Monday, June 1, 2015

Cleansing Conditioners

Ah, hair. The bane of the single frum girl.
An issue I have with my mane is that on Shabbos day, after being washed squeaky-clean the afternoon prior, it would be prone to frizz by the sides of my ears, which is probably the dorkiest place for frizz to appear. I feel like Ben-Gurion.
By the next day, the natural oils would have soothed the area, thereby leaving it perfect on Sunday, which is no bloody help. 

I shampoo only twice a week, but no matter how I tried to cut back on the Friday shampoo, even with my gentle, moisturizing option, followed by tactical conditioning, the fuzz was still there Shabbos day. 

One day, I found a list of "exotic" cosmetic items that are supposedly surprisingly in Target. One of which was Renpure Solutions Cleansing Conditioner

Cleansing conditioners are the new hair care products on the block. Shampoo strip and dry, especially if used daily; I constantly tell my niece, who lives in the shower, not to shampoo her thick, frizzy mane every day. She listens to me (I think) and sticks to conditioner alone. But this could be a better option.
The method is to apply 10 to 12 pumps (some may need more than that) and massage it all over the head for 2 to 3 minutes, then leave it in for another 3 to 5. 

When I first worked it into my scalp, it felt incredibly soothing. My scalp is prone to dryness and dandruff. I'm guessing shampooing wasn't helping.

I used it one week solo, but found the ends of my hair needed additional conditioning. But no ear-frizz the next day! The following Friday, I applied additional conditioner to the ends of my hair and did my usual apple cider vinegar rinse as well. Lovely.

Current Friday hair system: 
  • Cleansing conditioner;
  • Condition ends with something heavy-duty; 
  • ACV rinse; 
  • Gently squeeze out excess water; 
  • Wrap in a microfiber towel or turban (cotton towels are hard on wet hair);
  • In my case, combing my hair when wet removes any chance of drying in pretty waves. I only blow out my bangs. The rest of my hair air-dries.
  • If my ends still require my conditioning, I rub a few drops of argan oil between my palms and run it through my hair.
  • Another trick I have discovered is to twist my hair into a messy bun; this manages to tame the hair from puffy into smooth. A Shabbos friendly-move, too. 

Once I ceased heat styling my hair has responded with the cheerful healthiness. It feels softer, and I have less split ends. I get it blown sporadically, only in the case of an occasion and it would make my life easier if the strands were beaten into submission.

In the interests of full-disclosure, my hair still doesn't behave if there is any humidity in the air. There was some Ben-Gurion tufts this past week. But it's is certainly improved from before. 

There are now many options to cleansing conditioners; here's Allure's list, Huffington Post's picks, and Amazon has many highly rated options. I've got As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner for my next option.

Not won over?  No-Shampoo is, like, soooo in. However, as the article notes, it is a matter of balance, and hair type. Co-washing (as cleansing conditioner is also referred to) may not always remove all the residue (that's where my vinegar rinse comes in handy). Plus, you have to work it in, even though it doesn't lather, as one would shampoo.
Another option: It's not about all or nothing. Shampoo only once a week, while co-washing the rest of the time. (I still shampoo to wash out my weekly coconut oil hair mask. It's very necessary.)

If one regularly shampoos and then switches to co-washing, there may be an initial over-production of grease, since that is what the scalp was churning out to compensate for the shampoo's oil stripping. But in a few weeks, the head will acclimate to this less rigorous way of life.

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