Thursday, November 8, 2012
Using Oil Or Conditioner As A Pre-Wash Treatment
Traditionally in some cultures, vegetable oil was used as a pre-wash treatment to offset the harshness of the plants used to wash the hair. Herbal washing can be great but it can remove too much natural sebum. Why? The saponins in plants are natural detergents. They remove natural sebum very well but vegetable oils not as easily. When this was discovered long ago, a tradition was born.
Traditions tend to prevail and be applied today, although the reasons for them may be less understood or forgotten. Today, there are many choices of shampoos and other cleansing methods like conditioner only washing, or a return in some cases, to using soap to wash hair. With the variations in strengths of the different cleansers, a pre-wash treatment with oil, or these days with some conditioning treatments is not necessary.
If conditioning treatments or conditioners are used for that purpose, the build-up they cause, in addition to other product build-up can create problems, like tangling and dryness, causing split ends. Such build-up needs to be removed sooner than later. The same thing applies to using drying oils. Anything you apply to hair, shampoo, oil, conditioner, styling aids and many botanicals used on their own or in products has the potential to cause problematic build-up.
Hair care does not need to be the ongoing exercise in frustration that it can become.
You need a good shampoo or other cleanser that is not too strong or heavy on the hair. If you use most of what is available these days, it will cause build-up too. All conditioners and styling aids cause build-up on hair, including those that are botanically based. That simply means for most people, that clarifying needs to be added to their hair care routine. Clarifying should not be done too frequently because doing so can be harsh and drying for hair. If your hair is not over washed or overloaded with product after each wash, clarifying can be needed every so often, not often.
Using products differently can make a difference too. I have written here about cosmetic mineral oil, which used on its own has many benefits. It can replace other products like conditioners, styling aids and treatments. It usually does not need reapplication between hair washes, washes out of hair easily not creating build-up and it can do even more for hair and skin.
There is much to gain with simplified hair care. You also save money, by not buying extra products you do not need that can cause hair problems.