Friday, March 29, 2013

The Science of Black Hair: Protein/Moisture Balance Basics

In my previous post, I spoke about proteins and briefly mentioned the importance of keeping a good protein/moisture balance. Well, good news...just in case you're a visual person like me :), here is a great video demonstration on Protein/Moisture Balance.  This video is by the author of The Science of Black Hair Audrey Davis-Sivasothy.  This is a great video which is very informative. Happy Watching...

Protein/Moisture Balance

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Recognizing and Exploring Proteins

Here are some ingredients to look for if you want to know if a product has protein/s:
    1. Anything that starts with the word Hydrolyzed 
    2. Silk Amino Acids
    3. Soybean or Soja (Oil or Seed Extract)
    4. Milk Protein (Coconut Milk, etc.)  
    5. Blue Green Algae
    6. Keratin
    7. Collagen
    8. Rice Protein
    9. Wheat Protein
    10. Oat Protein
    11. Corn Protein
    12. Vegetable Protein
    13. Elastin
                    To get more information on what each protein does, click HEREHERE and HERE (Skip to 4:45 on video).

                    My Experience w/ Proteins

                    BG "S" hair has a love/hate relationship with proteins while BG "M" hair loves proteins.  I have learned which proteins BG "S" hair absolutely hates and which ones her hair can tolerate.

                    Tolerable Proteins to Date
                    Vegetable Protein (Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque)
                    Hydrolyzed Keratin (Nothing But Intense Healing Masque)
                    Hydrolyzed Corn Starch (Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner)

                    Not So Tolerable Proteins to Date

                    Hydrolyzed / Soy Protein
                    Silk Protein
                    Silk Amino Acids
                    Soybean (Soja) Protein/ Oil

                    There was a time when I attempted to avoid anything with protein in it for BG "S" hair but I have learned that protein isn't a bad thing and is just as important as moisture.  This is where the Protein/Moisture Balance comes into play.  So, I am going to take a step out and try one of my old favorites on BG "S" again (SM Curl & Style Milk)...stay tuned. Update: The SM Curl & Curl Milk is a "NO-GO" for BG "S"!  I won't be re-visiting this product for BG "S" anytime soon.  It made her hair so crunchy and dry!

                    What is your relationship with protein?

                    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

                    INGREDIENT CHECK: Panthenol? What is It?

                    Panthenol is a very popular ingredient in skin and hair care products which is a derivative of vitamin B5 products.  It is a humectant, emollient, glossifier, detangler and moisturizing agent. It is highly water soluble and is also easily removable with mild plant-derived oils or via conditioner cleansing (co-washing).  Panthenol can be found in shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, leave-ins, hair lotions, etc.

                    Excerpt from Naturally Curly:

                    {...Panthenol is capable of penetrating the cuticle and entering the hair shaft as well, where it aids in moisture retention and provides volume.

                    It is important to note that sometimes penetration of the shaft by ingredients can create a rough cuticle surface and lead to frizz, due to swelling of the hair shaft. This may not occur for everyone and is dependent upon several factors, including porosity of the hair and the amount of the ingredient used in the product. It is a potential undesirable effect, so keep this in the back of your mind when using a product containing the ingredient.}

                    Ding, Ding, Ding...something hit me!  I have been currently battling with BG "S" hair being ridiculously frizzy and couldn't figure out why and then it all made sense.  I have been using a new leave-in with panthenol and although I love the product and it leaves the hair super soft and moisturized it would also be super frizzy, that's a big NO-NO!  And then I thought about past products that yielded frizzy hair and they all had one common ingredient...Panthenol.  This is obviously not something that will happen to everyone just like with other ingredients but just in case you may be experiencing a similar issue, check the ingredient list on your products!

                    So for now, I will discontinue using I will monitor "leave-in products" with panthenol and pay close attention to how the hair reacts since I can't completely avoid it as it is in most leave-ins (especially the good ones, lol).  Experimentation and listening to your hair is the best way to find out what works well on your own hair.  I'll keep you guys posted...

                    FYI..this is not to say panthenol is bad because it isn't, just for you to be educated on what may work or not work for your hair!

                    What have been your experience with Panthenol?