New Natural Suffering from Dry Hair After Big Chop

03/15/2013 | By | More

Question:

I big chopped four months ago, but my hair appears so dry. My routine is that I switch up on shampoos at each weekly wash. One week I may use Garnier Triple Nutrition shampoo & conditioner, and the next week I will use Creme of Nature Argan oil shampoo & conditioner. I co-wash/prepoo with conditioner 1-2xs a week using Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep conditioner and Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner as a leave-in. I have type 4b/4c hair. I also am lost at trying to figure out a style for the spring/summer months. Please, please help!

Answer:

Wow, you have a lot going on as most new naturals do while they try to find their way. I know it can feel like a daunting task as you try this product and that product, hoping that this one will be the one that makes your hair do what you want it to do. I’m smiling because this is a part of the journey girlfriend, a road we’ve ALL been on.11014857_s

The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that you use Shea Moisture. Now the product line is great for many women’s hair, and they love it. But what works for one person won’t always work for another. And since you are complaining about dryness, my bet is that you need to ditch the Shea Moisture leave in and opt for something more natural with no protein in it.

Secondly, some time last year Garnier changed the formula of their conditioner (not sure about the shampoo), to include amodimethicone which is a silicone used in products to make the hair easier to comb. One study I read said that this silicone is not known to coat the hair with repeated use, but I’m doubtful that would be flatly true in every case for every head of hair and every municipal water system. Again, some people are okay with using ‘cones in their hair, but others experience breakage and dryness like you are. I’d err on the side of caution and ditch the Garnier products immediately in the event you are a person that is very sensitive to silicones. The Creme of Nature is probably all right.

Thirdly, I am not sure why people think they need to co-wash their hair. Who does so much that their hair gets THAT dirty and needs to be washed 3-4x per week? I could see rinsing sweat out with water if you are at the gym a lot. But since you are already experiencing dry hair and breakage the last thing you need is to keep handling your hair while it is wet. Your hair needs to be handled gently and given lots of TLC.

And lastly, since you’ve been using all those different conditioners on your hair for months, my guess is that your hair is coated with product build-up and all that gook needs to be removed so that your hair has an opportunity to absorb the conditioner, moisturizers and nutritious oils that you’ll be applying to your hair from here on out.

So this is what I am going to suggest for you to try.

1. Do a pre-poo on your dry hair with olive oil or coconut oil, not conditioner. You need to get penetrating oil into your hair and on it to protect the strands from water. Apply a generous amount of oil to your hair, cover it with a plastic shower cap, and leave it on for 4-5 hours or overnight.

2. Clarify hair with a baking soda/shampoo wash to remove product build-up. Measure out 2 tablespoons of a gentle shampoo and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Wet hair and massage shampoo/baking soda mixture through your hair  as you usually would. Let mixture sit on your hair for three but no more than four minutes.  Rinse out with warm water. Find out more information about removing product build-up here.

avocado banana deep conditioning treatment for natural hair

This blend with ripe avocados and bananas is fabulous for treating dry hair.

3. Apply a DIY chemical free deep conditioner. A favorite combination is a mixture of one large ripe avocado (or two small) mashed well, add 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey, 2-3 tablespoons Aloe Vera juice, and 2-3 tablespoons of olive or avocado oil. Use the “3” amount only if you use two avocados. Mix together well until no chunks remain and apply to hair, massaging into the scalp. Let sit on hair for 45-60 minutes covered with a plastic conditioning (shower) cap. Rinse well with warm (not hot) water to remove all traces of avocado. Find the recipe and others you might want to try at this link.

4. Apply a leave-in conditioner. If you don’t want to make your own (there are plenty of great recipes on this site I developed myself), I suggest you purchase Duafe Naturals Protein Hair Milk. It contains light sea protein so it helps strengthen weak hair without making your hair hard and crunchy. It adds shine and body as well. I love it and use it myself so this is a personal recommendation. You can find out more information and purchase here.

5. Lock moisture into dry hair with a sealant. Popular choices are butters such as Shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, castor oil or a blend thereof. Your Natural Hair’s own Herbal Hair Butter Smoothie is a fabulous blend of butters, herbs, oils and moisturizing agents that will put a hurting on dryness in short order! Plus if you braid or twist your hair, it also helps hold the style nicely with amazing definition and body.

Other general tips for prevention of dryness:  Make sure you are drinking plenty of water on a daily basis. Coffee, caffeinated tea, and soda do not count. And use a moisturizing spritz on your hair once per day, which you “seal in” by topping it with a bit of your Herbal Hair Butter Smoothie, or a castor oil/butter blend.

As far as a style goes, since you didn’t send along a photo of your hair and have no idea what you are working with, I’m also at a loss to make any sort of suggestions there. But I would recommend you click on over to You Tube and search for “styles for short natural hair” or something like that and see what pops up.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your hair!

 

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Category: Questions/Answers, Transitioning

About the Author ()

Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.

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