Tag Archives: hygral fatigue

My Staples: Virgin Coconut Oil/Vatika Oil

Standard

So, I thought you all might be interested in a series of posts about my staple and Holy Grail (HG) products. I figured I’d go through the items in the order that I use them on wash day as that provides a pretty logical sequence.

Let’s begin with my pre-poo staple(s): virgin coconut oil (VCO) and Dabur Vatika Enhanced Coconut Hair Oil. If you read my post on Mineral Oil v. Coconut Oil and the linked article from NaturallyCurly.com, you know about the many benefits of virgin coconut oil for hair. Although I’ve been using Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream as of late, I always have VCO and Vatika Oil in the cabinets and will return to them. In fact, as I write this post, I have had a Vatika Oil pre-poo in my hair for two days (thank goodness for banana clip buns and flowers;-).

I began incorporating pre-poos into my regimen last November after seeing this post on CurlyNikki.com and the accompanying video by Youtuber whatgetsonmytits below (I feel funny writing that, but have to give her credit!!).

The information that indicated that coconut oil is the only oil that actually penetrates the hair cortex and can moisturize hair from the inside out, as well as the scientific evidence supporting its ability to prevent hygral fatigue, were all it took to sell me. I hit the grocery store and got myself some VCO and started pre-pooing my very next wash day.

After some additional research on various site, such as Mop Top Maven, and spending time in my local Indian grocer’s hair products aisle looking at henna (PJ heaven, I tell ya!), I also learned of Dabur Vatika Oil. This is what Amazon.com has to say about this product:

  • Premium coconut hair oil enriched with henna, amla, lemon and five other trusted herbs
  • Provides natural nourishment to your hair, giving it body and radiance, taking care of the critical balance of nutrients
  • Ensures deeper oil penetration to give your hair and scalp complete nourishment for problem free, healthy hair
  • Strengthens the roots of your hair, to help maintain their health and natural thickness
  • Astringent action of lemon controls sebum flow helping to prevent dandruff

Turns out that not only does Vatika oil claim coconut oil as its first ingredient, it’s significantly cheaper than the VCO I was purchasing at my local grocery store. I am able to get 10.14 fl. oz. (or 300 mL) of Vatika oil for $3.99 at my local Indian grocer, whereas a 14 oz. bottle of VCO costs me more than $10 a jar. Don’t get me wrong, I still purchase VCO (the SO uses it on his skin;). However, the Vatika oil is a more cost-effective alternative for my pre-poos where I use a decent amount of product. I save the VCO for my SO and for adding to my DCs. Since I’ve incorporated pre-poos into my routine, I’m able to do some light, dry finger-detangling prior to my shampoo and conditioning session. I would have never imagined trying a dry detangle prior to this (though detangling a stretched TnC is far easier than detangling a WnG). However, given that hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, I welcomed the idea of doing some of the “heavy lifting” on dry hair in order to reduce mechanical damage. Another effect that I attribute to coconut oil is shinier and more moisturized hair. I generally find that I don’t need to rewet my hair during the week (though I do tend to apply some product(s) – oil, butter and/or gel – 1 or 2 times during the week).

One thing I will advise is that though my hair LOVES coconut oil for pre-poos and added to my DCs, it hates it for sealing. They start out playing nice, but a fight inevitably breaks out the next day and my ends are left dry and crunchy. A lot of people seem to experience the same altercation! So, that is something that you should keep in mind when using coconut oil. It may be good for one thing, but not for another and you should pay attention to your hair’s reaction to products, even the same product, when used in different ways.

Tips:
  1. Coconut/Vatika oil is solid at normal room temperatures and should be melted in its closed container under or submerged in hot water (not the microwave). If it’s kept in a warmer location (like my condo during the summer – I hate AC!), it will liquify.
  2. Pour an inch or two of melted coconut/Vatika oil into a dye applicator bottle for easier melting and convenience of application.

*************************************************************************************************************************

Have you tried pre-pooing? What type of oil(s) and/or conditioner(s) do you use and what results have you experienced, if any? Would you recommend pre-pooing as a regimen building block?



Mineral Oil v. Coconut Oil

Standard

Around this time last year, I watched a youtube video on CurlyNikki’s site about pre-poos with coconut oil. The YouTuber mentioned that coconut oil is the only oil with molecules small enough that it can actually penetrate the hair shaft and enter the cortex. She then indicated that this unique ability of coconut oil enables it to prevent hygral fatigue. Hygral fatigue? What is that you ask? Well I did too. In my search for more answers, I found the information below in an article on NaturallyCurly.com.  It not only explained the benefits of coconut oil, but dispells the misconception that mineral oil has absolutely no benefits and is all bad.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Coconut oil and improved resistance to wash-wear

The presence of coconut oil inside the cortex of hair provides multiple benefits. It acts as a plasticizer to soften the hair and provide more flexibility and toughness. Coconut oil also increases retention of keratin molecules within the hair shaft, which reduces protein erosion that normally occurs during wash cycles. Continuous loss of protein over time from routine washing damages hair and can result in color fading, split ends, and breakage, so anything that can moderate this phenomenon is beneficial.

An additional advantage to coconut oil inside the hair shaft is that it decreases the amount of swelling of the hair shaft that normally occurs when immersed in water. Normally, when hair is saturated with water during the washing process, it absorbs up to 30% or more of its weight in water. This causes each strand to swell considerably, which can lead to several undesirable effects. Increasing the diameter of the hair shaft causes the outer covering of cuticle scales to lift and separate, which increases tangling and breakage. But, perhaps more subtle, is the damage done over time from many cycles of expansion and contraction.

Hair is a highly complex biomaterial composed of layers of differing materials, ranging from varying types of keratin structures to pigment molecules to fatty acids. When it is saturated with water and swells and then subsequently dries via natural or thermal means, it undergoes what is known as differential drying and differential deformation (because each separate type of molecule within the overall structure dries and deforms at differing rates). This leads to moisture-induced stress on the hair, which can lead to delamination (cuticle layer stripping off), breakage, fiber fatigue, and rupture (split ends). This whole phenomenon is referred to as hygral fatigue. So, anything that reduces hygral fatigue is great for the health of your hair in the long term.

___________________________________________________________________________________

As I often see people asking about the benefits of coconut oil, pre-poos and swearing off mineral oil as the devil, I thought this would be a good article to share. It lead to the addition of pre-poos, coconut oil and/or Vatika oil to my regimen. One caveat, I don’t like coconut oil as a sealer because it makes my hair feels like straw the following day (I use JBCO to seal; LOVES it!!). But coconut oil as a pre-poo and/or added to my deep conditioner is *mwah mwah*!!!

**************************************************************************************************************

Later Today:
Senegalese Twists/Twist Out (Two-in-One!)
Question of the Day