When we call this masque ultra-deep conditioning, we’re not kidding. We’ve taken the highly moisturizing, hair-growth promoting, and shine-enhancing qualities that have made coconut oil the darling of haircare junkies everywhere and ramped them up to 11 with keratin for added smoothing and strengthening and our blend of 4 growth-promoting herbs.
What's a Hair Masque?
Hair masques are ultra-deep conditioning treatments designed for weekly or monthly rather than daily use. If regular conditioner is a daily body lotion, hair masques are the richest of after-shower body butters.
Hair is incredibly absorbent of basically everything, meaning that it quickly saturates with water when wet, hindering its ability to absorb anything else, like, say, a conditioner. Hair masques circumvent this by being used on dry hair pre-wash, and left on for a minimum of 15 min with light heat exposure, maximizing product absorption.
Because they are left on longer, and intended to penetrate deeper, masques (should be) made with a far higher oil/fat content, and none of the sensitizing ingredients that can be found in conditioners.
Hair is made from the protein keratin. Individual hairs have an inner marrow, surrounded by a core of keratin and protected by an outermost cuticle of dead cells. Although the keratin core of a hair shaft is responsible for the color and texture of each hair, the cuticle is responsible for the strength, hydration, elasticity, and shininess of your hair. A healthy hair cuticle is undisturbed and flat, fully protecting the keratin core from damage and drying out.
If the cuticle is raised, worn, or otherwise damaged such as through dying or use of heat tools, hair will become porous, rough and easily breakable. Topically applying protein to your hair can help temporarily(!!) smooth and fill in small holes or cracks in the cuticle, protecting the delicate core from dehydration and damage. The result, if used consistently, will be smoother, shinier, less frizzy hair that is less prone to split ends and breakage.
Rub a small amount of between palms to melt oils and then massage into scalp and hair. Repeat as many times as necessary to fully saturate hair and scalp from root to tip. Cover with plastic cap and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before washing and conditioning as normal. For best results, allow to sit overnight. We recommend using once weekly for maintenance, and as many as three times a week to improve condition of extremely dry or damaged hair.
Limits of Externally Applied Protein
While topical protein can do a world of good for your hair, we want to take a quick minute to be crystal clear that it cannot replace or overcome a protein-deficient diet. Hair is made from protein, so if you do not eat enough protein, your body will not have the building blocks it needs to make more hair. Think of it like leaving the eggs out of a cake batter, and then expecting to be able to fix the cake after it comes out of the oven by slathering egg on the outside. Technically the cake has eggs now, but it can’t just absorb the egg and rise properly.
Not all people or all hair needs a high protein hair treatment. If the hair cuticle is healthy and balanced, and you’re genetically predisposed to non-porous hair, coating the hair in yet more protein can actually result in protein buildup.
Protein buildup can look a lot like protein deficiency to a novice. Hair will look frizzy and dull, tangle easily, and can easily appear to be dried out because of the frizz. The key difference is that, since the cuticle is fully covering and protecting the core of the hair, it will not be weak, brittle and porous.
If you can’t tell if your hair is weaker or more brittle than it should be, the easiest way to check if your hair has protein buildup is to experiment with a clarifying shampoo vs a high protein treatment and see which one results in less frizzy hair.
***Just make sure to choose a quality clarifying shampoo that removes buildup without stripping hair, because low quality ones tend to be overly harsh and can damage hair.
What's in the Jar
Coconut Oil is deeply moisturizing, with both emollient and occlusive properties. Its unique benefit to hair however is its superior ability to prevent protein loss from hair’s cortex in hair.
Keratin is the protein that hair is actually made of. When applied topically to hair, keratin treatments can temporarily re-seal the cuticle (the protective shell around the hair shaft) preventing additional protein, color, and moisture loss; reducing the appearance of split ends; and smoothing hair and eliminating frizz. Unfortunately, externally applied keratin doesn’t just stick to hair on its own, and the stronger the method used to bond keratin to the hair, the more dramatic the result, and the more damage it will cause long-term.
Ginseng has been indicated for hair growth in traditional Eastern medicine for centuries, but proper scientific study has not yet progressed beyond in vitro (or in the lab) studies confirming that it can reduce hair loss and may promote hair growth. Why this might be the case is not yet known, nor is the extent of efficacy outside of lab-controlled settings.
Rosemary is anti-inflammatory, has some antibacterial and antifungal properties, and may strengthen circulation. Although rosemary has been used as a hair loss treatment for centuries, proper modern medical research on its effectiveness is in its infancy. There is some evidence that it is also a DHT blocker, but results are not yet conclusive, and rosemary's impact on other types of hair loss has not yet been studied.
Nettle has been used as an herbal hair loss remedy for centuries, but lacks the modern research necessary to be termed a hair loss treatment. It is rich in silica and sulpher, both of which have been indicated in hair loss prevention, may be yet another DHT blocker, and contains both antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Nettle improves shine, and, if steeped into a tea and used as a rinse can darken lighter hair colors.
Marshmallow is softening and produces a significant amount of mucilage, a thick, slippery protectant produced by some plants. Mucilage can help detangle hair by making it more slippery, and bonds to keratin, which can make hair strands appear thicker. Marshmallow is also an emollient that softens and moisturizes.
Castor Oil is wildly popular as an at-home hair growth treatment, due in part to widespread anecdotal claims of its efficacy. Unfortunately, there isn't enough quality research into its use to either prove or disprove its effectiveness, much less identify a mechanism. The upshot is that it may promote hair growth, its use won’t harm hair or scalp health, and it has plenty of other highly moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to justify its inclusion in hair formulations.
Argan Oil is fast-absorbing, and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can also be beneficial for scalp health. Most importantly, it is highly moisturizing. As an emollient, it softens and hydrates hair, and as an occlusive, it smooths and protects from environmental damage. These properties lead to less frizz, higher shine and less breakage.
Jojoba Oil is chemically so similar to sebum (the body’s natural oil) that the body responds to it as though it were sebum. This allows jojoba oil to penetrate quickly, easily and deeply into skin and hair, pulling its humectant, (selectively) antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with it.
Avocado Oil is emollient and occlusive, and distinguished by being incredibly nutrient-dense. It has high levels of fatty acids (mostly oleic acid), phytosterols, lecithin, all of which are deeply moisturizing and antioxidants and vitamins A & E, which address environmental damage.
Full Ingredient List
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Rosemary Officinales (Rosemary), Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow), Panax Ginseng Root (Ginseng), Aqua (Water), Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Ricinus