Adding a hair mask to your natural hair routine
Whether you suffer from dry, damaged hair, or you are looking to reduce frizz and bring life to otherwise dull, lifeless hair… there isn’t much that a hair mask can’t solve! Hair masks can come in the form of a cream or butter. Hair masks are most commonly overlooked in the haircare routine. This is because our focus is usually on shampoos, conditioners and styling products. What we often forget, is treating our hair before we wash.
Why protect our hair throughout the wash process?
Washing our hair is essential but did you know that the wash process can be quite damaging to the hair? Depending on your hair type, lifestyle and hairstyles you wear, washing your hair might be an everyday thing or it could be a weekly thing. However, there is such a thing as under and over-washing hair. Infrequent washing of the hair causes a buildup of dead cells, product residue, oil and bacteria, all of which can cause damaged hair. Over-washing, especially for those with dry and damaged hair, can cause extra friction on the hair resulting in further damage.
When washing hair, product and water will lather and emulsify to disperse grease and oils on the scalp and hair. The hair cuticles will expand and deflate as the hair takes on water. Depending on your hair porosity, your hair shaft may take on more or less water during the washing process. For example, someone with high porosity hair which is extremely porous will take in more water during the washing process than other hair types.
Taking on more water will cause the hair fibres to go through expansion (swelling) and deflation back to normal when dry. This process is not necessarily a bad thing if you wash your hair once every week. However, on average, people wash their hair every 2 or 3 days. This is where some form of protection comes in, to ensure that the hair and scalp maintain essential oils and ensuring your hair doesn’t take on extra friction with expansion and deflating as water is added.
Protecting your hair with hair butter
Hair butter can be used for numerous things when it comes to hair. It can be used as a leave-in treatment, as a styler and some hair butter, can even be used for severely dry skin on the scalp and body! Hair butter is usually made out of a mix of lightweight butter and oils and some include essential vitamins. What we want to highlight in this article is how you can incorporate a hair butter into your routine.
We find the best way is as a pre-wash before shampooing! You may have heard the term “pre-poo” which simply means pre-shampoo (not some crazy poop you do after your morning coffee!!). Incorporating hair butter into your routine as a pre-wash can protect your hair while washing, help your hair retain essential oils and moisture and yield you a better post-wash result!
Do’s and Dont’s of using hair butter
- Use hair butter as a pre-wash treatment by adding it to the dry parts of your hair (usually the ends). Follow the directions on the hair butter product you have as it may have different requirements for how long you can keep it on for.
- Less is more! Butters are heavy for a reason. Try a smaller amount when you first try and experiment with how much you need.
- Apply butter to the ends of your hair. Usually, the ends and the shaft of the hair are the dryest and most damaged part of the hair and they need it most!
- Use hair butter when styling your hair in hairstyles such as braids or twists. The butter will help the hairstyle hold and give it a good moisturise while the hairstyle is in place. You can even use a small amount on your scalp for those with dry scalps.
- Don’t apply hair butter before going out into the sun.
- Don’t mix hair butter with a heavy styling cream or heavy sealant. Hair butter is heavy and mixing it with other products can cause product build-up!
- Don’t use too much hair butter. If you’re layering hair butter on, you may need to wash more than once with shampoo to remove the product. Remember, less is more.