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Healthy hair 101.

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Three Steps to Moisture

Your beautiful kinks and coils soak up all the moisture you put in, especially if you have high porosity hair. Whether you're brushing your hair, creating a bomb twist-out or using another protective style, your natural hair needs to stay moisturized at all times. Dryness may stem from a lack of water, unhealthy diets, using low-quality products that contain drying ingredients to not sealing in moisture once it's applied. Naturals know that moisture is the key to length retention and achieving the best looks for your kinks and coils. Here are 3 steps to keep your hair lusciously hydrated at all times.

Hydration is Key (this is why your hair is dry)

We don't know who came up with the idea that naturally curly women shouldn't use water or humectants as a moisturizer, but we are busting that myth right now! If water and/or a humectant isn't one of the ingredients in your conditioners or moisturizers then you're doing it wrong. It's okay though sis, we've got you covered!


Products like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream uses potent natural ingredients like olive and castor oils, water, glycerin and botanical infusions to promote extreme moisture and hydration. Now, water alone won't keep your hair as moisturized as it needs to be as water evaporates. If you want those kinks to really pop you are going to have to seal the water in with an oil or butter. Remember that moisturizing also starts from the inside out. Drink tons of water to keep your hair moisturized too!


Creams and Oils for Sealing Moisture

After using a water-based conditioner, you'll need to seal the moisture in or else your strands will be left feeling dry and tangled. I know what you're thinking. Why should I seal moisture into my hair? Simply because water alone isn't heavy enough to keep the moisture in those curls. All natural hair queens want their crown to look bouncy, shiny, and lively. The only way for some people to achieve this look is with a butter or oil (depending on your hair type). This method is sometimes referred to as the LOC method. L = Liquid (water-based products) O = (oils) C = cream.


Instead of being stuck on how others treat their hair, use different methods and see which ones work best for your naturally coily hair. While your hair is still wet or damp after using a water-based conditioner like our Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee, apply a serum to your hair. Our
Castor & Moringa Softening Serum is perfect for sealing moisture into high porosity hair. Lastly, make sure the moisture doesn't evaporate. Keep your hair soft and hydrated without the need to reapply products by reinforcing the conditioner and serum with a heavy moisturizing cream like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream or the lighter Burdock Root Butter Cream. Start from the ends and hydrate all of those coils. Remember, the ends of your hair are the most fragile, oldest pieces of hair so you need to keep them hydrated and protected. Before you say it, I know what you're thinking, what about low porosity girls? Our Coconut & Green Tea Softening Serum is the perfect oil to lock moisture into low porosity hair.


Beware of the Following

We went over the basics of using water-based conditioners, creams, and butters/oils to seal everything in. We still need to chat about the ingredients that are found in curly girl hair products which cause more damage and dehydration than anything. Keep this list handy, screenshot it or write it down because these are the ingredients you'll want to avoid when looking for hair care products:

  • SD alcohol
  • Harsh cleansing agents like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
  • Silicones
  • Mineral/Petroleum/Petrolatum Oils

Look at the labels of some of the products in your natural hair collection right now. If these ingredients are listed anywhere on the labels get rid of them. These ingredients aren't healthy for our hair let alone our body. Using natural ingredients that stem from the earth is the best bet for achieving a healthy, hydrated mane.


Your Hair is Ready to Flourish

Now that you have these tips, check out the healthy hair collections below to begin your journey towards maximum health, moisture and growth.

 

hair porosity 101.

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Determining Hair Porosity & Finding Your Best Products

By Qhemet Biologics

Porosity refers to how readily your hair absorbs moisture. Knowing the porosity of your hair matters because it'll help you choose the products best suited to your hair's unique characteristics. Afro/coily hair tends to either be high or low porosity, however, it is possible to experience a combination of these due to hair treatments such as color or straightening.


Characteristics of Low Porosity Hair

You have low porosity hair if leave-in conditioners, butters and creams sit on top of your hair and weigh it down instead of being absorbed. This is because the hair cuticles tightly hug the hair's cortex which prevents moisture from easily penetrating. Because of this, low porosity hair will need light yet penetrating moisture, like our Burdock Root Butter Cream, to keep it soft throughout the day without it feeling heavy or greasy.


Characteristics of High Porosity Hair

High porosity hair readily absorbs moisture but also releases it quickly due to its raised cuticles, which causes hair to feel dry again shortly after applying products. You'll need to use products that are not only capable of adding moisture to the hair but of locking it in as well. Use a rich oil blend like our Castor & Moringa Softening Serum to trap moisture in and keep it from leaking out. An intense moisturizing cream like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream also works wonders on high porosity hair, keeping it soft and hydrated for days. There's one way to determine your hair's porosity with certainty once and for all: drop it into a glass of water and watch if it sinks or swims. Sinking hair indicates high porosity while floating hair indicates low porosity.


Hair Types

3A? 4B? 4A? Which one am I? Type 1 and 2 hair is straight to wavy. Type 3 hair refers to hair that has a slightly tighter wave or curl pattern. Type 4 hair is clearly kinky and coily.

Curly hair is described as hair that contains bends. Each letter that describes curly hair refers to how close each bend is along the hair strand. For example, a strand of 4C hair will contain numerous, closely spaced bends and twists along its length while the bends and twists along 4A hair will be spaced further apart. The closer and more angular the bends, the kinkier the hair will be.


Products that Work for Your Hair

You're not destined to have dry, rough or damaged hair. In fact, knowing the porosity of your hair can help guide your product selections and help you reach your hair goals more quickly.

If you have low porosity hair, the trick is to get the products past tight cuticles so they can do their job. For this, you'll want to stick with products that attract moisture (humectants), and avoid products that have a low pH as these will seal the cuticle even more. Products containing vegetable glycerin and natural olive, coconut, green tea and moringa oils offer softness, slip and lubricity and are designed to soften hair and skin. Applying products while your hair is wet will also provide some additional moisture to lock in. The use of our Burdock Root Butter Cream, Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee and Coconut & Green Tea Softening Serum will give your low porosity hair the pampering it needs. All three products contain a variety of ingredients best suited to low porosity hair.

The trick to moisturizing high porosity hair is to keep moisture in once you've applied it. Whether your cuticles are damaged from heat, straightening or chemical processes, you'll want to choose hair products that have a lower pH to tighten the cuticle. Thick butters and oils will help to serve as an additional protective layer. Our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream is ideal for high porosity hair as it contains heavy oils like olive and castor that attract and retain moisture. Our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream also contains a variety of natural ingredients that support healthy hair growth to help grow out damaged hair. You'll need to handle this texture gently which means using a rich, creamy detangler to help flatten the cuticles and make combing with a wide tooth comb easier and painless. Use our Castor & Moringa Softening Serum to keep hair soft and supple, even overnight. Pure castor and moringa oils are perfect for high porosity hair and are rich in fatty acids.

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Shop the carefully curated collections below, based on porosity, to begin your journey towards maximum moisture, health and growth!

 

Better than shea?

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Is Shea Butter right for you?

Shea butter is often promoted as a beneficial hair dress, especially to naturals who struggle with chronic dryness and breakage, but is shea butter right for you? Most products for natural hair contain shea butter because of the one sized fits all industry approach to natural hair care.  At Qhemet, we recognize the diversity in afro/coily hair and have chosen to create shea butter-free formulas that contain alternative healthy hair ingredients such as castor, olive, green tea and moringa oils and cocoa and mango butter instead. Here's why:


Luster & Flexibility

Out of the range of plant butters available, many naturals choose shea because it's in everything and many aren't aware that there are alternatives.  Unfortunately for some naturals, shea butter can leave afro/coily hair feeling stiff and greasy instead of soft and supple. Its heaviness can also weigh down hair, decreasing flexibility and causing hair to feel coarse which can ultimately lead to dull, drab hair that's much more prone to brittleness and breakage.


Build-Up

Because shea butter can leave a heavy, waxy film on the hair, it can build up quickly and leave a gunky residue on the hair and scalp. Removing product build-up necessitates more frequent shampooing which in turn leads to drier, duller hair and the use of harsher shampoos. Removing shea butter from your hair care routine will allow you to avoid the waxy build up and make the switch to a gentler shampoo or co-wash.


While shea butter can be beneficial to the skin, naturals who use shea butter in their hair with disappointing results know that it creates an occlusive barrier that keeps water and nutrients out. Your hair may feel soft initially because of the oiliness that shea butter deposits but you'll notice that the softness doesn't last for very long. Shea butter using naturals often find themselves in a frustrating and repetitive cycle of reapplying products or spritzing their hair with water multiple times a day just to keep the dryness at bay. While some naturals can achieve healthy hair with shea butter, others cannot and find that it can actually cause more dryness, breakage and an inability to retain length in the long run. 


The Solution

Qhemet products contain a balanced and effective combination of water, humectants, oils and butters that retain and draw moisture to the hair and lock it in, preventing moisture loss across several days. Qhemet is unique in that we recognize the diversity in afro/coily hair and have identified ways to keep it hydrated and healthy using nourishing ingredients that are more effective than shea butter and yield better short term and long term results. So for those of you who wonder why your shea butter products are giving you stiff, waxy hair instead of the luscious mane you expected, you are not alone. Nature gave us a panoply of plant based emollients and we've chosen to use the best ones to create premium, shea-free hair products! 

 

hair thinning 101.

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Hair Care for Thinning Edges

By Qhemet Biologics

There are a number of factors that can influence how full a persons hair is. In this article, we'll be discussing the density of hair, not the thickness* of each strand.

What Causes Thinning Hair?

Thinning hair is characterized by hair that has fallen out and does not regrow. Many women will experience thinning hair or thinning patches, particularly around the edges, at one point or another in their lives. Here's why:
Hormonal Changes

If you are pregnant, have recently given birth or are experiencing menopause, the hormonal changes your body experiences may be having a negative effect on your hairline. Many women experience a normal amount of hair loss post-pregnancy, but these changes can appear more dramatic given the hair gains made during the nine months prior.


Why do women who are pregnant grow more hair? Pregnant women produce more estrogen, which causes hair to be thicker, stronger and more lustrous. When estrogen production decreases and all of that extra hair begins to fall out, it can cause your tresses to feel drastically bare. The good news is that post-partum shedding generally only lasts a few months at worst after which your hair should begin to recover. To encourage growth and keep your hair from shedding more than it needs to, we recommend following the healthy hair tips.

Traction Alopecia

This type of hair loss is the most prevalent cause of hair thinning among black women. It is caused by tight ponypuffs, headbands, braids, wigs and extensions, when too much tension is put on the delicate hairline and the hair follicle becomes inflamed. For many women, this type of thinning can lead to an unhealthy cycle of using wigs and extensions to cover up thinning hair and subsequent additional thinning due to the hair's mistreatment. Over time, traction alopecia can actually evolve into scarring, which seals the hair follicle permanently and irreversibly. Because of this, it's critical that women who experience thinning around the hairline due to tight hairstyles change their hair care routine before it's too late. We know this can be difficult when you're experiencing thinning hair, particularly if you're using low quality products. Now is the time to permanently switch to products that keep your hair fully hydrated and contain beneficial ingredients that strengthen hair and support hair growth. Certain ingredients like mineral oil, SLS and silicones can stunt your hairs growth and health so its best to avoid them.


Using our L.O.C. method for high or low porosity hair can go a long way towards repairing damage and restoring your crown. Thinning edges can be addressed using our Castor & Amla Nourishing Pomade, a 100% plant based hair and scalp tonic formulated to nourish follicles and support growth. Combat brittle ends by using a product rich in olive and castors oils like our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream. This powerhouse moisturizer keeps your ends soft and pliable, preventing breakage and preserving length.

To avoid additional damage to your hair, avoid combing your hair with thin tooth combs and always coat your hair in a rich detangling conditioner like our Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee before detangling. Keep your hair in gentle natural styles like 2-strand twists that are easy on your edges and avoid styles that involve pulling and tugging. You'll be amazed at just how quickly your hair begins to thrive with the right restorative products.

Chemical Treatments & Heat

If you were initially in love with your newly straightened do but then noticed your edges becoming thinner and your hair becoming drier and brittle, you are not alone. Applying relaxers to your hair, particularly if your hair was already strained and damaged, can exhaust your hairs last defenses and slow its natural recovery process. Similarly, heat is a major culprit in thinning hair. Heat damages the hair shaft and leaves it brittle and dry, whether you are using a blow dryer or a flat iron frequently. While the best thing you can do for your hair is ditch the harsh chemicals and avoid excessive flat iron use, we know these can be difficult to completely abandon. To give your relaxed mane its best advantage, be sure to check out our product recommendations for chemically treated hair.

The Wrong Products

The common denominator at the root of most cases of damaged hair is poor quality products. When the wrong products are used, it may not matter how much care you take to avoid pulling your hair too tightly or applying too much heat. Using products that keep your hair in a constant state of good health will allow you to take liberties with your hair without paying a steep price.

The Right Products

Natural hair is beautiful and even more so when you're using premium, plant based products to support it. Qhemet products look to the tried and true remedies used by our forebears to nourish their scalps and maintain a full head of lush, healthy hair. Check out the healthy hair collections below to begin your journey towards maximum moisture, health and growth.


* If you have fine hair, you may in fact have a lot of it, but it may look stringy or sparse. Fine hair requires extra care too because it tends to respond differently to moisture than a thick strand of hair. If your hair doesn't hold curls well, breaks easily and is prone to fly-aways, you might have fine hair. People with fine hair should use the lightweight yet moisturizing products in our L.O.C. Method Collection for Low Porosity Hair to strengthen and hydrate their fragile strands. Getting regular trims to stay on top of split ends will help your fine hair grow longer and stronger too.