Last week, I had a few people ask me how I keep my natural hair so “moisturized.” I think that’s one of the problems that women with natural hair face– how to keep it from looking and feeling dry. This is something that I struggle with every now and then, but I follow these tips to leave my hair look and feeling soft and moisturized!
Here’s how I restore dry, natural hair:
First things First: Natural hair is tightly coiled. Looking closely at most afro-textured hair types, you’ll find that they are super small, super tight, springy curls or z-shaped patterns. When your hair is this tightly coiled, it makes it harder for the natural oils from your scalp to make it all the way onto the ends of your hair, which can leave your hair feeling dry (and can ALSO cause breakage! We will talk about fighting breakage in another post!) which means we have to work harder in apply the oils and proper moisture BACK onto our hair.
Now for the TIPS!
DEEP Condition! Nothing like a good deep conditioner to penetrate your hair shaft and REALLY get that moisture into your hair! My hair is VERY thick, so the thicker the deep conditioner, the better. I’m a conditioner junkie, but I think the conditioner that leaves my hair feeling the most moisturized after use would be the Carol’s Daughter Tui Moisturizing hair smoothie. For extra moisture, warm up the conditioner in the microwave, or apply the conditioner, put on a shower cap and sit under the dryer. I wear my conditioner for about 15 minutes before I rinse it out.
THE LOC METHOD. My mom hates all of my natural hair acronyms haha. But this one REALLY works. L-O-C, or Leave In Conditioner, Oil and Cream is the method I use to twist my hair. It’s practically fool proof, because it leaves my hair feeling moisturized everytime!
After my hair is freshly conditioned, I apply a Leave in Conditioner (I love Kinky Curly Knot Today, BUT Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia leave-in is my absolute FAVORITE! But it’s harder to find than KCKT) and use it to thoroughly detangle my hair.
From there, I apply my oil of choice (mine is Argan, but coconut, olive, castor, tea tree oil all work great as well) to my hair to SEAL the moisture in. This is important. Oil is a a sealant.
Lastly, I apply my styler or cream and began twisting my hair. You have to play around with different stylers to figure out what works for you. I prefer a very thick, very “wet” feeling cream (i.e. Coco Curls, CoCo Castor Pudding) over a thick buttery cream (Curls, Raw Shea Butter). A thick, buttery cream will give me better curl definition, but won’t leave my hair feeling as moisturized.
MOISTURIZE YOUR HAIR! If you’re doing a Wash And Go style, or just need to freshen up your hair a bit, make sure to use a good moisturizer. I love Shea Moisture products, but after usage I realized even though it leaves my hair soft, it gives me no curl definition at all for a twist out. I use their Curl Enhancing Smoothie to moisturize my hair when it’s feeling dry.
SLEEP ON A SATIN/SILK PILLOWCASE. Okay, I don’t own a real silk pillowcase haha. But I do have a few satin ones. Sleeping on a cotton pillow or pillowcase will STRIP your hair of moisture. Bonnets and Scarves tend to come off your head while your sleeping so I would suggest a satin pillowcase as well.
AVOID SHAMPOOS WITH SULFATE. Naturalistas, we do not need shampoos with sulfate. Remember earlier when I said that it’s hard for the natural oils in our scalp to make it to the bottom of your hair? Sulfate strips your hair of oil, period. These shampoos are for people who’s goal it is to get rid of any oil, and we are trying to keep what we can! I would suggest As I am Coconut Co-wash. I LOVE this. It makes your hair feel super clean without feeling stripped of everything. Don’t shampoo your hair as much; use a co-wash or conditioner to clean your hair in between washes! I also realize that every now and then we DO need a deep cleaning shampoo, and that’s when I would suggest Shea Moisture’s Moisture Retention Shampoo (self-explanatory!)
DRINK WATER!! Healthy hair starts from within! Drinking more water has SO many benefits, with softer hair being one of them!
I think that’s everything I do to ensure my hair stays well moisturized! I hope it helps you! Also remember, if you have afro-textured hair, don’t expect your hair to do things that it just isn’t meant to do. My hair can be well moisturized and healthy, but it may not feel the same way as another one of my natural girls’ hair with a different texture or hair or looser curls. Learn what’s best for YOUR hair and be happy with it! Happy moisturizing!