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Overdoing Hair with Conditioner

Q: My hair is a medium brown, but a good portion is highlighted to a dirty blond color for the last 10 years. I air dry my hair at night, and use a curling iron to style in the morning. I use molding paste and hairspray, and sometimes a scrunching gel. My hair tends to be dry, so I try to keep it well conditioned.
 
      I tried using Sebastianís Potion # 9 as a leave-in conditioner. I wash and condition my hair with Redken Allsoft products every other day, using only conditioner on the off days. Then I applied the Potion # 9, and a little Redken Align 12 to hold down the frizzies every day. Once a week I use Neutrogena anti-residue to remove buildup, and use Redken Heavy Cream to deep condition. After a few weeks, Instead of my hair getting silkier, it seemed to be getting dryer. Iíve since switched to using Fructis leave-in anti frizz serum instead of the Potion # 9, and my hair is much softer and shinier. Was I overdoing it putting on the Potion # 9 everyday?

 
A: In looking over the Sebastian Potion 9 ingredient list I see glycerin as the number two ingredient. Glycerin is a remarkable substance and does great things for moisturizing products. However, glycering is hydroscopic, meaning it absorbs water from its surroundings.
 
      Itís possible that the problems you have had with the product are a result of the way the glycerin in the product was interacting with your hair. (Particularly if the glycerin wasnít penetrating your hair shaft, but was simply sitting on the surface of the cuticle.)
 
      The Fructis on the other hand (made by Garnier) contains fruit extracts and oils as its active moisturizing ingredients. These may not help the hair absorb and hold moisture in the same way, but they smooth the cuticle layer, and leave the hair shiny and silky smooth.
 
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