Editorial note: This piece was initially published on November 18, 2017.
Other than hair growth, moisture is by far the number one area women struggle with in terms of natural hair. Moisturized hair leads to less breakage, increased length retention, easier manageability, and softer hair. The confusion comes into play when women THINK they are moisturizing their hair but it’s actually still dry and brittle. The common thing I hear said is “I put tons of coconut oil in my hair but it’s still dry.” Unfortunately, that will only lead to a head full of oily hair and clogged pores. If you constantly apply oil on your hair only to discover your scalp is itchy and the hair is still dry, there is no hydration in your regimen. Remember: oils do not moisturize. If you want to achieve moisturized natural hair here are 5 things you must start doing TODAY.
1. Increase the Moisturizing Frequency (Morning, noon & night) of your Natural Hair
Moisturizing your hair once in the morning might not be enough. Curly hair is naturally prone to be drier than other textures. The sebum has to work harder to get from our roots to the ends of our hair due to all the curves along the strand. Use a daily moisturizing lotion in the morning and gently mist your hair with water at night. If your hair also feels dry by mid-day, using a refresher spray/spray like leave-in conditioner will help. The main takeaway is moisturizing once or twice a week is not going to do the trick for most people. You must moisturize daily and even multiple times a day if needed.
2. Change Your Deep Conditioning Regimen
Deep conditioning is another option where changing the frequency is possibly needed. Hair that is extremely dry and breaking should start on a weekly moisturizing deep conditioning regimen. Moisturizing deep conditioners like the TGIN Honey Miracle Mask Deep Conditioner, which are void of protein, will help boost moisture levels and reduce shedding. If you want a pure moisturizing deep conditioner without protein make sure to read the label to confirm.
3. Don’t Confuse A Styler With A Moisturizer
Another common mistake several new naturals make is confusing a styling product with a moisturizer. Although there are a few products that work as double-duty action, products like gels, curling custards, foaming lotions, and mousses should not act as your daily moisturizing product. Stylers are mainly formulated for hold and definition first. A moisturizing product should still be used in conjunction with these items as you will see in most product lines. Use products where water is the first ingredient on the label such as hair lotions and hair milks for daily moisture and stylers to define your curls.
4. Seal Moisture for YOUR Natural Hair Type
Another key to obtaining moisturized natural hair is ensuring you are sealing moisture for YOUR hair type. Emphasis on “your” for a reason. Using the L.O.C method is great, but this is pointless if your leave-in conditioner, oil and cream do not work for your texture. Every curl type and texture is different. What works for one woman might not work for you. Ingredients my 4a-4b hair texture enjoy are shea butter creams like the Alikay Naturals Moisture Rich Parfait, thick and creamy leave-in conditioners with aloe vera, and avocado oil. My hair remains moisturized up to three days with just leave-in conditioner and shea butter, but your hair might need something lighter depending on the texture.
5. Drink More Water!
This one is a no-brainer, but as you have probably heard before, healthy hair starts from the inside. If your body is dehydrated, your skin and hair will follow. However you choose to take care of your skin, think of some of the same characteristics of your scalp. Your skin needs daily moisture and so does your scalp. Drinking water can help with keeping your scalp and body hydrated overall. The common rule of thumb for daily water intake is half your body weight. For example, I am 180 lbs, therefore; I would drink 90 ounces, or about 5-6 bottles of water per day to ensure I’m drinking enough water.