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A How To Guide to Moisturizing Your Natural Hair

African woman mad at her hairMoisture 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.

Sealing

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.

Effective Sealing

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.

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Creating a Natural Hair Regimen

Surprised woman

Repost from The Brandista Guide

When starting a healthy hair journey it can be quite overwhelming. Most people have to forget the improper lessons of the past and do something completely different. Patience, knowledge, and consistency is going to be the best option for turning your hair around. Therefore, if you’re starting a natural or healthy hair journey, the first place to start is with a regimen. There are seven steps to a proper hair care regimen. The products and the order of the regimen will vary from person to person but the seven steps below provide the foundation of what you need for a healthy hair journey.

Shampoo – Shampooing hair is usually the first step for many people in their regimen. You want to make sure your shampoo doesn’t have harsh ingredients such as sulfates (SLS), parabens, and mineral oil. I suggest washing your hair once a week to see if you need to wash more often or less. I know some naturals who wash their hair once a week, once a month, or not at all (although most will use some cleansers to remove build-up from their hair like Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar, or cleansing conditioners).

Protein Treatment – Protein treatments are extremely important for those with damaged hair and for those trying to maintain the strength of your hair. Your hair is made of protein so adding protein back in your hair gives it strength. I would only do this once a month for most people, twice a month if your hair is extremely damaged. It is very important to do a protein treatment after you’ve compromised the strength of your hair in some way; such as using heat. You want to make sure you follow up every protein treatment with a moisturizing conditioner.

Conditioner – This is extremely important after shampooing your hair. Even if you use a sulfate-free shampoo your hair will still crave moisture. This is where the conditioner comes in. Many naturals condition multiple times a week, while skipping the shampoo process, commonly referred to as co-washing.

Tip: After conditioning, use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair instead of a harsh towel. This will eliminate a lot of frizz and keep your hair feel soft and not stripped!

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