Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hair Grease?

In 14 or so years of wearing my hair in its natural state, here are some things I've learned:
  • My mane is thick (a great number of hairs on my head) and fine (individual strands are slender).
  • My hair is porous. It drinks water and water-based products like people guzzle sweet tea in NC.
  • It's prone to dryness and breakage without (a) enough moisture, (b) a proper sealant and (c) topical protein on a consistent basis.
  • The most effective protein treatments for me are often straight from my fridge -- yogurt, mayo, egg, etc. Henna is so-so, but I'll keep trying, plus I like the reddish color.
  • Combing doesn't work as well as finger detangling for me. It doesn't matter if my hair is soaking wet with conditioner or just damp. Fingers work better.
  • The best oils/sealants for me thus far are olive oil, grapeseed oil and shea butter, but they must be used sparingly and never on dry hair.
  • Straight shea butter creates build up. For me it's more effective a whipped/blended state with aloe, for example.
But what about hair grease?  Until recently, I haven't put much effort into re-visiting the things Mom used on my hair when I was a kid, but blog posts and YT videos over the past several months have piqued my interest. There's no shortage of stories out there about women having great success with minimal products + plain ol' hair grease -- Dax, Royal Crown and such. The argument still is and continues to be "do what works best for you."  

But wait... what really is "best?" The ingredients in grease aren't healthy, or at least that's what I've heard/read over the past several years. Petroleum by-product ingredients and cheap fillers clog hair follicles, are carcinogenic and will cause your thighs to double in size overnight... right?  Hmmm. Maybe.  

But perhaps it's also a more effective and less expensive sealant. Maybe it handles heat styling better than those bottles of CHI. I mean, Mom used to apply grease before searing my hair straight with the hot comb off the stove. As much as I hated it as a kid, looking back at the pics all I see are ropes of long, thick healthy hair. Back then I was concerned about reverting (of course I didn't call it that as a kid), because it meant I couldn't go swimming. I couldn't sweat my straight hair out, and I didn't want to have to go through the hot comb business any more than necessary. I didn't start having scalp issues until relaxers came into play. After relaxers, my scalp flaked and itched all the time.

All other things taken into account -- aging, environment, different techniques -- something about good ol' fashion hair grease is mysteriously appealing. Appealing enough for me to (finally) give it a shot as a natural-haired adult.

For more on my foray back to grease, including a mini-meltdown, check out this recent video.


No comments: