Monday, 23 July 2012

QFQ: What is the difference between a leave in and a moisturiser?

This is from Mary

'I am trying to fix my issue with severe dry hair. After I deep condition my hair, it is ok for 2-3 days but after that there is nothing that I can do apart from washing my hair all over again that will give it moisture. I do use a leave in conditioner after the deep condition but moisturisers do not seem to work at all for me. Can you recommend some products?'

A: In my view there is no difference between a leave in and a moisturiser. The purpose of a leave in is to add ingredients that improve the humidity around the hair (humectants such as glycerin, aloe vera etc and water) and ingredients to help seal in that moisture (oils, silicones etc). This is what a moisturiser would also contain.

My question would be why not just wash your hair after 2 days if that help you retain moisture?

The lesson: Leave ins and moisturisers are essentially very light conditioners. If your hair needs a heavy conditioner (ie rinse out conditioner, conditioning mask or deep conditioner) to feel moisturised, why not use them?

20 comments:

  1. I don't think you answered her question.....i follow you and see your comments on several blogs and have noticed lately you tend to be curt and dare i say judgemental in how you respond to questions....be kind. Please.

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    1. I definitely answered her question and requested her to listen to her hair which is asking for a wash every 2-3 days. I think you do not understand the point of QFQ's- they are intended to be brief and to the point.

      The rest of your comment in my view is just sad, I rarely leave comments on blogs. Probably the greatest number on any blog is BGLH with 6 within the last year (works out at roughly 1 every two months). My comments always reflect either my scientific knowledge or an encouragement for women to embrace themselves.

      Please be aware that my blog is not a forum for arguments or personal attacks. I do not tolerate them against other commenters nor will I tolerate them against myself.

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  2. Hello. Thanks for your blog. Coud you talk about Indian powder and their efficiencies ?( sorry English is not my first language") Brahmi, Maka etc... Thank you ;)

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    1. Hi there, I did an ayurvedic series with neem, shikakai, hibiscus flower and coconut oil featured. These were the ones I found with scientific references. You can find them here

      http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/search/label/Ayurveda

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  3. May I leave the suggestion of spraying your hair with distilled water until damp (not soaking wet). Apply your moisturizer at that point and see if you notice a difference. Water is the best way to moisturize, but a full on wash may not be up your alley every 2-3 days. Great question and answer!

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  4. I know that for my hair, if I use a leave-in while it's wet, then let it dry and put in my moisturizer, my hair retains moisture much better. If I don't do a leave in or try to put my moisturizer in while it's wet, it doesn't work I don't retain moisture at all. I think of it as layering, kind of how you might layer with perfume.

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  5. Nubian Glam Rock and Amija, thanks for chipping in possible adjustments for Mary

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  6. I had never thought of leave-ins and moisturizers being the same, but it makes complete sense. You have me rethinking my regimen. Maybe I don't need to use some many products to maintain moisture.

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  7. I love this post. This may explain why some women do just fine with a leave-in and no moisturizer.

    I guess my only suggestion is that she use a heavier product - one with heavier "sealant" ingredients (e.g., a butter). Or maybe she can try the L.O.C. (liquid-oil-cream) method which some ladies like.

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  8. To Anonymous - not only did she answer the question, but answered one of my own. "Why not just use a rinse out conditioner as your leave in?"
    She answers as a scientist - concise and to the point. Stop trying to stir up trouble.

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  9. But some products lines have a different product for leave-in conditioner and another for moisturiser. So how can they be the same?

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    1. In my view if you find a good leave in, you can use it as a moisturiser and if you find a good moisturiser you can use it as a leave in.

      The genuine difference in my book is whether the product is water based or oil based because those two perform different functions. I eliminated the product which Mary mentioned as I did not want to make it an advertisement or criticism of the product itself but it was water based and to be honest has had very good reviews among naturals.

      The truth is that manufacturers make products. If the consumer demands something for moisturising hair, they will ensure they produce and market a product for that. Meanwhile some women have found that they can even simply dilute down their regular conditioner and use that as a moisturiser.

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  10. This leads me to wonder whether we should expect our hair to retain a just-washed, moisturized state for a week or more? Like, is there a norm? If oily scalps just have to give in and wash, is there a dry hair comparison?

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  11. I definitely understand the poster’s concern for your tone Jc. I also understand the context from which you are answering questions. Followers of this blog should remember/go back to posts like ‘Dry Hair is Normal ie Consider Whether of Not Your Hair is Naturally Dry’ (the real title addressing that concern was certainly not as wordy!!! ) and should also keep in mind that sometimes your hair is responding to the product or technique being used, but sometimes your hair is just telling you what it needs (like you always tell us).

    Secondly, I think we all have lifestyle priorities and a focus on hair health (like a focus on anything) requires time or being creative with knowledge. Not exceeding a level of moisturize that is healthy for my hair, I sometimes dc overnight and detangle in the morning if my hair is yelling for a shampoo the night prior, for example. Nubian Glam Rock and Amija’s adjustments were great; a tweak in scheduling hair care might be needed too- I also have hair that looooves to be washed, and it can be time consuming.

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  12. Hello Hello Jc - I am with you 100% on this because I observe ingredients very closely in my products and I actually go straight to styling/setting after conditioning using one product as my leave in moisturizing styler then throw some gel or setting foam on top for good hold and frizz blocking measure.

    Appreciate you and hope you are wonderful!

    -Ms. Amena
    fb: Torrid Tresses by Ms. Amena

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  13. KP - I'm sorry that I cannot post your comment but you had me in stitches. I totally agree with everything you said and it would not be as funny without the expletives but sadly I cannot post it as a result. The rest of the world will have to imagine what you said :)

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  14. hey i recommend a glycerin mix or a curl activator. my hair get super dry easily but the manipulation that comes with washing hinders my hair. slap some curl activator on onc my hair gets dry and its good for another 4-5 days.

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  15. You posed some interesting questions. We tend to want our wash sessions to last until the next washing session (normally a week), not considering that our hair is not on a 7 day schedule. It could need washing more than that. A good remedy in between when you're wearing a stretched style is finding a product that can refresh and re-moisturize your hair between washes and using spritzes.

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  16. It is also a good idea to check your diet.. I found that if I'm dehydrated then my hair lacks moisture..

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  17. For me, the best way to keep my hair moisturized is to keep moisturizing it. I have to moisturize my hair every day to maintain that just-dc'ed look. Maybe that is what Mary needs.

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