Photos: Joey Rosado
Washing your hair of course benefits everyone, no matter what state your hair is currently in, and as simple as washing your hair can sound…unfortunately those who are transitioning have to take certain precautions to maintain high porosity strands. Though my transitional days are far behind me, stay with me as I offer beneficial solutions that helped me in the past, preventing further damage and providing optimum protection in “How To Wash Transitioning Hair”.
*click photos to enlarge
Dry Finger Detangling: Detangling your hair before washing is a must, however, the curlier the hair the more fragile because at every curling point along the strand is a potential point of breakage. Now when you add water to your strands this can quickly create tension once your strands have absorbed the water (especially along the demarcation line; where your new growth and chemically processed hair meet). Tension naturally occurs with wet hair from the natural weight of the water stretching the hair, this in return causes additional stress along every potential point of breakage. Depending on porosity levels, individual strand density and texture, dry finger detangling with oils or a butter may be a better choice to ensure less breakage, plus using your fingers sans a comb is a gentler option regarding saturated strands.
*Bonus tip: Just Say NO to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: If not stated, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is found in almost every shampoo and household cleaning product you can think of…YES, in most cases the exact same sulfate used in harsh household cleaning products to clean your garage, floors and toilets can be found in your shampoo. The reason why so many manufacturers flock towards sodium lauryl sulfate is because it is EXTREMELY CHEAP! Sulfate is basically a detergent and detergents can be extremely harsh to our delicate hair strands, stripping away our natural sebum (oils) causing dryness that can be extremely dangerous for high porosity, processed hair.
Consider a Pre-Poo or Co-Wash: All shampoos, sulfate-free or not strip the hair in some form of its natural oils. To assure minimal breakage, conditioners with good silicones containing evaporating or water soluble properties like Cyclomethicone or Dimethicone Copolyol may be great alternatives instead of shampoos for transitioning strands, but if you are dead set on using a shampoo, try to stick with sulfate-free shampoos. To further up the ante on protection from the ingredients in shampoos try a pre-poo before your washing sessions. Pre-pooing increases strength to your strands during washing. Simply section hair and saturate each section with…to find our more and additional tips on how to wash transitioning hair visit Essence.com here
As part of Essence’s newly enhanced and revamped hair channel that launched May 8th, I will have a weekly article on Essence.com, sharing tips, a bit of hairtherapy and my own personal journey.