Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stronger Cuticle Layer with Ceramides

Here at relaxed hair health, we're all about the quest to achieve hair perfection. What we strive to here is understand the hair, it's wants, it's needs, it's desires. The more we learn of our precious hair, the better we are equipped to nurture it. There's still much more to learn but what we do know is that the basic framework of the hair consists of several layers covered by a series of scales called the cuticle layer.

The cuticle layer, my friends, is the first line of defense against hair breakage and damage. More importantly, this layer helps to provide the hair strand with the qualities we desire most-strength, shine, and elasticity. If the cuticle layer is damaged, then everything else starts to go downhill. The bad news is that the cuticle layer is not that thick. Even worse than this is the fact that our precious cuticle layer is eroded by even the most basic grooming functions such as combing the hair or even shampooing.

So now I'm thinking of ways to help protect or even repair the cuticle layer (if that's even possible). Well I'm here to tell you all that I've officially crawled out from under the rock I was under and finally came across the wonderful benefits of ceramides. We've probably all heard of ceramides before in passing. It was when I actually found out about what they actually do that I got all excited.

According to hair-science.com, ceramides play a major role in keeping the cuticle layer in place. In fact, the researchers went on to examine strands of damaged hair only to find that these stands were lacking in ceramides. When ceramide stores are depleted, the hair is prone to dryness, brittleness, and breakage. Ceramides are also crucial because of the role they play in providing a protective barrier that helps keep moisture levels where they should be. I'm also excited about the impact of ceramides in increasing elasticity of the hair. Think about it, without the ceramide "glue" helping to keep the cuticle layers in place, the risk for breakage only increases. Studies show that hair which has been treated with ceramide containing conditioners, showed in increase in tensile strength along with protection of the hair against both UV damage and chemical processes. By the way, ceramines are lipids, not proteins. Which means ceramides still provide the hair with strength and elasticity without the hardness side effect of some proteins. For some of us, that's fantastic news!

So enough talking, let's get our hands on some of this stuff shall we. Phase two of my learning about ceramides is locating this ingredient so I can incorporate (as quickly as possible) into my routine. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that some ceramides occur naturally in plant oils such as wheat germ oil and barley malt oil. Hemp oil is also said to contain ceramides as well.

There are also several product lines like Biolage and L'Oreal which boast of ceramide rich products. There are a myriad of other product lines fortified with ceramides but I've had some great success with Biolage in the past so I'm thinking that I'm making a trip down to my local Ulta store for some Cera Repair-4. I also need more of the Utlra Hydrating Balm and the Leave In tonic. I sure hope Ulta is having one of the by two get one free deals on Matrix.

Stay tuned for the review!
  1. Omg, I love ceramides.
    Three weeks ago, I began DCing with them twice a week, and my hair has never been so manageable, soft, smooth or MOIST. I definitely don't ever plan on using another deep conditioner without them, and if possible, I plan on switching to an all-ceramide regimen. I really think that every woman with relaxed hair should have at least one product in regular rotation with them. I'm sure you'll love them. They're like a miracle for your hair! ^_^

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  2. Do tell Chaosbutterfuly, what was the conditioner you used?

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  3. I found a Suave Extreme Moisture Conditioner--it's on par with a Redken conditioner-- from Big Lots (I initially bought it because it had SAA's in it)that has this ingredient in it and my hair feels so soft and the slip it awesome. I went out today and bought another bottle. I'd be interested in hearing your results from using the Cera Repair Pro 4 treatment.

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  4. Natalie,
    I bought their strengthening conditioner and the leave in treatment from their forte therapie line. They both contain ceramides. I wasn't able to find the Cera Repair (yet) but the guy at the beauty supply store said he would special order for me.

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  5. I use Nexxus Humectress. It's some good stuff! Doesn't smell so nice, but works very well for my hair. I'm going to have to take a break from it, to use up some other conditioners, but when I return to it, I plan on adding wheat germ oil for an extra ceramide-y burst.

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  6. I just realized I am using the Biolage Strengthening Conditioner. (Just recognized the name, now that I read your post again. LOL)

    I got treated with one for Christmas. It leaves my hair super soft and silky. It also has bamboo in it. My hair feels so much stronger and my NG is very manageable. I'm hoping to stretch longer than my 11 weeks. Definitely a keeper. I'm DCing with it right now. About to go wash it out in a few mins. I've been using it for a few weeks now and love it. You've gotta let me know how the leave-in treatment is. I do have on from the Suave that has the ceramides and SAA and it's really good.

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