Know your product!

I know that people can start feeling some kind of way about products when trying to find a new something that will do their hair good. I'...

I know that people can start feeling some kind of way about products when trying to find a new something that will do their hair good. I'm looking to downsize my product stash to an even better core of products. Why? Because when I go home for short trips, I don't take any of my products with me. I use whatever I can find at home for my L.O.C. moisturisation technique. At my flat, I use Trevor Sorbie Volume Leave-in Conditioner, my oil mix and Darcy's Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme (DB CLTC). At home, I tend to use water (I know, the horror! Water for the liquid/leave-in stage !!), extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and ORS Hairepair Intense Moisture Crème.

I've sort of been ignoring the fact that that combination always makes my hair feel so much softer than my current routine because I'm definitely a creature of habit... But why am I doing that to myself? I've definitely internalised a lot of the 'natural products are best' stuff. I think it's good to stick to basics that have known quantities such as honey and cider vinegar. But by demonising chemicals, you are actually saying that you want to live in a vacuum.

Remember H₂O a.k.a. water, the thing we all want in our hair the most? Spoilers, that's a chemical.

I like my oil mix (although I need to get back on including EVOO in it) but why am I using the expensive, product low DB Creme when I could be using the cheaper (a third of the cost in the UK) ORS which may be better for my hair?

Let's take a look at the first five ingredients after water (as these are in the highest concentrations)...

CLTC is looking good here with prducts that I definitely like to see. But two of the ingredients are the same between this 'natural' product and the 'chemical-filled' one! They are even in the same position on the ingredient list. Cetearyl alcohol, by the way, is what keeps your oils and water mixed together in an emulsion. It also determines the consistency of the product.

The alkyl benzoates are conditioners/emollients, which reduce moisture loss and can soften hair.
Polysorbate 60 helps ingredients to dissolve, which means that the product can combine more easily.

I've learnt that petrolatum, while not well-liked, is really not bad for you. It might not have any extra benefits (such as the protection against hygral fatigue with coconut oil) but to be honest if Vaseline is good enough for my lips, then petrolatum is good enough for my hair.

Even going further down the list where the concentrations are lower, there are things such as PEG 20 Hydrogenated Lanolin which sounds scary but really isn't. Hydrogenated Lanolins
' to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. They also act as lubricants on the skin's surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. The PEG Hydrogenated Lanolin ingredients function as hair conditioning agents, skin conditioning agents - emollients and surfactants.' - Cosmetics Info
All these things considered, it's no wonder that the ORS Moisture Crème leaves my double-processed hair feeling very soft. All of the water from my liquid step and the product is locked in by these numerous emollients and oils. While some of the ingredients may be superfluous, these ones at least have been demonstrated over many trials to not be harmful (and that's important to me as a scientist!).

Does Polysorbate 60 sound bad to you now? I hope not!

'Til Next Time,

(This post was brought to you by the incredible CosmeticsInfo.Org! Check it out for all your ingredient needs)

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