Springtime Sealing Methods

It’s finally getting warmer outside, which means that it’s time to find other sealing methods without overloading your hair with product. Spring weather can be a mix of cold, hot, and humid so the methods that worked during the winter may not go so well this season. I’m going to go over a few products to seal your ends with that I think may help to ease the transition for your hair into spring.

Oils or Butters?

During the winter it’s critical for most naturals to use butters mixtures that include Shea to tame and seal the ends of their hair. The thick consistency of butter mixtures are a better blockade against the cold and help to seal moisture. During the spring and summer when the weather gets warmer, butters may actually have the opposite effect by weighing down the hair.

A good way to transition is to start using oils and gels to style your hair after you’ve moistened your locks with a bit of water. A few good oils that you might consider are:

  • Coconut Oil: A cult favorite because of the vitamins, pleasant smell, and cheap retail price – it can be purchased at almost any grocery store. The oil itself is already used as the primary ingredient in many popular products but it also works well as a stand alone remedy for frizz, sealing, and developing healthy hair. This oil contains fatty acids along with vitamins E and K.
  • Jojoba Oil: Another favorite that is often added to homemade and mass-produced products that can be used as a moisturizer. This oil provides the nourishing qualities of vitamins A, E, and D by creating a barrier for your hair against the elements. This oil is also perfect as an addition to hot oil treatments as it promotes hair growth and health.

    Jojoba is one of the best moisturizing oils that I've ever tried.

    Jojoba is one of the best moisturizing oils that I’ve ever tried.

  • Grape Seed Oil: This lightweight and affordable oil works well in combating frizz, dandruff, and promotes hair growth.  This oil is also good for sealing and hot oil treatments as it moisturizes hair from the roots. Just a few of the nutrients that this oil provides are vitamin E and Omega fatty acids 3 and 6.
  • Castor Oil: Thicker in constancy than the other listed oils, this is perfect for the summer or winter months because of that fact. Because it is thicker, think almost like honey, it is also stickier than other oils, so this one can be used in moderation. Because of its smell, some people like to mix it with other essential oils, such as peppermint or lavender. It is also a strong anti-fungal treatment so it may cause a bit of itching for some users, the addition of essential oils can help to lessen this effect. Castor oil is a strong sealant and is perfect for hot oil treatments and to promote hair growth. It contains minerals, proteins, and vitamin E.

    Extremely thick and perfect for sealing those ends.

    Extremely thick and perfect for sealing those ends.

On top of one of these oils, I’ll also use a strong gel that can hold a twist out style once I step out into the heat. I’ve tried a few different brands but my all-time favorite is actually something that can be purchased at any Sally’s Beauty supply store for around five bucks. I’m talking about Eco Styler Gel; it is my precious baby, preferably the one with protein.

Eco Styler with Protein Gel

The addition of protein for hair strengthening.

When I first started using gels, I tried to do a homemade flax seed gel from, you guessed it, a YouTube video. But it flopped big time. Not only did it do nothing to hold a curl for me but it left my hair feeling sticky and awkwardly dry. So I went to Sally’s and bought two big jars of the Pink and Brown Eco Styler Gel for $5 a jar. I’m still using them both, not bad considering that I bought them back in December and I haven’t even reached the halfway point of either jar.

Now, I didn’t even bother to read the ingredients in either of these products but later in the week I will show you the difference that I get between using each gel. I’ve found that they have the same hold and don’t really leave behind a “crunchy” feeling that most gels have after drying. I have found that for some reason the Pink gel takes longer to dry on my hair than the Brown gel, I don’t know why that is but I’m assuming that it has something to do with the addition of protein in the latter mentioned product.

Well, these are my favorite oils and gels that I use for the warmer weather. Although what works for my hair may not do that same for yours, it’s always worth a shot to try it out a least. It’s also better than spending upwards of $30 on a product that may not even hold a curl on your head. As always, stick with works best for you and happy hair journey!

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Wash Day!!

Every natural has a set wash day where she spends probably anywhere from 1 to 3 hours cleansing her hair. For me, it generally takes anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to complete my regime. I do like to switch it up a bit every week depending on the state of my hair and today I need a good deep conditioning.

On deep conditioning days I usually start with a hot oil treatment with a mixture of about three oils before I wash my hair. This helps not only helps with detangling but it also preps my hair for the stripping effects of the shampoo. Today I’m going to use a blend of Castor Oil, Soy Oil, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). Castor Oil is a good thick oil that stick to the hair follicles. Soy oil is good for moisture, protein, and it just has a really pleasant scent. And of course EVOO, the standard go to for many naturals, which is good for conditioning, vitamins E and A, and also helps with dandruff.

Today is the day where once a month I use a shampoo to thoroughly get rid of the build up of any product that I may have missed during my co washes. For now I am using Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo but I am not using the Monoi Conditioner because I honestly do not like the way that it makes my hair feel after use. I’m going to stick to my Tresemme Naturals because it has more slip and makes my hair softer after use.

For my deep conditioning treatment I’m using Nothing But Intense Healing Mask. deep conditioning

I like this particular brand because it:

  1. Provides excellent bounce for my curls.
  2. Makes my hair soft.
  3. I really, really like the smell.

I never really understood why it’s called “Nothing But” when half of the ingredients are obviously man-made. But it seems as though many companies view not having Petroleum, Mineral Oils, Parabens, or Phthalates as “natural”. If you’re one of those girls who is trying to go the all-natural route, then you should probably look into making your own deep conditioners because there are very few companies that make truly organic treatments. The first five ingredients listed in a product usually yield the largest concentration. Here are the first five ingredients listed in the Nothing But Intense Healing Mask:

  • Cyclopentasiloxane — Provides a silky feel and shine without weighing hair down with a greasy residue.
  • Dimethiconol — A non-greasy lubricant that adds shine.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol — Derived from coconut oil, it provides creaminess to the product.
  • Behentrimonium Chloride — Acts to combat frizz and static.
  • Glycine Soja (Soybean Oil) — A natural moisturizer.

After rinsing out with cold water, I’m using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie on partially dry hair as my leave in. To seal in all of this moisture, I’m going to my standard Castor Oil mixed with Soy Oil. I also add a bit to the edges of my scalp and to the nape of my neck to promote growth and strength. After my wash, I think that I’m going to go back to my two strand twists for the rest of the week. I sometimes leave them in for up to three days before I wear a twist out style to ensure that my hair is fully air-dried. I’m also a low manipulation chick and I try to minimize stress on my hair down to maybe three nights a week.

What’s your favorite deep conditioning treatment? Do you switch between protein and moisturizing products or stick to one product?