Last year on the NaturAll blog, we covered one of the most common natural hair issues out there: how to keep your hair moisturized. We offered these seven tips:
- Use a true moisturizer that has water as 1st or 2nd ingredient.
- Seal in moisture with an oil like Shea butter, castor oil, or avocado oil.
- Trim your ends regularly.
- Avoid heat.
- Keep your hands out of your hair.
- Sleep with a satin bonnet or pillow.
- Deep condition regularly.
But you may already be familiar with these common tips... and you're here because your hair is STILL DRY. So follow this guide to keep your hair moisturized!
WHY ISN'T IT WORKING?
Even if you follow all these tips, there might be a simple mistake in your regimen that is drying out your hair. That's why we put together a list of more advanced tips on how to keep your hair moisturized.
1. Porosity matters.
- If you have low porosity hair, your hair has a tight cuticle layer and struggles to take in moisture. This could be why your hair feels dry! Use heat when applying moisture (steam, warm water, or a heat cap) to open your cuticles. Don't over-apply product or be heavy-handed. Instead, leave oils and conditioners in a little longer to give your hair more time to absorb moisture. And unless you know your hair is lacking protein (more on this later), stay away from protein treatments that can make your hair feel dry and stiff.
- If you have medium porosity hair, use protein treatments or products with protein occasionally, and if your hair feels stiff or dry after using a product that's high in protein, give it more time before your next treatment. Make sure to use leave-in conditioner or moisturizer, and seal in the moisture with an oil, anytime after wetting your hair.
- If your hair is high porosity, it's all about sealing in moisture. Use a leave-in conditioner daily, and experiment with different oils (avocado oil, castor oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc) to see what keeps your hair most moisturized throughout the day. Use products with some protein to maintain strength, like NaturAll's Fresh Frozé Deep Conditioner. Finally, try ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) treatments to smooth the cuticle layer and maintain moisture.
The truth is, many hair products on the market contain chemicals that make your hair dry. These products might seem to help your hair in the short term, but with extended use they can damage and dry out your hair.
Luckily, distinguishing the good from the bad is easy: just check the ingredients! Then review our list of harmful ingredients commonly found in hair products, and get rid of any products you have that contain damaging ingredients. Hint: NaturAll's products are great alternatives, and we only use safe ingredients!
3. Your hair might be dry if you shampoo too often (or if your shampoo contains harmful and drying ingredients.)
We recommend using shampoo no more than once a week, and as infrequently as once a month. If your hair is consistently dry, and especially if you have type 4 curls, lengthen the amount of time between washes. Use a gentle, sulfate free shampoo like NaturAll Club's Hydrating Avocado Shampoo.
If you're following all the moisture commandments but your hair is still dry, it could be tired from over-manipulation. Exposure to the elements (wind, cold, or sun) and excessive styling can cause damage and dry out your hair.
Let your hair rest with low manipulation or protective styles before returning to high manipulation styles. (On the flip side, don't neglect to moisturize your hair while it's in a protective style, and give it a rich, deep conditioning treatment as soon as you remove the protective style.)
5. Experiment with different protein levels.
Moisture and protein need to be balanced, and too much protein tends to make your hair feel dry and stiff. If stiff, hard, and dry hair sounds familiar, you probably have too much protein in your daily/weekly regimen.
Learn more about protein sensitivity and if it sounds like you have too much protein in your regimen, start by eliminating protein-rich products. You don't have to eliminate protein completely from your regimen, but start using fewer protein-rich products, or use those products less frequently.
6. Sadly, it could just be the elements that are drying out your hair (especially if you spend a lot of time outside.)
We believe natural hair should never keep you from the beach, a bike ride, or a walk outside with your friends, so we recommend protecting your hair if you're going out in extreme weather. Watch out for wind and cold in the winter, and chlorine and sun in the summer. Use a hat, scarf, or swim cap to keep your hair moisturized.
We all know that dryness can cause breakage, but did you know that breakage can also increase dryness? It’s a vicious cycle. Avoid breakage by detangling gently with a wide tooth comb. Check out other tips for how to avoid breakage.
7. STILL nothing is working? The culprit could be just one product in your regimen.
Try this challenge: eliminate ALL hair products from your regimen and only use natural ingredients, oils, and DIY treatments for a period of 1-2 months. Then, reintroduce your old products one by one to find which one was drying out your hair.
8. This tip was in our first list, but we’ll say it again- deep condition your hair!
Why? Deep conditioners penetrate your hair shaft much deeper with moisture than other products do. Deep condition every two weeks with NaturAll Club's Fresh Frozé Treatment Deep Conditioners for best results and moisture!