Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's Talk Hair: EMOLLIENTS For Shiny Hair

Hola Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone.

Ok, so we all are or have been in a search for the latest greatest product that promises to do something that many of us wish to have..Achieve healthy and shiny hair. Well, we ask the question..what is that makes hair so shiny? Why are some tresses more shiny than others?

Well, here's the skinny on hair and dryness. Curly, Kinky or Coily hair texture tends to be dryer although all scalps produce the same amount of oil. The reason straight hair and wavy hair looks shinier is that due to the straighter texture, it is easier for the oils to spiral down the hair strand, whereas with curlier hair, the oils do not make it down the strand of the hair. now that we've gotten that out of the way. There are ways to keep curlier hair moisturized: deep conditioners, using sulfate free shampoos, cool water and apple cider vinegar rinses, etc. Ok, yea, that's all fine, but how do I get my hair to  not only feel moisturized, but 'look' shiny as well? Hmmm...very good question, so let's delve into how to get the hair to not only feel but look shiny too!!!

  • Emollients are commonly referred to as ingredients that soften or treat dry skin. They are usually forms of oil or grease. And they work by increasing the skin and hair's ability to hold water. Now, water is the absolute best and truest moisturizer, but because it evaporates quickly, it can be ineffective once the hair dries. This is where other emollients come in to play. Water, because it evaporates quickly, needs to be held on the skin or hair by emollient oils in what is called emulsion. 


Synthetic emollients are occlusive i.e. they coat the skin and do not allow it to respire (much like plastic wrap), which can cause skin irritation. So, basically they coat the hair, but do not allow moisture to penetrate which in turn causes dryness and many times frizziness, once the emollient is removed. Some synthetic emollients can accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. They are also non-biodegradable, causing a negative environmental impact. 

Types of Synthetic Emollients

  • PEG compounds (eg PEG- 45 Almond Glyceride) may contain the toxic by-product dioxane 
  • Synthetic alcohols (anything that contains the phrase benzyl –, butyl-, cetearyl-, cetyl -, glyceryl-, isopropyl-, myristyl propyl-, propylene-, or stearyl-) eg Isopropyl Palmitate, Diglyceryl Caprylate) have been shown to cause allergies and dermatitis. 
  • Hydrocarbons (eg mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin) contain carcinogenic and mutagenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and can cause chemically induced acne. 
  • Silicone Oils (eg dimethicone, cyclomethicone, copolyol) can clog the skin like plastic wrap and cause tumours when painted on lab animals (according to the Material Safety Data Sheet supplied by the manufacturer).

Natural emollients actually nourish the skin and care for it. They are metabolised by the skin’s own enzymes and absorbed into it. They are readily biodegradable and are of edible quality.

Types of Natural Emollients
  • Jojoba
  • Avocado
  • Rosehip 
  • Shea, 
  • Cupuacu
  • Cocoa
  • Jojoba Butters
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Avacado Oil
  • Borage Seed Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil 
  • Hazel Nut Oil
  • Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Mango Butter
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Rose Hip Oil 
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Walnut Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil

If you all follow me on my youtube  or my  Facebook you may have heard me say that I use a either water or a water based moisturizer first, then seal using my O'Natural Natty Butter for sealing in the moisture and providing sheen. Or I will melt my butter down to an oil form for an after styling sheen. I love the Natty Butter because it contains a lot of the natural emollients listed above and works wonders for the health and shine of my hair. You can select any of the following natural emollients, mix them together and apply to your hair for a wonderful after style sheen..

So, bottom line, curly hair is not naturally shiny due to the texture and the inability of the natural oils to flow down the hair we have to help the hair out by first adding moisture to it (water based moisturizer) and then holding the moisture in (adding a butter or oil based sealer).

Hope this helps, Naturals...Have A Happy Healthy Shiny Hair Day!!


  1. Can't wait to get my Natty Butty and try out this technique!

    And as always, your hair looks lovely!

  2. Ladies!!! Thank you so much for your compliments..Now go out and shine your tresses up..the beautiful thing is that this is obtainable for anyone!!

    @ ifthesekinkscldtalk...Goooo Team Natty!

  3. I would like to add that another reason curly hair is not as shiny as straight or wavy hair is because the cuticle is not flat on curly hair and so light is not as reflective...
    P.S. I just found your blog and am enjoying it.

  4. Beautiful shine, Nique! I have the same process for keeping my naps shiny - spray with water first, seal using my everyday mix of jojoba, sesame, argan, coconut oil made solid by shea butter. Keep up the great work!

  5. Thank you all so much for your comments!!

    @ Bridgit, great point, thanks for the reminder!!

  6. why is not olive oil listed

    1. excuse me sorry! i saw olive oil

  7. 3 Studies REVEAL Why Coconut Oil Kills Waist Fat.

    This means that you literally kill fat by eating coconut fats (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medical magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world around!