MAINTAINING A MOISTURE AND PROTEIN BALANCE IN THE HAIR
How do you know which one your hair needs?
We get a lot of questions about maintaining a moisture /protein balance in the hair. How do you know which one your hair needs? A moisture / protein balance is crucial for healthy hair, length retention and breakage prevention. Too much of either will cause breakage. After washing and deep conditioning your hair, look at one hair that has shed. Lightly pull the strand of hair. If your hair is spongy or gummy when it is wet, more protein is needed. If (when wet) it breaks right away when you pull (without elasticity) you need more moisture. Our Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting Deep Conditioning Treatment and/ or Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment will help get your hair into balance. Daily use of our Protein Balance Leave In Conditioner and our Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion along with sealing in moisture with our Hair Growth Oil will help you to maintain a nourishing balance during the week. Maintaining a nice moisture / protein balance is the goal of the Hydratherma Naturals line of products. Please check out our deep conditioning video which explains this further HERE.
KEEPING THE HAIR MOISTURIZED
As we all know, keeping your hair moisturized and preventing breakage can be a challenge. The goal of our product line is to help you to maintain a nice balance of moisture and protein in your hair. This balance is crucial for healthy hair. Many people don't know this but moisturizing the hair while soaking wet is the key. Water is the ultimate form of moisture- so moisturizing at this time with our water based moisturizer is crucial. After washing and deep conditioning with the Hydratherma Naturals products, section the hair in 4-6 sections. While still wet - to each section, apply the Hydratherma Naturals protein balance leave in (protein), daily moisturizing growth lotion (moisture) and seal in with the hair growth oil (sealer). Then, style as usual. These 3 products should be used daily on dry hair to maintain a nice balance of moisture and protein in the hair during the week. If you are experiencing dryness, this tip will help you!
DON'T MOISTURIZE DIRTY HAIR. MOISTURIZING CLEAN HAIR IS OPTIMAL.
Moisturizing dirty hair with too much product buildup is a waste of time. To moisturize effectively, the hair cannot be dirty. The goal is to have the moisture penetrate the hair strand from the cuticle (outer layer) to the cortex (inner layer). Water based moisturizers like our Hydratherma Naturals Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion will penetrate the clean hair strand easily. If there is too much product buildup on the cuticle, the moisturizer will not be able to penetrate the shaft which will eventually lead to dryness and breakage. It is so important to keep the hair clean. Hope this helps someone struggling with dry hair issues.
HAIR OILS DO NOT MOISTURIZE THE HAIR.
Many try to use “hair oils” to moisturize the hair. Oil alone will not properly moisturize the hair. Oil should be used to seal in the moisture “AFTER” moisturizing the hair. We suggest that you moisturize first with our water based Hydratherma Naturals Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion and then seal in the moisture with our Hair Growth Oil. Water based moisturizers penetrate the hair strand easier and moisturize better. Stay away from mineral oil and petrolatum based products to moisturize because these substances will not penetrate the hair strand.
DON'T OVER MOISTURIZE THE HAIR.
Did you all know that 'over moisturizing' the hair can cause breakage? If your hair is over moisturized, it will feel too soft and spongy when wet. Hair in this state will break easily. If your hair is over moisturized, balance out the moisture with protein. Our Hydratherma Naturals Protein Balance Leave In Conditioner or our Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment will help balance the moisture / protein levels. Once the hair is balanced, the breakage will stop and length / thickness will be obtained over time.
TIP FOR DEEP CONDITIONING EXTREMELY DRY HAIR.
This works well for me during the winter months. If your hair is extremely in need of moisture I suggest using our Moisture Boosting deep conditioning treatment. In addition to the use of the deep conditioner, add our Hydratherma Naturals Hair Growth Oil to the mix.
After shampooing the hair, section the hair into at least 4-6 sections. To each section apply the Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting Deep Conditioning treatment and then seal in the moisture with our Hair Growth Oil. Cover the hair with a plastic cap and use our cordless heating cap (you may also sit under a hood dryer for about 15 minutes). Finally, comb thorough and rinse with cool water to close the cuticle. Your hair will be very soft and moisturized!
HOW TO AVOID SPLIT ENDS.
Well, there is really nothing that you can do to keep them from coming. You can prevent the severity of split ends. The more you manipulate your hair, the more you will get split ends. Using heat, blow dryers, chemical applications and even combing / brushing too frequently will cause them to occur more often. If you are suffering from split ends, start with a nice trim. Remember that split ends will break and this will impede your length retention. If your hair ends are severely damaged and thin, they should go. Cut off those thin, damaged and brittle ends. Don't worry, your hair will be thick and beautiful before you know it. Broken ends which are severely damaged and thin cannot be made healthy again no matter what product you use or how much you deep condition your hair.Your trim doesn't have to be drastic. I would suggest that you cut just enough to even your hair out.
If your hair is natural, please don't ignore your split ends. Although split ends aren’t as noticeable on natural hair, you still want to clip them so that you hair will be able to achieve its maximum length and thickness. Those with natural hair can use the twist and clip technique for split end trimming. Please view our twist and clip video HERE
For relaxed hair, I suggest clipping your ends at every 8 - 10 weeks with very sharp scissors. Relaxed hair tends to need trimming more often because of the porosity of the hair. Porous hair has gaps along the hair strand and this contributes to split ends. Some believe that clipping the ends does hamper hair growth. I don't believe this. Clipping off 1/8 to 1/4 inch every 2-3 months will still allow you to gain length. When I was relaxed, I clipped my ends after every relaxer (every 8-10 weeks) and my hair did grow to long lengths. Now that I am relaxer free and use heat infrequently, I trim a lot less often (every 6-12 months). Prevent split ends before they start because you can’t repair them once they are here. Split ends will continue to split up the hair shaft resulting in more hair breakage and thin ends.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT SINGLE STRAND KNOTS.
This typically occurs with curly / kinky hair textures. They are tiny knots that form on single strands of the hair. These knots can cause breakage. This is also a problem that cannot be completely eliminated.
Preventing tangles- This helps me a great deal. I don't comb my hair during the week however, I do lightly detangle with my fingers.
Another tip is to comb/ detangle the hair in sections (with a wide tooth comb) while saturated the Hydratherma Naturals deep conditioners. This will detangle the hair and prevent knots from forming. Be sure to remove all shed hairs.
While shampooing and deep conditioning, it is best to work in sections to prevent tangles and it is also best to shampoo the hair in the shower. Check out our tangle free shampoo / deep conditioning routine video HERE
Moisturize the hair while wet- As stated above, I am a strong believer of moisturizing the hair (and sealing in the moisture with our hair growth oil) while the hair is soaking wet.
Trim the hair- Sometimes split ends can contribute to single strand knots because the frayed ends become intertwined with each other.
Maintain a nice moisture / protein balance- this will keep your hair in an overall healthier state. Hair that is well moisturized will experience less knots.
Oil rinse- After deep conditioning the hair; I sometimes apply the oil, squeeze through and rinse.
Search and destroy- This takes time and patience. It just consist of sectioning the hair and going through each section looking for the knots. You can clip them or use a small pin to unravel the knot.
Shampoo the scalp and manipulate the hair very little while washing- I always suggest that you apply a dime to a quarter sized amount of the Hydratherma Naturals Moisture Boosting Shampoo to the scalp and squeeze through to the hair ends. Shampooing the hair in sections will help with longer lengths. This will cleanse your scalp very well and prevent tangles.
Protect your hair at night- This always helps to prevent knotting of the hair. Always sleep with silk scarf or bonnet. If your significant other really objects to this, use a silk or satin pillow case. Sleeping with a cotton scarf or pillowcase will cause the the hair to dry out. Just think, cotton is very absorbent and will absorb moisture from the hair.
SHAMPOO AND DEEP CONDITION WEEKLY.
It is best not to go longer than 14 days without washing and deep conditioning the hair. Your hair has to be in its cleanest state to reap the benefits of your deep conditioning treatment. If your hair is not very clean, the deep conditioner or moisturizer will not penetrate the strand because there will be a layer of buildup blocking absorption. If your hair feels dry after deep conditioning, clarify and deep condition again.
Many of us were taught to shampoo our hair monthly when we were young but this only results in dry hair. Just think.... water is the basic and most supreme form of moisture. It is very important to keep your scalp clean and healthy for growth to occur. I usually part my hair down the middle and shampoo each side. It is best to shampoo in the shower to prevent major tangling. I apply a quarter size amount of shampoo to my scalp and squeeze through my hair ends. As long as you moisturize with the proper moisturizer you will retain moisture in your hair leading to length retention. Please don't pile all of your hair on the top of your head and shampoo vigorously!!!! This will definitely cause tangling and breakage.
Weekly deep condition your hair with heat. You may use our Hydratherma Naturals cordless heating cap or sit under a hood dryer for more penetration. Our Hydratherma Naturals deep conditioners do not just coat the hair strand. These conditioners penetrate the cortex layer of the hair infusing moisture into the hair strand. Protein conditioners strengthen the hair (hair is 75% protein) by penetrating the cortex and adding amino acids (simple proteins) to the portions of the hair strands that are weak. If you still don’t have time to deep condition, apply a deep penetrating conditioner to your hair followed by a plastic cap at night before sleeping. In the morning, comb through, rinse out the conditioner and style as usual.
For extreme deep conditioning, add a layer of the Hydratherma Naturals Hair Growth Oil to the hair / scalp in addition to the deep conditioner. Cover with plastic cap and then deep condition with heat.
Tip- While washing your hair, be sure that your nails are trimmed and filed. This will prevent unwarranted breakage and snags. Removing jewelry will help also.
Leave in conditioner-This is a must. Our Hydratherma Naturals Protein Balance Leave In Conditioner will balance the moisture / protein levels and protect the hair.
PREVENT BREAKAGE AND RETAIN LENGTH OVER TIME.
Frankly, dry hair breaks. I know that I sound like a broken record but this is why it is so important to keep the hair moisturized. Some people seem to think that their hair just won't grow. This is not true. What is really happening? The hair is growing but it is breaking at the same rate therefore, no length is maintained. It is vital to apply moisture to your hair every day. I moisturize daily with our Hydratherma Naturals Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion and seal in the moisture with our Hair Growth Oil. Hair that is hard, brittle and dry needs moisture. Hair needs to be moisturized just like our faces do. Moisturizing the hair increases elasticity and decreases breakage. When moisturizing the hair, focus on the hair ends. If ends are dry, they will eventually split and break. A great idea is to moisturize the hair with our Hydratherma Naturals Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion when it is wet and use our Hair Growth Oil to to seal in the moisture. Balancing the moisture levels with protein with the use of our Protein Balance Leave In and /or our Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment will further prevent breakage and will keep the hair balanced. You can't go wrong with this method!
TRANSITIONING FROM RELAXER TO NATURAL
Please check out our transitioning tips HERE
HEALTHY RELAXED HAIR
A. Please don't overprocess your hair. If you relax your hair more often than every 8 weeks, most likely..... you are overprocessing your hair. It is best to relax every eight to 10 weeks. If you can go a little longer without experiencing breakage, go for it. Overprocessing your hair will definitely result in damage and will ultimately lead to breakage. You can have healthy hair with a relaxer but remember that one bad relaxer application can flush all of your hard work down the drain. Make sure that your relaxer is done by a professional.
B. Stay away from no lye relaxers. Many people may disagree with me on this one but I will stand by this. I have used both lye and so called "no-lye" relaxers (when I was relaxed) and I did noticed a tremendous positive change in my hair when switching from no-lye to lye. Please by all means…..RUN away from box kits!!!!! These relaxers are promoted as being less damaging. This is so far from the truth. Ca hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, guanidine hydroxide (calcium hydroxide with guanidine carbonate) and lithium hydroxide will dry out the hair over time and leave mineral deposits on the hair shaft. These deposits makes it difficult to moisturize resulting in constant dryness, split ends and dull looking hair. I suggest using lye relaxers. I have tried both lye and no-lye and yes the no-lye relaxer was fine at first but over time, my hair became dull, brittle and dry.....resulting in breakage. Lye relaxers will allow the cuticle to lay flat resulting in shinier hair without the mineral deposits. If you absolutely feel as though you have to relax with a no lye relaxer you MUST use a chelating shampoo after neutralizing. A chelating shampoo contains chelates. These chelates will attach themselves to the mineral deposits left on the hair and remove them.
I have used silk elements lye relaxer on clients and we absolutely loved it!
TAKE HAIR PICTURES / START A JOURNAL
This may sound clichéd, but it is an excellent idea to write down your thoughts and feelings about your hair. What are your hair goals and in what time frame do you want to achieve them? Do you desire thickness, length or both? Take pictures of your hair every month and monitor your hair's progress. It is so exciting to see you hair transform from thin and lifeless to thick and beautiful right before your eyes! Sometimes you may not be able to tell the difference right away but if you look at a picture from a few months back, you will be better able to see a difference. Pictures don't lie!
TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR CABINET
Read the ingredients on all of your hair care products. Don’t use products containing petrolatum and mineral oil to moisturize your hair. Products containing these ingredients will only coat the hair and not penetrate the hair strand. Therefore, the hair will not be moisturized. This will result in dryness and breakage.
MONITOR YOUR HAIR TOOLS
Always detangle wet hair with a wide tooth comb. Throw away any hair tools that can break off your hair. Think about old bobby pins without rubber tips, cracked rollers, combs with missing teeth and ponytail holders with metal clamps. All of these utensils with sharp ends will definitely cause hair breakage so please avoid them.
MASSAGE THE SCALP DAILY
Massaging the scalp with our Hydratherma Naturals Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion, Hair Growth Oil and our Follicle Mist will contribute to increased blood flow. This allows oxygen, nutrients, vitamin, minerals and proteins to nourish the hair root. This will help with thinning / weak areas and will contribute to healthy hair growth. Our growth lotion and growth oil both contain emu oil. Learn about how emu oil can aid with hair growth HERE
LIMIT THE USE OF DIRECT HEAT
The use of direct heat should be limited to 1 - 4 times per month. Using direct heat on a daily basis will definitely result in damaged hair. Remember brittle hair leads to breakage and breakage = no length retention and thinning hair. Whenever you do use direct heat, remember to use our Hydratherma Naturals Herbal Gloss Heat Protector prior to the direct heat application. I also suggest using only ceramic / tourmaline irons instead of marcel irons. Ceramic/ Tourmaline irons are less damaging to the hair. I recommend the Sedu iron because it is my favorite. Another tip for direct heat users is to never use heat on dirty hair. Heat should should be used on clean hair only. No more than 2 days after washing the hair. Using heat on dirty hair only bakes dirt into the hair. Dirty hair will always burn faster and of course, will cause damage. Limit blow drying to 1 -4 times per month.
PROTECTIVE STYLES / CHOOSE BETTER STYLING TECHNIQUES
Protective Styling- Protective styles are styles that protect the hair ends. Usually the hair ends are tucked away protecting them from drying out. These styles involve little or no heat and does not require much manipulation of the hair. Styles such as twists, braids, buns, up-dos, cornrows, zuluknots or any other style variation that tuck in the hair ends. Our hair ends are the most fragile because they are the oldest. These styles protect the hair in extreme cold and hot temps. To see examples of some protective styles, click HERE
Better styling techniques- There are many styling techniques that you can use that are less damaging to the hair such as roller-sets, bantu knot set, twist or braid-outs (twisting or braiding the hair, allowing it to set and taking the twist or braids out for a free flowing style), loose ponytails, wrapping the hair, straw sets, molecular steam roller-sets (I recommend the Caruso steam rollers) or any other style that doesn't require direct heat.....be creative.
NO WOOL HATS OR COLLARS
Staying away from wool collars and hats is a good idea if you want to prevent breakage. The constant rubbing of the wool against the hair will surely result in breakage at that particular area. If you must wear wool, I suggest that you line the inside of the hat and/or collar with a satin scarf.
BREAKAGE VS SHEDDING
Don’t be alarmed with hair shedding. Typically, the hair sheds 70-100 strands daily. Each hair follicle has a cycle of growth which eventually will lead to death. Everyone has a different growth cycle. For this reason, normal shedding varies. Shedding is different from breakage. Check the strands of hair in your comb or brush. If you see a white bulb (hair follicle) at the end of the hair strand, this would be considered normal shedding. If you don't see the follicle this may be considered hair breakage. If you don't comb your hair daily, it may seem like you are experiencing excessive shedding on your wash day. You may just be experiencing normal shedding from the accumulation of hair during the week.
AVOID SCULPTURED HAIRSTYLES THAT DON'T MOVE AND NEVER USE HAIR GLUE
Hairstyles that last from one shampoo to the other are definitely not good for your hair. Remember that you need to moisturize your hair everyday. It is not possible to do this with these types of styles. Sometimes we have to sacrifice hair ‘style' for hair ‘health’.
In my opinion, hair glue is one of the worst hair products created. Hair glue coats the hair with a sticky substance which is difficult to completely remove while shampooing. It can easily pull the hair out from the scalp and can cause serious hair breakage. The use of hair glue can be extremely damaging and devastating to the hair and scalp. If you want healthy hair, say 'no' to hair glue. If you want to give your hair a rest by wearing extensions, try sew-in extensions but always remember to take care of your own hair while wearing sew-in extensions.
EXERCISE AND EAT A WELL BALANCE DIET RICH IN VITAMINS AND MINERALS / STAY HYDRATED
This not only benefits your hair but it also benefits your whole body!
AVOID HAIR STYLIST WHO DON'T VALUE HEALTHY HAIR AND KEEP A SIMPLE REGIMEN
Some stylist focus more on hair 'styling' and less on hair 'health'. Find a stylist who specializes in healthy hair. If you stylist is scissor happy, heat happy or chemical happy, you will never see any results.
When taking care of your hair at home, find a simple hair regime that works right for you. A regime that fits in well with your lifestyle. Be patient and consistent. Stick with your regime and don’t give up despite hair “set backs” that we all go through. Generally, hair grows 1/4 to ½ inch per month. Be patient and give your hair that extra TLC. Your hair will love you for it!!!
REMEMBER TO HAVE HEALTHY HAIR YOU MUST
A. Apply healthy hair practices to your hair care regime and a healthy diet is a must.
B. Use high quality hair products to enhance the process. If you have a great hair regime and do not use high quality hair care products, your progress won't be great. Also, using high quality hair care products alone will not help us if we are abusive to our hair.
Tips written by Saleemah Cartwright
Saleemah's Personal Weekly Hair Regime
1. I shampoo my hair weekly with Hydratherma Naturals, Gentle Amino Clarifying Shampoo or our Hydratherma Naturals, SLS Free Moisture Plus Hair Cleanser to remove product buildup (1st lather).
2. I then follow up with Hydratherma Naturals, Moisture Boosting Shampoo or our Hydratherma Naturals, SLS Free Moisture Plus Hair Cleanser (2nd lather).
3. I then deep condition with Hydratherma Naturals, Moisture Boosting Deep Conditioning Treatment or the Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Deep Conditioning Treatment (I alternate deep conditioners weekly). After applying the deep conditioner, I also apply a small amount of the hair growth oil to my hair ends. I cover with a plastic cap and use the Hydratherma Naturals Cordless Heating Cap for 15-30 minutes, comb through with a wide tooth comb then rinse. Since I give myself a light protein treatment every 2 weeks with Hydratherma Naturals, Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment, I do not use heavy duty protein treatments.
4. After washing and deep conditioning with the Hydratherma Naturals products, I section my hair in 4-6 sections. While still wet - to each section, apply the Hydratherma Naturals follicle mist (scalp / new growth care), protein balance leave in conditioner (protein), daily moisturizing growth lotion (moisture) and seal with the hair growth oil (sealer).
5. I style as usual. Roller set, twist out, braid out etc. with our Foaming Sea Silk Curly Styler or the Botanical Defining Gel for extra hold.
Daily Maintenance- Relaxed Hair
1. Apply the Hydratherma Naturals, Protein Balance Leave In (pea to dime size amount), Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion (pea to dime size amount) and a few drops of Hydratherma Naturals Hair Growth Oil (to seal in the moisture) to the hair ends on a daily basis before pincurling the hair at night. To maintain your hair style during the week, it is a good idea to pin curl it and wrap with a satin scarf before bed. Click "HERE" to see pincurl pictures. This is less damaging to the hair. In the morning, finger-comb and go.
2. Another alternative is to place a few zulu / bantu knots in your hair for soft waves the next day.
3. Toward the end of the week, it is a great idea to wear buns to avoid the use of heat. When bunning, you can use a dime size portion of Hydratherma Naturals, Protein Balance Leave-in Conditioner and Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion. Then use our Hair Growth Oil to seal in the moisture.
Daily Maintenance -Natural Hair
1. Apply Hydratherma Naturals, Protein Balance Leave In Conditioning treatment, Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion and the Hair Growth Oil (to seal in the moisture) to the hair nightly before prepping your hair for bed. In the morning, finger comb and go. During dry seasons, you may moisturize 2x per day. This will give you a nice balance of moisture and protein daily. For extra hold, you may use the Foaming Sea Silk Curly Styler or the Botanical Defining Gel for more definition (braid-outs / twist-outs). In the morning, I finger comb go!
Happy Hair Growing!!!!