from heat styling - it also seems to keep it clean, strong, soft and on its best behaviour until I decide to wash it - and I'm not sure how that's possible.

Right now, it's day 4 and my hair still looks and feels like it did on day 1 - even so, it's going to be washed tomorrow, whether it likes it or not - and whether it needs it or not - because, frankly, it's a little terrifying suddenly having perfectly behaved hair!

Perhaps it's the water-based ingredients filling and plumping up every stand of hair from root to tip until they've got nothing left to complain about anymore?

Perhaps it's the titch of amino acid adding strength?

Perhaps it's the combination of all the above?

And perhaps it's the Amodimethicone everyone seems to be so afraid of that's being so protective - my hair just doesn't seem to have the opportunity to misbehave anymore and doesn't even seem to want to.

This formula is just slightly too thick to be sprayable as a 'mist', but too thin for a pump, so I'm leaving it with a spray dispenser until I can get the formula to a reliably sprayable consistency.

In the meantime, I just pump a couple squirts into my hands and spread it through freshly washed, wet hair.

(Note: Perhaps if I reduce both the BTMS and polyquat-7 down to 1%, it might become more sprayable? Or leave the BTSM as is and reduce the polyquat-7?)

Here's the formula If anyone else would like to try it and see if they experience similar beneficial results with their hair:

HW Phase:

80% distilled water (or coconut water - I'd run out)
5% Amodimethicone
2% Cetac
2% Glycerine or Propylene Glycol (I used Glycerine)
2% Polyquat-7

HO Phase:

2% BTMS (25 or 50 - I only have 25)
0.5% T-95 (or regular Vitamin E Acetate)

CD Phase:

2% Hydrolyzed Protein (I used wheat)
2% dl-Panthenol
1% L-Arginine (experiment)
1% Fragrance
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus

I'm thinking of playing around with the idea of adding more ingredients - like 0.5 to 1% of caprylic/capric triglycerides (NOT fractionated coconut oil - refer to notes @ Ingredients To Die For) and a few more amino acids.

So far, though, I think Amodimethcone is one of my new best friends.


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan
I am honestly not sure if my hair is oily, dry or normal and I think that is because there is build up on my hair and likely my scalp.
If I was to make and use a clarifying shampoo for a period of time, and not use any styling products, do you think that would be the best way for me to tell whether I need a shampoo for oily, dry or normal hair? I would really like to find out what shampoo is best for me and what hair type I actually have underneath the build up.
I used to have oily hair and skin as a teenager, but that was many many years ago.
BTW I am loving your facial e-book!!
Beth D.

Anonymous said...

Dear Susan:
I have been reading your blog for several years now. Its one of my favourite ways to relax and become inspired. I usually love reading the comments section too because often people will ask a question or post a formulating thought that has crossed my mind at one time or another. I really dislike it when I read bullying comments from people that put you and your ideas down, suggest you are unprofessional and refer to you as disrespectful and mudslinging. Malicious comments such as the ones from Anonymous Michele border defamation and I am at a loss as to why someone would find it necessary to compose unpleasant comments on a blog that you put so much time and effort into. Comments like this do not inspire me, are unhelpful and contribute nothing whatsoever to the blog.
Point of Interest! is a place I like to go to learn, be creative and become excited about formulating.
I would suggest that Anonymous Michele, and others like her, might benefit more from resources relating to anger management.

-Beth D

Anonymous said...

Hello Susan :)
I use an ACV rinse after shampooing my hair which has been working really well. It's mild at about 4 to 4.5 pH. And I add a few drops of essential oils like Vit E and Rosemary + Fragrance. Optiphen is the preservative. I was considering adding an anionic self emulsifying ewax so the oils are more evenly spread and I don't have to shake all the time. Would you recommend this or should I leave as it to avoid buildup, etc.?

Also, I bought an Eteckcity pH tester at Walmart and want to test my cold and hot process soaps, but was going to dilute them in water which affects the reading as you've mentioned. What is the best way to test?

Thanks so much!