Ever feel like you apply product and apply product and apply product... but nothing ever changes? There's a chance that those products are not actually making their way into your hair shaft, also known as penetration. Some products have properties that do penetrate, and some do not penetrate.
First of all, what's the difference?
Products that penetrate: contain ingredients that the hair absorbs into the hair shaft
Products that don't penetrate: contain ingredients that merely coat the outside of the hair shaft
This is why sometimes your hair still feels dry even with a glossy layer of product applied to it. This can give the illusion of shine without actually giving your hair the moisture it needs. When you put in the time and money into applying products to your hair, you want to know that all your efforts are not done in vain. You want to see your products actually working, and we can't blame you.
Make it your mission to use products with ingredients that your hair absorbs, and don't waste your time on the ones that don't penetrate. Which ones are those, you ask? We'll break it down for you.
Ingredients that Do and Don't Penetrate
Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum)
If you see mineral oil listed as an ingredient in one of your products, be aware that because it is composed of large molecules, it merely coats the hair and clogs the pores on your scalp.
This ingredient is extremely thick and lubricating but blocks your pores. It is a derivative of crude oil and can contribute to build-up from the accumulation of dirt and residue.
Typically found in conditioners and serums, silicones can make your hair seem soft and smooth but that’s just on the surface. That layer of product can actually prevent your curls from absorbing products that can moisturize your hair.
Although this oil can be helpful in creating a protective barrier that fights against humidity, it doesn’t penetrate the surface.
This ingredient is extremely thick and lubricating, but it blocks your pores. This ingredient is also a derivative of crude oil and can contribute to an accumulation of dirt and residue, which could then lead to dryness in the long run.
Depending on who you talk to, this can be the miracle cure for a lot of your moisturizing products. Unless there are issues with your hair surrounding porosity, this oil helps to soften your curls and assists in retaining moisture.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this popular oil used for cooking and beauty gets into the inner layer of your curls and increases elasticity. This means your hair is more supple and less likely to suffer damage from breakage.