I feel like my hair is NEVER moisturized enough! like its great day one of the twist out but not day one night! and my hair texture is changing. What would you suggest??
ah, yes. the greedy, thirsty, never-satisfied hair problem. i’m right there with you, sister, and especially as winter approaches with its cold, dry air, it’s important that we keep our tendrils as moisturized as possible. here are a few things that might convince your hair to hold on to some of that precious life-giving liquid:
1) deep condition your hair. deep conditioning is good for delivering a nice power-packed burst of nourishing moisture deep into the core of your hair shaft. you can go out and buy a fancy schmancy deep conditioner or masque if you’d like, but in my opinion, a good conditioner (one with no silicone, mineral oil, or petrolatum, preferably) boosted with a bit of your favorite oil will work just fine. i personally use Trader Joe’s Nourish conditioner and virgin coconut oil. wash your hair as normal, then apply your deep conditioner and cover with a conditioning cap or shower cap (or a grocery bag, if this is your struggle. i’m not here to judge!). i let it sit for at least 30 minutes, but have been known to bag it up overnight and rinse it out in the morning. you can speed up the process by sitting under a dryer or using a heated cap for 10-15 minutes (all this depends on what you’re using as a deep conditioner, of course–be sure to follow your product’s instructions, if there are any).
i deep condition once a week, but the frequency that each person should do so depends on your hair, it’s characteristics, your upkeep process (do you apply new product everyday? cowash? etc.), and your lifestyle. some folks deep condition once a month. if you find your hair dries out more often than not, every other week, or once a week may be right for you. for more info on deep conditioning natural hair, click here!
2) rinse with cold water. it may be uncomfortable to do, but your hair may thank you for it; after washing and conditioning your hair, make sure your last rinse is done with cold water. cold water seals the hair cuticle, helping to lock in moisture and increase shine. totally worth it! for more information on cold water rinsing, click here.
3) beware silicon products! okay, so i don’t particularly think that silicon products are the devil like many naturals do. i think they’re okay as long as you’re aware of what you’re using and how you’re using it. silicon in a hair product will form a barrier around the shaft of your hair, which will keep moisture from escaping–and keep it from getting in. this can actually dry your hair, even if it looks shiny.
what you definitely don’t want to do is apply a product with a silicon in it on freshly washed hair; this will keep the moisture and nutrients from other products you may use from getting absorbed into the core of the hair, and setting you up for a head full of build up. if you’re going to use a product with silicon, mineral oil, or petroleum in it, use a silicon, mineral oil, and petroleum-free leave-in conitioner and moisturizer first. make sure there are lots of yummy moisturizing things in your hair before applying the silicon product; that way, it will seal in all the moisturizing stuff, reducing the drying properties of the silicon product. speaking of build-up…
4) clarify your hair regularly. clarifying your hair means stripping it of all the gunky build-up that we sometimes get from layering products in our hair. though co-washing does help to lightly remove some of the dirt and product that gets into our hair, you need a shampoo to really get it out of there (especially if you’re using silicon products–co-washing will NOT remove silicon from your hair! you need a sulfate shampoo for that!). a clarifier is basically a stronger, stripping shampoo. click here for more information about clarifying.
i personally don’t co-wash because it doesn’t work well for me and i’m too lazy. lol. i shampoo with a sulfate once a week, and once a month, i clarify either with a clarifying shampoo, like V05, or with an apple cider vinegar rinse (read more about that here). clean hair receives and retains moisture far better than dirty hair! (important: don’t clarify TOO often! clarifying shampoos are very stripping, and will remove both product build up and a good portion of your hair’s natural oils; if you use one, follow immediately with a good deep conditioner to put back all that goodness!)
5) invest in a satin pillowcase, scarf, or bonnet. the smoothness of satin is very beneficial to natural hair; cotton pillowcases can suck the moisture out of our hair, drying it out and even breaking it off. satin helps hair retain its moisture though the night and helps keep it from breaking.
6) seal your hair. sealing your hair means moisturizing with a water-based moisturizer, then following with an oil or oil-based moisturizer. this will seal the nourishing moisture into the hair shaft and help it hold on to it longer.
coconut oil makes a great sealant (that’s what i use); for more moisture/drier hair, you can try cutting a thicker oil, like castor oil, with a thinner on, like jojoba or coconut oil. for more information on sealing, click here.
adopting some of these little tip into your regular hair routine can find you with more moisturized hair. though there are things you can do to get fast results, don’t look for an instant fix; practice better hair care all the way around to get to where you need to be!
and if nothing works, time to go see the professionals. lol.