It does not matter where you are at in your hair journey or the current condition your strands are in. To achieve healthy hair, moisture is essential. Due to the fact that curly, coily, and kinky hair types are drier in property, this leaves many naturals lacking in the moisture department. In this list, we have compiled a combination of effective tips and tricks you can add into your hair care regimen that may benefit you in seeking how to moisturize natural hair.
Here is how to moisturize natural hair and keep your strands hydrated throughout the day:
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1) FIND OUT WHAT YOUR HAIR’S POROSITY IS
An important factor to consider when exploring how to moisturize natural hair is your hair’s porosity. Porosity has a direct effect on what the most effective way to moisturize your natural hair is. Your hair’s porosity is its ability to absorb and hold moisture. Hair porosity ranges from low porosity to medium / normal porosity, and finally high porosity.
To find out what your hair’s porosity is, you can use a water test. Simply take one of your shed hairs that is free of product, and place it in a cup of water. If your strand sinks to the bottom, you have high porosity hair. If your strand stays floating atop, you have low porosity hair. Lastly, if you find that your strand stays floating in the middle, your hair is at a normal porosity. Each hair porosity consists of certain traits that can have an impact on how your hair is able to absorb moisture as well as retain it.
High porosity hair
Highly porous hair is able to quickly absorb moisture as the hair cuticle is in a raised state. However, a healthy hair cuticle should be able to lay smoothly. High porosity hair is commonly the result of some form of hair damage such as heat or color damage, but may also be a natural trait for some. If you find that you have high porosity hair, you may have to make a few changes to your hair care regimen as moisture can easily escape due to the raised hair cuticle.
A couple of ways to moisturize high porosity hair include using heavier moisture sealants such as thicker oils and butters and creams, to seal and retain moisture throughout your strands. In addition, avoid using harsh shampoos that can dry out your hair even more. Furthermore, avoid washing your hair with hot water as it can lift the hair cuticle further and create excess frizz and dryness.
Low porosity hair
If you find out that you have low porosity hair, this means that the hair cuticle is in a more sealed state. As a result, moisture may take a longer amount of time to be fully absorbed into your strands. However, once moisture is absorbed throughout low porosity hair, it is more likely to be retained. A few ways to make sure you are properly moisturizing low porosity natural hair are to first, apply your products to damp hair, not soaking wet hair. In addition, avoid applying too much product to your strands as this can cause an even longer drying time. Also, when deep conditioning, try to use some form of heat (e.g. hooded hair dryer) to help open up the hair cuticle to allow for a thorough product absorption.
Medium / normal porosity hair
Having medium or normal porosity hair means that your strands are able to readily absorb moisture as well as hold it. To moisturize normal porosity hair, use nourishing products with mostly natural extracts and oils as opposed to chemical additives. Additionally, make sure that you regularly cleanse your strands with a good shampoo to avoid excess product build-up that can interfere with product / moisture absorption.
2) RELIEVE YOUR STRANDS OF DAMAGE
In order to fully work out how to moisturize natural hair, you have to first assess your hair for any damage. If any of your strands are damaged, whether that be because of heat, hair dye, relaxers, etc., it can affect your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. As mentioned previously, highly porous hair is a common trait of damaged strands. Letting your damaged hair dry out can create frizzy, dull hair.
So, in the effort to attain moisturized, healthy hair, relieve your strands of damage. This may be done by doing a big chop or perhaps a gradual trim here and there. Regardless, cutting off damaged pieces will allow your natural hair to flourish and encourage better moisture absorption.
3) APPLY YOUR MOISTURIZING PRODUCTS USING THE L.C.O. OR L.O.C. METHODS
After you have determined what your hair’s porosity is and how it can help you to figure out the best way to apply moisture to your hair, it helps to use the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods to seal and retain moisture throughout your strands. To start, the initials of each acronym are as follows: The “L” stands for liquid or leave-in, the “O” stands for oil, and the “C” stands for cream. The order of each acronym varies depending on the order in which you choose to apply your hair products. Adding either the L.C.O. or L.O.C. method to your hair care regimen can help to make sure that you are adequately moisturizing your strands. In addition, either method can help you to retain moisture for longer by using multiple moisture sealants.
To try the L.O.C. method, first spritz your hair with water or some other water-based leave-in product. Then, apply an oil of your choice. Lastly, apply a cream product of your choosing. For the L.C.O. method, also start by spritzing your hair with water or another leave-in. Next, apply a cream to your strands. Finally, seal all that in with an oil. To determine whether the L.C.O. or L.O.C. method will work better for your hair, porosity and density are just a few factors that may have to be taken into consideration. Nonetheless, you can test out each moisturizing method to see which one is more hydrating for your strands.
Recommended moisturizing natural hair products to use with the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods:
Leave-in conditioners / sprays:
- Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner
- Taliah Waajid Shea Coco Daily Leave-In Conditioner
- Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Oil Shine and Hold Mist
- Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In Conditioner
- As I Am DoubleButter Cream
- Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner
4) DEEP CONDITION
If you ever visit a hair salon, they will more than likely give your hair a deep conditioning treatment before proceeding to styling. Deep conditioners contain a combination of nourishing and replenishing ingredients that offer a range of benefits for your hair from root to tip. For one, deep conditioners help to strengthen and restore your strands through the delivery of intense hydration. They can also aid in improving moisture retention throughout your hair. When seeking how to moisturize natural hair, it is of much gain to deep condition your natural hair weekly. In addition to, sitting under a hooded hair dryer while deep conditioning will allow the treatment to more fully absorb.
Here are some of our favorite moisturizing deep conditioners:
- As I Am Hydration Elation
- Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
- TGIN Honey Miracle Mask
- Shea Moisture 10-in-1 Renewal System Masque
5) TRY THE BAGGY METHOD FOR AN OCCASIONAL MOISTURE TREAT
One simple yet effective way to moisturize your natural hair from root to tip is by using the baggy method. The baggy method involves the use of a plastic bag or shower cap to trap moisture throughout your hair. You can use the baggy method to contain moisture throughout all of your hair or just on your ends if they are feeling dry. This method can serve as a nice moisture treatment for your strands and may also help to promote hair growth. To do an all-over moisture treatment using the baggy method, simply wet your hair and apply the moisturizing products of your choice. After that, you can twist up each section. Then, place a shower cap or plastic bag over your hair to enclose the moisture.
You can leave your hair like this for 30 minutes or even overnight for extra hydration. By using the baggy method on your hair, you are left with super soft, hydrated results that your strands will thank you for. While the baggy method can be super moisturizing, it is important to note that you should only do this treatment on occasion. There is such a thing as over-moisturizing your hair. Moisture overload can lead to limp, mushy strands.
6) CONSIDER CO-WASHING YOUR HAIR
Co-washing, or washing your hair with a conditioner only, is a moisturizing and gentle cleansing process. It is great for those times where you want to give your strands a refresh without going through your full wash day routine. To add to this, co-washing is a quick and convenient process that delivers moisturized results instantly. The thick, creamy consistency of the conditioner helps to provide a thorough coverage of your hair, delivering a combination of nourishing ingredients that replenish your strands.
You can use your normal conditioner that you already have to co-wash your hair. Or, you can try specially made co-wash products, such as our favorite As I Am Coconut CoWash that contains the necessary cleansing and hydrating properties all in one jar. You can co-wash as needed, but it is important to note that co-washing does not and should not replace shampooing your hair.
7) PROMOTE BETTER MOISTURE RETENTION AND ABSORPTION BY DOING A MONTHLY PROTEIN TREATMENT
Another tip that can help you to better absorb and retain moisture is to consider adding monthly protein treatments to your hair care regimen. Each of our hair strands are made of a protein called keratin. The protein structure of your hair is an integral part to its overall health. When it becomes damaged, anything from the appearance of your hair to its ability to stay moisturized can be impacted. Protein treatments help to keep the hair cuticle in-tact by alleviating damage done to the hair shaft and filling in any gaps throughout the hair cuticle with essential amino acids.
This can in turn help to smooth the hair cuticle and improve moisture retention among other developments. Completing monthly protein treatments can benefit you when seeking how to moisturize natural hair as they can help to strengthen and restore your strands and get them into the right state of health to receive and hold moisture.
A moisture and protein balance in your hair is essential. Click here to see 5 signs your hair may be in need of protein:
8) USE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
If you want moisturized hair, you have to use products that are moisturizing. This may sound like a given, but many naturals who find themselves struggling with moisture simply are not using the right products. To start, the products you use on your hair should contain mostly naturally derived ingredients such as oils, butters, etc. Water or aqua should be listed at the start of the ingredients – it always helps to double-check the ingredients label on your products. To add to this, you should avoid products that consist of drying and potentially damaging ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol, parabens, and formaldehydes to name a few.
Furthermore, there are certain hair products that are not intended for moisturizing purposes such as styling gels. Most oils do not moisturize but instead serve as moisture sealants. All in all, it is important to make sure that you are using natural hair products for their correct intended purpose on your hair. To find the best moisturizing products for your hair, it is going to take some trial and error. You may find benefit in trying out samples or the travel sizes of products to see how they work on your hair. Also, watch plenty of video reviews to see what hair products you may be interested in.
9) WRAP YOUR HAIR UP AT NIGHT WITH SATIN
What you do with your hair at night plays another key role in how to moisturize natural hair. Wrapping your hair with a satin scarf or bonnet can help to preserve moisture throughout your hair overnight and maintain your hairstyles. This is also a good time to moisturize your hair as you can simply twist and wrap it up so that by the next day when you can take your twists down, you have a moisturized start to your style. The cotton material that many of our pillowcases are made of can have a drying effect on your strands and potentially lead to breakage.
10) FIND A MOISTURIZING REGIMEN THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND STAY CONSISTENT WITH IT
To meet any goal, consistency is a must. If you want to see lasting, moisturized results throughout your hair, you have to stay consistent with your hair care regimen. You should moisturize your hair on a regular if not daily basis. If you fall into the habit of only moisturizing your hair on occasion, excessively dry and brittle, breakage-prone strands are a possibility. Moisturizing your hair consistently will help to improve moisture retention all over and encourage healthier strands.
Try to have an effective moisturizing regimen in place when styling your hair as well to prevent your strands from drying out – protective styling, wash and go’s, etc. As you maintain a regular moisturizing hair care routine, you may notice that manageability throughout your hair will become easier, your strands will increase in strength, and many other improvements. Nonetheless, when exploring how to moisturize natural hair, make sure that you moisturize your hair daily and once you find a hydrating hair care regimen that works, stick with it.
Do you have a favorite moisturizing natural hair product? Share it in the comments down below!