A How To Guide to Moisturizing Your Natural Hair
Moisture is arguably the most important part of a healthy hair regimen. Without moisture you end up with dry, frizzy hair that splits and breaks off. Water is the only form of moisture that exists. However, water alone isn’t effective in keeping moisture in your hair due to evaporation. Here are a few things you need to know about effectively moisturizing your natural hair.
Our scalp naturally produce sebum (oil) that is designed to coat the hair strand. But those of us with curls and kinks, have a hard time with sebum naturally running down the path of the hair strands, to coat and moisturize the hair. So we must moisturize and oil our strands manually.
After adding moisture (water) to your hair, you should seal in that moisture with naturally penetrating oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. You can seal with oil alone and/or with a leave-in that has these oils listed in the first five ingredients. These oils help by creating a barrier at the cuticle, preventing the water from evaporating off of your strands at an accelerated rate.
With all parts of a hair regimen, you have to find out what works best for your hair. Sealing can vary from person to person. For some, sealing with oil may not be enough. Those with thicker hair may need to add either a watery leave-in conditioner, before sealing, and/or a oil-based, creamy leave-in conditioner, after sealing, for their hair to remain properly moisturized after it is completely dry.
After washing and sealing with oil, ask yourself, “Does my hair still feel soft and moisturized after it is fully dry?” If the answer is no, you may need to tweak your regimen to effective seal your strands. You can test by applying different sealing methods to each side of your hair after washing.
If you’ve properly moisturized and sealed your hair, be sure to adjust your lifestyle to sustain the moisture. Here are 3 tips for that:
Satin – Sleep in a satin scarf or use a satin pillow case to keep your hair from drying out at night. Cotton will soak all the oils out of your hair and can dry it out very quickly. Adding satin to your shower cap and hats are also beneficial to your hair.
Drink Water – Healthy hair begins with a healthy diet and water is essential for almost every bodily function, including your hair. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day. Not only will water help keep your hair moisturized, but it can help your hair grow at its optimal rate. Drinking water and eating a healthy diet are much more effective at growing healthy hair than any vitamin.
Hands Off – Constantly touching your hair will strip the moisture and oils right out of your hair.
Moisturize Between Washes
You want to make sure your hair stays moisturizes. Again, you have to find what works best for your hair, but most people need to replenish the moisture in their hair between washes. For some this could be every other day and for others it could be every three days or more.
Remember, you must use water to moisturize your hair. So replenishing moisture, usually involves using a spray bottle to moisturize your strands with water and adding the sealing technique that works best for your hair or spritz your hair with a water and oil mix.
Stick to It
Once you find what works for you, stick to it. The best way to get the results you want out of your hair is to stick with a regimen that is most effective for your hair.
Don’t wait until major breakage occurs before you act. Constantly assess your hair needs and act accordingly for strong healthy hair.