KEEPING YOUR HAIR MOISTURIZED
For some, moisturizing their hair is easy. Getting it to stay moisturized? Not so much. Keeping hair moisturized is one of the biggest challenges faced by naturals. The key to doing so is first knowing your hair and then understanding how to treat and take care of it. In my last post I spoke about Porosity and the role it plays in both moisturizing hair and keeping hair moisturized . Click here to read that article.
Wiping the slate clean
Most naturals Co-Wash (Wash with conditioner only). While this does help to clean the hair without leaving it dry and straw-like, it just isn't able to effectively remove heavy product buildup. So if you are heavy handed, like me, and you use lots of products, butters, or even thick waxy products (beeswax), then co-washing alone won't do. Using a mild Sulphate free clarifying shampoo is a great way to remove excess product from your hair and scalp.
I try to clarify my scalp once or twice a month depending on how much product I applied to my hair. Dirty hair and scalp can not only be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, but can also cause pimples along your hairline and on your face, and greasy, weighed down hair that is dry and lifeless. If your hair doesn't feel like it is being effectively moisturized, first start with a thorough cleansing, you may may be surprised at how soft and smooth your hair feels after!
Layer your products properly
Layering your products properly will ensure that your hair stays moisturized longer. Start off by applying a liquid/leave-in-conditioner/daily moisturizer of choice. My personal favorite is water, because hair can't be moisturized without water. Ensure that that your leave-in/daily moisturizer has water has the first ingredient. Ingredients are listed in order of highest concentration.
Then apply your oil. Here you want to use an oil that will coat the hair and seal that moisture in the strands. Choose an oil with a high molecular weight as this will be too large to penetrate the strand and will coat it effectively. Oils such as coconut oil have a lower molecular weight and have been proven to penetrate hair strands, making them great for strengthening the hair. It also makes a great pre- poo (pre-shampoo) treatment.
Finally you apply your cream or styler of choice and style as usual! This method is referred to by curlies as the L.O.C method ( Liquid. oil. cream). I personally prefer the L.C.O method (Liquid. Cream. Oil). I find that putting the oil last leaves my hair shiny and smoother. As always, I encourage you to do what's best for you. No two heads of hair are the same, so what works for one may not work for you. Test both methods and let me know which you prefer in the comments below!