FAQ: Are DIY Hair Treatments Effective?
Are DIY hair treatments effective? I read somewhere that the nutrients they contain cannot be easily absorbed by the hair.
YES! DIY treatments are effective conditioners especially for moisture and adding nutrients to the hair; the debate arises in relation to proteins in DIY treatments. To appreciate the effectiveness of DIY treatments we first have to understand how store bought conditioners work: they have been given a cationic charge so that they stick to the hair shaft and they remain on even during rinsing.
Cheap store bought hair treatments simply coat the surface but the more effective natural commercial conditioners add coconut oil or olive oil so that there can be penetration-proving that the more natural the product the more effective it is. For effectiveness these oils should appear amongst the first 5 ingredients.
The effectiveness of a protein treatment stems from its ability repair hair by forming temporary bonds over damaged areas on the hair shaft hence proteins are hydrolysed so that they can mesh and form a bond. The issue with proteins in DIY treatments isn’t their ability to penetrate (penetration is achieved by adding the above oils to your treatment) but rather stay embedded in the hair strand and form the said protein bonds. But this can’t be said of all protein treatments because many who use avocado (both the mashed fruit or its oil) in their homemade treatments achieve desired results mainly because of the penetrative power of avocado oil and the amino acids that it contains.
That being said an effective deep conditioner (store bought or homemade) must contain either of these penetrative oils/ingredients amongst their first 5 ingredients for effective DEEP conditioning
- Cocos nucifera (coconut oil)
- Olea Europaea fruit (olive oil, extra virgin, unrefined)
- Persea Americana (avocado oil)
- Ricinus communis (castor oil)
- Argania spinosa (Argan oil)
- Hydrolysed proteins (protein is a building block that increases moisture retention, adds volume, and makes hair smoother; “hydrolysed” means it’s been split into smaller units so it can penetrate DEEPER than usual and STAY EMBEDDED DEEP the hair)
NB: aloe vera is one of the most effective ingredients to add to your diy conditioners because it is easily absorbed by hair and skin and it contains all the amino acids in a state that can not only deeply penetrate but can also be effectively utilized by the body.
The effectiveness of a DIY conditioner depends on you understanding what your hair needs so if you see that a DIY deep conditioner isn’t giving you the results that you want yet it is effective on another head keep in mind that hair textures/porosities and needs vary from head to head AND you probably haven’t found the perfect mix that works for YOUR hair, keep switching it up and write down the results till you find what works for you.