One thing all naturals should achieve on their journey is learning how to moisturize their natural hair. If you want your curls to flourish and stay manageable, you’ll have to ensure that your hair has the proper moisture when it’s needed.
Dryness is a common problem many women deal with on their natural hair journey. The natural oils from our scalp can’t slide down the hair shaft as easily as it would for straight hair. Having dry hair can become frustrating because it can lead to excessive breakage. However, there are tips you can follow that’ll replenish the moisture your curls crave.
In this post, I’m discussing 5 ways you can effectively moisturize your natural hair. Of course, you can’t expect drastic changes overnight. You have to stay consistent with these steps and be patient. Soon, you’ll find your hair becoming more manageable and you’ll be able to retain moisture longer than one day.
How to Moisturize Your Natural Hair
Deep Condition Regularly
Deep conditioning plays a big part in providing moisture and promoting healthy hair. It’s best to deep condition every time you wash your hair. I’ve been following this step consistently since my transitioning journey and it has made a huge difference! It’s important to keep a good moisture-protein balance by alternating between using moisturizing and protein-based deep conditioners each month.
A moisturizing deep conditioner will replenish moisture, promote elasticity, and contribute to healthy hair growth. You can even add extra ingredients to your conditioners to enhance the benefits such as Ayurvedic Herbs, Aloe Vera Juice, Rosewater, and many more. Protein treatments will add strength to your hair and reduce excessive breakage + shedding. I recommend using them once a most or more often depending on what your hair needs.
You can add heat while deep conditioning so that the product can penetrate your strands more effectively. A few tools you can use are a Thermal Hot Head, hooded dryer, handheld steamer, or you can use the steam from your shower.
Check Your Ingredients
There are a variety of hair products to choose from and it’s important to pay attention to the ingredient label. I used to grab any product off the shelf that claimed to work wonders for natural hair, however, I learned my lesson early on why choosing all-natural products is the best option. There are harmful ingredients that can lead to excessive dryness with consistent use such as:
- Mineral Oil
- Isopropyl Alcohol
You want to search for products that are safe and effective to use. There are many brands that formulate their products with nourishing ingredients that’ll benefit the health of your hair. The main purpose of my content is featuring clean beauty, therefore, I’ll always discuss natural hair products that are all-natural with moisturizing ingredients.
You can find 90+ black-owned brands that create handmade, safe products for our natural hair routine at this blog post: Why You Should Buy Black + My Favorite Natural Hair Brands. Once you start paying attention to the type of products you’re using, your moisture retention will increase.
Another way to keep your natural hair moisturized is by following the LOC method. LOC stands for liquid or leave-in, oil, and cream. This method is used by many naturals for promoting moisture retention and can include products you already use in your routine.
Layering your products in this order will ensure moisture is sealed into your hair. It’ll prevent water from escaping quickly and you won’t have to worry about constantly re-moisturizing. If you have high porosity hair as I do, then following this method is best! However, if this doesn’t work for you, try the LCO method and switch up the way you layer your products.
Related Post: A Quick Breakdown of the LOC Method for Natural Hair
The first step in this method includes applying water or a water-based leave-in conditioner to each section. Before I use a leave-in conditioner, I make sure my hair is soaking wet – I’m able to achieve the best definition when I style on saturated hair. After that, you follow up with an oil to lock in that moisture. You can use any oil of your choice for this step.
Finally, you’ll apply a creamy moisturizer as the last step in the method which prevents moisture loss. Creams can also add hold and definition to your styles. If you notice that your hair still lacks moisture from these methods, try switching up the product combinations you’re using.
A steamer adds moisture in the form of moist heat to your hair. It helps open up the hair follicles + pores on your scalp to allow better moisture absorption. Here are some benefits of using steam for your natural hair:
- Helps products penetrate strands more effectively
- Improves hair’s elasticity
- Increases blood flow to the scalp
- Promotes healthy hair + scalp
- Adds a boost of moisture
I’ve tried steaming my hair once on my journey and the experience was interesting. One product many naturals use is the Q-Redew, a handheld steamer that can be used to refresh styles, deep condition, and detangle while adding moisture to your hair. Here is a video tutorial of me using it to pre-poo my hair before wash day:
I ended up giving this steamer away to a friend because I didn’t use it often after this video. I’d rather purchase a hooded steamer to sit under instead of doing all of the work myself. Also, since I have high porosity hair, my cuticles are already open and I don’t think there’s a need for steam. However, I’m not opposed to trying it again in the future because of the benefits it has for moisturizing natural hair.
If you have low porosity hair, incorporating hair steamers into your routine would be perfect. Since low porosity hair has tightly sealed cuticles, using steam can help open them up so your products can penetrate more effectively. I’ve seen many naturals with low porosity hair use a steamer while deep conditioning. It maximizes the benefits for sure!
Related Post: How to Keep Your Low Porosity Hair Healthy
Use the Proper Hair Tools
Keeping your natural hair moisturized doesn’t only come from the products we choose. The type of hair tools you invest in can also determine how well you retain moisture. One important tool every natural should have in their routine is a satin bonnet or pillowcase. You also want to limit the use of heat styling tools such as flat irons and blow dryers.
You want to protect your hair every night before going to sleep by sleeping on satin material. Cotton causes split ends, breakage, and can strip the moisture from your hair. Satin helps you retain moisture, reduces breakage, and keeps your styles looking fresh. One brand I recommend checking out for bonnets is Cee’s Design Shop. You can customize your bonnet and it’s great quality.
As far as heat, I’m not saying to completely cut it out of your routine. Heat is okay to use if you do it in moderation. Styling with heat on a regular basis can cause dryness and damage to your curl pattern. When you decide to use heat, make sure you invest in a good-quality heat protectant, do a protein treatment, and use the lowest setting.
Related Post: 13 Must-Have Tools for Your Natural Hair Journey
Learning how to moisturize your natural hair is important if you want to achieve healthy, long curls. After following these 5 tips consistently, you’ll notice a huge difference with how long your hair can retain moisture.