As anyone with naturally wavy or curly hair knows, once you stop trying to straighten and flat-iron it into submission, and decide to find a way to make it look like the beautiful bouncy curls you see in magazines and the internet, suddenly, horror of horrors, you discover that there are hardly any ‘curl-friendly’ products out there in our Indian market.
Now, before you straight hairs turn away, this is something that could be great for your hair as well, in fact, for anyone with dry or otherwise damaged hair.
The key to having beautiful shiny hair is hydration. For years, I religiously shampooed and conditioned my hair, yet conditioner alone never seemed to be enough; my hair still looked frizzy and dry. After much research, and several youtube videos later, I realized one simple product that could really work for me was leave-in conditioner. Till date I haven’t really found one off the shelves that worked for me. Though many people suggest using just regular conditioner as a leave-in on wet hair, that alone wasn’t enough either.
Without getting into the nitty gritties of humidity factor and climate where you live or the composition of the hair shaft, suffice it to say that ‘water alone’ does not hydrate hair. Ideally, you also require humectants and emollients in varying proportions. Simply put, humectants will attract the moisture to your hair and emollients will seal that moisture in.
On that note, let’s get straight to the tutorial.
- 2 tsp aloe vera gel
- 1 tsp pure glycerin
- 2 tsp almond oil (you can also use grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil etc)
- 1 Tbsp silicone free conditioner
- 200ml filtered water
All you need is a clean spray bottle, add in the first 4 ingredients and then fill up the bottle with filtered water. Leave at least 1-2” at the top free so you can shake it up well to mix.
This should be sprayed onto wet to damp hair, freshly washed, though it can also be used to refresh dry second-day hair as well. Then use a seamless wide-tooth comb or just your fingers to distribute it through your hair.
Since this is essentially an oil-water mix, it will need to be shaken up every time you use it.
On a side note, the conditioner I used was a bit too heavy. While it worked great in the cool, dry winter months, I would use a lighter conditioner for summer. You can also play around a bit with the proportions of ingredients depending on your hair type and texture. For very dry, coarse hair, you could increase the amount of oil and/or use a heavier oil like olive oil.
For those who’re using silicones in their regular products, you can use a silicone-based conditioner if you’re happy with it as it will help smooth down damaged hair in particular. But be sure to use a shampoo that removes build-up regularly.
Here are the results on my hair after using this and leaving to air-dry. I don’t use a comb or brush on my hair at all after leaving to dry as that’s anathema to curly or wavy hair. I think it’s very shiny without looking oily.