Product Spotlight: Hair Masques

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the word "winter" most likely conjures thoughts of bitter cold, blustery winds, long nights and short days. Some days there's so much snow, you couldn't leave your house if you wanted to. And let's be honest, many of us would happily spend most of our time inside, rather than braving the worst of what winter has to offer. We hunker down, bundle up, snuggle in and do what we can to stay cozy during this harsh time of year. 

One problem many of us face during this time is the struggle to stay hydrated. The air around us doesn't have as much moisture as it does in the summer months, which can leave our hair dry and brittle, and our skin flaky and cracked. There are lots ways to combat this, like increasing your water intake, keeping a chapstick within reach at all times, and adding a moisturizing lotion to your after-shower routine. We do our best to treat our hair gently with regular care, but sometimes in the dark of winter our regular products need a helping hand in keeping our hair looking & feeling it’s best. 

Upfront Cosmetics is here to help. Our line of hair masques are packed with tons of lightweight, non-greasy, and nourishing oils & butters that serve as a deep conditioning treatment for your hair. Simply take one masque cube and  ¼ cup of just boiled water, pop it into a heat safe bowl, and stir until it has a creamy consistency. Let it cool, then apply it all over your hair and scalp. In as little as 5 minutes, your hair will be softer, smoother and shinier. The longer you let the masque work its magic, the more luxurious your hair will feel. 

Today we're taking a deep dive into the various butters and oils we use in our hair masques, and the science behind what makes them perfect for giving your hair that extra boost it needs to stay shiny and healthy all through the winter!

Mango- One ingredient you’ll find in each of our hair masques is mango butter. Derived from mango kernels, it has a lighter, smoother feel than other butters, like shea butter. It's got high levels of fatty acids which seal and protect strands, and it has loads of antioxidants that shield from environmental stressors like sun and heat damage. Rich in vitamins A and E, mango butter has a deep moisturizing and regenerative effect on both strands and scalp. It fortifies strands from the inside out, softens dry hair, reduces breakage, and smooths split ends. These vitamins are also amazing when it comes to locking in moisture and helping to prevent scalp irritation and flaking—without ever leaving the hair greasy or flat. If you color your hair, and want to keep it from fading, Mango Butter’s protective qualities make it a natural choice for adding a layer of protection. The same can be said when it comes to using hot tools like blow dryers and irons, or after chemical treatments. For those with allergies to nut butter, such as coconut, mango butter is a great alternative. 

 

Kokum- Kokum butter is harvested from the fruit seeds of the kokum tree, primarily cultivated in India. It’s rich in essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. These fatty acids stimulate the scalp and make it easier for your hair and skin to absorb nutrients. Kokum butter also enhances hair elasticity, helping to keep breakage at bay.  It’s less greasy than other butters and doesn’t leave any fragrance behind. It is also non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores!

Abyssinian- Grown in Africa and around the Mediterranean, Abyssinian oil has a short growing cycle of 90-100 days and doesn’t require as much water as other similar crops, making it an environmentally-friendly crop to produce. Chemically, it’s a close match to the oils naturally produced by our own skin, providing the ultimate natural hydration. It’s rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and has a fatty acid profile that was almost made for hair care. Specifically, it contains a high level of erucic acid, which naturally eradicates fungus growth on the scalp which causes dandruff.

Avocado- Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids and minerals, making it great for strengthening hair. The antioxidants and Vitamin-E in the oil make it excellent for taming frizz, locking in moisture, and retaining shine. This makes it ideal for damaged, dull, dry or frizzy hair.

 

Tucuma- Tucuma butter is made from Brazilian tucuma palm seeds. Much like the other butters found in our products, tucuma butter is packed with antioxidants and fatty acids which moisturize the hair without weighing it down. It’s also special in it’s own ways. Tucuma contains a ton of beta carotene, which becomes vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy hair. It’s also classified as a vegetable silicone, mimicking silicone’s ability to lock out humidity and smooth hair strands.

Jojoba- First things first, let’s clear something up. It's pronounced ho-ho-ba, the J’s are silent. This oil is extracted from the jojoba plant, which grows in Mexico and the southern US. It’s another oil with a chemical structure similar to what our scalp produces, making it a favorite among those with skin sensitivity. Jojoba oil hydrates the hair deep within, moisturizing and treating the hair follicles from the inside. It helps treat dandruff and dry scalp problems, as well as adds shine and softness.

Apricot- Apricot oil, taken from the pit of the fruit, is high in omega-9 fatty acids linoleic and oleic acid, which makes the scalp and hair softer and more pliable. It not only seals in moisture, but continues to absorb small amounts of moisture from the humidity in the air around you. Additionally, it has a high concentration of Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

 

Aloe- Many people are already aware of the beneficial & medicinal properties of the aloe plant, and you might even have one in your home. Aloe vera gel is commonly used in skin care, and also to treat burns, eczema, psoriasis and other skin maladies. To make aloe butter, the gel from the aloe vera plant is combined with a butter, commonly shea or soy butter. It has many of the same fatty acids and amino acids commonly found in similar oils, and is rich in vitamins A, B12, C, and E. In haircare, aloe butter can help to moisturize, condition, and repair dry, damaged, brittle hair and split ends, as well as soothe dry and irritated scalp problems. Researchers have found that aloe vera can significantly decrease the scaliness and itchiness caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a common skin condition that causes dandruff, red skin, and scaly patches

Camellia- The oil harvested from the camellia flower, also known as Tsubaki, has been a well kept beauty secret of Japanese women for generations, and is often associated with the beauty routines of geishas. It is quite easily absorbed by the body, and penetrates deeply into the hair shaft, strengthening hair from the inside to help prevent breakage and increase elasticity. It’s also rich in essential vitamins and minerals as well as oleic acid and omega-9 fats, all of which fortify hair follicles and improve scalp health. It all comes together to make camellia oil a great nourishing moisturizer for dry or damaged hair and skin.

Kokum- Kokum butter is harvested from the fruit seeds of the kokum tree, primarily cultivated in India. It’s rich in essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. These fatty acids stimulate the scalp and make it easier for your hair and skin to absorb nutrients. Kokum butter also enhances hair elasticity, helping to keep breakage at bay.  It’s less greasy than other butters and doesn’t leave any fragrance behind. It is also non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores!

Avocado- Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids and minerals, making it great for strengthening hair. The antioxidants and Vitamin-E in the oil make it excellent for taming frizz, locking in moisture, and retaining shine. This makes it ideal for damaged, dull, dry or frizzy hair.

Babassu- Babassu butter comes from a tropical oil made from the seeds of the babassu palm, a tree native to the rain forests of South America. It has similar properties and benefits to coconut oil, but is far more lightweight and leaves your hair feeling less oily. It’s rich in antioxidants and the fatty acids lauric and myristic acid. These are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and moisturizing, making it great for your skin and hair. It can add volume to dry, flat hair without weighing it down.

Argan- It’s no secret that argan oil is massively popular in haircare. Also known as Moroccan oil, is extracted from nuts of the argan tree found in Morocco, and does wonders for your hair. It’s packed with beneficial ingredients like vitamin E, ferulic acid, and fatty acids, as well as antioxidants, which fight UV rays, and hair cell damage. Argan oil will not only protect your hair from heat, but will nourish and moisturize it, reducing dryness, and frizziness. It’s another common substitution for coconut oil, as it’s not as greasy as Coconut Oil, making it perfect for more frequent use.

Avocado- Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids and minerals, making it great for strengthening hair. The antioxidants and Vitamin-E in the oil make it excellent for taming frizz, locking in moisture, and retaining shine. This makes it ideal for damaged, dull, dry or frizzy hair.

Cupuaçu- Cupuaçu butter has a high fatty acid content, being rich in five of the main fatty acids; Oleic, lauric stearic, myristic, palmitic. Fatty acids are important for hair health because they help stimulate hair growth at the follicle, combat dandruff and dry scalp, and they increase shine, elasticity and durability. Cupuaçu butter is able to absorb up to 4Xs its weight in water making it the perfect solution to dry, parched hair. Cupuaçu butter is known to work wonders particularly on ethnic hair and can restore its natural smoothness and soft texture
Broccoli- This natural oil, taken from the broccoli seed, is packed with hair-nourishing vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B6. These make your hair strong and silky smooth, while eliminating hair frizz. Broccoli seed oil is another oil with a unique fatty acid composition that mimics the silicone found in other shampoos, which helps your hair truly shine. With all its fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, broccoli seed oil is a wonderful at-home treatment for your scalp.

Sacha Inchi- Sacha Inchi is a plant native to South America and the Caribbean. Because it was traditionally consumed by indigenous groups in Peru, it’s sometimes referred to as mountain peanut or Inca nut. It’s most commonly harvested for the large edible seeds inside the fruit, rather than the fruit itself, but it’s popularity in cosmetics is growing. It’s also a common cooking oil! It’s positively packed with essential fatty acids Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9. Omega-3s are extremely beneficial for skin and hair, helping to regulate oil production and lock in moisture. The lightness of the oil means it’s absorbed easily and quickly into the skin, ideal for brittle hair and dry scalp.