Your hair is cashmere; why wash it like it was cotton?
Somewhere along the line we picked the wrong metaphor to describe our hair. Our billowy, cloudlike curls may share the fluffiness of cotton but that's where most of the similarities end.
Cotton is a hardy, all-weather material, while our hair is delicate by design, more like cashmere, which also happens to share its fluffy natural texture. Cotton requires little care, standing up unscathed to harsh detergents and rough handling that we wouldn't dream of subjecting our cashmere items to.
We know it takes a little extra care and investment to maintain top quality cashmere; so too for our fragile, highly-prized tresses. Here's how to keep them in pristine, cashmere condition with every wash:
Use the delicate cycle You see those commercials where women pile all their hair on top of their heads and roughly swirl it altogether? That's a recipe for tangles and breakage when it comes to your delicate curls.
Instead, gently apply shampoo to the scalp, not directly to the hair, massage it in using the pads of your fingers and taking care not to disturb the natural direction of your hair. Then work the lather lightly and methodically down your tresses, squeezing it in to reach inner layers of your hair.
Rinse thoroughly with warm, not piping hot water and always follow with conditioner. For hair that is tangle prone, cut down on snarls and the resulting damage by washing your hair with your head upright (e.g. in the shower) and securing your hair in 2-4 sections, washing and rinsing each of them individually.
Handle with care Be attentive to the tools and amount of force you use when washing your hair...
Combs with teeth that are missing, too close together, or with seams (ridges on the side of each tooth; check for these carefully before using them in your hair) can cut your hair. Brushes with bobbles at the ends can trap the tips of your hair, breaking them off. And fingernails that aren't filed smooth can snag the hair, causing breakage.
While the optimal time to detangle your hair is when it's freshly washed, loaded with slippery, rich conditioner, as the hair is more flexible, damage is still possible. To avoid it, detangle your hair in sections, working your way slowly up from the tips to the roots, making sure each tangle is fully removed before you progress higher up the hair shaft. Once a section is completed, secure it well before moving onto the next.
Airdry where possible Blow dryers can yield sleek results when you use your hair's intrinsic versatility to create straight styles, but delicate curls benefit from a break from heat.
Whenever you're wearing your natural texture, opt for airdrying. Not only is there less manipulation and heat involved, but many of the products that work best on naturally curly styles, like rich creamy leave ins and smooth, defining gels, actually perform better when left to set into the hair at their own pace and at room temperature.
Use gentle cleansers You wouldn't wash your finest cashmere in washing up liquid so steer clear of harsh lauryl sulfate shampoos for your hair. These shampoos use the same main ingredient in their formulations as that of your standard bottle of dishwashing liquid.
Co-wash your hair (wash it with conditioner) for gentle cleansing and when you need to shampoo, look for shampoos that are based on laureth sulfates which undergo a process that modifies the cleansers in sulfate-based shampoos, making them gentler. If you choose a sulfate-free option avoid olefin sulfonate, and look for ingredients like cocamidopropyl betaine or decyl glycoside.
DHA Hair Care Experts