What Are The Best Ingredients For My Hair?
If you find yourself in the predicament of asking what is the best ingredient for your hair and not being able to answer it, we totally understand. After all, that question is pretty broad when you think about it because frankly there could be a whole host of ingredients that are best for your hair.
While this is true the question is not impossible to answer and in this post, we will give you some guidelines that you can use when determining the best ingredients for your hair.
The first thing to consider is the structure of your hair strand. Afro-textured hair is naturally dry because of the structure of the strand.
The fact that the hair is curly or zigzag automatically dictates that your hair has very different needs from women with straight hair because the moisture that your scalp naturally produces does not coat the entire strand.
With that said, based on hair structure alone, you can say without a doubt that the ingredients you will need to use on your hair must be very moisturizing. This leads us to the first category of ingredients afro textured hair needs.
Moisture based ingredients
Water is the number one moisturizer on earth so when you pick your hair products with the intent of moisturizing or hydrating your hair you need to find water-based products. These products will have water listed as the first ingredient on the list. Water will hydrate your curls help them to remain soft and help with detangling.
Other moisturizing ingredients include Aloe Vera juice, Glycerin or other humectants that pull water into your strands. Once you identify the ingredients that are moisturizing and that attract water to your hair then you have unlocked half of the ingredients your hair will need to be healthy.
Every hair type will at some point need some structure strength and help to remain intact and not break. Unfortunately, as we manipulate the hair daily and expose it to the environment we live in the structure of the hair starts to break down over time.
What we have to do is add ingredients to our hair that will bind itself to the hair strand and improve its structure. The best ingredient for that is protein.
Hair is made up of proteins and when other proteins found in protein-based conditioners and other products are added to our hair we can repair the strand from normal wear and tear. Plants like henna work in pretty much the same way because the dye is able to attach itself to the hair strand strengthening it from the inside out.
Choosing products that have hydrolyzed proteins, silk proteins and keratin will give your hair the strength it needs to stay on your head for the life cycle of the strand and not break or shed prematurely.
Oils are very important ingredients for women with afro-textured hair because it keeps the hair hydrated when used with moisture based products. When oils are added as specific ingredients to hair products they enhance the product making it healthy for your hair especially when the oil is added in its purest form.
You can also add oils to your shampoos, deep conditioners and sprays to enhance them in ways commercial products have not. Having a working knowledge of different oils and their benefits can be very helpful on your hair journey.
Other ingredients to be aware of
Ingredients such as sulfates found in shampoo serve a very specific purpose and can be very drying to your natural hair.
Sulfates are designed to rid the hair and scalp of dirt and debris and can be useful when used sparingly which means you have to know the best times to use it. Most women will use a sulfate-based conditioner when their hair and scalp feels overwhelmingly dirty and they just want to create a clean foundation for their styles.
For normal situations, it is always recommended that you use a non-sulfate shampoo that does not strip the hair of the oils and moisture the hair needs.
Silicones are often added to conditioners or stylers to make the hair feel soft and silky but overuse of them can cause buildup and dullness over time. Pay special attention to any cones that are added to your products and do your research to find out if they cause build up on your strands or if they are water soluble which means they are harmless for your hair.
In conclusion knowing the basics on what your hair needs and does not need is the start to a great hair regimen building and anything additional is just bonus and adds variety to your hair journey. Once you have the basics down you have already answered the question for yourself on just what ingredients your hair needs.