How to revamp Chemically Damaged hair – choosing the right Damage Repair Shampoo

Krya damage repair shampoo powder for chemically damaged hair
Share
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Desperately Seeking Susan a Damage Repair Shampoo for chemically damaged, over processed hair that actually works?

We’ve all been there. Flush with a salary cheque, and dreams of transforming the way you look, you find your way into the high end salon. Every single salon “artiste” there is sports a sharp cut and a heady mix of colours on the hair. Emboldened by this, you throw caution to the winds and go all out. a hair cut and a completely new style, recommended by the “Salon director” himself and a fresh new head of hair emerges. It looks great on day 1. A week later, after your first wash, the disaster strikes.

 

Synthetic hair colours look great only for a short time

A few months later, to your horror, you notice that your hair is dull, rough, limp a day after shampooing, and is JUST NOT GROWING! Your salon artist now says: “ Hair growth these days is weak due to pesticides / pollution / toxins in the air. Try our new salon conditioning spa / remineralising service / hair vitamin makeover treatment”.

Several visits, hair treatments and several thousand Rupees later, you realise NOTHING is working – your hair is damaged.

Shortly after colouring and synthetic treatments, hair is now damaged

If the above account sounded eerily personal, it is because I too was there.

Flush with cash and all the self confidence of a 25 year old, I started on my 5 year hair destruction journey. It started innocuously with a perm, then a hair cut. Then several hair colours. Then hair straightening. And before you knew it, I was 29, with oily limp hair, a decided case of hair receding and thinning and abysmal or no hair growth.

It took me many years of concerted effort and working on my hair to see results. You can read my hair repair journey in this earlier post.  So, when we created a Hair care “map” at Krya, a range for Chemically Damaged hair was very high on my priority list.

Why is chemically damaged & over processed hair so fragile?

We write constantly about the perils of chemical damage . Chemical hair colouring is a very easy way to damage hair. Unfortunately, many of the salon treatments sold to “repair” this damage are even more damaging. Our earlier posts will give you information on exactly how hair is damaged when we resort to synthetic hair colouring and synthetic treatments which are sold to us to “improve” our hair.

 

Characteristics of Chemically damaged and over processed hair:

Chemically damaged hair is very fragile and difficult to handle. When hair is damaged due to synthetic colouring, the cuticle loses its natural elasticity. Therefore it is unable to close and seal off hair from becoming too porous.

chemically damaged hair is fragile

As a result, chemically damaged hair quickly absorbs water and salts from washing. This dullens the appearance of hair. It also makes hair prone to breakage, especially at points where salts have entered the hair shaft.

To control hair’s fizziness and brittle texture, salon stylists advise using special conditioners and hair serums . This is suggested to soften hair texture externally and make it easy to work with. However, these products clog the scalp, and dullen the functioning of hair follicles. As a result, we see slow and delayed hair growth.

synthetic conditioners, masques, spa treatments and serums further clog the scalp, preventing good hair growth

Chemical treatments also aggravate the production of sebum in hair. and aggravate either Pitta or Vata dosha or both in hair.

Lightening your hair colour several shades from your natural colour  aggravates Pitta dosha severely in the scalp. So the scalp becomes excessively oily and hair starts to thin much faster than usual. Any effort to cleanse scalp aggressively only produces more & more sebum, making hair oilier.

When the texture of hair is altered (straightening / perming), there is a build up in Vata Aggravation along with Pitta aggravation. So hair becomes dry, straw like, rough and unmanageable. Split ends severely increase, and hair has a dull, greyish sheen with a dry, rough texture. Combing / brushing this hair is an ordeal. It tangles very fast and hair breaks if it is pulled even slightly or combed.

Hair texture alterations aggravate vata and pitta dosha making hair rough, dry & brittle

 

Challenges when formulating a truly natural Damage Repair Shampoo :

We spoke last week about some of our challenges in formulating truly natural products. Formulating a truly natural Damage Repair shampoo for chemically damaged and over-processed hair, is an extremely challenging task.

Some of the questions / issues we ponder when working on this challenge are:

  • How can we ensure the shampoo cleans the scalp thoroughly, yet ensure that Pitta / Vata is not aggravated?
  • How can we formulate our herbal powder shampoos in such a way that the herb particles do not irritate already frizzy hair?
  • Can we deep cleanse scalp and ensure we are able to unclog old debris and accumulated silicones?
  • How can we formulate our shampoo so that hair is left reasonably manageable after a wash, without loading our natural hairwash with synthetics like silicones?

The Krya Truly Natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder:

After many years of research, we launched the Krya Damage Repair hair system in early 2017. The Krya Damage Repair hair system contains the Krya Damage Repair hair oil . The system also contains the Krya Damage Repair hair mask , a once a week treatment for over processed hair. And finally, the system contains the Krya truly natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder.

krya damage repair hair revitalising system

Here are some key differences in the way we formulate this 100% natural, Damage Repair Shampoo powder:

Krya Damage Repair Shampoo Powder: Made 100% from whole Ayurvedic herbs and grains – synthetics free

We use 23 gentle, hair nourishing Ayurvedic herbs to formulate the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder. We create this product ONLY from whole Ayurvedic herbs, grains , lentils and clays.

By using a 100% natural formulation, we ensure the scalp is not irritated, coated with toxins, or stripped dry of sebum.

krya damage repair shampoo powder - truly toxin free & 100% natural

The benefits of using a 100% whole herb formulation are manifold. Specifically for chemically damaged hair, using this product will not stimulate excessive oil production, nor will it dry out and tax hair. So , in time, hair’s sebum production becomes better balanced. Hair is less limp and oily. The scalp is  cleaner, more clarified and balanced .

Krya Damage Repair Shampoo Powder: Carefully chosen set of Plant surfactants: for safe, gentle cleansing

Many with chemically damaged hair think that using a sulphate free shampoo would help hair. Many of us also believe that all Sulphate free shampoos are completely natural and non toxic.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Almost all synthetic shampoos used some form of synthetic surfacant. Sulphate based surfactants like SLs and SLeS have now been in use for 50+ years. With time, research indicates that these surfactants are pernicious, protein denaturing and can cause rips and tears in skin, scalp, in the gums etc. This creates gaps in the body which can be used by invasive microorganisms or synthetic chemicals.

HOWEVER: in the race to replace Sulphates and create “sulphate free” products, companies are using other kinds of problem synthetic surfactants.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) is a synthetic surfactant found in many sulphate free cleansers. It is marketed as “completely natural” and “non toxic” and is bought by those who believe it will help chemically damaged, dry hair.

CAPB is made from a chemical process which combines coconut oil with Dimethylaminopropylamine to create  an “amphoteric surfactant”. An amphoteric surfactant is a cunning chemical compound which can be used in both acidic and alkaline mediums . So depending upon the PH, Cocamidopropyl Betaine can double up as a lathering agent in shampoo, or act as a thickener in conditioners.

Despite being promoted as “wholly natural”, CAPB is just another synthetic surfactant. It is linked to allergic dermatitis, eczema and other allergic skin conditions.

Other synthetic surfactants like CAPB masquerade as natural cleansers - used in so called natural or organic shampoos

Most importantly, CAPB will irritate chemically damaged hair. It will strip scalp dry and excessively stimulate oil production. It will also further block and clog the scalp.

 

Krya’s special cleansing base in all natural shampoo powders

Krya, uses a unique cleansing base in all of our natural Shampoo powders. We use whole plant surfactants like Desert Date (Balanites aegyptica), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) and Sopberry (Sapnidus trifiliatus). In addition, we also use whole grains like Whole Mung bean (Vigna radiata), Whole black gram (Vigna mungo) . We also use healing clays . This combination of whole plant surfactants, whole lentils and healing clays creates our very gentle, cleansing base in our Damage Repair Shampoo powder.

This whole natural cleaning base is mildly acidic . This ensures that the sebum production in your scalp is not taxed. It also means that the entire mixture works WITH and not against the scalp’s natural system.

Krya uses a 100% natural, gentle cleansing base that uses whole herbs, lentils & healing clays

This formulation makes the Damage Repair Shampoo powder SUPER MILD, mildly acidic and extremely gentle on the scalp.

Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder: Gentle plant conditioners that improve hair quality and manageability:

Synthetic hair fixers, serums and conditioners offer us temporary highs. On the day of use, they leave hair feeling soft, shiny, manageable and tamed. BUT: the persistent use of these silicones forms a temporary cement like coating on hair and scalp.

This clogs the fine pores in the scalp slowing down hair growth. Also, as hair is only temporarily fixed, it is back to its original unmanageable condition after your next wash. As no steps have been taken to repair hair, the passage of time tends to worsen its health and appearance.

Our ayurvedic herbs are more than just natural conditioners for hair. Every hair texture improving herb we use also revitalises & improves scalp health.

krya whole herb conditioners improve hair texture, manageability and stimulate hair growth

For example, Arjuna leaf and Fenugreek seed both work to improve fungal dandruff, scalp itchiness and flaking. . Hibiscus leaf and flower, detoxify and clarify the scalp and promote healthy hair growth as well. Therefore, as you use the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder, there is a steady improvement in hair manageability and hair health .

 Herbs chosen specially for their Rasayana and Dosha balancing properties: Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder

Chemically damaged hair has very slow hair growth and poor hair quality of new hair. The new growing hair is fine, thin and weak rooted like baby hair.

Ayurveda advises using Rasayana herbs here to help improve the quality of new , sprouting hair. To work holistically, these Rasayana herbs should be used across oils, lepas and shampoos. This helps build up their bio availability to the body. When these  Rasayana herbs are used in our Shampoo formulation, they help unclog and detoxify the scalp, promoting conditions for better hair growth.

Some of the Rasayana herbs we use in the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder formulation are Amla, Bhringaraj, Punarnava, Mulethi & Bala.

Rasayana herbs are used in the damage repair shampoo to revitalise and improve hair quality

 

In addition, to balance aggravated Pitta and Vata dosha, we use Brahmi, Neem flower, and Neem leaf.

Scalp clarifying and promoting micro-circulation in the scalp for better oxygenation, blood supply and hair growth:

Chemically damaged hair also has a unique problem. The scalp and hair is usually coated with salts and other minerals as the cuticular structure is damaged . This causes a dull, greyish scum like coating on the hair and scalp surface. This also prevents healthy hair growth and weakens hair strands terribly leading to breakage and split ends.

To work on this, we use scalp clarifying and micro-circulation promoting herbs like Rosemary, Manjishtha, Lemongrass and Triphala. These herbs encourage the removal of heavy salts from the scalp. They also improve blood circulation in the scalp and promote healthier hair growth.

Krya also uses scalp clarifing & micro circulation enhancing herbs like Rosemary, Lemongrass, Manjishta, etc

 

Please note: simply using the Krya Damage repair Shampoo will not help completely improve chemically damaged hair. For holistic damage repair, you must use both the Krya damage repair hair oil and the Krya Damage repair hair revitalising mask, in addition.

 

How to use the Krya Natural Damage Repair Shampoo powder :

Chemically damaged , over processed hair should be treated extremely gently.

Scalp oiling: 

As the scalp needs clarifying and detoxifying, it is unable to absorb too much oil at first. But, this kind of hair REALLY needs frequent oiling to regain its health.

So, please oil the hair with the Krya Damage repair hair oil, in tiny doses, spread through the week. Massage the scalp gently with 4 – 5 drops of the oil on the scalp alone. Do this 3 – 4 times a week.

 

Krya Damage repair hair oil must be used 4 - 5 times a week to improve scalp health & encourage damage repair

Hair Washing : 

As hair is porous, and greatly damaged, chemically damaged, over processed hair should be washed only once a week.

On the day of the hair wash, oil hair using the Krya Damage repair hair oil. The oil must completely coat the hair strands with oil. Do this atleast 1 hour before wash. This oiling helps seal the hair externally and prevents any further salts from penetrating the hair.

After an hour, wash the hair with the Krya Damage Repair Shampoo powder.

Make the Hairwash into a slightly drippy, pancake batter like paste, using cool water. In order to be gentle on the hair, we advise applying the Shampoo powder like a hair mask / pack / Lepa. Section the hair using a well made comb, and apply the paste gently all over scalp and hair.

Ensure you do not tangle hair during this application – so please comb and detangle hair before applying the Shampoo paste. If hair is reasonably strong, the portion applied to the scalp can be massaged using circular motions. If the hair is very weak, skip this step.

Put on a shower cap on your hair after applying the Shampoo paste and leave it on for about 20 – 30 minutes. Then rinse off gently using cool water. The shower cap is to ensure that the Shampoo paste does not dry out on hair. This is critical.

Use the Damage Repair mask once a week : 

Once a week, apply the Krya Damage Repair Hair Mask / Lepa to treat chemically damaged hair. We will cover the properties of this product and how it should be used, in greater detail in a separate post.

 

Apply the krya damage repair hair mask once a week

These 3 products are ALL chemically damaged hair needs. You should not use anything else on your hair. NO synthetic conditioners / serums / hair sprays, etc should be used on chemically damaged hair . Using such products will simply undo the good work you are doing for your hair.

 

To Sum up:

This post was an introductory post. We explained why choosing the right products is CRITICAL for chemically damaged, over processed hair. Hair that is this badly damaged cannot afford any further assault with synthetic chemicals. Therefore stop using synthetic shampoos and switch to a truly natural, Damage Repair Shampoo for this hair.

At Krya, many of our consumers have seen extremely good results with the consistent use of the Krya Damage Repair hair products. With dedicated effort and regular use, they have been able to reverse the signs of chemical damage. Hair growth has gradually normalised and hair quality has also significantly improved.

Along with these products, following a hair nourishing and dhatu building , healthy balanced diet also helps greatly. If you too have chemically damaged hair, and would like to try this system, please explore the products here. If you have any doubts / questions, please email us or call us (075500-89090).

Share

Colour Me Bad! Stop Chemical Hair Colouring Now!

Share
Reading Time: 5 minutes

“Dear Team Krya,
How you doing? Just loved your creation of  the Damage Repair Hair System (hair oil,mask and wash).Must admit my hair looks, feels so healthy, thicker and itchiness is gone. This is a huge improvement considering how chemically damaged my hair is.

Keep rocking Krya Team, God bless.” – SS, Mumbai

———————————————————————————-

Sadly, one of our small, but growing hair care range has a fiercely dedicated consumer base – I use the word sadly, because the hair care rage I am referring to is the Krya Damage Repair Hair care range. And this range draws business from the extensive, growing chemical hair damage we are witnessing, thanks to the explosion of professional hair salons and hair texture altering products which we now have easy access to.

The Hair Damage Season

The hair damage season in India, coincides with the festive season in India that starts from Diwali. This is a season of massive hair and skin experimentation with huge textural and structural damage done to hair. This continues for a few months until New Year celebrations are done and dusted. Holi, in March is the “results” season. most people are down in the dumps post Holi when they see just how dry, damaged and fragile their hair is – and the synthetic holi colours sprayed on hair, don’t help.

Holi is a time when most people discover how damaged their hair actually is.

I get it. I really really do. I have a small picture of myself of about 10 years ago rocking a super short page boy cut with atleast 3 different layered colours applied , and posing with a hookah a-la Zeenat Aman (yes this was a throwback to Bollywood party).

BUT. And here’s the big but – constant colouring and texture alteration experiments severely damage your hair. And it is not just us at Krya , who know so. We are joined by a growing body of serious research, dermatologists, trichologists, ironically, salon professionals and January Jones.

"My hair fell out in clumps with the frequent dye changes" - January Jones in an interview to Grazia magazine

Is your hair chemically damaged? 5 warning signs:

The external signs of chemically damaged hair are

  1. Dry and brittle hair strands
  2. A problem scalp which either develops thick oily dandruff, or is extremely dry and itchy,
  3. Dry, straw like hair ends,
  4. Rapid increase in split ends where the split end travels to the middle of the hair strand, and finally
  5.  Hair that just won’t grow like it used to before chemical colouring

Increased hair porosity: sign of chemical damage

Severely chemically treated hair becomes extremely porous because of multiple injuries to the hair cuticle. When tested in water, this kind of hair will absorb water and sink to the bottom as its porosity allows water to invade the hair. In this state, hair is vulnerable to the many chemicals that are applied on it ( like shampoo) and will absorb all of them increasing damage.

When hair is extremely porous, it snaps and breaks quickly. It becomes physically very fragile and tenuous. It also feels rough, looks dull and has no gloss.

Why repeated hair colouring damages hair

Many people do not realise the chemical damage that frequent synthetic hair colours do to hair. Synthetic hair colours and dyes  permanently damage the hair shaft as they lift the cuticular structure and inject chemicals like PPD inside the hair shaft to ensure the hair colour stays longer without getting washed out. (The lack of this kind of chemical in natural hair colours is why they wash out much faster from your hair compared to your salon brand of hair colour).

Synthetic hair colours and dyes are harsh on hair and severely damage the hair cuticle.

Scalp toxins in chemically damaged hair: slows down hair growth

Chemically damaged hair also contains a layer of toxins on the scalp as this kind of hair is regularly coated with synthetic conditioners and treatments to artificially smoothen it and “condition” it externally.

These Scalp toxins cover the surface of the scalp slowing down fresh hair growth. This also forms a barrier and starves the hair follicles of much needed moisturisation and nourishment. Therefore the hair growth is poor and hair that sprouts is weak, and shallow rooted, easily prone to hair fall.

How to treat chemically damaged hair?

  1. STOP chemical treatments NOW. Chemically damaged hair should not be further ill treated. So cease and desist from smoothen-ing it or “super conditioning” it on the advice of your salon which wrought the damage in the first place.
  2. Nourish it with nutrient rich Ayurvedic hair oils externally and high quality, well-balanced meals internally.

Krya Damage repair hair oil to revitalise chemically damaged hair.

Can this guarantee that your hair will be restored back to its pre-chemical damage era? Well,  No. Nobody can give you that guarantee.

But if you cease and desist from torturing your hair any further, eat well, have a reasonably healthy body, oil your hair regularly with the right products, and use a mild natural hair-wash like ours which doesn’t damage it further, there’s a good chance that your hair will recuperate and make its way back to health.

 

To Conclude:  restoring the health of Chemically damaged hair

Hair care is never simply external. And healthy hair always looks great. So Ayurveda advises us to nourish hair deeply , both internally and externally, so that it looks its best.

Nourishment is even more critical when hair is chemically damaged. As we have seen, chemical treatments not only damage the hair strands. They also coat and layer the scalp with toxins, preventing healthy hair growth.

Chemically damaged hair must be treated gently and holistically. To ensure good raw material to grow healthy new hair, eat a balanced diet. Oil chemically damaged hair frequently with the right ayurvedic hair oils that can restore health AND detoxify the scalp. Wash chemically damaged hair with a very mild, and natural hairwash – but do NOT over-wash your hair .

If you have more questions on healing chemically damaged hair and would like our advice, do write to us.

Krya’s products to heal chemically damaged hair:

  • Krya Damage Repair hair wash – mild, gentle, does not irritate stressed out scalp, and helps detoxify the scalp
  • Krya Damage repair Hair Mask – nourishing and healing and helps nourish damaged hair and detoxifies the scalp. a must to heal chemically damaged hair.
  • Krya Damage repair Hair oil – our cornerstone damage repairing and hair re-vitalising ayurvedic oil. Packed with rich ayurvedic herbs and cold pressed organic oils, the oil restores gloss, shine and health to hair. It detoxifies the scalp and stimulates fresh, healthy, deep rooted new hair growth.
  • Krya Damage repair Hair revitalising system: All 3 of the above at a  special price

Krya Damage repair hair revitalising system: a set of hair products that restore health and vitality to over processed, chemically damaged hair

Krya’s safe , all natural hair colours to help you STOP further damage:

Krya All natural hair colour is made with nourishing ayurvedic herbs that colour hair safely and help strengthen and nourish it deeply.

Share

Is your natural product really natural? – an ayurvedic doctor’s perspective

Share
Reading Time: 4 minutes

This is a guest post written by Dr.Anupama Santosh of Shreshtha Ayurvedic Centre, Bangalore, an Ayurveda Centre that offers authentic, high quality and effective, personalised Ayurvedic therapies to meet people’s health needs . Dr.Anupama Santosh and Dr.Santosh, regularly prescribe Krya’s hair and skin products to their patients.

At the end of most consultations involving complaints related to hair& skin, I am often posed with this question:

“Doctor, what do you suggest to wash my hair with? Not that I use any brand, I am very careful and choose only herbal shampoos. Hope that’s fine, Doctor!”

In my practice, spanning over 15 years, I have tried to answer this query in various ways. I have often told my patients, what the label “herbal/ayurvedic product” can mean and to what extent, it can be herbal and (un)safe. A labeled herbal product can get away with containing a miniscule amount of herbs in it bringing a great deal of advantage to a pharma company which can just add a herb for namesake and marketing it.

I also mention my 7 years of experience as a consultant in the pharmaceutical companies where I am also involved in product development. I use this as a background to explain the concept of fillers, preservatives, artificial coloring agents and other additives to products. Thankfully, the understanding and acceptance of this kind of information is much more now than ever before.

So, after the shock and incredulity passes, their next question is this: “OK, doctor! Please give us some better and safe options and make them available.”

And this is exactly where I became less chatty. Not with an intention to hold back, but because of the lack of trustworthy products. Recommending a product to a patient, is a huge responsibility which I am not willing to take unless I am really, really sure.

Over the years, I have suggested herbs which patients can mix and use, which is practical only for a handful people who have the time and willingness to do it.

Krya blog post aug 8th - indian haircare herbs pic

At our clinic, we do make a lot of our own medicines and we did try and make a herbal hair wash and a hair mask which worked really well. But, we did not have the bandwidth and time to pursue these products for long. And another major requirement is also to have various options of hair washes and hair masks to suit specific needs like prakriti/dosha/roga/age. After all, Ayurveda is rogi-specific not roga-specific (specific to the patient and not specific to the disease)

And in this long pursuit for safe and effective hair care products for my patients, I came across Krya products. I was ecstatic to find their thoughts reflected mine. I immediately ordered a few products and started prescribing them. Initially, I had to spend some time educating patients (mostly the younger lot) about methods of washing hair with a powder as opposed to washing with a frothy shampoo. After a couple of months, the feedback has been really good.  Some of them have become more aware of the other unsafe products they have been using and have started picking up the face wash range as well.

My husband Dr.Santosh, specializes in treatment of Skin problems and is relieved to have found Krya products which he confidently prescribes to his patients with eczema and scalp psoriasis.

We are prescribing Krya products regularly for about 6 months now and are extremely glad to associate with their team. Thank you, Krya, for helping us to further our endeavor towards safe and chemical free healthy living.

About Dr.Anupama Santosh:

Dr Anupama SantoshDr.Anupama is an Ayurvedic consultant at Shreshtha Ayurvedic Center based in Bangalore. She believes that the Ayurvedic way of living is more relevant today than ever before. Her success in treating infertility cases has earned her immense love and gratitude from her patients. She is also a medical consultant for some Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical companies and advises them on product formulation and development of proprietary Ayurvedic medicines.

About Shreshtha Ayrvedic Centre, Bangalore

Shreshtha Ayurvedic Center, founded in 1997, is run by leading Ayurvedic consultants Dr.Santosh and Dr.Anupama. Though the center is located in Koramangala, Bangalore, patients from various parts of the country visit, owing to the genuine Ayurvedic treatment made available here. Apart from the consultation services, the center is equipped with a good pharmacy stocking Kottakkal medicines and organic lifestyle products. A Panchakarma center is also maintained at the center, which offers none of the spa kind of massages ( which is often confused for Panchakarma), but authentic, classical chikitsa with curative effect. To reach out to the growing demand of patients outside Bangalore, Shreshtha Ayurvedic Center started their Online consultation portal and also shipping facilty for prescribed medicines, which has had an overwhelming response.

You can explore more about Shreshtha on their website and facebook page

Team Krya would like to thank Dr.Anupama Santosh and Dr.Santosh for their generous support of our work. We are privileged that such reputed Ayurvedic Vaidyas have found Krya’s products useful for their patients.


 

To inspire a change to toxin-free natural products and to give your hair a much better shot at real health, we are celebrating the Krya Hair Olympics Challenge this August.

Looking for thicker, healthier, stronger hair this August? Throw away your synthetic hair care products and replace them with Krya’s nourishing hair care products instead.

Every Krya hair care product for adults carries a special discount only in August 2016

  • 10% off if you buy a single piece of any Krya hair care product for adults
  • 20% off if you buy 2 or more pieces of any Krya hair care product for adults or a Krya hair care system for adults

Explore Krya’s huge range of good-for-you hair care products here at very special prices.

 

Share

Colours, curls & cuticular damage – the myth of the deep conditioning treatment (part 2)

Share
Reading Time: 10 minutes

“Dear Preethi,

My hair stylist has told me that my hair is extremely rough and damaged. He is recommending I go in for a weekly “hair spa” treatment, or go in for a much more expensive deep conditioning cysteine treatment. He tells me that these are treatments that will repair my damaged hair.  I am not sure of either treatment as both seem to be full of synthetic chemicals. Please advise.”

I often come across the “hair spa” and deep conditioning miracle myth. Deep conditioning treatments are extremely popular in salons now, and they would be because of the high growth of certain sub segments like hair colours, hair straightening devices and hair straightening treatments and products.

This blog post continues where the last one left, on the lasting nature of the damage done to hair that is “beautified” or “treated” with synthetic hair treatments. Severely chemically treated hair becomes extremely porous because of multiple injuries to the hair cuticle. As the cuticle is damaged, the hair loses its shine and texture, becoming rough and lifeless and tangles easily.

When tested in water, this kind of hair will absorb water and sink to the bottom as its porosity allows water to invade the hair. In this state, hair is vulnerable to the many chemicals that are applied on it and will absorb all of them increasing damage.

Because of this porosity, the hair tends to get much more damaged with the application of synthetic shampoos, conditioners, gels, serums and other hair products.

The normal structure of hair:

Hair is mainly made up of a protein called keratin (the same compound your nails are made up of).  The keratin proteins contain a natural amino acid called cysteine which contains sulphur atoms. Each strand of hair is formed by a natural “bridge” where the sulphur atom of 1 cysteine particle is bonded to the sulphur atom of the next cysteine particle. This bond is called the “di sulphide bond” and it is this series of Di sulphide bonds throughout hair that give it its shape, strength , elasticity and texture.

hair strand

Healthy hair under 200X magnification – see the aligned cuticular structure which helps reflect light evenly

Keratin, because of the disulphide bonds, is extremely strong. A healthy hair strand does not break with twisting, pulling, rubbing or even applying a hammer force to hair. It is this very strength of the di sulphide bonds that stands in your way when you want to alter the texture of your hair.

Hydrogen bonds:

The hair also consists of numerous hydrogen bonds along the length of the fibre. These interchain bonds are responsible for the stability of the structure of keratin in the hair.

Hair ironing:

A temporary way of achieving straight hair is by breaking the di sulphide bonds in your hair by using heat. Flat irons use a temperature of 300 – 500 degrees Farenheit – when hair is passed through this temperature quickly while being held tight and straight, the disulphide bonds break. As the hair cools, the disulphide bonds are reformed at different positions in the keratin molecules, leaving the hair shape straight for sometime.

However, this change is not permanent. When ironed hair is exposed to moisture, it goes back to its original shape.

The Chemistry behind hair perming and straightening :

Chemical straightening and perming works by breaking the existing di sulphide bonds in your hair, bend the hair into the new desired shape, and then re-attach the broken bonds.

Strong alkaline solutions (pH of 13+) like Lye, Guanidine hydroxide and Ammonium thioglycolate are applied to hair. These chemical compounds break the disulphide bonds even more efficiently compared to heat. In fact these solutions are so efficient at breaking the hair bonds, that if hair is allowed to stay a little longer, it will dissolve its structure permanently and cause it to break and fall off.

Once the alkaline breaking solution is applied, the hair can now be re-shaped. If you want curly hair, at this stage, curlers will be put on hair, and if you want straight hair, the hair will be pressed between a flat irons. Once the hair has been re-shaped,  an acidic solution like sodium peroxide or hair bleach is then applied to it. The acid neutralizes the alkali, stopping the disodium bond breakage. After this, the solutions are washed off, allowing the disodium bonds to reform, now in slightly altered positions to conform to the new shape of the hair strands.

perming blog image 3 (1)

The alkaline solutions are so harsh, that the hair texture altering process usually starts with a cream treatment to protect it from the damaging effects of the chemicals that will be applied at a later stage.

Hair smoothening treatments  now in vogue:

I am alarmed at the proliferation of unscientific and adulatory reports on hair smoothening and rebonding treatments in popular blogs and the media lately. Appallingly , hair smoothening and re-bonding services are now being repackaged as “damage repair” and treatment services by untrained stylists and unscrupulous brands.

Many popular bloggers have embraced the lure of re-bonding treatments and have gone as far to endorse the untrained view of hair stylists that traditional products like hair oils are a waste of time – instead, apparently, all of us should be opting for chemical re-bonding services like a keratin treatment or a cysteine treatment to make our hair look good !

The Brazilian Keratin treatment / Brazilian Blowout / Keratin straightening treatment:

Brazilian stylists started this process in 2003 as an attempt to semi permanently straighten hair. A lotion containing formaldehyde (1.5 % – 5%) as the active ingredient along with silicones, mild amounts of keratin protein and other additives is first applied to hair. Formaldehyde breaks the disulphide bonds in hair and has been traditionally used in the wool and textile industry for similar reasons (to alter fibre texture or to finish fibre). After formaldehyde application, the hair is then progressively blowdried at a very high heat of about 450 deg F (at which paper burns) and then flat ironed. After the chemical treatment, heat treatment and ironing, the hair’s texture is semi permanently straightened, and the solution is then neutralized with hydrogen peroxide and then washed out of the hair.

Hair_straightening_before_and_after

A before and after picture of hair after a chemical straightening treatment – see the unnatural transformation that has been achieved

As formaldehyde is such a harsh and strong chemical (it is commonly used to embalm bodies and cadavers) with such aggressive effects, the silicones and keratin that is added along with it fill the broken gaps in the hair’s cuticular structure, giving the illusion of gloss, shine and smoothness. The high temperature and hair ironing, cement the silicones and keratin on the hair’s surface forming an artificial coating on hair. It is this coating which gives the illusion of gloss strength, and health to hair that has been damaged in this “treatment”.

Special problems with the Brazilian keratin treatment:

Many countries do not allow a formaldehyde level of more than 0.2% in skin and hair care products. The exposure to such high formaldehyde levels in the Brazilian keratin treatment can cause dermatitis, contact irritation. The formaldehyde fumes released during the process irritate the eyes, respiratory tract and can trigger cluster headaches, grogginess and dry mouth. And Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

Cysteine hair “smoothening” treatment:

A global report on hair trends tells me that the “hottest thing” in Indian hair trends this year is the Cysteine treatment.  A quick online search threw up dozens of beauty brands and salons offering their own version of this treatment.

Funnily, the cysteine treatment is marketed as a “natural”, “safe” and “organic” replacement to the Brazilian keratin treatment which itself was marketed a few year back as the best thing to happen to hair.

I spoke about the strength of hair earlier – and how a hammer force cannot break the di sulphide bonds of hair. It therefore stands to reason, that any treatment that alters texture of such strong hair, MUST contain a series of chemicals or use high temperatures to get hair to change.

Here’s a snip from the marketing piece from a salon that advertises its cysteine “treatment”: I’ve highlighted some of its more incredulous claims, although most of it reads like the description of a unicorn sighting.

“The Cysteine hair treatment is not keratin based. Instead it uses an essential amino acid cysteine and works more like an intensive deep conditioning and smoothening treatment for your hair. This hair therapy uses natural ingredients such as hydrolyzed wheat protein, cocoa butter and Dendrobium Orchid. It also absorbs and removes free radicals.

Its sulfite/urea complex coupled with heat restructures the proteins. They work on the disulfide bonds of the hair and bring about a straightening effect by gently relaxing the hair fibers. Under heat, the cysteine cross-links with hair fibers and thereby creates a protective shield around the hair surface. There is only a temporary change in the hair fibers.
The hydrolyzed wheat protein goes to replenish lost proteins in the hair. The lost moisture is restored by the shea butter as it is also a powerful antioxidant. Dendrobium Orchid prevents the hair from getting oxidized and allows the treatment to last longer.”

One might be excused for thinking that the cysteine treatment being talked about above sounds like eating fortified vitamins and minerals.

Due to the health hazards presented by the use of formaldehyde, and glutaraldehyde in hair straightening treatments, in 2011, carbocysteine (S-carboxymethyl-1cysteine) was developed. This is now being rebranded as the “natural”, “safe” cysteine treatment.

However, there is nothing natural about carbocysteine.  Carbocysteine is a manufactured chemical compound. It is not the same as cysteine, the amino acid that is a natural part of your hair. By shortening S-carboxymethyl-1-cysteine to “Cysteine” a company is attempting to defraud you into believing that they are putting the same amino acid that is naturally found in your hair into this chemical treatment.

Carbocysteine works in a similar fashion as regular hair straighters do. This compound alters hair pH and breaks the disulphide bonds. High heat is then used to iron the hair and pull it into the desired shape. Glycoxylic acid is then applied to neutralize carbocysteine and then rinsed off to leave the hair in a new shape.

This treatment is now re-branded and sold as a “deep hydration”, “shielding”, “deep conditioning” and “deep repair” treatment, when in fact it should be logically called a “deep damaging system”.

 

Permanent weakening of hair fibre – chemical smoothening and altering treatments

During the chemical reaction to alter hair texture, all chemical straightening treatments convert 35% of the natural cysteine amino acid in hair to lanthionine, along with minor hydrolysis of the hair’s peptide bonds. Lanthionine contains one sulphur atom less than the cysteine molecule – the loss of this one sulphur atom per lanthionine molecule weakens the hair fibres permanently.

barber-378816_640

Weakened chemically damaged hair – observe the frizz, dullness, and uneven light reflection

The other main damage that occurs is the removal of the monomolecular layer of fatty acids that is bound naturally to your hair cuticle. This fatty acid layer is a water repelling layer. It stops water from penetrating your hair shaft, making your hair swell unnaturally and helps retain elasticity and shape of hair.

When this layer is removed by chemical straightening and smoothening treatments, your hair  becomes dull, frizzier and is more susceptible to static electricity.

 

The myth of the synthetic “Hair Spa” :

Even if you are able to escape the lure of the Brazilian blowout, or the Cysteine treatment, a synthetic hairspa treatment / product might still ensnare you. Synthetic hair spa products are extremely popular on many beauty related ecommerce sites.  A salon would usually package it as a relaxing, deep conditioning treatment that would “nourish” and “repair” damaged hair.

After many queries on the ingredients that go into these products, we decided to research these formulations. And here’s what our study threw up.

What makes a hair spa product give you the effect of smooth hair:

  1. Ceataryl Alcohol
  2. A synthetic silicone like Dimethicone or Amodimethicone
  3. Cetyl Esters

Ceataryl Alcohol and Cetyl alcohol are thickeners and emulsifiers found in many thick cream based products sold for the skin and hair. Both are usually derivatives of petroleum, although they can be extracted from vegetable sources – however this extraction is not common as petroleum derivatives are much cheaper.  Apart from thickening the product, ceataryly alcohol and cetyl alcohol add an “emollient feel” to skin and hair when applied.

Silicones are the main ingredient in synthetic conditioners, detangling sprays and leave on hair serums. They form a waxy coating on hair strands and fill in the gaps in the damaged cuticle. As a result, hair looks healthy and glossy temporarily. I stress the word temporarily as consistent use of silicone based products masks underlying hair damage. So if your hair “needs” a conditioner, then it is probably extremely fragile or severely damaged already.

Cetyl Esters are a synthetic wax. The main reason it is used in synthetic skin moisturizers, skin cleansing products , makeup, hair colours and hair conditioners is to thicken synthetic creams and butters. It also gives what the cosmetics industry terms as a “cushiony glide” in products during application – so you feel you are applying something very luxurious and expensive. Just like ceataryl and cetyly alcohol, cetyl esters increases the “feeling of moisturization”.

A hair spa product therefore is simply a concentrated synthetic hair conditioner with better fragrance and a thicker format because of the uses of synthetic waxes. By their very nature, these ingredients cannot “nourish” or “repair” hair – they can only give you the illusion of health and mask damage.

 

The real key to damaged hair

I cannot emphasise this enough – a synthetic product cannot restore or repair damage. As I have explained earlier, the structure of hair is both a complex and beautifully thought out design. The design exists to both protect precious areas of the body like the scalp and reproductive organs and provide aesthetic appeal.

By continuously assaulting our hair with extremely harsh chemicals , we are subjecting our entire system to chemical damage. Adding on another chemical treatment simply masks the damage. In addition, it subjects weak hair to another barrage of toxic chemicals.

As always, there are no shortcuts to good health and real beauty. Good food, real rest, toxin removal , improved circulation in the body and the access to hair restoring and health giving herbs and cold pressed, toxin free vegetable oils helps restore life back to hair.

 

The Krya Hair Damage Repair system:

The Krya Hair Damage Repair System consists of an Oil, a Hair Wash and a Hair Mask for chemically damaged hair, of which the Hair Oil has now been pre-launched.

Severely chemically treated hair becomes extremely porous because of multiple injuries to the hair cuticle. Chemically damaged hair also contains a layer of toxins on the scalp as this kind of hair is regularly coated with synthetic conditioners and treatments to artificially smoothen it and “condition” it externally.

Because of the permanent nature of the damage wrought by chemical treatments, we have to ensure that the existing hair is conditioned and boosted with moisture so that it is more manageable and new growth is stimulated with better nourishment being given to new hair growth to ensure the hair is stronger. The regenerative capacity of hair of course depends upon the body’s state of health and the food being eaten.

Our Hair oil for severely damaged hair uses a whole host of powerful herbs. Some of them like Liquorice and Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) work on the cuticular structure and provide moisture and nourishment to smoothen and condition hair. Others like parsley , marigold and thyme contain anti oxidants that stimulate collagen production to promote the growth of stronger hair. Flaxseed’s fatty acids and anti oxidants remove dead cells and toxins from the scalp, and lemongrass balances sebum production ensuring the scalp produces the right amount of oil for the hair.

Explore and pre-order here .

 

Share