MAKING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR NATURAL HAIR CARE REGIMEN
Finding the right regimen for natural hair can be overwhelming at times, especially if one is new to the natural lifestyle. It can be a headache for some, but it doesn't have to be! Knowing your specific hair type and how to care for it will make putting together an effective hair care regimen a breeze! So, where should you start?
It's common for hair care brands to push curl pattern and it's importance. But porosity should have a greater place in the spotlight. If you are not familiar with porosity - congrats! You just made a new best friend. By definition, porosity is the hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. It tells us how our hair behaves. Does your hair lose moisture as fast as it absorbs it? Or does it have a hard time letting moisture in? People with the same curl pattern can have hair that behaves very differently. And this is because of the difference in porosity. When you know your hair’s porosity level (low, medium, high), you can better choose the products that will benefit your hair the most and thus, making styling much easier.
So, how do you determine your porosity level? There are a few different ways that you might hear about. The most popular one is called the float test. This is where you take a strand of clean hair and place it in a glass of room temperature water. You’ll let it sit for at least 30 minutes to see if the strand floats or sinks. If it stays at the top and floats, then your hair is said to be low porosity. If it sinks, you have high porosity hair. And if it stays suspended in the middle of the water, you have medium porosity hair. This test may not always yield an accurate result if you have products on your hair (such as leave-in or a cream, etc)– which is why we recommend doing this with CLEAN hair only. You can learn more about porosity on our site at londonshairfood.com.
PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUE
Not only will porosity help you choose the right products for your hair, but it will also tell you which techniques your hair likes best. For example, low porosity hair can benefit from using a heating cap while using a deep conditioner to encourage the cuticle layer to open and accept the moisture. You will notice how beautifully your hair becomes moisturized, versus no heating cap.
Using products correctly is huge. For example, I had no idea leave-in conditioners were supposed to be applied in the shower while your hair is still wet before getting out- and also combing them through. Once I did this, I noticed a big difference versus when I applied a leave-in after the fact. Another product to comb through? Your deep conditioner. Combing your deep conditioner through your hair makes another big difference. Seems like a well-known tip but it can be easy to skip. Just by taking those few extra minutes will change the feel of your hair and make sure each strand is met with product to get the most moisturizing benefit. And to help combat frizziness? Always lightly dry your hair with a t-shirt, versus a towel, to make sure too much moisture is not leaving the hair.
So not only are products important, but how you use them is too! I would say that it’s 50% the product you use and 50% your technique.
At this time, our line has low and high porosity products. So let’s get into what a regimen might look like for these hair types.
HIGH POROSITY HAIR
High porosity hair has a raised cuticle layer, making this hair type prone to losing moisture as fast as it absorbs it. This can lead to frizziness and breakage because the hair may lack a good level of moisture retention. If you have high porosity hair, regular hot oil treatments are a good idea. They help strengthen hair strands and protect the hair. Hot oil treatments should be done up to 2 times a week and up to 2-3 times a week in winter months if needed. And when it’s wash day, you want to make sure to use a pre-poo treatment. Our Royal Oil Treatment can be used as a hot oil treatment as well as a pre-shampoo treatment. Pre-shampoo treatments help make sure too much moisture is not lost when cleansing. Regular deep conditioning is also recommended, about 1-2 times per week, depending on individual hair needs. Using one with protein is a good idea to help fill in the gaps that the hair strand may have, strengthening the hair. Leave-in conditioners are wonderful to help combat frizziness and for aiding in curl definition. They should be used regularly. A good sealant should also be used, such as a cream or hair butter. Our High Porosity Chebe Crown Butter, for example, helps keep moisture in the hair instead of escaping.
A key with high porosity hair is to maintain a sufficient level of moisture retention!
LOW POROSITY HAIR
Low porosity hair tends to have a tightly bound cuticle layer. This means that the hair strands have a harder time letting moisture in compared to high porosity hair. If you have low porosity hair, we also recommend hot oil treatments, but using a heating cap to encourage that cuticle layer to open up to allow product and moisture in. Once every other week and once a week during winter months is a good habit to adopt. Deep conditioning with a heating cap does the same thing – the heat lets that cuticle layer open up and boosts the moisturizing and conditioning effects. This should be done no more than once a week. And like with high porosity hair, low porosity hair benefits from a good leave-in conditioner to aid in curl definition and soften the hair. And because low porosity hair has a tighter cuticle layer, we want to make sure we’re using lightweight products to prevent build up. Our Low Porosity Chebe Crown Butter can be used as a finishing product to soften the hair and add shine.
A key with low porosity hair is to get that cuticle to rise and let product in, while using lightweight products!
Natural hair care doesn’t have to be overwhelming (or a fail). Knowing your hair porosity will help make choosing products so much easier and styling will be more of a breeze! In addition, using each product as intended is a HUGE help. There is nothing like having good products, just to yield undesirable results!