Happy New Year! Okay, so it’s very strange to have my first post of 2016 be about hair, but there’s too much stuff going on (or not enough? stuff going on) in my professional life to post. And I don’t want to devolve into complaining. So let’s talk about what I am excited about, and that’s hair.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been struggling with scalp issues (dry, itchy scalp) for about two years. Before this, I never had scalp problems. I think being a product junkie triggered an imbalance (I particularly noticed a problem after using a bentonite clay based hair wash.) It’s taken me two years to find a shampoo that doesn’t dry out my hair, and at the same time doesn’t leave my scalp dry and itchy (this could also be due to product being left on my scalp.)
I want to note here that this scalp problem has caused slow growth, and some hair loss and thinning.
Initially, I used Aveda Scalp Benefits, which worked enough. That is, it reduced the itchiness, but didn’t get rid of the small flakes I had due to dryness. After this, I tried Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap shampoo formula. It’s for people with dandruff and various forms of scalp dermatitis. Yes, it got to a point where I thought I had a form of dermatitis. This formula worked for a few washes, but then stopped working, and actually made the itch and dryness worse.
I had some Aveda Rosemary Mint lying around (an Aveda consultant/stylist recommended that I use it once a month while using the Scalp Benefits), and I decided to use it, as the first time I used it, it didn’t dry my hair out and I don’t remember being super itchy a few days out from wash day. Welp! I’ve decided that I am going to use this formula as my regular shampoo.
I haven’t had any flakes, and my scalp is better than it’s been in the past two years.
Now onto new products! Shea Moisture has just released a line of low porosity and high porosity hair lines. I’ve linked resources that define these two types of porosity, but they are not that great. So do your own research.
Working with my hair, I do not use or purchase products according to my curl pattern, which is 4a. I work with porosity, ph, and hair strand density. In other words, I have fine hair strands that are highly porous. The key to maintaining hair growth is to use products and processes that reduce tangling and dryness, which cause breakage. I pre-treat with coconut oil and conditioner. This allows me to do a small amount of dry detangling before I wash. My HG conditioner is Aussie Moist. I use it to pre-treat and then detangle after washing.
Okay, all of that to get back to the new Shea Moisture lines. I have highly porous hair, and selected the High Porosity Moisture-Seal masque. I found both High and Low porosity lines at Target. I first saw the High Porosity line at a Target in Pennsylvania (I think it was the Cheltenham/Wyncote location). I didn’t purchase because it was the holiday, and I was low on funds. Anyway, after I left Pennsylvania, I was kicking myself because I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to find it once I got back home. But, as you can see below, I found it at my local Target!
This line has a shampoo, co-wash, styler, and a deep conditioning masque. I decided to try the masque only because Shea Moisture products haven’t worked for me. I don’t co-wash anymore because I think this is one of the things that set off my scalp problem. I will not try the shampoo, but might try the styler, though, I do have an HG styler.
I had low expectations for this product. I’ve tried three different Shea Moisture masques: Coconut Hibiscus, Raw Shea Butter, and the African Black Soap Plantain. They did absolutely nothing for my hair. I didn’t feel like they moisturized or protected in any way.
So I was pleasantly surprised when I sank my fingers into the High Porosity Moisture-Seal Masque. Amazing! Seriously. It is rich, creamy and moist. I think it is because the first few ingredients are moisturizing alcohols. It supposedly contains Mongongo and Hemp seed oils…I don’t trust Shea Moisture, but it very well could contain micro amounts of these oils. It also contains apple cider vinegar (ACV), which, with its low ph (around 3) helps close the hair cuticle (locks in the moisture); though, I don’t know how ACV reacts when combined with other ingredients.
I’ve heard other curlies describe a conditioner that melted their tangles, but I had never experienced it until now. Upon first use, I used way too much because a lot of it stayed on my hands (this is how rich it is, and not rich in that thick way, but in a creamy way.) The scent is like a cheap, men’s cologne, but not offensive.
This contains mild proteins, which is good for fine natural hair. I can’t use heavy proteins because they dry my hair out.
I have nothing left to say about this except that I will continue to use it unless it does something weird to my hair.
4/5 curls from me! I gave it 4/5 because the price ($12.99) was higher than what I’ve paid for other Shea Moisture masques.
Check out the High/Low Shea Moisture lines at your local Target. I think they may be slowly rolling these out, so if you don’t see it there, check back! The Low Porosity line comes with a bright orange label and is protein-free.
BTW, it looks like they are introducing Detox and Refresh, and Frizz Defense lines, too. I’m not messing with those tho, :).