For everything you do right for your straight relaxed hair, we bet you’re getting some things wrong from time to time. Remember, because relaxing is a process of permanently straightening hair by chemically breaking its bonds, your mistakes are affecting texture and strength most. So, sit back and take note of these tips to go from straw to silky.
Five old school hair products best left in the past
The answer is typically yes!
When it comes to haircare (especially African haircare), hearsay information dominates. Chat to the ladies at work, check out comments on a popular beauty blog and you’ll see that everyone has an opinion. As a result, some rather dubious solutions have stood the test of time in South Africa, simply because people have passed recommendations on over the years. That doesn’t however mean that the advice is particularly good or reliable. Look at this list of products that should really go the way of the dinosaur...
1) Shoe polish
If you spot a rogue grey hair among your curls and instantly reach for liquid shoe polish as a quick fix, it’s time to think again. A golden haircare rule is to only use products designed for your hair. Shoe polish is for shoes only. No exceptions! Not only does it smell unpleasant, but it can set noticeably hard and cling to fragile hair strands, damaging them further.
Honestly, it’s not the worst idea to use nylon stockings to protect your hair at night. It’s just that you have better options. Even if you can’t afford a silk scarf or bonnet to secure your ‘do, cheaper satin makes an excellent hair wrap that won’t snag or dry out your hair strands like cotton does. The biggest issue with pantyhose is that the tightness and continual rubbing at your edges can encourage a receding hairline.
3) Methylated spirits
This one probably applies more to the guys, but if you’ve ever had a shave cut, did the barber or stylist slap purple methylated spirits on your skin after they were finished? The theory is that even though it burns, applying a finishing touch of spirits will kill bacteria and help stop post-shave irritation. The problem is that methylated spirits is a harsh chemical and alcohol solvent for industrial use. It is too harsh for sensitive human skin and scalp, and has a powerful drying function. Avoid!
Instead of shampoo, there are people out there who use soap. In fact, they tend to apply it all over. The same bar they use for washing clothes, they rub on their body and hair. The problem with using bar soap on your hair is that although it fulfils a cleansing function, its ingredient combination – including sodium palm kernelate – can strip hair of essential moisture and oils, leaving it hard, brittle and limp.
5) A toothbrush
Out of this batch of haircare ‘old faithful’ go-tos, the toothbrush is one of the more innocent tools. Combined with hair spray, you can use it to tame the baby hairs at the edge of your hairline. You can also use the small bristles to filter out lint from traditional hair brushes, combs and hairdryers. Just be wary of over-teasing your hair with a toothbrush to create volume, as some people recommend. This is because the synthetic bristles may damage the hair shaft, leading to frizz.
Even if they’ve been used for years, ultimately, it’s unwise to take a chance on a home remedy or word-of-mouth haircare solution. Speak to a professional. Stylists are up to date with the latest technological advances and discoveries in relation to grooming tools and scientifically formulated products that encourage hair health. With their guidance you don’t have to worry about damage.
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