Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Guide To Hair Oils.

Trinidad is home to multiple ethnicities and races, resulting in an incredible variety of hair textures. 
 My niece (in the middle) and her friends in Trinidad and Tobago.

Despite the differences, there was one unifying hair ritual across the island. Everyone rubbed oil into hair to keep it healthy and shiny. From coconut oil to Vaseline to Crisco (well…maybe not Crisco), everyone dutifully oiled his or her hair. However, as the years passed, we realized that oil actually stifles the scalp, i.e. - it can’t breathe which results in hair loss.

The Evolution of Oil-Based Products
With the introduction of hair masks, it became common knowledge across the industry that moisture came from water-based products, not oil ones. Hair masks took the market by storm for years leaving oily treatments in the dust.

Silicone, an oil substitute, was introduced to help women fight the good fight against frizz. But once low-grade silicone products flooded the market, interest in them began to wane as over use left hair super limp. 
 When Moroccan oil products entered the market, ladies went crazy!! In Trinidad and Tobago, to this day, you can’t keep them on the shelves...
  Moroccan oil is wonderful for hair. But like anything else, if it’s overused it will have the reverse effect. (A lightweight oil is now available which helps…)

Don’t Do This…
The challenge with oil is…it’s not made to be used everyday, not even every other day. When it’s overused, the hair absorbs too much, which leaves it limp. Some people apply oil every time they style their hair with a flatiron. That's too much. Think of when you pour oil on a piece of fabric. It’s hard to remove right? Hair is similar; it holds on to oil.

The Correct Way to Apply
Always start with the smallest bit of product. Less is more. Work from the ends up, avoiding the scalp.

Last time I was in Tobago, I had my niece put Moroccan oil on her hair prior to swimming in the ocean. When she came out of the salty water, her hair was gorgeous!!
 Avoiding Build-Up
Use an oil-based product only after shampooing. When applying oil, it’s important that hair is clean. Make sure your shampoo is strong enough to remove any excess build-up. If you’re using a Moroccan oil moisture base shampoo, beware it can make the problem worse by adding more oil.

I recommend using Sunday shampoo by Bumble and Bumble about once every two weeks. This will leave the hair and scalp clean allowing you to start with a fresh canvass.
  If your hair is fine, you should be very careful. Moroccan oil is intense and may not be for you. If you have thick hair, you’ll still need to be careful. Remember the idea is for your hair to be soft and shiny with life. Not an oil slick!

Safe for Color-Treated Hair?
If you dye your hair, don’t use oil as it can remove color. I worked with a hairstylist in L.A. who only used natural oils to remove hair color…seriously!

Antonio Gonzales


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