I have always been attracted to natural hair products. I’ve been a mixtress since early high school and would often combine products in an attempt to make something superior for my highly textured hair. Marketed natural hair products have a similar appeal. There is something homey about being able to pronounce all the ingredients in my conditioner and possibly make my own version if I ever were to run out. These products always made me feel more comfortable and confident in my hair care.
Nubian Heritage definitely has the natural consumer in mind. Each product label includes a short historical anecdote on the highlighted ingredients noting the qualities that make them perfect for healthy hair care. This gives a more personal touch to the products.
Both the Repair & Extend Shine Gel ($19.49, amazon.com) and the Grown and Strengthen Treatment Masque ($28, amazon.com) include ingredients more likely to make it to you plate than your hair strands with ingredients like quinoa and fennel.
Quinoa: A Superfood for Super Hair?
Quinoa is a known superfood. It is a complete protein, easy to prepare and is high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E (Food Reviews International). Because it is so high in nutrients it provides the necessary building blocks of a diet for healthy hair. Quinoa can gently nourish the hair.
The amino acids present in quinoa have believed to help repair damage to the hair shaft while its proteins coat, strengthen and protect the hair. In fact, studies have shown that the animo acids contained in products can be absorbed into the hair shaft and actually strengthen hair (Journal of Cosmetic Science).
Garlic: Will It’s Effects in the Body Occur in Hair?
Garlic is a highlighted ingredient in the Grow and Strengthen Treatment Masque. Garlic is knows for its many medicinal properties (Credo Reference). Since ancient times it has been used to treat disease, season food and ward against unwanted pest but how does it benefit our hair? (Better Nutrition) Garlic is known to contain sulfur. A lack of sulfur has been seen in patients with a disease called TTD.
One of the symptoms of the disease is short, brittle, dry hair. A connection between the sulfur deficiency and the condition of the hair has been shown (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology). And topically applied garlic gel has been shown in studies on those with alopecia areata to help promote hair growth (Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences).
Personal Use and Opinion
The Grow and Strengthen Treatment Masque was the first product I used. I washed and sectioned my hair as usual, then applied the conditioner. After 45 minutes I rinsed my hair to reveal soft, detangled curls and coils. A few days later I used it as a leave in conditioner and found my hair to be soft and easy to manage.
The Repair and Extend Shine gel was the next on my list to try. The product claims to impart strength moisture and medium hold to your tresses. The product directions say to apply to damp naked hair. These instructions made me very nervous, as I am not conditioning my curls without immediately applying a leave in conditioner but I will do anything for a good review.
I applied the product to my damp hair and began to style it in an intricate bun. My hair felt soft and slightly sticky while raking the product in. When I was finished with my hair it was neatly styled but not as slick as it usually is. The product did not give me much hold ( though in reality it never claimed to). I think this product would give suitable hold for someone who has looser textured hair. For me I would use this product to style a twist or braid out.
Overall I liked both products. The conditioner did make my hair feel stronger and softer. I cannot say much about the claims that it stops breakage, as I didn’t have any breakage to begin with. The gel really moisturized my hair, which I did not expect, but the hold was very light. I don’t know if this product has a place in my usual regimen. I would repurchase the conditioner if I could not get my holy grail protein conditioner. I probably would not repurchase the gel. Not because I did not like it but because it does not meet my styling needs.
Post by Dyanna Person
- Photo source: Maite Perroni Hair Style, a photo by Jean Nieves on Flickr. About the author: FutureDerm.com is proud to introduce Dr. Hanan Taha, M.D., on our staff as a Contributing Writer. Dr. Taha received her MD from Kuwait University in 2002, and a master’s degree in Dermatology from the University of Alexandria in 2010. …
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