FAQs Friday

 

QI   My hair has stopped growing. Heeellllpppp! I have very good relaxed hair, very full and bouncy but I noticed lately that my hair has stopped growing. What do I do?

QII   Yesterday, I put my hair in water and it floated. Even after some hours, it was still at the top. What does that mean?

This means you might have low porosity hair. What this means is that the cuticle layer of your hair shaft is tightly closed and doesn’t readily absorb much water. It also means that if it does absorb water, it will stay moisturized for a while.

  • Using humectant-containing moisturizers to moisturize & oils and butters to seal might help. (On the other hand, they might be left sitting on your hair strands without being absorbed).
  • Washing with an alkali shampoo (e.g black soap shampoo) or Baking powder can open your cuticle slightly and then you can deep condition as usual. Deep condition for as long as possible to give the conditioner time to penetrate your hair. In addition, you can use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to seal the cuticle as a final step after rinsing out your conditioner and just before you towel dry your hair. (Be careful with using ACV though…make sure you dilute it properly so it doesn’t constrict your hair  cuticles and leave you with tangled hair. A simple way to dilute ACV is to use mix 15ml ACV with 250 ml water.).
  • Stay away from heavy proteins.
  • It can also mean that your hair doesn’t readily absorb chemicals including relaxers. You might need a Super relaxer (in a cup) to get your hair straight. Prone to product build up. Avoid silicone products. Minimize amount of product used.

To test for porosity, your hair should be freshly washed. Take any strands that might have been lost during the wash process or while combing. Normal porosity hair will sink after a while. High porosity hair sinks almost immediately.

QIII   What is the difference between no-poo and co-wash?

N0-poo is avoiding the use of commercially made shampoo. It can just be simply using water to ‘wash’ hair or it can involve using shampoo alternatives to cleanse hair e.g baking soda followed by apple cider vinegar;

Co-washing is actually a form of washing your hair with ONLY conditioner. I think it’s a type of the no-poo method. Proponents of the no-poo method say that using shampoo strips the hair of moisture. You then add products to moisturize it and then it gets dirty. In addition, your scalp is stimulated to produce more sebum. Then you have to wash it again, resulting in a vicious cycle. They believe that when you stop washing your hair, your hair’s production of sebum falls and your need for hair products can reduce.  According to some dermatologists, a gradual reduction in shampoo use will cause the sebaceous glands to produce at a slower rate, resulting in less oil on the scalp and hair.[2]  When you stop washing your hair, it takes a little time for your hair to adjust. The time taken to break the cycle after adopting “no poo”-practices varies, however a “two- to six-week period” is typical[3]  

One advice I would give if you want to go down this route is to avoid products that are water insoluble especially water insoluble silicones.

Dr Fomsky

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