Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Little Bit About Ingredients...

What are some of the common (and confusing) ingredients in curly hair care products you should look out for? There are some different categories to check out. Let's see:
A) Emulsifiers/Emollients-
1)Cetearyl Alcohol is used to thicken and stabilize formulations. Cetearyl Alcohol imparts an emollient feel. This is one of many fatty alcohols and should not be confused with harsh, drying alcohols like SD Alcohol.
2)Cetyl Alcohol is used to give emulsions more stability, body, viscosity. It is also a fatty alcohol.
3)Behentrimonium Methosulfate - is naturally derived from Colza oil and is noted for its exceptional mildness. It is substantive to hair, it imparts excellent body, spring, improving wet comb.

1)Vegetable Glycerin – A humectant which draws moisture from the air into the hair shaft, helping to correct dryness and makes for softer hair.
2)Panthenol - said to impart long lasting moisturization and is said to increase the strength and diameter of the hair shaft.

1)Jojoba Oil – This oil (which is technically a wax) helps to add softness and shine to hair. Its texture is close to your skin's natural sebum.
2)Cocoa Butter – Rich in antioxidants and believed to be extremely healing, moisturizing and softening.
3)Shea Butter - A very emollient and moisturizing butter derived from the Karite tree in Africa.
4)Amodimethicone - is a type of silicone that provides selective conditioning to the areas most in need of it. While not water-soluble, it is reputed to be one of the silicones least likely to build up on the hair shaft with repeated use.

1)Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride – This naturally derived substance is very conditioning, helping to detangle hair and leaves hair soft.
2)Hydrolyzed Oat Flour – A natural thickener which draws moisture from the air to help with moisture balance.
3)Lecithin – Derived from Soy, this ingredient is very moisturizing and nourishing containing vitamins and a small amount of protein.

E)Proteins-can provide moisture, increase hair strength, and fill in damaged spots in the hair shaft.
1)Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein - a naturally derived protein that has a unique hydrating complex offering a combination of moisture-balancing and film-forming properties.
2)Oat Protein - retains significantly more moisture no matter what the humidity, and can gain up to 50% more moisture at relative low humidity when extra moisture is most needed.
3)Soy Protein - has been shown to improve gloss and texture, increases moisture retention, and improves manageability and body.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's a good starting point!

In our next post, the topic will be "To 'poo or not to 'poo" - should you use shampoos or not?

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