Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Nightly Regimen: Wake up to healthier hair in the morning

Every so often, I'll review my regimen and look for areas where I can improve. In some cases, improving can mean upgrading what I currently do to make it more powerful, in other cases, I'll bring something new to my regimen that doesn't currently exist. 

In my heart, I believe that making this shift in my regimen will make a huge impact on my hair long-term.  I can't believe I haven't focused on this before. What I'm speaking of is my night time regimen.  Specifically, not just a regimen that protects my hair while I sleep, but one that actually restores, repairs, and nourishes so I have perfectly healthier hair when I wake up every day.

If I'm able to do this consistently, I have no doubt that my hair will continue to flourish as time passes.  For those of us who don't co-wash frequently and bun every day, our hair becomes susceptible to daily mechanical damage (from manipulation and environmental exposure).  If my theory proves correctly, a powerful night time regimen will counteract this and will aid beautifully in the fight for stronger, healthier hair.

I'm beginning this quest by mapping out my plan of attack.  I asked myself "what do I want this night time routine to do for my hair? Do I want to intensify moisture? Address breakage? Or do I want to nourish my strands to create the overall look of healthier hair?"  The answer to these questions is yes!  I want all of that and more!.  So how am I going to do it?

I began by doing my research.  There are currently some pretty good products on the market tailor made for this sort of thing.  I even own a few of them already.  For now, I wanted to try an alternative route to determine if I could get even better results.  My research began by taking a quick look at the ingredient list of most night time hair treatments available.  Many of them had active ingredients that fell into two categories....proteins & ceramides.    Part of the reason why I'm not relying on night time products, for the time being, is because some of the products also contained silicones, petroleum or other ingredients which may promote build up over time.

Then I began thinking about which products and ingredients I would use over the course of this experiment that would make the most impact.  Here's the list I came up with so far:

~Vitamin E | Nourishment:  Vitamin E is understandably one of the most common ingredients spotted on many night time treatments.  I personally place this on the top of my list of the most powerful nourishers out there.  Vitamin E may be a little heavy for daytime use but, when used at night, can create exceptionally healthy looking hair.

~Gleau Nourishing Oil | Shine, ceramides, nourishment: I understand why silicones are included in night time treatments, they're trying to create sleek, smooth tresses for the next morning.  Instead of cones, I'll be relying on my trusty bottle of Gleau to keep my strands supple and frizz at bay.  Since it's all natural, I'll have no worries about build up over time.  Another plus to Gleau is that it contains vitamin E, two kinds of wheat germ oil (ceramides), two kinds of jojoba oil (scalp health), and coconut oil for strength.

~Coconut Oil | Protein: A little protein at night can be really helpful if I'm dealing with consistent breakage.  Most night time treatment products contain wheat protein.  I think I'll opt for coconut oil as a protein source because I like the fact  that the hair strand actually absorbs it.  This makes me believe that my hair is being repaired, from the inside out, while I sleep.

~Biolage Cera Repair | Ceramides, moisture:  I think ceramides are critical to over night hair repair.  Ceramides fortify the strands for the day ahead without the stiffness that sometimes comes with protein overload.  I placed another order of Cera Repair to conduct a little experiment of how my hair responds to Biolage Cera Repair when used at night.  Because it's a water based product, I can also receive benefits of additional moisture as well.  

~Jojoba Oil | Scalp health:  I've been thinking alot about jojoba oil lately.  One thought that came to my mind was whether jojoba oil can help promote healthier hair by mimicking the sebum levels experienced by those who have type 1 & 2 hair.  Their hair is better protected from dryness/breakage because sebum (their natural oil moisturizer) travels from root to tip. Since our hair may not have that luxury, perhaps adding a little jojoba oil to the hair may give it the help it needs.

~Emu Oil | Growth, nourishment: But what about growth?  Could there also be an opportunity for us to focus on hair growth just before we go to bed at night?  I'd like to experiment a little more with Emu oil and scalp massages because of it's powerful ability to penetrate deeply.  This deep penetration will come in handy when paired with the next night time treatment on my list.

~Eucalyptus Oil | Ceramides, scalp stimulation/health:  Not only will eucalyptus oil stimulate my scalp (growth) but it also effectively addresses my dandruff.  Ever since I went gluten free, my scalp health improved drastically. This lead to me putting away my eucalyptus oil.  But now I'm bringing it back mainly because of the long term benefits of an increased level of natural ceramides in the hair strand.  

I have no intention of using each of these every night but I do plan on incorporating them into the nightly rotation from now on.  There is no doubt in my mind that this new addition to my regimen is going to create amazing results. Why? Because I'm not really doing this now.  Currently, I wrap my hair every night. Some times I moisturize and seal, sometimes I don't.  I've begun using some of these products at night for the last few evenings and can already see a difference in my hair.  Now I'm committed to being intentional with this practice so I can reap the rewards for all of my days.

  1. In the morning, they feel like a baby's hair. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.

  2. Great post! I'Ve been thinking a lot about oils lately also. Just the other day I learned about emu oil and as much as I wasn't to incorporate it into my regimen it is so pricey! I'm still searching for a good deal. But I do think using oils at nights is beneficial. I've been applying grapeseed oil to my hair at nights after moisturizing (and even when I haven't moisturized) and my hair is super soft in the morning. It also works great for bagging in my ends over night.

  3. Great post. I find that when I moisturize my hair in the morning vs. moisturizing at night that my hair doesn't retain as much moisture and is less manageable throughout the day. I am also greatly interested in the Biolage cera repair after reading a few of your posts on it. Maybe I'll order an early Christmas gift :)

  4. Right now I am a faithful user of coconut oil for my pre poos. However if I put anymore oil on my hair for the remainder of the week it becomes weighed-down and loses its bounce. What do you suggest to do combat this ?

  5. Since winter really kicked in in Montreal yesterday with a bit of snow, I decided to seal last night with a mixture of Castor Oil and Vitamine E and since I've started my HHJ it's the first time I reaaallly could notice a difference in my hair! So soft! Weird thing is I had this bottle of Castor + Vit E for months and never considered using it in my hair before, I'm adding this to my regimen!

  6. This was an informative post, I will definitely try at least sealing my hair at night.

  7. thanks for the tips, I really want to try the biolage cera repair. Your hair is truly amazing so I like to follow your tips.

  8. Thanks for the great list! Coconut oil doesn't necessarily add protein so much as absorb into the hair and bind TO the protein in the strands.