2016 Ceramides Challenge


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New Hair, New You!

Want improved moisture/protein balance? Manage porosity? Shinier hair? Stronger more manageable hair? Fortify you hair against heat/chemical services?


Whether you are relaxed, texlaxed, permed, natural, use diect heat, indirect heat, low heat, no heat, color treated, highlighted, no color; Everyone can benefit from ceramides.

What are ceramides?

Ceramides are fatty molecules that naturally occur in the hair fiber. They are the "glue' of the hair fiber that hold all of the layers together.

How do ceramides benefit hair?

Ceramides form a seal on the cuticle layer, limiting the loss of protein molecules from the hair shaft; protecting the fiber against normal wear and tear from manipulation (washing & styling), UV rays, heat and chemical services; like dye, relaxers etc. This seal also helps to keep the cuticle flat and tightly packed; they fill in gaps in the cuticle, giving shine and keeping porosity low. Over time, hair loses ceramide molecules. From heat and chemical but also just from the hair istself aging. Older and/or damaged hair contains less ceramide than newer/healthier hair. So it makes sense to incorporate ceramides to maintain hair health.

*Note: Ceramides help limit the loss of protein and help strengthen the hair fiber. However they are not proteins, nor can they replace protein in your reggie. (Some people have found they need less protein though)

Where can I find ceramides?

There are plant oils and extracts that contain plant ceramides. They function much the same as those found in our own hair. Many hair products also contain natural and synthetic ceramides.

The Challenge will run in four parts:

Part 1: January 1st –March 31st
Part 2: April 1st – June 30th
Part 3: July 1st – September 30th
Part 4: October 1st - December 31st

Challenge Rules:

1. Use a ceramide containing product at least once a week; once per session if you are really looking to reap the benefits of ceramides (session = m/s, DC'ing, pre-pooing, etc).

2. Check in and let us know how its going for you. Share your ceramide-rich products with us as you use them. We can inspire those who aren't using ceramides to finally use that leave-in all the way in the back of their stash because of the ceramide benefit.

a. What ceramide oil(s)/product(s) did you use?
b. How did you use it? (pre-poo, poo, DC, leave-in, sealing etc)
c. What benefits are you experiencing by including ceramides into your regi? Shine? Softness? Manageability?

3. Share your reviews on products you have tried, as well as any ceramide info you may stumble upon.
I like this thread and I order pure ceramide to add to my products. But I'm not responsible enough to join a challenge so I'll pass. I hope more people join though because ceramides are a must have. I think people don't realize that it can be bought separately like SAA... Lotioncrafters has it.
I like this thread and I order pure ceramide to add to my products. But I'm not responsible enough to join a challenge so I'll pass. I hope more people join though because ceramides are a must have. I think people don't realize that it can be bought separately like SAA... Lotioncrafters has it.

There's no pressure @Kinky4Agirl , just post when you think about it. That's what we've been doing :). Well, I've been doing ;).
Thanks a million for remembering me @NaturallyATLPCH.

I moisturized with Mizani D'Tangle leave in, then moisturized and sealed with my shealoe sunflower oil infused butter today.

Replait my celies and preparing for bed now.
Also I have a Matrix Conditioning balm that could use some help so I'll add some hempseed butter or oil to it.

@NaturallyATLPCH, can you please add the list of ceramide oils and products to the original post as well? It would help all new challengers I believe and it would certainly help me.

If not, can you post the link to the other thread in your original post here? That's a great help as well. TIA
You are here: Home / GROWTH / DEEP CONDITIONING / What Are Ceramides And What Do They Mean For Your Hair
What Are Ceramides And What Do They Mean For Your Hair

I got this from www.blackhairinformation.com:


So what are ceramides and do you need them in your regimen?
Ceramides are one of 3 naturally occurring lipids aka fatty material found in the hair’s cuticle. Not to be confused with Sebum which is found on the surface of the cuticle, ceramides’ function in the cuticle is to act as a binder to keep the cuticle layer in place. So why are they important in hair care I hear you ask.

Well as we know the cuticle is the hair strand’s defense layer which is why you hear about cold water or acv rinses to close the cuticles after a wash.

Closed cuticles give your hair that shine/sheen that practically screams ‘healthy hair’ hence closing the door to potential damage that may threaten the vulnerable cortex inside.

The cuticle layer is also the thinnest layer of our hair and can be damaged or removed by just vigorous combing or shampooing (typical)! With the cuticle layer gone, the cortex is exposed and breakage inevitable.

Along come ceramides to save the day; they create a protective barrier around the hair to hold in moisture and protein while also guarding the hair from chemical damage, heat damage and UV rays as such ‘repairing’ the cuticle layer.

Now we all know the trilogy of healthy hair is moisture, elasticity and strength, ceramides fit quite snugly into the strength category. They are not proteins but studies show that hair which has been treated with ceramide containing conditioners showed an increase in tensile strength which is fabulous news for the protein sensitive among us. Ceramides give all the benefits of protein treatments without any of the downsides!

We now have companies with patented synthetic ceramides in their products, I seem to remember a L’oreal product with ‘Ceramide Cement’ in an advert recently so clearly ceramides are here to stay.

Before you run out of the house to load up on ceramide containing products, you should know that ceramide ‘take up’ that is to say that ceramides that bind to the hair and are not washed off mostly happened in lye processed hair (63%), a bit less in No-lye processed hair (53%) and much less in natural untreated hair (18%).

It is no secret that relaxing strips most of the natural hair oils so ceramides in a relaxed hair regimen would seem vital. I would also imagine that those of us who are natural but straighten our hair regularly would certainly benefit from ceramides too.

As mentioned before, there are both naturally occurring ceramides and synthetic ones. There isn’t much evidence to show any difference better or worse between the natural or the synthetic ones but it may be worth considering that commercial products with ceramides in them have been specially formulated to provide these lipids in ample amounts to ensure maximum up take.

Here's a little more info I found on ceramides that might be helpful:

Although ceramides occur naturally in the healthy strand, we impact normal levels when we undergo a chemical process, use excessive heat or even by the simple act of combing or washing the hair. In fact, there was a study done where the hair strand was observed on test subjects prior to, and after, shampooing.

Believe it or not, the cuticle layer is chipped away each time we wash and comb our hair. This type of cuticle damage can be minimized by by making sure your ceramide levels are in check. So let's talk about how we can do just that.

One of the first things you can do is read the back of your product label to see if you have any ceramide containing products in your arsenal. If the ingredient list doesn't explicitly say “ceramide” on the label, check for 2-oleamido or 1-3 octadecanedio. These are both synthetic replicas of our naturally occurring ceramides.

One way to boost levels of our own ceramide production is to massage our scalp daily with eucalyptus oil. Another study done asked women to massage their scalp 2 times daily with a solution containing 3% eucalyptus oil. After 3 months of consistent use the women (who had natural, un-treated hair) increased their ceramide levels by 120% producing “thicker, visibly healthier hair!”

Here's the catch, this method only worked with the newly grown hair. Applying the eucalyptus oil lotion didn't impact ceramide amounts the hair's length. Women who've incorporated ceramides in their regimen often say their hair feels stronger but without that stiffness that protein gives. Does this mean your hair no longer needs protein? Nope.

While ceramides do help reinforce the strand, they aren't as effective at strengthening the inner layers of the hair like protein does.

I also read that the best way to use ceramides is in your leave ins. Some still bind to the hair during washing and conditioning but the best results are still in the leave ins. I will just have to keep using my oils with ceramides to seal my hair and/or simply add some to my leave ins.


ETA: I always add quite a bit of sunflower oil to my relaxer when I texlax it and have been doing so for 3 years now. No wonder why I get such great results. My hair stays very soft.
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Oils containing ceramides
  • Safflower oil 78%
  • Grape seed oil 73%
  • Poppyseed oil 70%
  • Sunflower oil 68%
  • Hemp oil 60%
  • Corn oil 59%
  • Wheat germ oil 55%
  • Cottonseed oil 54%
  • Soybean oil 51%
  • Walnut oil 51%
  • Sesame oil 45%
  • Rice bran oil 39%
  • Pistachio oil 32.7%
  • Peanut oil 32%
  • Canola oil 21%
  • Egg yolk 16%
  • Linseed oil 15%
  • Lard 10%
  • Olive oil 10%
  • Palm oil 10%
  • Cocoa butter 3%
  • Macadamia oil 2%
  • Butter 2%
  • Coconut oil 2%
Hair Products Containing Ceramides

  • Affirm Fiberguard Sustenance Treatment
  • Aubrey Organics Products
  • BPT Wheat Germ Conditioner
  • Claudie’s Hair Revitalizer Growth Elixir
  • Claudie’s Hair Revitalizer Ends Insurance
  • Crece Pelo Leave-In
  • Creme of Nature (Green Bottle/Old Formula)
  • Garnier Fructis Instant Melting Strength and Repair Masque
  • Hask Cerafix
  • Ion Moisturizing Treatment
  • Jane Carter’s Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
  • Joico K-Pak Reconstructor
  • Kan Kanechomn Ceramide Deep Conditioning Cream
  • L’Oreal Elvive Nutri-Ceramide Deep Repair Concentrate
  • L’Oreal Serle Expert Liss Starter Ionene G + Ceramide Pre-Smoothing Treatment
  • Lustrasilk Cholesterol
  • Lustrasilk Shea Butter
  • Lustrasilk Mango
  • Matrix Biolage Cera-Repair
  • Matrix Biolage Fortifying conditioner
  • Matrix Biolage Cera-Repair Hydratherapie
  • Matrix Biolage Ultra-Conditioning Balm
  • Miss Key 10 en 1 Conditioner
  • Mizani Therma Smooth
  • Nexxus Aloe Rid
  • Nexxus Botanic Oil Shampoo
  • Nexxus Headdress
  • Nexxus Humectress
  • Nexxus Keraphix
  • Nexxus Therappe
  • Optimum Care Anti-Breakage Therapy Stay Strong Shampoo
  • Optimum Care Anti-Breakage Therapy Stay Strong Conditioner
  • Optimum Care Anti-Breakage Therapy Leave-in Ultimate Strengthener
  • Optimum Care Anti-Breakage Therapy Split End Reconstructor
  • Optimum Care Anti-Breakage Therapy Cream Hairdress
  • Optimum Care Anti-Breakage Therapy Featherlight Hairdress
  • Optimum Care Anti-Breakage Therapy Relaxer System
  • ORS Hair Mayonnaise (New Formula *WGO*)
  • Proclaim Aloe Hot Oil
  • Proclaim Natural 7 Oil
  • Proclaim Natural Olive Oil
  • Redken Extreme Conditioner
  • Redken Extreme Rescue Force
  • Redken Extreme Builder Plus
  • Redken Extreme Anti-Snap
  • Redken Time Reset shampoo
  • Redken Time Reset Youth Revitalizer Treatment
  • Redken 07
  • Salerm Wheat Germ Conditioner
  • Satinique Products
  • Sedal Products
  • Shalmi Vadhera Coconut Alma Revitalizing Hair Treatment
  • Shey Butter Oil (Sally’s)
  • Silicon Mix Proteina de Perla (Pearl Protein) Leave-In
  • Silicon Mix Conditioner
  • Silicon Mix Leave-in
  • Skala Ceramide 3 Conditioner (Brazilian)
  • Softsheen Carson Breakthru Anti-Breakage – Protecting Foam
  • Softsheen Carson Breakthru Anti-Breakage – Fortifying Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Taliah Waajid Enhancing Herbal Conditioner
  • TIGI Serious Conditioner
  • Ultra Black Hair Products
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I'd like to add that certain oils such as hempseed, wheat germ, and rice bran contain actual ceramides. Sunflower, Safflower, and all the rest of those oils contain high levels of linoliac acid that act as a ceramide but aren't considered ceramides. I will find the article I read on it and link it.
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As for me today, I prepooed with Matrix Biolage Hydrasource with Aloe conditioning balm mixed with sunflower and palm oil and a dash of aloe juice.

It felt much better than it did last week. I suppose I can use it as a deep conditioner this way, but the prepoo is working swimmingly so why mess with a good thing?

I used Redken Time Reset shampoo (made my hair feel squeaky clean without feeling hard) and now I'm deep conditioning with Redken Time Reset Youth Revitalizer replenishing deep treatment for 20 minutes under hooded dryer.

This shampoo and treatment also have ceramides and camellia oil in them. I'm a little excited about that so we'll see how good it is for my hair once I'm done. I'm washing this out and finishing off with a palm oil rinse leaving some of it on my hair.

I'll be moisturizing with Redken Anti Snap leave in sealed with sunflower oil. That's me for my hair day.
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I ordered some of my oils today and here they are:

  • Tamanu Madagascar Carrier Oil - 16 oz
  • Cherry Kernel Carrier Oil - 16 oz
  • Sesame Carrier Oil 16 - oz
  • Wheatgerm Carrier Oil 16 - oz
  • Hemp Seed - Unrefined Carrier Oil 16 - oz
  • Grapeseed Carrier Oil - 16 oz
  • Black Cumin Seed (Egypt) Carrier Oil - 3.3 oz
  • Walnut Carrier Oil - 16 oz
  • Safflower Carrier Oil - 33.3 oz
  • Glycerine Vegetable - 2.2 lbs
  • Orange Sweet Essential Oil - 3.3 oz
  • Hemp Seed - Refined Carrier Oil - 16 oz
Not all of them are ceramide based but I wanted all of them.
My oils are here and I smelled my WGO and honestly it's not stinky at all. It does smell a little nutty kinda but definitely not stinky. With a little added essential oil, it should perfect.
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Garnier has a new Grow Strong line that contains ceramides. I haven't tried anything from it yet, but I do plan on trying the mask.

My hair has been in protective styles but I am going to try to add a ceramide oil to my refresher spray.