Friday, June 8, 2012

Tech Talk: Moisturizing and Sealing

Hey there :)...

So this is day 3 of my no protective styling thing. My scalp feels better today, but it's still tender near my temples and some parts of my nape. I'm just glad my scalp didn't start going crazy in the winter or I probably would've had a major setback due to not being able to protective style. As I mentioned in a previous post, because my hair is going to be loose more often, it is going to be more vulnerable to breakage. Due to the length of my hair (between shoulder and armpit length), the ends of my hair are vulnerable to damage by becoming caught on things, but more importantly hair that is loose is vulnerable to the elements. Air, sun, and absorbent fabrics (like cotton) can dry out hair and when hair becomes dry it can break. The next few posts will be dedicated to the measures taken to help prevent breakage whether hair is being protectively styled or left loose.

The first measure that I tend to take when my hair is left out is called moisturizing and sealing. Moisturizing and sealing (m&s) consists of using a water based moisturizer of your choice and sealing in that moisturizer using a natural oil, butter or serum. The act of sealing in the moisturizer enhances moisture retention and allows the hair to remain smoother, softer, more moist and manageable for a longer period of time than moisturizer alone. There are some m&s combinations that are better for certain styles, like curly styles may be able to handle heavier combinations and still be bouncy vs. straight styles that tend to get weighed down from too much product. I will discuss how to select the right moisturizer in a later post. My current favorite combination is Bee Mine Deja's Hair Milk and my coconut/sweet almond oil mix. I chose these because the hair milk is very moisturizing yet light, and my oil mix is semi-absorbed into the strands and doesn't weigh them down. Currently I have been moisturizing and sealing twice per day and as needed during the day to prevent dryness. The key to length retention when hair is out is to make sure that it remains supple throughout the day... I believe it's the moisture loss due to friction and the environment that can lead to chronic breakage if no precautions are taken

My m&s technique is fairly simple, I just section my hair and apply the moisturizer, then follow up with the oil and style. In general, after deep conditioning, most of the length of my hair remains moist between my wash days, but my ends always need the extra moisture so I tend to just m&s my ends as needed. For more information on m&s techniques click here and here.

Morning pics of my big pin curls after I took them down.
 I couldn't get a good pic of the front and as usual I was running late for work :p

What's your favorite moisturize and seal combo?

Thanks for reading :),

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