One of the main dilemmas that people with natural hair come across is keeping their hair moisturized. Retaining moisture in one’s hair can be quite a task, especially during these cooler weather conditions. Here are some tips that can be done to keep you hair hydrated:
Water equals moisture! Unfortunately, it is not the only ingredient needed to keep your hair looking and feeling soft, silky, shiny and moisturized, but it is the most important. Be sure when buying moisturizers and conditioners that they are water based and water is listed as the first ingredient on each product.
Try using sulfate free shampoos. Sulfate strips the hair of it’s much needed natural oils, therefore making it dry and more difficult to keep moisturized. Keep in mind to wait at least 2 weeks before shampooing your hair.
Use moisturizing conditioners only. Be sure that your conditioner/deep conditioner contains moisturizing ingredients such as water, oils (olive, coconut, avocado), humectants (honey, glycerin) and fatty alcohols. Humectants bind water and retain moisture while fatty alcohols add moisture and soften hair. If your conditioners are not homemade then many of those needed ingredients can simply just be added.
Try an effective seal in moisture method. This involves what some naturals like to call the L.O.C. (liquid, oil, cream) method. This method is known to be the most beneficial when it comes to moisturizing. First the liquid is applied (preferably water or a water based leave-in), then an oil is applied to seal in the liquid, followed by a moisturizing cream or butter that seals in the oil. Not only is it 3 simple steps, but once completed it guarantees to retain and seal the moisture with each step.
Try spritzing your hair with water. You don’t want to keep your hair wet all day for it will lead to future damages, but adding a little mist to it will keep your hair hydrated. Possibly even try adding an oil after spritzing or even adding vegetable glycerin into the water bottle. Vegetable glycerin prevents breakage and adds mositure to the hair when added with water.
Apply a hot oil treatment at least once a month. Hot oil treatments are great with penetrating the oils into the hair for the maximum moisturizing results. First heat a significant amount of water in the microwave or on the stove. Remove before boiling. Place the choice of oil(s) (olive, jojoba, castor, almond, coconut, avocado, sesame, argan) in a separate container and place that container in water. Let sit for a few minutes until container of oil(s) become warm. Apply the warm oil(s) to preferably thoroughly washed and conditioned hair, massaging all areas of the hair with the oil(s). Place plastic cap over head for about 30 minutes. Please note that the oil(s) do not have to be heated before applying. A heating technique (blow dryer, heated towel, head dryer) can be used after the oil(s) and plastic cap has been added.
Drink water! Water is beneficial for hair both internally and externally. Drinking the required 6-8 glasses a day will help with moisture and help keep the hair and body hydrated.
Touch your hair as little as possible. The more you touch your hair the less moisture your hair will have. The oils and moisture go straight from your hair to your hands.
Protect your hair with a satin/silk scarf, bonnet and/or pillow. This will reduce hair from losing moisture while you sleep or whenever coming in contact with with cotton, wool or any other fabric that removes moisture from hair.
Experiment! Every person’s texture of hair is different and every product and method will have a different result for each individual. What works for one person may not work for the next. So go and try what is best for you and your hair.