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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


1.) Fat
When looking at moisturizing deep conditioners, you really want a conditioner with lots of "fat" in it! Okay, what do I mean by fat? You need a moisturizing deep conditioner that contains lots of fatty alcohols. Fatty alcohols are "hair friendly" alcohols, unlike the alcohols found in finishing sprays which are often drying to the hair. Common fatty alcohols include substances like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and myristyl alcohol.

2.) Humectants, Emollients, and Conditioning Agents
Humectants are substances that draw moisture from the surrounding air to the hair! Common humectants, emollients, and conditioning agents you want in your moisturizing deep conditioner are propylene glycol, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, hydantoin, glycerin, polyquarternium, glyceryl stearate, centrimonium chloride, and other natural waxes and oils.

3.) Silicones
You also want a moisturizing deep conditioner formula with a few silicone ingredients, or "cones." Silicones have gotten a bad reputation in many healthy hair care circles as scalp clogging, hair coating, moisture defeaters. However, all "cones" are not bad and many are quite useful. "Cones" actually help with your ability to effectively detangle your wet hair. Much of the sleekness and softness we get from rinsing out our conditioners is thanks to those pesky "cones"! Now if you are conditioner-washing the hair regularly (or washing the hair without shampoo), you don't really want to deal with "cones" too much. Silicones will build up on the hair without your shampoo's surfactants there to assist with removal.

If your moisturizing deep conditioner is silicone heavy, you should consider clarifying the hair at least once or twice per month.Now obviously if your ingredient list on your moisturizing deep conditioner reads like this: Ingredients: water, cone, cone, cone, cone, cone.... There is a problem. A conditioner whose ingredient list reads this way is not deep moisturizing your hair. It is merely applying layers of slick silicones to the cuticle, giving you an awesome shine and making your hair a dream to detangle. Unfortunately, such a conditioner will eventually lead to dryness from a lack of moisture being deposited within the strand. If you use a conditioner like this, use it as a final conditioning rinse after you've already gotten your main moisturizing deep conditioning done. Some "cones" leave more 'breathable' layers on your hair than others.

Amodimethicone and Cyclo-____ (any kind of 'cone') are the most stubborn "cones" to remove from the hair shaft. These "cones" often need to be completely clarified away.

So what ingredients should you avoid in your moisturizing conditioners? You should basically try to stay away from moisturizing deep conditioners that contain petrolatum, mineral oil, heavy proteins, and other heavy oils. These conditioners will only coat your hair.

Other Moisturizing Conditioning Products
The same principles that apply to moisturizing deep conditioners also apply to your moisturizing leave in conditioners and water-based moisturizers. You want WATER, FATS, HUMECTANTS/EMOLLIENTS, and just a little detangling support from light silicones. A little mineral oil in your moisturizing deep conditioner is passable since much will be rinsed away, but avoid it in your water based moisturizers and leave in conditioners if possible.



Sunshyne said...

Girl you've done your research! I like that. Keep the info coming. I love Just not in my shampoo.

Keep in touch


Ms. S said...

What a fantastic list! I wish I found your blog sooner! I added you to my blog roll. =)

Southern_diva_natural said...

thanks ladies!

OnMyJourney said...

This is awesome and so timely that I'd find your blog and be reading through it tonight. I had just posted a thread over on BHM about me trying to avoid silicones. I hope you don't mind, but I linked this article of yours and posted the silicone portion of your article. I gave you FULL credit, I'd never do otherwise. It was just so informative that I had to share it. Thank you so much for this!!!