Friday, December 11, 2009

Hair Hazards

Hello Beautiful People!
For many years Penny had been told that "too much protein is bad for your hair" but no one really explained why. This is not a beauty myth. If used too often and/or incorrectly, protein treatments can make the hair feel dry and hard; make it feel more rigid, which is associated with breakage. However, for those with seriously damaged, process or chemically treated hair it is recommended that they ask their hairstylist about protein therapy. The hair needs protein. “The fact is, that too much of any “beneficial” styling product can have negative effects. Deep conditioning treatments using cholesterol are great for very dry, coarse hair types, but will make mildly-dry medium hair types feel oily and flat, and can make fine hair types just look greasy. Protein treatments are the same. They are meant to bolster the hair that has sustained damage, and generally are not used more than once a week in more severe cases of damage.” (

In a recent post about hair care one of Penny's favorite products was mentioned; Queen Helene's Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream. Whenever Penny shared that she used this regularly, folks would become alarmed and warn that too much protein is bad for your hair. However, not all Queen Helene cholesterol products contain protein. There is a Queen Helene SUPER Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream treatment with 'choleplex' that contains keratin protein, but that is not the one I use almost weekly. In the past I have also tried protein treatments such as Infusium 123 (leave-in treatment) and  Aphogee Two Minute Reconstructor and I too experienced “dry” or “hard” hair and thought that my hair might break off. I have not used a protein treatment in quite some time but at my next visit to the salon will inquire as to whether one is needed to help improve the condition of my hair. I still suffer from breakage and dryness but have seen improvement with the use of deep conditioners and hair masks like the cholesterol cream, Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask and Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner. Penny has also been told that it is best to 'deep condition' the hair after getting a protein treatment. It is recommended that protein treatments only be done once monthly if needed. But deep conditioning can occur more frequently. (Read full story...)
In looking more closely at my beloved cholesterol treatment I realized that as much as I love the way it strengthens and softens my hair, I may need to find a more natural alternative. Why? Because it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), as well as Methylparaben, and Propylparaben...studies show that these chemicals are harsh on the hair, skin, and scalp, strips the hair of moisture, and can lead to hair loss. For example, SLS is used in most commercial shampoos as a foaming/lathering agent. It is also said that parabens are cancer causing. The National Institute of Health (NIH) did not have any posted studies to support this theory. However, there are other studies for and against this theory, and the FDA states that they are "still reviewing data."

There are a couple of paraben-free conditioners out there by brands such as Kiss My Face, and Pure and Basic. I have not found many sulfate-free 'cholesterol' conditioners out there...but Pureology Hydrate Conditioner, Herbal Choice, and Exuberance were all brands of moisturizing conditioners found online. Popular brands like Carol's Daughter and Phyto offer sulfate free and paraben free shampoos and conditioners (shop Your local natural food stores, as well as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods should have a decent selection of these products as well. Penny would just like to encourage all to read product labels carefully. There are so many choices out there that we should be able to at least make an informed choice these days.

I also wanted to share with you an interesting article called "Secrets for Faster Hair Growth"  which talks about protein vs. deep conditioning treatments. See the following link:

If anyone has product suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment. Penny and the posse would greatly appreciate it. :-)

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

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