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No More Going Knotty Thanks To The L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Combing Cream

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Ever heard the term “mechanical stress”? Well, rest assured that, while your emotional and mental state are not affected by this phenomenon, your hair might just be a victim of this occurrence. Mechanical stress refers to the damaging effects of brushing and combing on strands — from friction that results in frizz to the tugging and pulling that so often leads to breakage and split ends. If your hair is dry, chemically teated, and damaged — or simply prone to tangling— the adverse effects of brushing and combing will likely be all the more severe. Now, many will suggest combing hair while in the shower, when hair is covered in conditioner and the teeth of the comb can just glide right through those coated strands. But, oftentimes, this approach just won’t suffice. Maybe the conditioner isn’t powerful enough to detangle strands, and combing through a knotty mane certainly isn’t advisable. Or perhaps you do comb through those conditioner-coated strands only to encounter more knots after rinsing. In these situations, you can rely on a leave-in moisturizer but this, again, might not loosen those knots and reduce combing friction. And, while there are detangling products on the market, some sprays contain alcohols and sulfates that only further dehydrate strands. So how do you get the extra dose of moisture needed and also create the desired slip to effortlessly comb strands? Simple: a combing cream.

Back in October, I extolled the benefits of the Carol’s Daughter 4-in-1 Combing Cremes, but it’s important to note that it was inspired by the success of the pioneer in the combing cream category: the L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Combing Cream ($40; visit Lanza.com for salons).  As its name suggests, the L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Combing Cream increases surface lubricity, thereby facilitating the combing or brushing process, but it goes beyond this function, helping to fortify strands and prevent frizz.

This lightweight cream contains positively-charged keratin (or cationic keratin) particles that bind to the hair’s negatively charged amino acid molecules. For this reason, the bonds created by these keratin molecules strengthen hair fibers while also creating a protective coating. They also displace accumulated water, which can lead to frizz and dryness.  But keratin isn’t the only wonder ingredient in the formula. The L’ANZA combing cream also relies on a Phyto IV Complex consisting of abyssinian flower oil, a non-greasy plant extract with a high concentration of unsaturated C22 fatty acids and a superior spreadability quotient; coffee seed oil, which is said to promote hair growth and which contains antioxidants that protect hair from heat and UV damage; açai fruit oil, an antioxidant-rich substance that softens strands, boosts shine, strengthens brittle hair, and helps to prevent frizz; and babassu kernel oil, a fantastic emollient and deep conditioner for dry, damaged, and color-treated hair. Together these plant oils create the desired “slip” factor. Marine saccharides and seaweed extract, in turn, further reduce the glide force, eradicating any cause of mechanical stress during the combing process.

The L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Combing Cream, then, not only makes combing strands a painless and harmless proposition, but it hydrates, smooths, protects, and fortifies strands, making it a great leave-in product and one that can easily take the place of a leave-in conditioner. It also shortens drying time and prevents both frizz and flyaways, making it an effective styling aide.

After trying this product for months, I consider it indispensable. In fact, I’d argue that, if you have fine-to-medium hair, this might be a better choice than the Carol’s Daughter Combing Cremes since it won’t weigh down strands at all whereas the CD products have a thicker consistency that could ostensibly flatten your ‘do if your hair isn’t on the coarser, thicker, and/or curly end of the spectrum. Also, the L’ANZA cream’s keratin content repairs and fortifies strands in the long term, so that you’ll be ensuring your mane’s future health while also preventing combing-related damage.

You can use the L’ANZA Healing Oil Combing Cream on damp or dry hair. The consistency is delightful — a milky cream that’s almost serum-like  and which doesn’t feel tacky or gummy — and strands won’t go limp after application. Ideally, you should rely on the product when combing strands after shampooing and conditioning, using only a tiny amount as needed when dry (for instance, on those days in between shampoos when hair might have gotten a bit tangled along the ends).

Once you start using this product, you’ll never grimace while combing your hair again. Talk about a stress-buster!

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