Keeping natural hair moisturized this Fall and Winter will be a challenge. While many will opt for protective styling, there are other ways to keep hair protected and moisturized as temperatures dip and dryness soars.
Finding a moisturization regimen is important when dealing with natural hair. Since our hair is curly/kinky, our sebum cannot make its way down the hair shaft. This means the moisture needs to be replenished as many times as possible through deep conditioning and moisturizing products. Maintaining a proper level of moisture reduces the chance of breakage, leaves you with softer hair and increased length retention.
Your moisturizing regimen will typically depend on your hair’s porosity and the style that your hair is currently in, but here are some general tips on how to properly moisturize your hair.
Make Sure To Clarify
Before you try to moisturize your hair, make sure you clear the hair of any possible build-up from products, the elements, pollutants and hard water with a great clarifying shampoo. Removing build-up increases the effectiveness of your moisturizers and conditioners since oils and residue from other products can clog your pores and cuticles.
You won’t need to clarify on a regular basis, but once a month should suffice or when you hair is especially weighed down my silicones. I make sure to clarify with my END OF SUMMER WASH NATURAL HAIR ROUTINE.
Deep Condition On Every Wash Day
If you have particularly dry hair, make sure you deep condition every single wash day to impart moisture back into the hair. Rotate between deep conditioners that are moisturizing and those that contain protein in order to maintain a proper moisture/protein balance (unless you’re protein sensitive).
Apply your deep conditioner after shampooing the hair, concentrating on the ends. Leave the conditioner in your hair for about 30 minutes, or cut down your conditioning time by sitting underneath a hooded dryer for 15 minutes. Imparting heat into your deep conditioning regimen is important for those who have low porosity, as it encourages the cuticles to lift.
Once you’ve finished conditioning the hair, rinse thoroughly with cool water in order to help shut the cuticle and prevent any moisture from escaping the hair. Don't forget to seal in that moisture! I love SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir.
L.O.C / L.C.O Method
Your Leave-in, Oil and Cream product combination will, again, depend on your hair type and porosity. Typically, a water-based leave-in is applied, is followed up with a carrier oil of your choice, and then followed with a cream. Some women opt to apply the cream before the oil, but it all depends on what’s the most effective for your hair.
This method is very effective for those with high porosity hair because it requires both moisturization and sealing, which is important when you’re trying to retain moisture.
Throughout the week, if you notice that your hair is getting pretty dry, you should spritz with water or a liquid leave-in and reapply your oil layer. You can also repeat all of the steps of your L.O.C method, but it’s not required.
Many naturals like to remoisturize at night for softer, hydrated hair in the morning and this is a great way to get 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th day hair.
Drink More Water
There’s no better way to moisturize your hair than from the inside out. Increasing your water intake will not only moisturize your hair, but it will cleanse your body resulting in clearer skin, and decreased bloating and lethargy.
The amount of water you should drink depends on how much you weigh. You can calculate it here, but typically it’s said to drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day, which is 2 liters or half a gallon.