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FEATURES Oct 7 2012 11:36PM
1

I am interested in growing my hair. Can you please recommend some products?

ELLE SAYS:

There are some product types that I think are imperative to any hair regimen for growth and health. However, specific products will be based on the individual head of hair and will need to be determined by that person.

·  Cleanser: Whether you are a shampoo fan or avoid it like the plague, you need to cleanse your hair and scalp to remove build-up and dirt. If you don’t like shampoo, try a cleansing conditioner – just make sure it contains the proper cleansing surfactants for your routine (can cleanse silicones if you use them). For lists of cleansing agents, look them up via the Internet on sites like Cosmetics Cop.

·  Moisturizing Rinse Out Conditioner: A moisturizing conditioner should always be in your starting line up for in between wash days or after shampooing. Conditioners soften hair, assist with detangling, and coat/protect the hair.

·  Protein Rinse Out Conditioner: Even if you are protein sensitive, it’s a good idea to keep a good protein conditioner on hand if you use heat or color. I rarely do “hard” protein treatments (only after flat ironing), but like to add a shot of protein here and there. Just be sure you don’t use it everyday unless you are a protein lover. Also, make sure you are using a strengthening protein (wheat, keratin) rather than a softening one (silk, collagen) to reduce breakage and encourage retention.

·  Leave-In Conditioner: Leave-In conditioners maintain pliability and softness to our hair. These can come in several consistencies – liquid, creamy, buttery, etc. Just make sure a water-based ingredient is first on the list (usually water or aloe vera) to ensure it will provide more moisture rather than help you retain moisture (i.e., oil).
You are probably thinking this list is incomplete – where are the deep conditioners, stylers, butters/oils, and moisturizers? Stylers don’t need to “benefit” your hair per se, they are there mainly for looks, and if your leave-in is formulated correctly, it can give you the benefits from a butter/oil or moisturizer. Remember, we’re focusing on health right now. Technically, you can even use your rinse out conditioner as a leave-in, if it works for you (I do this often), and moisturizing rinse out conditioners can often act as deep conditioners if left on the hair for a longer period of time.
In addition to products, make sure you are feeding your hair from the inside out. Dehydration and vitamin deficiencies often cause hair loss and dry, brittle hair.
 

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