Moisture moisture moisture!
It’s like the melody of a great Gospel song; like the beautiful stitching that holds your leather bound Bible together. I just love descriptive analogies don’t you?
When it comes to achieving or maintaining a healthy head of natural hair, you’v heard it before and it bears repeating.
Moisture is key.
Now, there’s certainly other elements to having healthy natural hair (like ensuring adequate protein levels) but making sure you have enough moisture in your hair at all times is a big deal. In fact, without keeping your hair moisturized it’s impossible for you to retain length or even rock a hairstyle that looks its best.
The true source of moisture is W-A-T-E-R.
There’s so much debate surrounding the use of oils to moisturize hair but I’m not going to hold any punches. Those who think oils moisturize hair are incorrect. It’s not possible for an oil to impart any moisture into your hair. Oil can only help your hair to retain moisture for short periods of time.
OH, and let’s dispel the myth that you can keep natural hair from drying out. It’s not possible. Your hair will not stay moisturized forever. It will eventually dry out. You have to consistently add moisture to it. Depending on your hair’s porosity type, you may be able to retain moisture a little longer (or not as long) as others but one thing that rings true. You’ll have to proactively add moisture to your hair on a regular basis.
So, how do we get moisture into our natural hair? Even though water is the source of moisture, there’s different techniques you could follow to facilitate the process of getting that moisture into your hair.
The Pre-poo (with Conditioner)
The very first step before washing your hair should be to pre-poo. It’s during this step that you are preparing your hair to receive the moisture obtaining from washing it. It also protects your hair’s moisture levels while it’s being washed.
When using the pre-poo to get moisture into your hair, you’ll want to use more than just an oil. You can still use an oil but using oil AND a conditioner or conditioner alone is what will get moisture into your strands, also making your hair more pliable.
Your deep conditioner is a major way to get moisture into your hair on wash day. Deep conditioners are formulated to be moisturizing. They impart beneficial nutrients and moisture into your hair because deep conditioners are designed to penetrate your hair shaft.
Spritz w/ Water
On of the easiest and fastest ways to get moisture into natural hair is to spray it on in there!
Simply spraying water onto your hair followed by sealing that moisture in with a light oil, leave in conditioner or leave in conditioner + oil will get moisture into natural hair. Alternatively, you can create a DIY moisturizer sprayer by combining water and a styler/leave in conditioner formulated with natural oils (like Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Style Setter or Leave In) into a spray bottle and use when needed. Just be sure to add a few drops of vitamin E to the mix, refrigerate and use in 2-3 days. Otherwise, it will spoil.
An effective cream moisturizer must contain water, preferably as the first ingredient. Cream moisturizers can be used at any time you find your hair feeling dry, without frizzing up your style too much.
Apply a moisturizing cream into your hair using the technique of scrunching the product upward into your hair and transform dry dull ends in an instant.
It doesn’t have to be the dead of winter for you to steam your natural hair. Hair steaming opens the hair cuticles to receive moisture. The steaming process actually causes your hair to become moist.
Try steaming your hair in sections, followed by applying a cream moisturizer or leave in conditioner directly afterwards. This is one of the most effective means for moisturizing natural hair.
By applying water or a water based product to your hair followed by covering it with a plastic cap (or you can just work with the ends of your hair), heat is generated from this method.
The Baggy Method encourages your hair’s cuticle layer to be lifted, leading to the increase of moisture throughout each strand of hair.
Unlike the baggy method, the Greenhouse Effect (also called the “GHE”) utilizes oils to get the process of moisturizing started. That may seem like a contradiction to what I said earlier about oils not being capable of moisturizing. It’s not. An oil is applied to damp hair and then a plastic cap is used to cover the head for an extended period of time (usually over night).
The GHE method stimulates sebum in the scalp using your body heat. This method does not encourage the use of commercial moisturizers or leave in conditioners but when you remove the plastic cap after having worn it over night you’ll notice your hair is significantly more moisturized. The heat generated from your body combined with the sebum from your scalp generates quite a bit of moisture.
Keep your natural hair from drying out by proactively moisturizing it. From what you’ve just read, there’s a number of techniques you can try that make moisturizing natural hair pretty simple. A little effort goes a long way toward properly moisturizing natural hair.