Leave-in mix= Moisturizer + conditioner
I have always struggled with finding the right balance of moisture for my hair. When I bc'd a year and a half ago, I was using many protein and glycerin laden products. I was also practing a moisture retention routine where I would build up my hair's moisture balance by layering product on top of the previous days product and so on. This routine worked well for a time (and still works well in the summer), but my hair began to feel hard and dry. Two things were occuring, leaving protein conditioners/products in my hair was causing brittleness, and the glycerin that I was piling on began to pull moisture from my hair when the dry winter hit.
I needed heavier moisturizers that were protein-free so I begin using Qhemet Biologics. I soon realized that it was not a moisturize, but a sealer because of the high oil content. I then switched to using heavy butters (KBB and Jane Carter) thinking that they would count as real moisturizers. However the butters (mixes of shea, mango, cocoa, illipe) coated my hair even worse than the oils and were simply too heavy. That was where I was a week ago.
I have come to realize that all of my non-conditioner moisturizers will be coating my hair, it is just a matter of choosing something that will coat my hair without feeling heavy and/or greasy. Just wanted to give you my story so you know where I am coming from with this mixture and my level of information. I'm always open to learning more about ingredients and how they benifit or react with the hair.
Below is the mix I created and why I add each ingredient. I mix it (with spoon, duckbill clip, anything) all into a thick cream that I store in a product container to use on wash day. Some of you may have similar mixes already, but in case you don't and are at one of the road blocks that I was at, definitely give this mix a try. I only need to apply it once a week, on wash day, and I don't need to apply anymore moisturizers on top of this. I may spritz my hair with an aloe juice + water mix to refresh my hair during the week:
Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream- I have been using this for a year and it leaves my hair touchably soft. It is the only oil based product (main ingredient is castor oil) that does not leave my hair greasy and hard and I can always feel my hair when it is dry, not the oil. Castor oil does coat the hair, but I have come to realize that this is a good thing if I have moisture underneath (conditioner). You may be able to substitute this with the Qhemet Burdock Root Buttercream if you have that.
Alba Botanica leave-in (Whole Foods)- This is the richest, thickest, creamiest leave-in that I have found so far (although lacking in moisture by itself). It also has clean ingredients (aloe, agave, no heavy oils, no silicone, no protein, no parabens etc.) and is unscented (or lightly scented) so the smell won't clash with the Qhemet. The ingredients, thickness, and fragrance makes it the perfect cream base for this mixture and allow it to apply easily to damp hair.
*SheaM leave-in (online or select beauty supplies)- Great ingredients, and it adds a light dose of shea to the mixture. It has a lotion like consistency so it makes the mixture less thick, and more smooth in consistency. I only add this in more humid months (spring, summer, early fall) because of the glycerin it contains.
* Hair gel (I use Kiss My Face Upper Management because of the clean ingredients and purcahse at Whole Foods)- You can add this to the mixture for definition, although it provides great definition on it's own. This would be ideal for wash n' go days if you want to rake your moisturizer + definer in at the same time.
* Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner (Walgreens, Target, CVS, etc.)-
This is my all time favorite commercial leave-in (no silicones, protein, DMDM Hydantoin), but it is too light for the winter time and I feel that I need something more nourishing since my leave-in stays in for a week. Therefore, I add it to the mix to keep the benifits of the Suave (softness, sheen), yet still have the nourishing properties of the other ingredients. Suave also makes the mixture more conditioner-like and less thick/creamy so that application is easier.
* Add your own ingredients as you see fit
I rake this product through sections of damp hair after cleansing, and sometimes comb it through (with a wide tooth shower comb) for even application. It may look milky white on the hair for some time (half hour maybe) but it doesn't dry like that.
BC Sep. 2007
Last edited by Paraty; 02-09-2009 at 11:13 AM.