Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cleansing Conditioner: New Hype or Hair Care Treasure?

Well, in the midst of pre-poo’s, conditioner washes (CW), deep conditioners, and leave in conditioners, emerges cleansing conditioners. They are the hottest thing on the market right now; touted for producing clean, hydrated, silky hair. The WEN cleansing system and its Sally’s Beauty knock-off, Hair One, are at the top of the cleansing conditioner list. Though I’ve done more than my share of successful conditioner only washes, I have to admit that these new cleansing conditioners did peak my interest. So let’s take a look at what makes these new products so special.
Hollywood stylist, Chaz Dean, creator of WEN, believes that sulfates in most shampoos can be very damaging and stripping to hair so he created these cleansing conditioners to clean hair without stripping it. So the question is can hair really be better off in the long run by cleansing with a conditioner. And if it does work, will a regular drugstore conditioner produce the same effect?
I’m really big on comparing product ingredients and getting the most for my money when it comes to product shopping. So let’s see what the significant difference is in these WEN conditioners and the plain ole drugstore stuff.

WEN conditioner ingredients: ($28 bucks)

Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Wild Cherry Fruit Extract, Fig Extract, Chamomile Extract, Marigold Flower Extract, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Amodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Menthol, Sweet Almond Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Methlisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Citric Acid, Essential Oils

Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet conditioner: ($8 bucks)

Water, cetrimonium bromide (and) cetearyl alcohol, sucrose ester, glycerin, honey, betaine, sclerocarya birrea oil, glucose, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, citrus aurantinum dulcis (orange) peel oil, citrus medicalimonum (lemon) peel oil, citrus tangerina (tangerine) oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) oil, polysorbate 60, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase.

Suave Biobasic Conditioner: ($4 bucks)

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethiconol, Fragrance (Parfum), Quaternium 18, Potassium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, TEA Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Rosemary Extract (Rosemarinus Officinalis), Sorbitol, Goldenseal Extract (Hydrastis Canadensis), Glycerin, Algae Extract

From the looks of it, no significant difference can be seen between these conditioners, other than the price tag. In fact, Burt’s Bees seems to be packed with substantially more cleansing ingredients, the citrus oils, than the WEN. Of course, it's important to understand that heavy product users will not be able to get a real good clean with conditioner only; you will need a good clarifying shampoo. But for all others, conditioner only washing is a great way to keep hair moist and clean.
As an avid conditioner only washer, I don’t see any reason to jump on this new hair care hype. So I’m gonna stick with my old favorites. Why don’t you check it out for yourself?

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Battle for Thickness

The average woman spends hundreds of hours washing, drying, and styling her hair each year, yet many are not always happy with their results. If you have thin and fine hair, then how to thicken hair is a constant search. As we grow older, there is a tendency for our hair fibers to become finer and shorter over time, but years may elapse before any obvious difference is seen. Because “fine” is not necessarily thin, you should understand what fine hair really is."Fine" refers to the diameter of a single strand. So, you can have fine hair that's abundant, because you can have many individual strands per square inch. You can also have fine and thin or thinning hair, which means you've got strands that are small in diameter and on top if it, you don't have a lot of them.
So, exactly what is the prescription for getting rid of dry brittle hair and growing shiny, thick, bouncy hair? Let’s look at some factors of hair health. Healthy hair starts from the inside, at the root of each follicle, the blood supply that feeds it and the nutrients we consume play an important part of the process. The consumption of nutrients and the blood supply to the roots of the hair affect the hair growth. Vitamin B in all its forms is a key player to thicker hair and the prevention of hair loss. It is also reported that an iron deficiency can cause a woman’s body to stop producing hair until the iron is replaced. Foods high in iron are liver, lean red meat, chicken, pork, salmon, egg yolk, pumpkin seeds, dried peas and beans, bran, blackstrap molasses, prune juice, raisons, peanut butter, apricots, green beans, walnuts, cashews, pecans and almonds. Iron absorption is increased by Vitamin C, so it seems we also need to make sure we get the recommended amount of that nutrient by eating oranges, grapefruit, potatoes, broccoli and brussel sprouts, red and green peppers, tomatoes, cabbage and collard greens. Nutritionists say that too little protein in a diet can cause dull hair and a loss of luster. We can get the protein that is recommended daily from meat, chicken and fish as well as soy and milk products and even stinging nettles (boiled).
Apart from having a balanced diet, essential oils can also be used to promote thicker hair. Having your veggies, nuts, and eggs in the recommended quantities will be very beneficial for the health and beauty of your hair.
In short, our nutrition has the most noticeable and consistent impact on the health of our hair. So eat healthy and grow healthy!