Hi Natural Tresses,
ALL NATURAL HAIR IS GOOD HAIR. IT’S HOW YOU TREAT IT THAT MAKES IT GREAT!
New to the natural hair world? Been natural for a good minute? ZENZELE welcomes you. The beautiful thing about ZENZELE products is that they are formulated by a woman who has been natural her entire life, along with being a stylist with over 15 years experience, and raised vegan. Those amazing dynamics create the ZENZELE standard and go into every product created.
This guide that will assist you in your natural hair journey. A good amount of naturals don’t have a clue about how to care for their natural hair. They think it’s “ok” to us products by chemical producing companies that claim natural. ABSOLUTELY NOT GOOD! A natural head needs organic & natural ingredients. If you don’t, you may not be giving your natural hair all it needs.
On average we have around 100,000 of hair strands on our heads. We naturally loose 50 to over 150 hundred hairs a day. A basic rule of thumb is to keep your scalped oil, conditioned and hair moisturized. Those two things will optimize your active growth phase. If your hair is kinky, twists help natural ingredients absorb more readily into the hair shaft. Co-washes are also your best friend verses shampoos as kinky hair needs to retain every bit of oils which shampoos strip. Deeper conditioners and oil based moisturizers are your best friend. Curly, and especially Wavy hair is a lot more stronger, and low more maintenance than kinky hair but are less likely to hold a twist style.
THE STRUCTURE OF NATURAL HAIR
The hair is layered like the rings of a tree. Composed of a protein called keratin, the main visible part of the hair is called the shaft. The base an unseen portion of the hair structure in called the follicle. The outer most part of the hair is called the cuticle. The middle section is called the cortex, and inner most portion is called the medulla.
Hair color is produced by melanin. There are two types of melanin that can be found in the cortex layer of the hair: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin produces brown and black color, and is the most prevalent type of melanin. Pheomelanin imparts yellow, blonde, red and auburn hues.
THE STAGES OF DAMAGED HAIR
Hair Damage is the result of wear and tear on the hair without internal or often external supplementation with moisturizers and oils. Kinky hair again is the most fragile and the most likely to become brittle and break off from dryness.
Now that your hair is natural you must protect it from natural and unnatural elements. The sun and humidity are the two most natural drying elements to natural hair. Other less natural damaging elements are the heat and chemical applications.
The first stage of damage is constant brittleness.
The second stage of damage is the lost of the hairs ability to absorb moisture.
The third stage of damage is the loss of ones curl pattern.
The fourth stage of damage is the breaking at the ends.
The fifth stage of damage is the thinning of the hair.
The last stage of damage is the compromising of the growth phase of the hair.
WHAT IS POROSITY, AND HOW TO TEST IT?
Porosity may confuse many naturals into thinking that a product does not work and do what it claims. This is sometimes the case. But often its ones porosity that has an even greater impact on a products effectiveness. Porosity is the hairs ability to absorb water and overall moisture. Porosity can vary from natural to natural. Hair porosity can become damaged and change based on over flat ironing or abrasive chemical processes like bleach based coloring.
If your porosity is low your hair will have a hard absorbing moisture. If it is high, you will be able to absorb moisture easily which isn’t always a good thing and can signify damage. Yes high porosity hair absorbs a lot of moisture and stays wet longer usually from damage to the cuticle that leaves them too open. The goal is for the porosity to be balanced.
Treating the hair often to daily and deep conditioners is the best way to maintain balanced porosity. So if you flat iron or use abrasive chemicals in your hair very often, don’t be surprised if your hair begins to have issues with absorbing moisture.
The famous porosity test is simple and can give you a clue on your hair’s porosity. Take a cup of water. Drop a strand of hair into the water. If the hair sits at the top, your porosity is low. If the strand floats to middle then it balance. If the strand sinks to bottom them the porosity is high.
Natural hair is good hair. Its how you treat it that makes it great!
COMMON HARMFUL INGREDIENTS IN NATURAL HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
An important note is that the chemicals listed nearest the top are the most prevalent in the product. Chemicals such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Petroleum are very common in hair care products and are known to strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture and clog the pores. Remember, the more Kinks, the more moisture will be needed.
When buying hair care products you want to ensure that they contain essential oils such as: Advocado, oils, Jojoba , and Vitamin E. These oils are great for the hair! These are amazing at keeping the hair moisturized and hydrated, which is something natural hair needs most – MOISTURE! Shea Butter is also a good ingredient to look out for. It moisturizes and softens the hair as well as protects it from the sun’s burning rays that dry out the hair and contribute to breakage. I encourage you to continue learning about your natural hair and the proper hair care products it needs to grow stronger and healthier.
Harmful chemicals like parabens, mineral oil, petroleum, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, and some alcohols are used in most commercial hair and body products because of consumer non awareness.
Parabens – Preservatives that are known to disrupt hormones.
Mineral Oil / Petroleum – Typically Mineral Oil is a derivative of crude oil is full of carcinogens. It acts like a plastic wrap on skin and hair. But FDA regulated mineral oil is noted as being free of toxins free and more pure. We stay away from them altogether so they’ll be no confusion.
Phthalates – Common in fragrances used in deodorants shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and baby products. have been known to cause headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Phthalates can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, and other behavioral changes.
Silicones – Pretty much, because of silicones non water solubility cause build up, which is every naturals worst nightmare next to frizz. Stearoxy Dimethicone, Behenoxy Dimethicone on the other hand aren’t bad. But again as a rule of thumb we stray far away from any.
Sulfates – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate commonly used as detergents and surfactants, these closely related compounds are found in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. About 90% of all shampoos and products that foam contain them. They are used in personal-care products because they are cheap. Shampooing the hair with a product contaminated with these substances can lead to its absorption into the body at levels much higher than eating foods with these poisons. Other research has indicated they may be damaging to the immune system.
The fact is that most of the ingredients in the products we use are absorbed by the skin and hair into the body. Chemical based cosmetic companies are continuing to use synthetic and petrochemical ingredients in personal care products. Pick up any bottle of lotion, cream, shampoo, conditioner, or toothpaste in your house right now and see how many natural ingredients they contain. Based on the FDA’s personal care products packaging standards, the further the name of an ingredient is down the list on a products’ label, the lesser of that ingredient the product contains. If this is true how much synthetic material have you fed your skin and body recently? The skin acts as a filter for the body for even the smallest molecule not seen by the naked eye is being absorbed and becoming a stock pile of toxins. This is the perfect environment for disease.
GOOD VS BAD ALCOHOLS
This group includes ethanol, SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol. These types of alcohols evaporate quickly due to their low molecular weight, and for this reason are often used as an additive to help decrease the time it takes for hair to dry. However, this can create dry, frizzy hair as it may cause the cuticle to be roughened and/or oil and water to be removed from the hair along with the alcohol (remember, these are often use as astringents for our skin for just this reason). Another function of these lower molecular-weight alcohols, particularly ethanol (SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol Denat) is to ensure the proper, even spreading of styling products onto the hair.
This group includes Lauryl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Behenyl alcohol. These larger alcohols are typically derived from natural sources, and have 12 or more carbons per molecule (typically 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20). This higher amount of carbon content makes these molecules oilier (also referred to as ‘fatty’). For this reason, they are often used as an emollient in skin and haircare products. They give a smooth, soft feeling to the hair shaft by helping the cuticle to lie flat on the surface of the hair.
MOISTURIZING OILS VS SEALANT OILS
Oils are great at delivering nutrients to the hair follicle. This is key to keeping your natural hair healthy, thick and with a beautiful sheen. Oils vary in properties. Some oils are moisturizing and some seal in moisture. When combined with certain emollients and humectants, a new moisturizing synergy is created. Typically lighter oils are able to penetrate the hair and heavy oils seal moisture in.
Coconut Oil (Moisturizer)
Coconut is an amazing moisturizing oil but also has sealant abilities also. Its amazing in water based conditioners. Great for those with damaged porosity from too much heat.
Rooibos Oil (Moisturizer)
Rooibos Oil is native to South Africa and widely popular in the states for its tea. Common in skin products and a few hair, Rooibos is highly nutritious, moisturizing, and growth stimulating. We use Rooibos in most of our products from its proven effectiveness. Oprah Winfrey is on record as saying she likes to drink rooibos tea because it is caffeine free while Dr. Oz promotes his Iced Rooibos Tea Recipe for strong, youthful nails, pointing out that rooibos contains a range of minerals such as calcium and zinc to help nails grow in stronger and healthier.
Olive Oil (Moisturizer)
Similar to coconut oil, it is great with other oils and water based products. Great for giving hair amazing sheen and shines.
Avocado Oil (Moisturizer)
Avocado Oil is a serious oil that is amazing at delivering minerals and vitamins into the hair shaft.
Argan Oil (Sealant)
Argan is used for moisture, but its sealant abilities are great. It provides protection from water loss and frizz.
Castor Oil (Sealant)
Castor oil is one of the most popular sealant oils. Its great for locking moisture for kinky hair.
Grapeseed Oil (Sealant)
Grapeseed oil is great in water based leave-in conditioner. very beneficial to those with thinner hair.
Jojoba Oil (Sealant)
Insure that your next hot oil treatment contains Jojoba oil is almost a must. Jojoba is one of the lightest oils for sealing moisture in natural hair. It’s also the closes oil in chemical structure to our own natural oils.
THINKING ABOUT GOING NATURAL OR NEED HELP MANAGING YOUR NATURAL HAIR?
First, if you haven’t already, consider using a natural product line. Chemical based products aren’t as moisturizing as natural based products. Once one comes to terms on committing to a natural hair brand, from there you have three options:
The Big Chop is the cold turkey way of cutting off all chemically effected hair. This should be done by a good pair of styling scissors or by a professional stylist. It may be difficult to style hair during the new growth phase. If styling is what you desire during your transition you may opt for one of the next two options.
Style hair naturally without any chemical based products, and allow natural hair to grow out. Once natural new growth is at desired length, cut relaxed hair at point of new growth. This option will cause two hair type textures to be in effect at the same time.
Protective Styling allows to mask new growth. Once natural new growth is at desired length, cut relaxed hair at point of new growth. This option is most costly but allows for the transition to be masked while the new growth and protective styles are made to look as one texture. Protective styles include Havanna twists, Marley locks, Senagalese twists, sew-in hair extensions, and more!
HAIR CARE FOR VARIOUS CURL PATTERNS
Natural hair can come in many curl patterns. This is due to various coil patterns which may require different products. Andre Walker, Oprah’s hair stylist, created a hair typing system that classifies the various hair textures for people’s natural state of hair. The system includes 3 main categories and 3 subcategories for each one. We have added locks to ours, and a slightly variation based our 15 plus year experience in doing hair. ZENZELE has been tested on various natural hair types. Conditioning of hair with natural/organic humectants, emollients and oils are the most important task in maintaining healthy hair. Next keeping ones hair clean will rid the hair of the continous threat of parasites that are all around us.
Kinky (Type 4)
Kinky hair needs to be conditioned two times more than curly hair because of its multiple coils, which make it more different for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. Kinky hair is the driest of them all thus making it the most fragile. Abrasive chemicals and heat rob kinky hair of it’s moisture and life. Avoid them. Deep conditioners, butters with natural humectants and emmolients work extremly well for kinky hair.
We suggest shampooing no more than once a week. But co-washes are even better for cleaning the hair and won’t robbed kinky hair of its needed natural oils like shampoos and can be done 2 – 3 times week. Only detangle when it is wet and conditioned.
ZENZELE Kink & Curl Leave in Conditioning Milk is an amazing detangler. Our Shea Shea Hair Souffle should be used everytime you shampoo and when needed. Our Kink & Curl Leave-In Conditioning Milk should be used daily along with applications of hair oil.
Step 1 Cleanse hair weekly with ZENZELE Kink & Curl Conditioning Co-Wash.
Step 2 While hair is wet, spray hair with ZENZELE Kink & Curl Leave in Conditioning Milk to detangle with a wide tooth comb for better results.
Step 3 Moisturize Hair with ZENZELE Shea Shea Hair Soufflé by working in a good amount until soufflé is fully absorbed
Step 4 Apply Sangria or Essential hair oil to scalp and massage into.
Step 5 Dissolve a small amount of either a ZENZELE hair oil or ZENZELE Twist and Lock butter in hand and rubbed over hair as to seal in moisture.
You’re on your way to Great Hair!
Curly (Type 3)
Curly hair needs to be conditioned the second least only to wavy. Curly hair has a lot of body but not much shine on it’s own. It mostly has an S shape which is promiment when it’s dry verses straight when wet. Type 3b on the other hand curls very easily when wet. Gels, Wash N Gos, Curling Creams and water based curl defining leave-in conditioner are best for Curly Hair.
3A-3B Curly Hair types can get away with shampooing 2-3 times a week. 3Bs are great with C-Washiing. ZENZELE Shea Shea Hair Souffle should be used everytime you clean your hair. Our Kink & Curl Leave-In Conditioning Milk can be used daily.
Step 1 Cleanse hair with ZENZELE Hydrate & Cleanse Shampoo or Co-Wash
Step 2 Condition hair with ZENZELE Rejuvenate & Moisturize Conditioner.
Step 3 Spray hair with ZENZELE Kink & Curl Leave in Conditioning Milk.
Step 4 3b’s Moisturize Hair with ZENZELE Shea Shea Hair Soufflé
Step 5 Let Hair Air dry for best results
Wavy (Type 2)
Wavy hair needs to be conditioned the least. Wavy hair doesn’t have a lot of body or bounce. This type of curl pattern is very resistant to heat applications like flat ironing and blow drying. Almost impossible to style because of its loose curl, gels and light leave in conditioners work best.
If you are worried about keeping your locks moisturized water, aloe vera and essential oils are the best moisturizers. This combination is the foundation of ZENZELE Lock Kit.
Step 1 Cleanse locks with ZENZELE Hydrate & Cleanse Shampoo. 2 shampoos are usually sufficient.
Step 2 Moisturize locks with ZENZELE Kink & Curl Leave in Conditioning Milk.
Step 3 Moisturize scalp and hair w/ ZENZELE Sangria or Essential Hair Oil.
Step 4 Palm roll, or interlock locks with ZENZELE Twist & Lock Butter.
The key to healthy locks is to keep them cleaned and moisturized.