The Science of Hair
Hair strands are made up of layers. Most people have two layers and some people have three. The Cuticle is the outermost layer of hair and protects the strand like shingles on a roof. It is translucent and provides protection. The Cortex is the inner layer that gives hair its color and is made of protein. The protein is like a rope, keeping the structure.
Acidic components like Lemon or Apple Cider Vinegar will cause the cuticle to shrink and harden. This doesn’t let things in and is best for environmental protection.
Alkaline components like baking soda, certain oils and water will cause the cuticle to swell up and soften. This is most hair masks. This is good for getting hydration into your hair but you must rinse with an acid to close the cuticle afterwards.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are required to nourish your hair. We do get this naturally from our diets but it helps to strengthen the hair shaft when added.
You need deep conditioning if:
If your hair is frizzy, brittle, breaks easily, has split ends, or looks dull then you need some deep conditioning. Deep conditioning is a little different from extra hydration because to deep condition you need more protein.
How to build your own hair mask:
1. The Basics: Oil-Base-Protein
Every basic DIY Recipe will need an oil, a base, and a protein. You can mix and match to find the best for you.
Thicker oils work best on hair especially near the ends.
- Heavy oils with Oleic Acid – castor or coconut oil. Work better to penetrate hair.
- Light oils with Linoleic Acid- grapeseed oil- can still be used and is easier to wash out.
The base is what makes the mask masky. It holds everything together in a mask consistency. Some bases double as proteins.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe vera has fatty acids and amino acids and is rich in vitamins A, B12, C, and E. Use store bought get or buy an aloe leaf from the store and spoon out the interior.
- Avocado- Avocados are loaded with potassium and protein. Just mash an avocado like you are making guac.
- Mayo-Mayo has an amino acid called L-cysteine. This due to addition of lemon juice and vinegar. It also has eggs for protein. Just use a scoop or two from the jar.
Like I said earlier some proteins can double as bases. That makes mixing and making even easier. Protein is necessary for hair repair masks.
- Collagen Powder- add to any mask for added protein
- Yogurt- Can also be used as a base and has all 9 essential amino acids
- Eggs- Crack one in for some protein.
DIY Recipes for Deep Conditioning Hair Mask.
1. Deep Conditioning for Thin Hair
1 tbsp Olive oil
2. Shea and Almond for very think course hair
1 tbsp shea butter – melted or whipped
1 tbsp Coconut oil – liquid (can be melted with shea butter)
1/2 c Almond milk
1 c ground oats
3. Banana Parfait – Good for all hair types
1 tbsp honey
1/2 c yogurt
2 tbsp avocado oil
After the Mask:
First- normally we wash our hair after the masks but this one is different since it is deep conditioning we want to wash our hair first and apply the mask as conditioner. – Wash your hair in warm-hot water and towel dry. Add the mask to ends first and work your way up avoiding the scalp.
Leave on as long as possible. Use a warm towel or shower cap to cover the hair while it penetrates deep. When you’re ready to rinse please do so with cool water.