Friday, August 23, 2019

Why Is My Hair Dry?

The most common question I get about hair is how to combat dryness. It's no secret, kinky hair is known to be dry. Let's go back to the evolution. People who have kinky hair are of African descent. Kinky hair is designed to protect the head from UV rays of the hot African sun. Our ancestors had resources to care for their hair in our natural habitat. But then...there was this thing called the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and everything that came along with that. A lot of grooming practices were lost and we also did not have access to resources to care for our hair like shea nut butter, palm oil, and other oils. But what did we do? We improvised. Like we always do, using lard and other cooking greases as moisturizers.

Namibia, Himba grooming hair
Prior to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, African women took great pride in their hair. Hair grooming was communal, used as bonding time among women in the tribe. They took great care to style and adorn each other's kinky tresses. Fast forward, those traditions are still a huge part of our culture. The hair salon is a place women go to, not only, care for their hair but to spend time with other women. What's the difference? The products we use given to use in our hair are made in a laboratory instead of coming from the earth.

As a student of the industry, I've found that hair products are not designed with the needs of African-Americans. They are marketed to us. They may have our faces on the packaging but what's in the bottle is not for us. Trust me. It was developed with the needs of straight hair in mind. Kinky hair tends to dry out when it is time to shampoo while straighter hair gets oily when it's time to shampoo. With that in mind, shampoos are meant to remove the oils and build up from the hair as well as the scalp....leaving kinky hair feeling dry. Then we are searching for a product to replenish all of the oils we stripped from our hair during the shampooing process. EXHAUSTING!
The lather is designed to take the oil away with the dirt

I've been making hair products to counter the drying effects of shampoo for about 5 years. It wasn't until the past 2 years that I had my "Ah ha!" moment. IT'S THE SHAMPOO!! My hair was much more manageable when I used a moisturizing shampoo or no shampoo at all. So, I started doing the research. How can I cleanse the oil and build up from my scalp and hair without stripping my hair of the moisture it needs? After trying many shampoos, conditioners, co-washes and other apple cider vinegar concoctions, I came across a clay wash. 

When I first heard about clay wash, I had my concerns but I had no doubts that I had found "the one" after the first use. My hair was soft and manageable. My scalp was clean and free of "I work out 4 days/week" build up. You don't need to focus on deep conditioning, hot oil treatments, leave in conditioners, LOC method and all of these other post shampooing methods of moisturizing if your shampoo doesn't strip your hair in the first place. Although, there are times when you may still need them. Now don't beat me up, I know there are times that your hair needs a clarifying shampoo but if you are experiencing extremely dry hair, I wouldn't suggest clarifying shampoo for every wash day.

Granted. There are lots of reasons, aside from products, that can cause kinky hair to be dry:
  • Dehydration
  • Undernourishment
  • Medication
  • Split Ends
  • Color/Chemical Procession
I ask a lot of questions before I make product recommendations for dry hair. Once all of the other factors are ruled out, it's probably the shampoo that's drying your hair out. Most definitely. If you're willing to do a little experiment, I can guarantee that you will agree with me. 

Is Shampoo Making My Hair Dry?
  1. Discontinue using any shampoo
  2. On your next wash day
    1. Do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse on your scalp
    2. Use a conditioner that you already have like a shampoo
  3. Style your hair as usual
What do you think? Hair less dry? Hair more manageable? I figured. Now try Fancy Free's Clay Wash. Wet your hair. Massage the clay wash on to your scalp and length of your hair. The clay wash does not lather. The clay and apple cider vinegar lifts residue from the scalp and hair follicles allowing it to be rinsed away. Detangle. Rinse and repeat. Let the clay wash sit for 2-5 minutes. Rinse. Style as usual. Even my hair stylist liked that it didn't require an extra step of conditioning.

NOTE: If you have a lot of scalp build up, try an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse prior to using the Clay Wash. This will assist with cleansing the scalp thoroughly.

We recommend applying Fancy Free Milk for Hair & Skin to help with further detangling before styling. For styling wet hair (twist outs, braid outs, etc.), comb a little Fancy Free Whipped Shea for Hair & Skin concentrating on the ends. You will probably need less product after using the clay wash because....your hair isn't being dried out at the shampoo stage.

Clay Wash has been a game changer in our household. My son's cornrows last longer, my daughter's wash and go isn't as frizzy, my husband has noticed less dandruff, and my twist outs have been flourishing. We tested 16 different trials of this formula before offering it to our Fancy Friends. Give Clay Wash a chance. Let us know what you think.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

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