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Routine Maintenance Episode 1 – Hair Conditioning Treatments

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So after having a few weeks of “why does my hair suck” and wearing it up everyday, I decided that maybe I should try and re-think my hair care routine.

Onward!

So this first post is going to be about my experience with hair conditioning treatments – the few products I’ve tried and why I stopped using them.

A little background –

My hair is:

dark brown,

very fine,

there is a lot of it,

(except in front)

wavy,

dull,

oily at the scalp,

dry and frizzy from the ears down,

hasn’t been dyed in years.

ok I think that covers it.

So the common problem I have with my hair is oil and frizz management.  My scalp produces a lot of oil, so I never skip a days shampooing, as this ends up in my hair loooking QUITE craptastic.  When I wash it every day, my hair gets frizzy.  It is really fine, so when it’s clean my hair has the tendency to smooth and weighed down on top, then frizzed out everywhere else.

So I started out trying to condition my hair to keep the frizz down.

I really wish I had pics to show the difference in my hair but I did this before I started this blog! oh well.

The first remedy: Homemade Hair Dressing

I started with a mix of mayo, olive oil, egg yolk, apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil.  It basically smelled like macaroni salad, on my head.  Not the greatest but it wasn’t intolerable.  I applied it to my dry hair liberally, then wrapped it up in saran wrap and let it set for an hour or two.

Then I rinsed it and washed it.

The result?  Soft hair with increased shine.  It lasted for a couple of days, but after it was washed twice, the shine was pretty much gone.

The pros: CHEAP, uses household items, customizable, gives soft hair with shine

The cons: the smell is not so great, the softness and shine don’t last that long

So I couldn’t really see myself putting this concoction on twice a week in order to have desirable hair.  I am sensitive to strong smells, so I’m sure the vinegar smell would’ve got to me and stopped me from doing it anyways.

Next!

So then I bought some Enriched Olive Oil from Dabur Vatika – it has lemon, cactus, amla, almond oil, I had high hopes for this one, plus it was only about $9 for 3 bottles on Amazon.

Dabur Vatika Enriched Olive Hair Oil

Second Method: Enriched Olive Oil

Like I said above, this hair oil has many ingredients that make it desirable

Almond coats, conditions, and softens your hair. Cactus – Gives your hair volume and health. Lemon – Regulates sebum flow and helps keep dandruff away

ok, that sounds pretty good!  When I received it, I realized the FIRST ingredient is……………………Mineral Oil.

uggghhhh.  I’m not really against mineral oil, but I read a study that tested various oils and found that mineral oil has basically no effect on our hair. It coats hair, and provides shine but it doesn’t improve the hair in any way.  That study can be found here. So having burst my bubble before even opening the bottle, I decided I should still try it.  It still contained olive oil and the other stated ingredients, just not as much and with a lot more mineral oil than I thought.

Application: I warmed the oil and applied it to dry hair.  I put just enough to coat it without completely soaking my head, then I combed it through to distribute evenly.  Wrapped it up with saran wrap, and left it on for about 2 hours. The oil has fragrance added to it.  I cannot pinpoint the scent, but it wasn’t unpleasant.  It was a little strong for me and after a while it was kind of annoying.  Rinsed it, washed it.

The result: again, softer shinier hair.  The hair was even softer feeling than with the mayo mix, and shinier as well. My fine hair felt weighed down and a little greasy afterwards though.

Pros: inexpensive, soft and shiny hair

Cons: first ingredient mineral oil has no benefits for hair, the smell was a little strong for me, shine and softness gone after a couple washes, left hair feeling weighed down.

Loved the shine it gave to my hair, but again it wasn’t something I wanted to do twice a week.  Also, the mineral oil seemed to be pretty much coating my hair, which left it somewhat limp.  My hair is quite fine, so I’m not sure if the same thing would happen to somebody with coarser hair.

When I was searching for hair conditioning treatments, there was one oil that kept topping the list with rave reviews.  Coconut oil!  Smells delicious and is supposed to be the best at rehydrating hair.  So I went ahead and bought Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil.

Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil

Third method: Enriched Coconut Hair Oil

Again, the product appeared to have very desirable ingredients –

Premium coconut hair oil enriched with henna, amla, lemon and five other trusted herbs

Sounds fantastic.

Since this products main ingredient is…………Coconut Oil (yay!) the oil was solid inside the bottle.  Seems like it would be a better idea to put it in a tub, to easily get it out, but alas no, a bottle with an opening just smaller than a finger was what they decided on.  No biggie, I put it in a jar of warm water and it  began to melt.

I warmed this oil up some more (it’s winter so I wanted to make sure it didn’t solidify in the ceramic bowl I was using) and applied it to my dry hair.

So when I bought this oil, I expected it to smell like heavenly coconut… like a delicious macaroon in a bottle…  but it didn’t.  Apparently even though coconut oil has a natural delicious coconut scent, Dabur Vatika decided they need to add some fragrance anyways. Sigh.  The scent was kind of “soapy” smelling, again not unpleasant but a bit strong for me.

The interesting thing about this oil is that it feels almost dry.  Probably because of the way it solidifies under 75 degrees or something…  Anyhow I ended up putting a lot on (probably too much) because it never really felt “wet”.  Oh well!

So I took my thoroughly saturated head, put on my new shower cap, and then my $1.50 terricloth turban over that (I love this thing!) and left it on overnight.   Rinsed and washed.

ok, this stuff was a little tricky.  I had a heck of a time figuring out when to stop washing.  I used a little shampoo, washed, then my hair still felt oily.  A little more, little more, then finally I just give up and rinsed.

Results: When I squeezed out my hair from washing, the circumference of my gathered hair felt thicker. After drying, the top of my hair is shiny, and very very soft.  The sides were a little… ehh.  They were a bit shinier, but also a bit frizzy still.  I think it was because I over-washed it.  If I can find a balance and wash my hair just enough I think it would’ve been great.  The shine lasted longer than the olive oil, and my hair stayed soft.

The interesting thing about the article about mineral oil is that what it DID find was that coconut oil is one of the few oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft and protect hair from protein loss.  So this might explain some of the lasting results from the coconut oil.

However-

I found out the Dabur Vatika coconut oil I bought has TBHQ in it- which in lab animals has been linked to cancer.  Since it is not sold as a food, I have no idea how much is in it! Food products containing TBHQ are regulated with a maximum allowed amount.  Drat.  That was pretty much a deal breaker for me.

Pros: inexpensive, hair was shiny and soft, effects lasted, coconut oil is proven to be absorbable by hair, it is proven to prevent protein loss in hair, contains other natural ingredients thought to be beneficial to hair

Cons: again the smell – just too strong, was hard to tell when it was all rinsed out, has TBHQ in it

So I did like the way my hair felt (I used it twice), I did not like the smell and the TBHQ thing pretty much turned me off, since I don’t know how much is in it, and I’d like to use coconut oil at least once a week.

The next natural step here was just getting Pure Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.

Nature's Way Coconut Oil

mmmmmmmmmm smells soooo gooood

 

So that’s what I did!  I ordered it from All Star Health at $7.24 for 16 oz. the brand is Nature’s Way and it can be found here.

This has one ingredient, coconut oil. It does not need to be refrigerated, comes in a tub for ease of use, and is food grade.  Seriously, you can eat this stuff- and you’ll want to because it smells so delicious, like coconut cookies! I ate a small bit and it tastes like essence of almond joy… I used it in the same method as the other coconut oil above.

Main differences: smells %1000000 better, is less oily , and most importantly – NO THBQ (at least it’s not on the label)

I’m still having some trouble knowing when to “stop” shampooing but it’s getting a little better.  I can’t tell if  should just be using less coconut oil in the first place… or more? Suggestions?

This concludes my deep conditioning trials!

Next time I’ll talk about shampoo and what I’ve tried: Nioxin, Pureology and “No-Poo”

 

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