Natural hair is beautiful and comes in many textures, sizes, and styles. It is loved by many because this kind of hair requires less maintenance than relaxed or permed hair. However, if you have natural hair, it does not mean that you can jump into cold water or go to sleep without covering your head at night. You need to keep the hair moisturized from root to tip at all times. But it can be difficult to follow the right steps to ensure your hair stays moisturized from root to tip. Whether you have curly, coily, or kinky hair, this ultimate guide on how to moisturize natural hair will show you the best techniques to keep your natural tresses looking their best without damaging them.
- What is moisturizing?
- Why is Moisturizing Important for Natural Hair?
- How to moisturize natural your hair
- There are several ways to maintain moisture in your natural hair.
- What Are the Common Mistakes People Make When Moisturizing Their Natural Hair?
Moisture is another word for water. Moisture in hair refers to the amount of water present in your hair. Moisturized natural hair has more water than dry hair. If your hair becomes too dry, it will become brittle and break off. This can lead to changes in the length and shape of your hairstyle.
Water is an essential component of healthy hair. When you wash your hair, you’re adding water to the strands temporarily. The water allows your strands to stretch without breaking.
However, when you wash out all the shampoo and conditioner from your hair, the water evaporates and leaves behind some of the conditioner on your strands.
This provides a temporary coating that protects your strands from damage as it dries. However, if you don’t seal in this moisture the coating will eventually wear off and leave behind dry, brittle strands.
Why is Moisturizing Important for Natural Hair?
Moisturizing is everything when it comes to natural hair care. Regularly moisturizing your hair plays a crucial role in keeping your hair healthy and preventing breakage.
The best way to prevent possible damage is by applying moisture on a regular basis, focusing mainly on the ends of your hair, which tend to be dryer than the scalp area because they don’t receive natural oils from the scalp like the rest of your hair does.
Moisture helps to keep your strands elastic and prevents them from breaking easily. When your natural curls aren’t properly moisturized, they become dry and brittle and are prone to split ends and breakage. And this is why moisturizing is important for your natural hair.
How to moisturize natural your hair
Use pre-poo treatment before shampooing
Before you shampoo, use a pre-poo treatment. This step is meant to prevent your hair from drying out during the cleansing process, and can include oils, conditioners, or other products.
Why do you need a pre-poo? Natural hair can be notoriously dry, especially if your hair is chemically treated or heat damaged.
When you apply shampoo directly to your strands without first coating them with something else (like oil), that moisture is stripped away as soon as you add water and begin working in the shampoo.
Preventing that initial dryness will minimize breakage when detangling during the next step—washing and conditioning—and will help keep your hair looking soft and shiny throughout the week.
Clarify Your Hair
To get rid of excessive product build-up, you’re going to need to use a clarifying shampoo.
These special shampoos are designed to remove oil and other grime from your scalp and strands by breaking down the natural oils in your hair.
Clarifying shampoos are especially helpful if you tend to wash your hair less frequently or if you have thick and/or curly natural hair that holds onto more product than most people’s hair does.
If you can, try using a moisturizing clarifying shampoo that contains ingredients like natural honey or jojoba oil; this will help protect your scalp and strands as it breaks down the dirt and build-up on them.
Once you’ve washed your hair, applied a good deep conditioner and covered with a plastic cap, use a hooded dryer to help penetrate the moisture into your strands.
A hooded dryer is an enclosed machine with a small opening at the top. You put on the cap and settle under the dryer for 15-30 minutes or so at a time. The heat from the dryer helps open up your hair follicles, allowing for better absorption of moisture into your strands.
Remember: heat isn’t always bad! Excessive heat without proper moisturizing can lead to damage, but in moderation, it can be very beneficial to your 4c coils.
You should deep condition once per week for optimal results. If you have extremely dry hair, you may want to consider doing it after each wash (twice per week). As always, pay attention to how your hair reacts and adjust accordingly; this is about what works best for You.
Lock in Moisture with the LOC Method
The first step is to choose your products. You can use anything you like, as long as it includes a leave-in conditioner, an oil and a cream. Your products don’t have to be natural hair specific, they just need to be able to do the job.
After washing your hair with shampoo and conditioning it with deep conditioner, you will want to thoroughly towel dry it so that it is damp but not dripping wet. Next, apply the leave-in conditioner throughout your hair in small sections until all of your hair has been saturated with the product.
Next you’ll want to apply your oil or butter to seal in all of the moisture from the leave-in conditioner—this helps keep it from evaporating too quickly. Apply a small amount of product onto each section of hair until your entire head has been coated in oil or butter.
Finally, apply the cream by using about dime sized amount for each section of hair until all of your strands are covered in thick goodness!
Now sit back and enjoy beautiful moisturized curls.
Protective hair styling
When styling your natural hair, protective styling is a key technique to retain length and moisture. Protective hair styling is a technique that minimizes the damage to your natural hair. The key word here is “protective”. You are actually protecting your hair from the harm that can be caused by some styling methods.
This process allows you to manipulate your natural hair without the use of extreme heat and chemicals. Protective hair styling is popular among naturals because it enables you to style your natural hair in various ways, while reducing stress on the strands.
Try This Hot Oil Treatment to moisturize natural hair
Hot oil treatments can help your hair retain moisture and strengthen the follicles, boosting your natural hair’s resilience. They’re also quite easy to prepare! Here’s what you need to do:
- Heat about 1/2 cup of coconut oil in a glass bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds, or until it’s slightly warm.
- Pour the coconut oil into your hands and rub together to spread evenly throughout both hands. (Note: Coconut oil is great for this treatment because it melts when it touches skin.)
- Massage the warmed coconut oil into dry hair starting at your ends and working up to your scalp if needed (or if you have thick, dense hair). Some people prefer not to apply hot oil treatments to their scalp; if that’s true for you, feel free to avoid that step. You want all of your hair—natural or relaxed—to be moisturized.
- Cover with a plastic shower cap and wrap a towel around it so that all of the heat stays inside your head instead of escaping through steam from an uncovered plastic cap. Make sure the towel is wrapped snugly around the cap so there are no possible ways for any warmth or moisture to escape! Keep on for at least 15–20 minutes before removing and rinsing, cleaning out all excess product by using shampoo and conditioner in one go before washing again with normal shampoo (this will get rid of any extra product buildup). You can repeat this process every two months if needed—but remember not everyone needs such frequent maintenance so listen closely when listeningto what’s bestfor yourself.
There are several ways to maintain moisture in your natural hair.
Wash Your Natural Hair Less
Washing less often is yet another way to give your hair the moisture it needs. The reason behind this is that your scalp produces natural oils which are distributed throughout your strands when you massage it with conditioner during your wash day.
When you over shampoo, it strips away these natural oils and leaves hair feeling dry and brittle.
The key to washing your hair less frequently is to use a moisturizing shampoo. If you choose a clarifying or cleansing shampoo, then you’ll be stripping the oil from the scalp and causing even more damage, which will only require additional moisturizing.
Choosing a moisturizing shampoo will ensure that you’re able to see results with minimal effort. Consider purchasing a Good quality sulfate free shampoo which has gentle cleansing properties without stripping away all of your natural oil.
It’s also important to understand that shampoos are made for different textures of hair, so using the wrong one can cause further damage if not used properly!
You should also ensure that you don’t skip conditioning in between washes since this will help keep your strands moisturized as well as protected from breakage which could alter your curl pattern. A light conditioner can be applied daily or every few days depending on how dry or oily it feels after each use.
Heat Free Hair Movement
Heat free styling can be just as effective as using heated styling tools. When you don’t use heat on your hair it will retain more moisture, giving your hair less breakage and split ends. It can also cut down on the amount of time spent washing and conditioning your hair.
Here are some tips to help you get started with the heat free movement:
- Air dry hair. This is a good method for naturally wavy or curly textures because it leaves your curl pattern intact. To avoid frizzing, lightly use a microfiber towel around your head to soak up excess water after washing and conditioning (don’t rub!). Be patient while drying—it could take up to 24 hours depending on your texture.
- Use a diffuser instead of blow-drying to quickly dry curly or kinky textures without damaging the strands or disrupting the curl pattern. If you must blow dry make sure to put on a heat protectant first.
- Use silk scarves, bandanas, or other head wraps overnight to keep moisturizer in the hair and minimize breakage while you sleep.
- A satin pillow case is also great for when you want extra protection at night.
Use Water Based Products
- Buy water-based products. Water is the ultimate moisturizer so you want to use it within your hair routine as much as possible.
- Use water-based products before oil-based ones. Oil and cream are considered sealants and should always come after the moisture is put in. Typically, you will use your leave in conditioner first followed by a moisturizing styling cream or butter to seal everything in.
- Examples of water based products include aloe vera juice, plain water or rosewater spray.
Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables
Herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables can be great natural hair moisturizers. They also have properties that promote hair growth. Making your own natural hair products is a fun way to reduce waste and ensure that you know exactly what’s going in your body.
Below are some herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables to get you started:
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Fenugreek Powder
- Rose Water
What Are the Common Mistakes People Make When Moisturizing Their Natural Hair?
Not moisturizing enough
If you have natural hair and don’t moisturize it, it will be a dry mess. Like, the Sahara Desert in August kind of dry. If your hair feels stiff, it’s probably too dry. There are dozens of products out there designed to help you moisturize your hair and keep it soft as a kitten’s bottom, but we’ll get into those later.
Not knowing your hair type
Pretty much the same thing as not knowing which ingredients to use for cooking a dish—you just won’t end up with good results unless you know what you’re doing.
Using the wrong products.
There are four basic hair types—normal (AKA oily), dry, combination (mixture of oily and dry), and damaged—and one or more of them might apply to your hair! It is important that you know what type of hair you have before buying any products; otherwise, you could end up choosing something that will make your already-bad situation even worse.
Using too many products.
You definitely don’t want this either. First off, most people tend to overestimate how much product they need when applying it to their natural hair; so if you’re using a lot more than is necessary, then there’s nothing left for later on when your natural strands really need those nutrients! Second off, if there aren’t any leftover nutrients on virgin tresses because they’ve all been washed away by watery shampoos or conditioners then there’s no way for them to maintain their healthy state over time without having some sort of nutrient stream replenishment system like we humans do.
To moisturize your hair, you will want to make sure you are using a deep conditioning treatment at least once a month. You should also use a moisturizing shampoo or conditioner on a regular basis and always apply your leave in conditioner before any other products. Water is the best moisturizer, so be sure to stay hydrated! Additionally, when styling your hair with protective styles like braids, twist outs and braid outs, lock in moisture by applying some oil of your choice before going to bed.