It's DIY Friday and Kristin Collins Jackson is back with some advice on how to battle your dry hair blues the sulfate-free way. Enjoy!! Xoxo Alexis
For several months, one of my natural hair crushes has been suffering from some seriously dry hair, which means I've been making it my business to find out how we can replenish her dry scalp and get those locks nourished and moisturized. The cold months are coming and fall is the time to get dry hair and skin under control before the air turns frigid and the wind starts whipping. After hot oil treatments and daily doses of water, my good pal was still suffering from dry locks. Just as I was about to throw in the towel and tell her to put her hair in braids for the winter she made a confession: she was using TRESemme Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner. As she g-chatted the words to me, I couldn't help but narrow my eyes. "TreSemme, huh?" To be fair, I had very little knowledge of their "naturals" product line. Could it be possible that a mainstream brand was producing completely natural, toxin and sulfate-free hair products?
No, of course not.
Ingredients: Water, Amino Methyl Propanol, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate**, Cocamidopropyl Betaine*, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glucoside, Sodium Methyl Lauroyl Taurate , Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Fragrance*, Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, Ammonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol*, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin*, Citric Acid, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil Organic, Sodium Xylene Sulfonate, Quaternium 80, Bisamino, Bisamino PEG/PPG 41/3 Aminoethyl PG Propyl Dimethicone*, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, PEG 18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate*, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice Organic, Polyquaternium 7*
* Ingredients considered moderate or high hazards by the Environmental Working Group
Clearly my pal and I had a lot of talking to do. TRESemme Natural's collection isn't just pulling the wool over her eyes, it's misleading to most consumers. The word natural has experienced an influx in recent years due to the natural craze from buyers. Most of us are sick of putting expensive products with false promises on our hair just to have a slew of other hair woes that didn't exist BEFORE we used the product. Unsurprisingly, many companies are taking advantage of our ignorance by promoting products with the word "natural" and using a popular phrase "made from natural ingredients." Real Talk: If that phrase is on the label of something you are about to purchase you should ditch it before the check-out line.
The problem with the TRESemme Natural's line specifically is even though Ammonium Laureth Sulfate is third on the ingredient list, it is advertised as containing a "lower sulfate" level than their other products, which gives the impression that it is less harmful to your precious hair. For natural hair in particular, any amount of sulfates are the devil, and I mean that literally. Kinky hair is naturally dryer which is why it gives off a matte appearance and sulfates, no matter how much natural oil you are applying, are going to strip your hair of moisture and strength. These ammonium sulfates are essentially detergents that make hair unmanageable and dry: Good shampoos and conditioners do not need sulfates to keep hair detangled and moisturized. Sulfates, which are also used in most industrial and home cleaning products, have been proven to slow hair growth by corroding the scalp and damaging hair follicles— that means if you've already got hair problems then shit is only going to get worse when you use sulfates.
After I finished scolding and berating one of my dearest friends, it was time to find a solution. She needed a truly natural product that was going to help her hair woes. I suggested an ultimate deep conditioning mask that she could make with ingredients in her kitchen. This conditioner originally published in Bustle is my favorite deep conditioner. It moisturizes hair like a boss and it's especially beneficial for those windy mornings when you secretly regret letting your 'fro out.
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 extra ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup plain oatmeal
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp vodka
- 2-3 drops of clary sage essential oil
- A bottle to house your new deep conditioner
First,heat your coconut milk and oatmeal in a saucepan. You don't want to nuke this in the microwave because the high temperature will zap some of the important nutrients.After you've heated your mixture, strain your milk and discard the oatmeal. For this recipe, you can definitely use whole milk or another lactic acid, I like coconut milk because it has a plethora of additional health benefits like potassium AND it's animal friendly. Mash up an avocado separately and add in your vodka, coconut oil, and essential oil. The key to an effective deep conditioner is adding a nice fatty acid, natural nourishing oils, and an antiseptic to avoid oil build-up. This recipe has all of that AND clarifying properties from the clary sage oil.
After you've mixed your ingredients, apply your conditioner directly onto your hair, being sure to massage your scalp. If it's not obvious, let me be the one to point out that ignoring your scalp is a likely cause of dry hair and diminished hair growth — a common conditioning mistake that can be easily avoided. If you've got super dry hair, you can apply your concoction on dry hair and then rinse out after 25 minutes. For my fine haired babes, apply this on freshly washed, wet hair and leave on for the same amount of time.
Be sure to completely rinse out this conditioner, those green chunks of avocado can quickly turn this heroic conditioner into a hair crisis that leaves you picking out bits of avocado throughout the week.