If your hair regimen leaves you asking, “why is my natural hair always dry?”, it may be time to make some changes. While coily, kinky, and curly hair types are prone to dryness, if you find that your hair is becoming excessively dry more often than not, it may be a fixable misstep somewhere in habit or another underlying issue.
Here are a few reasons why your natural hair is always dry and how to fix it:
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1) You are not properly sealing in moisture
If you find that your natural hair is quickly drying out even after you have applied your choice of products, you may not be properly sealing in the moisture you have applied. To retain moisture, it is essential that you are using a moisture sealant. Sealants can come in the form of a leave-in cream, an oil, etc. A sealant will help to smooth the hair cuticle and lock in moisture to prevent it from quickly escaping.
A good way to make sure you are properly sealing moisture is to use the L.C.O. or L.O.C. methods. These methods involve first using a liquid or leave-in, followed by a cream and an oil in the order of your choosing. These layers of moisture and sealants will ensure your hair is being adequately hydrated and encourage longer moisture retention. Some naturals may even find more benefit in using more than one sealant to lock in moisture depending on their hair texture, porosity, etc.
2) You have heat damaged, color-treated, or transitioning hair
To answer “why is my natural hair always dry?”, you should look at the current state of your hair. Is your hair color-treated? Do you have heat damage or are you currently transitioning from relaxed to natural hair? Any of these factors can affect how well your hair is able retain moisture. When your hair is damaged, it can alter the structure of your strands, weakening the protein bonds and creating gaps in the hair cuticle, leaving it in a constantly raised state.
The damaged hair cuticle being left in a raised state makes it more difficult for moisture to be retained as it can easily escape. To combat this issue, it is especially important that you are using an adequate moisture sealant. You can try heavier sealants like butters and creams to provide a more thorough coverage of your strands and to smooth the hair cuticle.
3) You have high porosity hair
Your hair’s porosity can play a big part as to why your natural hair seems to always be dry. This is especially true if you have high porosity hair. High porosity hair is a natural trait for some. It is also commonly caused by some form of damage done to the hair (e.g. heat, hair dyes). High porosity hair has certain traits and is typically prone to dryness and frizz. These traits are a result of the hair cuticle being in a lifted state. The hair cuticle being in a lifted state makes it easier for moisture to be absorbed. However, it may be harder to retain moisture as it can quickly escape if a proper moisture sealant is not applied.
Because of this, those with high porosity hair may find that their strands dry quite quickly. Routinely deep conditioning and doing monthly protein treatments can help to strengthen your high porosity hair and get it to a healthier state.
4) You are not using the right products
If you are wondering “why is my natural hair always dry?”, the answer can be as simple as you are not using the right products. For example, if you wash your hair and only apply a gel afterwards with no other leave-in products, your hair will eventually dry out. A gel on its own is typically not a moisturizing product and will need to be accompanied with a leave-in conditioner or another moisturizing leave-in product to preserve moisture and softness.
On the other hand, you could be using too much product to where it is weighing your hair down and causing product build-up that prevents moisture from fully being absorbed. This can create the appearance of dull, frizzy hair. To know how to find the right products for your natural hair, you can read here.
5) You are not moisturizing your hair often enough
If you go days without applying any form of moisture to your hair – water, leave-ins, etc. it is going to become excessively dry, creating more tangles and possibly lead to breakage. The more often / regularly you moisturize your hair, the more adapt it will become, leading to easier manageability, softer hair, and better moisture retention. To add to this, make sure you are regularly washing and deep conditioning your hair weekly to help replenish moisture back into your strands and remove them of build-up to fully absorb your products.
As you make routinely moisturizing your hair apart of your regimen, it will eventually begin to “train” your curls and they will become healthier – springier, stronger, and softer.