Firstly, let’s touch on what causes dryness and what you should either be avoiding or tossing in the bin after you read this! Some of the more obvious causes, of course, is excessive colouring, bleaching or chemical straightening and curling (perms). These treatments will almost always strip hair of its natural oils, breaking down the necessary proteins in your hair follicles that keep it healthy, or open the hair cuticle so far that it can’t fix itself (just Google over-bleached hair to see that in action). These treatments are best done in a professional environment, but damage is unavoidable for the most part, so space out your appointments and make sure you go to someone who knows what they’re doing!
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – can damage the hair, make it brittle, and increase frizz.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – can fade your color and strip your strands of natural oils.
- Parabens – known to be harmful, used as a preservative to prevent bacteria from growing in cosmetics and shampoos
- Sodium Chloride – is mainly there to make the consistency thicker, can make an already-sensitive scalp dry and itchy, which can eventually cause hair loss.
- Polyethylene Glycols (PEG) – derived from petroleum that is often contaminated with byproducts.
- Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) – reduce surface tension so water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients can blend together. In 1998, The European Commission banned DEA in cosmetics because of potential links to cancer.
- Formaldehyde – a preservative, if you’re wondering what to look for, a common one in shampoos is quaternium-15.
- Alcohol – has a drying effect, and the higher up in the ingredients list they appear, the more alcohols the product contains.
- Synthetic Fragrances – irritate the skin and scalp, which can lead to hair loss.
- Synthetic Colors – to make a product look nice, come from petroleum or coal-tar sources, all of which come with harmful health effects. Synthetic colors will normally go by FD&C or D&C combined with a number.
- Dimethicone – silicone that stops moisture and nutrients from coming in and instead collects dirt and residue. It can clog the pores on the scalp and cause skin irritation.
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine – although it’s derived from coconut oil, it can have negative effects like skin irritation, allergies, rosacea, and eczema.
- Triclosan – was banned from being used in antibacterial soaps in 2016 but is still allowed in toothpaste, shampoos, and deodorants. It’s a chemical antibacterial agent known to cause hormone disruptions, which can lead to cancer and affect fetal development, among other things.
- Retinyl Palmitate – a known skin irritant that can cause peeling, scaling, redness, and itching.
Yikes! Always check what you’re buying. If you want softer hair, read the ingredients on the back of the bottle. Yes, it’s a few extra minutes of your time, but it’s all worth it in the long run when you have the hair texture you want! Most friendlier brands will boast their benefits or what they don’t include in their product, but do be sure to always double check.
Because milk has a thin, liquid-y consistency, put one cup of milk along with one tablespoon of honey into a spray bottle and mist it onto the hair. Leave in for 10 to 20 minutes after shampooing (in place of conditioner). Rinse out with warm water for shiny, smooth results!
Then there’s bananas and olive oil. Banana hydrates and moisturizes dull, damaged, dry hair, as it’s rich in vitamins and minerals (such as potassium) that can strengthen the hair and balance the pH of the scalp, and olive oil is rich in healthy fats and vitamin E, which can make the hair look more shiny and sleek. It can also moisturize the hair and heal damage that can cause breakage and split ends.
To make this hair mask, use one ripe banana and one tablespoon of olive oil. Blend or mash the banana until it becomes a lump-free puree. Add the olive oil and continue mixing the two until it becomes a creamy, frothy hair mask. While in the shower, apply the mask throughout the hair and scalp with fingers. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it out.
All the best!
Natural Deodorant Malaysia | Happy Pits Deodorant Balm
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