Is your hair weighed down by products? I’m going to share a little trick
The story goes that curly hair is dry, so we need to use really moisturising products to keep our hair healthy and hydrated.
Here’s what doesn’t get said enough – lots of curl products are so high in moisture that your hair can be weighed down, making it look greasy.
Why does this happen?
One of the main culprits is Shea butter.
It is added to an enormous number of curly hair products because it helps lubricate the hair and seals moisture in. The moisture-repellent barrier that Shea butter forms is also good at stopping frizz because it prevents additional moisture from penetrating the hair.
Shea butter can be heavy and because its job isn’t to penetrate the hair, it can sit on top of your strands. This can lead to hair weighed down by products.
Lots of oils work in a very similar way. Apricot oil and Jojoba oil are in lots of products but these are examples of sealing oils that won’t penetrate your hair so they won’t ‘go in’. The resulting heaviness means that your hair can look greasy.
For finer hair types (both high and low porosity) it is easy to find your hair looking greasy from a single use of curl cream.
What if you don’t even get to the styling stage? What if the step in between is already too heavy?
I’m talking about cream-based leave-in conditioners. These alone can contain highly moisturising ingredients which can set your hair off on a moisture-heavy journey before you’ve even started styling.
What’s the solution?
Most cream-based products can be made lighter by simply adding water and spraying them on rather than applying them as a cream.
As well as diluting the product, spraying it on means that you ensure an even application over your hair. It is really easy to apply too much cream with your hands or apply more in one area of your hair than another. This will avoid hair weighed down by products as it gives a lighter coating.
What are the rules for mixing?
Almost every hair product already contains water and ingredients called emulsifiers ensure that the oils, butters and water mix well and don’t separate. This is why you can add more water and give them a good shake to ensure a well-mixed solution.
- Cetearyl Alcohol
- Ceteareth 20
- Glyceryl Stearate
- Polysorbate 20
The presence of these will mean that you can add water to the cream and it will still mix.
Use distilled or filtered water (from a kitchen water filter) if you can. The PH of this water will be closer to your hair’s natural PH whereas unfiltered tap water is often too alkaline for your hair.
It is also likely that the spray will last longer without developing that mildew smell if you used filtered water. Having said that, it is a good idea to mix up no more than 2 applications-worth so the solution isn’t standing around for weeks.
How much should I mix?
Generally speaking, I would recommend 2 cm of cream to approximately 30ml of water. This is just a guide, you can adjust the measurements if you wish to
- Squeeze the cream into a clean, empty spray bottle (a small one works best)
- Add the filtered water
- Shake really well (before each use)
Now you can spray a little bit or liberally knowing that your product isn’t going to weigh your hair down.
This is the beauty of cream-based hair products, they are customizable! I know that adding a bit of water sounds simple and obvious, but it’s easy to think you have to keep a product in its original formulation. I have several products that I now use this way and it has made a huge difference!
Which products can I dilute?
As mentioned above, this will work well with almost all cream-based products, but here are some that are tried and tested by me:
Curlsmith Hold Me Softly Style Balm – this is already a light product but sometimes I will dilute it to use it as a leave-in conditioner because it contains amazing moisturising ingredients
Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Taming Cream – a great curl defining cream, I have just found that this can be a little heavy when applied as a cream. It mixes well to form a lighter curl-defining spray
Noughty Intensive Care Leave-in Conditioner – I absolutely love this product. I have used it both straight from the tube and mixed with water and sprayed and the latter is my favourite method of applying it. I have spoken to people who find this too heavy and here is the solution. Even one spritz of leave-in conditioner is better than no leave-in conditioner at all.
I hope you enjoy this tip and use it to experiment with your existing products. Customise-away!
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