10 Ways To Moisturise Your Hair And Keep It Moisturised
It is no secret that our beautiful coils and curls can suffer from dryness due to our curl patterns not allowing sebum to flow down each hair strand as easily as those with straighter hair. Those of us with extremely tightly coiled hair (often referred to as 4C hair) can also tend to have difficulty keeping our hair well moisturised due to the beautiful coils and kinks in our hair. And When you throw hair porosity into the mix, for some it can feel like an uphill struggle to add and retain moisture to their tresses.
But don’t worry, help is at hand! It is definitely possible to both moisturise you hair well and hold that moisture in for a little longer even with very tightly coiled hair. I am going to share with you 10 effective ways to add and retain moisture which will help to keep your hair well moisturised and supple, minimising damage and breakage.
- Get It Wet
Back in the day I was afraid of water going on to my hair; I didn’t want it anywhere near my hair because I knew it would shrink. But over the years with reading and education, I’ve come to realise that water is your hair’s friend. Curly and coily hair needs water to flourish. So don’t be afraid to get your spritz bottle out and give your hair some much welcomed hydration. Supply moisturised hair is much less likely to become damaged and experience breakage.
- Drink, Drink, Drink
As well as putting water onto your hair, you also need to make sure you are putting water into your body. We need to regularly hydrate our bodies by drinking water each day. Dehydration can have a negative impact on your hair as well as your skin, so make sure that you moisturise your hair from the inside out by drinking a good amount of water daily. Aim to drink at least 2 litres a day or check with your doctor to find out the best amount of water you should be drinking for you.
- Use A Good Moisturiser
Finding a good hair moisturiser is a great and effective way to add and seal in moisture to your hair. Look for moisturisers with water as one of the first ingredients and a good mix of humectants and emollients so you can be sure that water is being both attracted and pulled into your hair as well as being sealed in; which will keep your hair hydrated and nourished. Other good ingredients to look out for in a good moisturiser include glycerine, avocado oil, Aloe Vera, jojoba oil and Shea butter.
- Condition Your Hair
If you still shampoo without conditioning your hair, this is the time to adjust your hair care routine and add conditioning to it. A good conditioner will help to replenish the moisture that has been stripped from the hair during your shampoo. Washing your hair causes the hair shaft cuticles to be raised as the water passes through your hair. Using a conditioner will help to smooth your cuticles down, laying them flat, which can help you seal in moisture and aid in keeping your hair supple.
- Deep Condition
A key way to moisturise natural hair is to deep condition regularly. Deep conditioners are designed to sit on the hair for longer which enables them to penetrate the hair strand more deeply. This results in your hair being packed with the moisture and nutrients it needs to thrive. Deep conditioners can sit on your hair for around 20-30 minutes and many can be applied with indirect heat (using a hooded bonnet) which helps to activate some of the ingredients in the deep conditioner. I usually deep condition every wash day (which is once a week for me) so I would recommend doing the same or aiming to deep condition your hair a couple of times a month if you cannot do it every week.
- Lock In That Moisture
Once you have added moisture (water) to your hair, it is important to have a method of locking in that moisture to keep you hair healthy and supple. Using the LCO/LOC method is a great way to add and seal in moisture to your curls. Simply add a liquid, then seal with a cream and then an oil or add a liquid, then seal with an oil and finally seal with a cream. This will enable you to add and seal in maximum moisture, minimising any risk of your hair drying out which can ultimately lead to damage. You can choose to apply the LOC/LCO method after your wash day routine, or in the morning when styling your hair or at night as part of your bed time routine. Find the best time that suits your hair routine to make sure your hair is receiving a regular top up of moisture.
- Use Less Heat
Excessive use of direct heat on your hair can cause drying which could lead to damaged, brittle hair and ultimately breakage. Hair dryers, flat irons, curling tongs and such like may help to dry your hair more quickly and provide some nice styles; however they will also strip your hair of moisture which is the opposite of what your hair needs to thrive and grow. If you do use heat from time to time, ensure that you use a heat protectant product. I would definitely say that the less direct heat you use on your hair, the better.
- Hands Off Your Hair
I remember being told by my mother on many occasions to ‘keep my hands out of my hair’. As a teenager I was constantly tugging at my hair, pulling it into different styles, trying to sleek it back, achieve high buns, braid it, shake my afro and whatever else I could do to it. But unbeknown to me I was causing mechanical damage and speeding up the process of drying my hair due to all the times I had my hands in it. I think that it is great fun to try out different styles and I personally love the feeling of running my fingers through my curls, however in order to allow you hair to thrive you have to minimise the amount of times your hands are in your hair. Mechanical damage can lead to loss of moisture and breakage, so have fun with your hair but balance that with leaving your hair alone at times to just let it be.
- Have A Good Night Time Routine
During our sleep time there is a lot of potential to lose a high amount of moisture from our hair. We can also inflict damage to our hair while we are in the land of slumber. When we sleep we toss and turn during the night which creates friction on our hair strand as they rub against the bed sheets, pillows and each other. Our bedsheets and pillows can also absorb a lot of the moisture from our hair while we sleep. But don’t worry, there is a way to minimise the amount of moisture that we can lose while sleeping as well as minimising potential damage cause from tossing and turning through the night.
Choosing to sleep on a silk or stain pillowcase or using a silk or satin scarf or hair bonnet can greatly reduce the amount of moisture loss and damage that can be inflicted on our hair while we sleep. A simple change of sheets can have a fantastic effect on the condition of our hair after we sleep. Silk and satin cause less friction and help us to retain moisture rather than soaking it up during the night.
- Protective Hairstyles
Wearing your hair in a protective style is a great way to retain the moisture you have added during styling as well as minimising potential damage. Keeping your fragile ends moisturised and tucked away is a great way to protect them. Protective styles can often helped to keep your hair stretched which will minimise tangles that could lead to breakage. It important to choose protective styles that do not place a large amount of tension on you scalp and edges and to add moisture to your protective style every couple of days so that it does not dry out.
So there you have it 10 simple ways to add moisture to your hair and keep it moisturised reducing breakage, tangled and tears!
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