Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to Strategically Seal Natural Afro Textured Hair

Many people like to seal their natural, afro-texured hair. Sealing is defined here as holding in the moisture on your hair. This helps to reduce breakage and split ends caused by chronic dryness. I like to seal my hair as well. Once I began to seal my ends, I was able to retain length on my hair. I use a three step strategy. I seal with water, oil then an emulsified cream.

The cuticles on the hair strand operate like a vent. The cuticles lift and then lower. Cuticles lift naturally from certain products such as with soaps and surfactants. Cuticles are then lowered from the perfect balanced vinegar rinse and other conditioning types of rinses.

When you have finished washing and conditioning your hair, ideally, you want to have cuticles that are lowered and closed tightly over the hair strand. Tightly closed cuticles reflect more light, and thus looks shinier and healthier.

With this in mind I like to seal my hair strategically after washing and conditioning.

  1. Apply Water Based Moisturizer - Directly to the freshly cleansed and washed hair. My concoction usually has panthenol, aloe vera and water. Panthenol moisturizes the hair clear down to the scalp. This mix provides moisture and nutrition to the hair.

  2. Apply Oil Based Moisturizer - Directly over the water based moisturizer. It traps the water and nutrients on the hair shaft, slowing down the evaporation of the water based moisturizer. It keeps the moisture on the hair shaft longer.

  3. Apply Emulsified Based Moisturizer - You can usually recognize and emulsified based moisturize because it is usally thick. These are usually thickened with gums (guar gum, gum arabic, xanthum gum, etc) or waxes (beeswax, soy wax) or petrolatum (vaseline, hair grease) or un-petroleum jelly. I prefer the kind thickened with guar gum or the kind with plain old vaseline. Emulsified based moisturizers provide the best sealing properties. They do not stop the evaporation of moisture from the hair strand completely, but they slow it down considerably. Vaseline allows for the least amount of evaporation.
What are you using on your head to seal? Do you use anything to seal your hair?


Anonymous said...

I love oils and greases! I actully only use a 2-step process to moisturize and seal my hair...

1. I apply a water-based moisturizer to my hair

2. Seal with oil or grease (and my oil is a mix of EVOO and extra virgin unrefined coconut)

Great post, Chicoro!


bacalove said...

What are other examples of step no 3, emulsified moisture other than vaseline that one can use?

Janet in Atlanta said...

I enjoyed that post. I have been using the water based conditioner and sealing with a caster oil blend or coconut oil.

Sounds like I need one more step with a grease like stubstance...

Hadiza said...

Oh dear I am a little confused. When you do this do you do that thing of cutting your hair into sections and putting it the cream on the scalp or do you just get some in your hands and shake it about in your hair

Sparkling Flame said...

I just started using Vaseline on my hair and both of my little girls hair and it works GREAT!!!

This is now a permanent part of our regimen.

Nappy Rhonnie said...

Hi Chicoro, I spritz with Oyin Greg Juice or my homemade spritz, apply a cream moisturizer (Qhemet Biologics Alma/Olive Heavy Cream mixed with Olive/Honey Hydrating Balm or Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Cream), then apply oil (apricot, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, or my homemade herb-infused growth oil).

Happy Holidays!

Chicoro said...

What are other examples of step no 3, emulsified moisture other than vaseline that one can use?

You can use Quemet Burdock Root Cream, or any other product that is creamy and is made to "left in the hair"

LoudMouth said...

So how much panthenol and how much aloe vera and water do you use to make your spray? I'm not sure I have the right mix.

My Friend the Writer said...

I seal by:
1) Distributing Giovanni Leave In Moisturizer after co-wash or shampoo and condition with my fingers carefully throughout my hair.
2) Applying Jojoba oil with fingers throughout my hair.
3) Applying unrefined natural Shea butter carefully throughout my hair. Unrefined natural Shea butter is yellow in color and has the same consistency as say a slightly thicker vaseline. My hair FEELS amazing after this sealing routine.

p.s. I haven't tried doing my acv rinse and then this sealing process...so maybe I'll try that next time!

Queen Eye Cee said...

After Co-Washing or shampooing hair followed by a Dc'er I:
1.Apply my Aloe-Vera & Glycerin concoction with other goodies in it (panthenol,SAA,EO and coconut oil)
2. Apply Giovanni's direct Leave-In Conditioner or Always 911 Leave-In Cream Conditioner (I believe this is discontinued)
3. Seal with my Whipped Shea-Butter concoction.

Sade Daramola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sade Daramola said...

Hey Chicoro,

For a long time I've been trying to get a hold of Panthenol. I was wondering where you purchased your batch from?

Queen Eye Cee said...

I've come a long way and have increased my knowledge immensely since last posting, LMBO...
I now know this method by the acronym of the L-(liquid) O-(oil) C-(cream) method.

1. Liquid- Homemade herbal leave in consisting of an herbal infusion/tea consisting of many growth stimulating herbs (Nettles, Horsetail, Burdock, Rosemary, Hibiscus and Irish Moss), Panthenol, SAA, Honeyquat and Aloe-Vera Juice/Gel

2. Oil- rotating with one of the following oils: Hemp Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Vatika/Coconut Oil, EVOO, Amla Oil, Brahmi Oil or Bhringraj Oil.

3. Cream- rotating with one of the following butters: Brazil Nut Butter, Hemp Seed Butter, Horsetail Butter, Avocado Butter, Shea Butter or Tamanu Butter.

Learn2Crochet said...
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Learn2Crochet said...

Should the cream be a non-water based product? Meaning, water should not be the first ingredient. I see a lot of naturals use water based creams for Step 3. Is it OK to use water based creams? Or, is it not as effective with water based creams?