Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ceramides: My hair will never be the same again

So I've been on a bit of a ceramide binge ever since I first posted on the benefits. While I still haven't gotten my hands on Biolage Cera-Repair (yet), I've done alright with my choices so far. But before I talk about the products I purchased, I must provide this disclaimer:

*Although the blog author has (for, ah, scientific reasons) purchased a plethora of ceramide containing products, she does not condone such reckless hair junkie-like behavior*

Now that we got that out of the way, let's get back to business. You may remember when I posted this chart representing the holy trinity of healthy hair.

Each attribute is equally crucial to wonderful hair. Without moisture, the hair is brittle and breaks easily. Without strength, the hair becomes weak and prone to breakage. Without elasticity the hair can not withstand manipulation which eventually leads to breakage. If either are missing, the hair suffers dearly. I've spent several posts talking up moisture but I think it's finally time to talk about the last piece of the healthy hair puzzle.

As you might recall, we've already covered the role of ceramides in hair care. We're always talking about the cuticle layer. We say things like "make sure you rinse with cold water to help seal the cuticle layer" or "you should rinse with apple cider vinegar to close the cuticles." You guys would be surprised about how thin the cuticle layer is compared the to rest of the hair strand. Not only that, the cuticle get's chipped away with even simple actions like combing the hair. The minute the cuticle layer is compromised your hair strand is in trouble. The cortex is exposed, and the next thing you know, you've got a split end or worse yet, breakage. Ceramides are the first line of protection against the gradual chipping away of the cuticle that leads to hair troubles. By helping to"glue" the scales on the cuticle together, ceramides helps keep the hair strand strong and elastic.

So let's talk about the products I purchased. Immediately upon hearing the good news of ceramides, I got me some Biolage fortifying conditioner and leave-in from their Fortetherapie line. According to their website, the product line is intended to strengthen damaged hair while building resistance against future breakage. Soon there after, I decided go back for more and pick up the Intensive Strengthening Mask.

Over the next couple of days, weeks, who knows. I picked up a couple of other ceramide rich goodies. Among some of my purchases was Cera-Fix (which was relatively inexpensive), Sedal's S.O.S ceramidas, La Bomba deep treatment, and Silicon Mix's pearl protein leave-in conditioner. Not to mention the fact that I just happened to have some ceramide containing wheat germ and hemp seed oil laying around. All though I'm knee deep in ceramide products, I still won't rest until Cera-Repair joins the rest of the team.

So what's been my experience so far? I purposely waited several weeks to talk about my experience because I wanted to really see if any difference would be made beyond the first wash or two. First off, my hair does look better. Is my hair mind-blowingly, Pantene commercial gorgeous? Eh. I would describe the appearance of my hair as healthier looking overall but, maybe because it's been several weeks and I'm already used to it, I don't know if the change was that drastic. Maybe it was that drastic, who knows.

Now Imma tell you all what has got me sprung on ceramides. I've has this insane fear of over manipulating my hair for the longest. Even though I've got some crazy thick hair, it's never really been that strong. It tends to break even if I look at it wrong. What makes it worse is that my hair doesn't respond that well to protein. Because of that I'd have to add a little protein conditioner, instead of doing routine protein treatments, to every wash to make sure my hair gets what it needs. Let me tell you, ever since I've been on this ceramide kick, the breakage has slowed down considerably. When I touch, play with, or manipulate my hair, I'm not scared of the repercussions. Mind you, we should all use extreme caution while manipulating but, for real, this same head of hair wouldn't have responded the same way to my man-handling several months back. Last night, I had my hair down and my husband, who's extremely heavy handed, was all in my hair massaging it like someone who was massaging a knot out of someone's back. Normally, I'd jump up like a scared cat, scold him for his lack of regard for my tresses, and give him the side eye for the rest of the night. Not this time. I did give him some feedback when he was becoming too reckless with my hair, but all in all, it was o.k.
That, thanks to a couple of my ceramide leave in products.

Not too long ago there was some discussion on LHCF about the role of ceramides and if they could possible take the place of proteins. This because the ladies who used it consistently noticed that they no longer needed protein deep conditioning as often as they required in times past. The conclusion was that ceramides are not to function as protein but instead holds a unique role by helping to support the hair and protecting it from protein loss. To be completely honest, I've forgone both my "protein" conditioners and my "moisturizing" conditioners during this experiment. This was a temporary shift to ensure that my observed results occurred mainly with the help of my ceramide filled friends. Next wash, I'll go back to my normal conditioners but they'll be mixed in with a little something extra (*wink*).

So in conclusion I'll say this, ceramides have to be a part of your regimen one way or another to help fight against damage. Sure, you can moisturize and deep condition with protein, but if the third piece of the puzzle isn't there to keep it all together, you might be fighting a losing battle.

Of all the ceramide product's I recently purchased, one seems to stand out as my favorite. I decided that it deserves, and will get, it's own review post.

'till next time.

  1. Great post!! I'm waiting to see what your favourite product is

  2. Very informative! I must give this a try since something seems to be "missing" from my strands that I can't figure out. Also, absolutely L.O.V.E Gleau, don't change a thing about it and congrats on your Essence feature, you look beautiful!

  3. Girl you are TOO funny! After reading this post I had to follow your blog! You were cracking me up about your husband massaging your head and how normally you'd be giving him the side glance for the rest of the night! Sounds about right!!!

  4. Very very informative. How do I know what products that contain ceramides?

  5. I'd like to try some ceramides, I've always heard they're helpful. Does anyone know of any products that contain any?

  6. Is it really true that ceramides strenghten hair ? Cause the last time I got my hair cut, my hair stylist told me that I had a whole lotta damaged ends :-( I couldn't see what I was doing wrong. I did weekly moisture and protein treatments but my hair still felt and looked weak. Could it be the lack of ceramides ?

  7. HI Joy,
    Ceramides add another layer of health to our hair. It's especially important if you are chemically treated. Add that to your routine and see how your hair responds.