It’s that time of the week again. Day 3 of your wash day style and your hair is really starting to show it. It’s frizzy, unruly and completely dry. Now you have the task of reviving your hair but it’s very far from your next wash day. Plus, you truly do not want to add any heavy products because product build up is real and we do not need any other issues these days. So what should you do? Finding the proper way to rehydrate dull, dry natural hair can become a product gambling game.
Many naturals have gone natural for a reason. They want to rid their routines of toxic chemicals, damaging sulfates and unknown ingredients that have more than two syllables. So hydrating the hair should be a breeze, right? At the core of hydration, the number one ingredient is water. As simple as water sounds, we as NaturAllistas know it is anything but simple. Properly hydrating the hair does not mean simply adding water and going. Your hair needs you consistently be introduced to moisture and this happens in many ways. It could be wetting it everyday or wetting it and sealing with products that cover the hair shaft. This step is where it gets tricky. How you seal in the water is what determines how frequently you will need to rehydrate or refresh after your initial wash day.
What’s really drying out your hair?
Taking a moment to analyze your hair can really save you from a world of hurt in the future. Knowing how your hair reacts to weather conditions, product ingredients or hair styles can really give you a leg up in finding the right moisture routine that leaves your hair nourished and manageable.
Over-washing natural hair can leave it dry and stripped of the essential oils your scalp produces. This is where your concern for natural moisture should start. The natural hair world knows that you want to stay away from shampoos that contain harsh, chemically derived sulfates and introduce moisture while still cleansing. For example, our Hydrating Shampoo with Avocado and Kiwi is a perfect balance of natural cleansers (i.e Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a gentle cleanser derived from coconuts) and super moisturizing kiwi extract that does wonders in penetrating the hair shaft.
Another factor that goes into drying the hair that many naturals don’t think about is the actual quality of the water that they are using to moisturize the hair. Hard water is water that is highly concentrated in calcium and other minerals that can weaken the hair and make your products work harder to get into the hair. We suggest purchasing a water filter for your shower head or talking to your landlord about how you can get a water softener added to your tank. This will ensure that the water you are introducing to your hair will actually do more good than harm.
Your wash day routine is crucial to the retention of moisture. One small act that many overlook as crucial is finger detangling. When you are detangling (while wet, hair should ALWAYS be wet) try your hardest to leave the tools until the very end. You want to finger detangle as frequently as possible. Finger detangling helps reduce the number of split ends, single-strand knots, breakage and an irritated scalp. Each one of these components contribute to a dried out style and more frequent rehydrating. Plus, what is more natural than using your own hands as a staple hair tool? Using your hands and fingers really allows you to evenly distribute any product you are applying but the biggest benefit is it gets you closer to your hair. Really feeling it and assessing the moisture levels can really help rehydrating go smoother.
Now one of the biggest contributors to dry hair is something that we cannot even control and that's the climate and weather around you. Many people who live in incredibly dry areas might have to add an extra deep condition to their routine to combat the constant withdrawal of moisture from their hair to the air. Someone who lives in a humid area may want to add more humectant rich ingredients (i.e. honey, aloe, rosewater) to block the humidity in the air from over saturating the hair shaft.
LOC It In!
Before you walk, you must crawl. Before you rehydrate, you have to hydrate. Your first line of defense against dry hair is a solid and meticulous moisture routine. You have to know how to properly introduce your moisture to your hair and then keep it in there.
Many naturals have already heard of the L.O.C or L.C.O method and majority have perfected what works for their hair. L.O.C stands for “leave-in (or a moisturizer for our high porosity queens), oil, custard (or cream, your call). The key to really locking in the moisture with this routine is properly layering each product so they can dry together evenly and completely. However, there can be room for error depending on a number of factors so you want to be sure that you relay pay attention to how your hair reacts to certain routines and adjust accordingly.
Now when it comes to switching the C or the O, we suggest using your own discretion. With that being said, we want to highlight the importance of sealing your hair at the end of styling. Many people use lightweight oils at the end of their style. Many lightweight oils work to coat the hair shaft and increase shine while simultaneously keeping moisture in and protecting the hair from harsh outside circumstances. Here at NaturAll we are partial to ending with an oil as it has been a staple for many NaturAllistas. Check out our AvoKiwi LOC Method 3-Step Recipe and how we suggest using it for optimum moisture retention!
- Apply Hydrating AvoKiwi Moisturizer to clean, damp or dry hair. Work a generous amount of product into hair from root to tip, with an extra focus on the ends.
- Distribute a generous amount of Hydrating AvoKiwi Curl Custard into hair from root to tips.
- Apply a dime-sized amount of our Hydrating AvoKiwi Oil Blend dime throughout the hair, focusing on your ends to seal in the moisture.
Pro Tip: Cleanse with Hydrating AvoKiwi Shampoo and follow with Hydrating AvoKiwi Conditioner for best results.
Rehydrating Tips and Tricks
- Hop in the Shower
As we mentioned before, water is the #1 source for moisture. You want to introduce your hair to water as frequently as you can and seal it up even quicker! One of the best ways to naturally rehydrate your thirsty tresses is simply hopping in the shower. Depending on how you wrap your hair at night, you might have already had your hair tied in two-strand twists, plaits, braids, etc. Remove your head wrap and just hop in the shower! The steam will do wonders in penetrating the hair shaft, giving your hair a blast of moisture. While during your normal routine, take your wet hands and run them across your head once or twice, just so the hair is damp. When you get out of the shower, touch up your hair as you please. You can do this by using very little of the styling product you initially applied during your wash day and seal with your favorite lightweight oil or oil blend.
2. Rose Water
As of recent, many naturals have been in search of the basic, natural and effective ways to hydrate their hair. We are in a time where we want the most stripped down products with the least amount of ingredients and the mac amount of benefits. This is where rose water tends to shine. The main ingredient of this product cannot get any more natural. Simply adding the jam packed nutrients you can find in roses to water elevates rehydrating your hair to another level!
Rose water can do so much for you on the days your hair needs a refresher. Rose water is antibacterial and a mild astringent. These two characteristics aid in keeping a clean and thriving scalp. Now we can take the scalp benefits even further by mentioning that rose water helps to maintain your hair’s natural pH balance. Roses and hair sit on the slightly more acidic side, around 4-5.5. These conditioning properties can also relieve any itchy or dry scalp issues which will decrease dandruff or scalp abrasions from frequent scratching. Along with these benefits, rose petals are loaded with nourishing substances such as vitamins E, A, C and B3. All of this is to say that rose water is a beautiful, natural (and let’s not forget AROMATIC) way to rehydrate your days old style.
3. Aloe Vera Water/ Juice
Similar to rose water, aloe vera juice is a great way to rehydrate your hair with added nourishment. The Aloe plant is a succulent that holds over 90% of its water in its leaves. This water is stored and filled with nutrients for the plant to survive on. Our hair and bodies love off of the same nutrients that keep the aloe plant thriving. Aloe juice is derived from the outer part of the leaves whereas aloe gel is derived from the inner contents of the leaves. Aloe is jammed with nutrients that can penetrate the hair shaft. The biggest take away from aloe is the fact that it is a natural humectant. Humectants are plants or ingredients that retain and preserve moisture. These characteristics are incredibly helpful when you are trying to rehydrate hair that cannot seem to retain any of the moisture that’s introduced.
You can add Aloe juice to a spray bottle with your favorite essential oils such as lavender, orange, peppermint or clove. Section your hair and spray the mixture until your hair is damp. After this step, you can choose to add more product extra definition or go straight to your sealing oil. Doing this refresh mid week will definitely carry you to your next wash day.
4. Bedtime Routine
Having a tight bedtime moisture routine is CRUCIAL in maintaining all the hard work you put in to hydrate your hair. There are two major things to avoid when going to bed that will help retain moisture overnight: Avoid contact with cotton. Cotton absorbs oil and has abrasive fibers. This means that not only do cotton pillowcases dry your hair out by absorbing the moisture from your hair, but it also can cause breakage and tangling. Satin or silk material is non-absorbing and non-abrasive, allowing your hair to retain its moisture and slide past the material without resistance. You can either get a satin pillowcase, wrap your hair in a satin scarf/bonnet, or you can wrap a satin scarf over your pillowcase.
Avoid leaving your hair down or loose. If you go to bed with your hair down or out this can increase the chances of your hair tangling which can lead to frizz, breakage, and single strand knots. Before you go to bed, try re-twisting your hair (good for twist-outs), putting it in a bun, or loosely pinning it down into place (good for braid-outs/wash and gos). You can also add a light coating of your favorite hydrating spritz. It will also help to moisturize your hair before this to keep your curls hydrated overnight.
Sweat The Technique
At the end of the day dehydrating and rehydrating your natural hair all comes down to the technique of applying moisture. Once your technique is flawless, that’s when you really can hone in on the products you're using because you will know how the product should function within your routine. Using natural ingredients is crucial but they can become harmful if they are not layered properly during the styling and restyling process. For instance, you can use rose water to rehydrate but if it’s the LAST step in your process, you just broke down all the moisture barriers you meticulously created during your refresh styling process. You’ll have to go all the way back to make sure the hair shaft is sealed and no natural is excited about restarting an entire process, let’s be real! Natural ingredients are always on the brain here at NaturAll, but it’s important that you pay attention to them too. If you are not applying and maintaining these products correctly, you will always have trouble refreshing tired, dull styles. No matter what you use! What did you learn from this blog? Comment below!