All hair needs moisture! Natural hair needs it even MORE 🙂
When I first went natural I didn’t know anything about sealing in moisture in my hair. I’d apply product to my wet hair and it would feel great but by the time it dried……..a whole other story. 🙂
Moisture is essential to maintaining healthy hair which will eventually translate into length retention.
Dry (non-moisturized hair) is brittle hair which will turn into breaking hair.
Because natural hair is so “curly”, the oils produced from the scalp have trouble making their way down the coils/kinks/ringlets. As a result, the rest of our hair tends to be dry. Because relaxed hair is straight, the oils are able to travel down the shaft easier, but the same moisturizing and sealing routine applies.
The BEST/ULTIMATE moisturizer is WATER. However, because water evaporates it needs to be SEALED in with an oil/butter whose molecules are (generally) too large to penetrate the hair shaft. Sealing refers to holding in the moisture on your hair. This steps aids in reducing breakage and split ends caused by dryness.
How to MOISTURIZE and SEAL :
- Apply a leave-in conditioner(WATER BASED). This can be homemade using a mix of conditioner (I prefer silicone free), distilled water and oil or a commercial product like Giovanni direct leave in. I like to mix my leave in conditioner (presently Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner) with Jamaican Black Castor oil and Avocado oil, and Aloe vera juice/gel. Basically, it’s my version of the Kimmaytube leave in conditioner mix.
- Apply an oil or butter. I like to use my Whipped Shea Mango Cocoa Concoction. This seals in the moisture from the water and the leave in. Some great options for oils are Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Avocado oil (these three are actually able to penetrate the hair shaft to provide nourishment. Other good sealants are Castor oil, Grapeseed oil, Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea butter or other whipped butters. Basically, anything that is NOT water based will work as a sealant.
- PERSONALLY, I try to steer clear of products containing mineral oil, petroleum/petrolatum, drying alcohols, and non-water soluble silicones. These ingredients can actually cause buildup, which over time blocks moisture from getting into your strands.
- When applying your sealant, pay special attention to your ends since they are the oldest part of your hair and the furthest from your scalp.
- Next, apply your styler, which is usually a creamy product. Presently, I use either Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque or the Curling Enhancing Smoothie….or whatever concoction I come up with 🙂
- I have THICK, DENSE hair (I have a lot of strands close together) so I need PLENTY moisture. If you have FINE hair, SHORT hair or a TWA (teeny weeny afro), you may be able get away with adding your styling product to wet hair and sealing with a light oil or butter. The IMPORTANT thing is that the moisture you put in is SEALED. As always, pay attention to your hair’s needs.
- Depending on what kind of products you’ve used , you may need to re-moisturize everyday. No matter what you’ve used it will eventually evaporate (the sealant only slows down the rate of evaporation) and you’ll have to moisturizer and seal all over.
- As a rule, I at least mist/spritz my hair DAILY with water and apply a light oil or I “mix” them together in my spray bottle. Depending on how my hair feels, I may apply a light leave-in (I like Pura Body Naturals Murumuru Moisture milk) and seal that in. AGAIN, listen to what your hair is saying. You will “hear” if it’s dry 🙂
As usual, I hope this was helpful 🙂
Until next time…