The humidity is rising. . . but your hair is getting smaller.
Hair that shrinks and tangles loves to shrink and tangle even more in the warm, wet weather.
What products will make your life easier when you have high shrinkage, tangle-prone hair? These. . .
Top Product for Shrinkage and Tangles: La Aplanadora Leave In
If you have the kind of hair that shrinks and tangles, then the contents of this bottle are truly gamechanging:
You know you're dealing with a different order of detangling when you see a leave in take down a spontaneous, scalp-wide root tangle after a long-term protective style.
Or when you hear a mother tell how her tenderheaded eight-year-old just composed an ode to the "yellow grease" that took away her fear of getting her thick, tangle-prone hair braided.
Put it this way: If you have hair that shrinks and tangles and draws up into dense, angry knots at the roots, especially when it's dry, then La Aplanadora Leave In could change your life.
Anyone who spends hours every week battling tangled roots, tangled ends, and ends tangled in roots will know this is an understatement.
As much as we love our hair, it's hard to love dealing with root snarls, breakage, or complex, spiderwebbing knots that take advanced Girl Scout skills and the patience of a saint to unravel.
With this amount of slip though, you don't need any of that.
As tight curls shrink, strands coil up at random, which can lead to tangling. Image by Andrea Piacquadio.
And it's more than just the detangling slip: leave ins that can get past the surface on resistant strands in the super low porosity camp are a rarity. Most just sit on the hair because the cuticle is so compact they can't get in. Not this stuff.
La Aplanadora Leave In is the type of moisturiser that penetrates. Its water-based formula blends humectants like glycerine with cationic conditioners that are attracted to the hair's surface, creating a pearly liquid that's easy for extremely low porosity hair, including 4c hair, to take in.
The moisturising effect doesn't disappear overnight, either; it can last up to 4 days if you seal it in. This is exactly what you need if you're trying to minimise manipulation and grow out your hair, but have a texture with high moisture needs.
If that wasn't enough, you can also turn to La Aplanadora Leave In to help you take down braids left in too long. Think of it as a pre-emptive detangling strategy. You apply it to the part of the braid that contains your own hair. Wait for it to sink in, then unbraid and brush through.
This way, you avoid the matting that can happen if you head straight to wash after removing extensions that have been in your hair for a while.
When it comes to tangles, La Aplanadora is like the Swiss Army knife of leave ins. If you ever end up stranded on a desert island with only one hair product allowed in your stash, take this one with you.
Products For Shrinkage and Tangles: Halka Baba de Caracol Conditioner and Halka Baba de Caracol Moisturizing Hair Mask
For some reason, used alone, neither of these products create enough slip on tangle-prone hair. Put them together though and you have a moisturising, detangling power couple on your hands.
Picture your fingers or your brush skating and sliding through your hair mere minutes after you've smoothed in your conditioner and you're close.
To get these kinds of results, start with freshly shampooed hair, then layer on Baba de Caracol Conditioner, working it in with your fingers, throughout your hair. Then start fingercombing and smoothing in Baba de Caracol Moisturizing Hair Mask.
Keep applying and working in the treatment until you have full coverage of your strands and they start to feel seaweedy. Cover your hair with a shower cap and wait 5 minutes. Then break out your flexible brush and watch it glide through.
La Aplanadora Treatment
What kind of protein treatment can detangle your hair, too? One that's creamy, and full of slip and moisture. La Aplanadora Treatment is that rare combination of deeply hydrating, and tangle-melting as well as strengthening — perfect for all who seek that protein-moisture balance.
This is the kind of treatment that will leave weak, brittle, breaking hair dramatically stronger the first time you use it. Based on keratin hydrolysates, La Aplanadora Treatment is a hair reconstructor, helping to rebuild high porosity hair and increase its ability to hold onto moisture.
And since it has no difficulty penetrating and binding to resistant strands, it's also an ideal, all-round protein treatment for low porosity and 4c hair.
Unlike other protein treatments of its strength level, it doesn't leave your hair a stiff, tangled nightmare after you use it. That's because the La Aplanadora line is formulated for "strand alignment", a method used by cosmetic scientists to improve hair combability, enhance shine and reduce breakage.
Use it once a month if your breakage is low to moderate, or once a week for three weeks straight, as a treatment plan to salvage breaking hair on the brink.
If you have super low porosity hair, try it in two treatment bursts: condition with La Aplanadora Treatment once a week for two weeks, then three weeks of moisture treatments only. After that, go back to La Aplanadora for two more weeks. For extremely protein sensitive hair, try atrActiva Keratin Rich Conditioner instead.
atrActiva Keratin Rich Conditioner
Don't let the light, liquidy formula fool you. Inside, atrActiva Keratin Rich Conditioner is packed with ceramides, guar extract and fatty acids, all alternative strengthening ingredients to protein for low porosity or protein sensitive hair.
Tightly curled hair tends to swell and get compacted in the root area -- especially on hair that's prone to root tangles. Its light consistency allows atrActiva Keratin Rich to seep easily in at the roots; right where many conditioners fail to access. Once it's in, it quickly calms puffy, stiff roots and gets to work making your strands more supple all the way to the tips.
If you have the type of hair where you can tell how close you are to wash day by the thick undergrowth of tangles and root shrinkage on your hair, try applying it before you shampoo.
atrActiva Keratin Rich's ability to hydrate on dry hair makes this stuff a powerful pre-poo. Used on dry, shrunken hair, it has an instant softening effect, loosening larger tangles and releasing shrinkage at the root. Not only will it make it easier to reach your scalp, it also helps your hair shrink and tangle less as you shampoo.
This protein-free conditioner doesn't have as much slip on wet hair. Instead, it works to reduce tangles over time, by filling and smoothing micro holes in your hair shaft that cause your strands to catch on each other.
Tight curls tend to shrink more at the roots, making them look denser than the ends. Image by Marcelo Dias.
The dosage of strengthening ingredients is gradual, designed to respect and not overload the low porosity surface. With regular use, it builds in strength, smoothness and more flexible strands, which are easier to untangle. To get the full effects as a tangle-preventing strengthening protein-free conditioner, use this after shampoo on a weekly basis for a month straight. For maximum moisture, apply it right before a hydrating treatment like atrActiva Multivitamin. To pre-poo, apply atrActiva Keratin Rich generously, up to an hour before you shampoo, working it in gently from roots to ends.
Flax seed gel
It's widely known as a go-to DIY styler, but as a tangle preventer, people are still sleeping on flax seed gel.
You can make your own at home by boiling flaxseeds in a 1:4 ratio with water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and allow to cool before you use it.
Flax seed is not a strong hold gel, and while it's slippery, it won't detangle the way a leave in that's designed to bind to your hair's surface will. Instead, its power lies in how it softens and seals hair.
On washed, conditioned hair, after you've applied and worked in your leave in, smooth in your flax seed gel, starting at the roots. The gel creates a natural seal on your hair to trap moisture and reduce the crossover that leads to tangles.
If most of your shrinkage and tangling is at the roots of your hair, this will calm them, and help lock in the bulk-reducing effects you get from a conditioner like atrActiva Keratin Rich.
Halka Baba de Caracol Sulphate Free Shampoo
This is shampoo but not as you know it. Everyone with hair that shrinks and tangles can tell you that it shrinks and tangles even more when they shampoo. With Baba de Caracol Sulphate Free Shampoo, the root shrinkage is minimal, just over co-washing levels, yet your hair feels very clean after one lather.
Since it has a mild, sulfate-free surfactant list (cocamidopropyl betaine, lauroyl sarcosinate and decyl glucoside) we'd recommend starting with a blank slate by clarifying with a deep-cleansing shampoo before you make this your main cleanser.
That will get rid of any stubborn build-up lurking on your hair, preventing it from secretly causing tangle mayhem when you're using a mild cleanser like this.
Then, you're ready to build a tangle prevention strategy, starting with this gentle but effective shampoo as the base.