Hair Care Myths Debunked
As a girl infatuated with hair at a very young age, I cannot begin to describe the amount of hair tips, tricks and other things I have heard about hair care over the years. With the explosion of the internet information overload is at an all-time high, especially within the natural hair community. There are several hair care myths roaming around so here are a three condititioning myths I choose to debunk.
1. Shampoo is bad for the hair, I can co-wash only and be just fine
This is probably one of the most debated topics among naturally curly women. There are tons of women who have sworn off shampoo, but before you toss your bottle out of the shower there are a few things you should know. While conditioners are gentle enough to lightly cleanse, perpetual co-washing can lead to product buildup over time. Shampoos are formulated to open the hair cuticle and in some cases intensely clarify, resulting in clean hair and a healthy, clean scalp. Once product buildup is removed, your daily products will work properly and even better.
Shampoos have gotten a bad rap over time because most contain harsh detergents that leave the hair stripped and dry, but the good news is as more women become hair health conscious, brands have formulated great shampoos to address that key concern. Most importantly think about your daily use of products. Do they consist of heavy butters, creams, and gels? If so, shampooing with a moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo, clarifying shampoo or a natural shampoo bar are better options. However, if you are set on co-washing until the end of time because your hair responds well to this regimen, then choosing a product that states “cleansing conditioner” or “co-wash” is vital. All conditioners are not created equal.
My Favorite Shampoos
Cleansing Conditioner Options
2. I can use any conditioner to deep condition my hair
Although both daily conditioners and deep conditioners include treatment to the surface of the hair there is a difference between the two. Regular daily conditioners are most commonly used after shampooing and require a shorter use time, typically 3 -5 min. before rinsing. Its purpose is to moderately absorb ingredients into the hair, conditioning the cuticle for it to lay smooth, reduce frizz, and as a result increase shine.
Deep conditioners on the other hand should contain ingredients that actually penetrate the hair, nourishing not only the surface of the cuticle but also within the hair shaft. Ingredients to look for in deep conditioners include amino acids, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and penetrating oils like argan oil and avocado oil, just to name a few. These ingredients help with repairing extremely damaged or chemically treated hair.
My Favorite Deep Conditioners
*Not technically a deep conditioner but a great protein conditioner for improving damaged hair and restoring elasticity to curls.
3. The longer my conditioner sits in my hair the better
My rule of thumb for this myth is to follow the directions of the particular brand you are using. Product companies test products over and over for optimal results so in my opinion you can’t go wrong with their directions. The average time for deep conditioning is about 20 mins. It is also said that conditioning above the recommended time does not necessarily yield added results. Save yourself some time on wash day and cut down your hour-long conditioning session to 20 mins. To pack an extra punch during that short time, deep condition with mild heat to open the hair cuticle allowing the product to work best. If you are set on conditioning for longer periods of time just beware of the risk of over-moisturizing your hair and hygral fatigue.
Read more hair care myths on NaturallyCurly.com.
What are some hair myths you’ve heard over the years? Let’s talk!