Best in Beauty & Spa: Conditioners for Damaged Hair

When it comes to creating a hair care routine for your naturally curly, coily or coarse hair, you’ll go through many products before you find the right ones. The rule of thumb when shopping for hair products is to stick with your biggest hair issue as opposed to your hair type says Matrix So Color celebrity stylist, George Papanikolas. Women with textured hair that includes coils, curls and coarse hair typically experience the same type of hair concerns. The main issues shared by #teamnatural include dryness, over-processed or heat damage, weak strands or hair loss.

Salon Quality vs. Store Bought

You can easily resolve these hair issues by using salon quality conditioners. In general, salon quality hair products tend to have a higher percentage of the active ingredients advertised on the label of your hair care product compared to store bought conditioners. For example, if you compare a store bought keratin treatment to a salon quality version, the latter has a higher dosage of keratin. In fact, the salon quality treatment would likely list keratin as the first of its ingredient, an indication that the formula is made up primarily of keratin. Whereas the store bought keratin treatment would list diluting ingredients such as water first, an indication that the formula is made mainly of water. Instead, keratin may be the third or fourth ingredient, demonstrating that the formula isn’t as potent compared to its salon quality type. Salon quality conditioners are preferred to store brands because they’re loaded with higher amounts of vitamins and proteins such as arginine and biotin that translate into a healthier mane for you. Store bought conditioners tend to include ingredients that are extremely drying to coarse hair. Some of the most dangerous ingredients to natural hair include formaldehyde, parabens and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS) says LoxaBeauty.com. Other no-no ingredients are isopropyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol and proplyene glycol says Livestrong.com.

pH Balance

According to NaturallyCurly.com, store bought conditioners are the mortal nemesis of textured hair because they rob it of moisture, making it frizzy and dry due to it’s high level of potential of hydrogen (pH). Your mane has a natural pH reading of 4.5 to 5. Water, on the other hand, has a pH level of 7 making it a neutral solution. A number below 7 is considered acidic while a number above 7 is classified as alkaline or basic, with 14 being the most alkaline. In general, alkaline products cause your hair fiber to swell and your cuticles to lift. This action dries your coils as it removes moisturizing oils from your hair’s surrounding atmosphere. This results in your textured hair being extremely frizzy, dull and brittle, making it susceptible to breakage and knots. Store bought conditioners on average tend to have unsteady pH levels ranging from four to nine while salon products are always within the safe six pH range—right below 7. For example, a study found that professional products such as Matrix Amplify had a pH of 6.76. With that knowledge, you can argue that salon quality products are safer for textured and coarse tresses as they have more moisturizing ingredients.

Matrix Salon Professional has a bevy of conditioners that work particularly well on damaged, natural hair. For a list of the best conditioners Matrix Salon Professional offers to resolve your most pressing hair concerns.