Applying moisture to your natural hair – water, leave-in products, deep conditioners, etc. is typically something that most naturals don’t have any trouble with. However, when it comes to retaining this moisture, this is where a lot of naturals struggle. How to retain moisture in natural hair can vary depending on your hair texture, porosity, plus more. Nonetheless, there are a few basic practices you can incorporate into your hair regimen to help better retain moisture and thus lead to healthier, stronger, and softer strands.
Here is how to retain moisture in natural hair:
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1) Make sure you are properly sealing in moisture
If you want to retain moisture in your natural hair, you should first make sure you are properly sealing in moisture with a sealant. If you were to simply wet your hair and apply no type of product, the water will eventually evaporate and your hair will dry out. This is where a sealant comes in. Sealants can come in the form of oils, creams / butters, and other leave-in products. They help smooth the hair cuticle to lay and lock in moisture. This helps to prevent moisture from quickly escaping and thus benefits how to retain moisture in natural hair.
A good way to make sure you are properly sealing in moisture to retain it for longer, is to try the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods. What the acronyms in these methods stands for are as follows: The “L” stands for liquid or leave-in, the “C” stands for cream, and the “O” stands for oil. The order of these acronyms differ based on the order in which you choose to apply your moisturizing products and sealants. Either method will help to provide additional layers of moisture and further increase moisture retention.
2) Deep condition routinely
Another way that can help with how to retain moisture in natural hair is deep conditioning. Deep conditioners consist of a combination of nourishing and hydrating ingredients that work together to replenish moisture back into your strands and gradually strengthen them. Incorporating routine deep conditioning treatments into your hair regimen will help your strands to better retain moisture, thus improving manageability and creating longer-lasting styles. A good aim is to deep condition weekly.
3) Keep your hair moisturized often
If you go days without moisturizing your natural hair and eventually fall into the habit of not moisturizing it regularly, it is going to become harder to retain moisture when you finally do moisturize it. Excessive dryness can lead to tangles and matted hair and even breakage. Keeping your hair hydrated on a regular basis will help to keep your strands healthy and strong, thus making it easier to retain moisture. Make it a habit to moisturize your natural hair daily (e.g. the L.O.C. or L.C.O. methods). As you do so, you will notice a big change in the health of your hair. Improved manageability, softer strands, and better moisture retention.
4) Make changes if your hair is damaged
How to maintain moisture in natural hair – take into consideration certain changes you may have to make if your hair is damaged. If you have parts of your hair that are damaged, it can become more difficult to retain moisture. The reason being is because of damage that has been done to the structure of the hair strand and more specifically, the hair cuticle. The damaged hair cuticle often forms cracks and gaps throughout. It is additionally left in a raised state, making it easy for moisture to escape.
To counter this, it is essential that you are properly sealing in moisture with the right sealants – leave-ins, oils, creams, etc. Moisture sealants help to smooth and lay down the hair cuticle, thus helping to retain moisture for longer. If you have damaged hair, it will eventually need to be trimmed off. In the meantime, you can try weekly deep conditioning treatments and monthly protein treatments to strengthen your strands.
5) Check the ingredients in your hair products
Another tip to aid in how to retain moisture in natural hair is to check the ingredients in your hair products. A lot of the time when we think “natural” hair products we think “natural” ingredients. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are certain ingredients in our hair products that can do more harm than good in the long run. Some of these ingredients that are best to avoid include certain alcohols, parabens, silicones, and formaldehydes / formaldehyde releasers.
Certain ingredients like these can accelerate product build-up in your hair, create dryness, and other issues. This can impact the health of your hair and thus interfere with your hair’s ability to effectively absorb and retain moisture. On the other hand, there are ingredients that can provide your hair with many nourishing benefits. Some of these good ingredients that can aid in bettering moisture retention include aloe vera, essential oils, butters, and other natural extracts.