By Nicollette Samuels
Photo Credit: Melvin Buezo from Pexels
The coronavirus pandemic has put a wrench in everyone’s regularly scheduled programming in the name of safety and the preservation of health. So, while you may be suffering from boredom at home, there is no reason why your hair should suffer too. Since you will have to do without your weekly hair appointments until further notice, give your hair the TLC it needs by keeping it healthy, hydrated, and moisturized. Here are some tips on how to keep your natural hair moisturized.
Natural African American hair has the tendency to be very dry depending on the curl type and requires a lot of moisture. Usually dry hair is related to how tight the natural curl is; the tightest curl (4c) tends to have the driest hair and can get away with not being washed for weeks at a time, while the loosest curl type or wave (2a) may have to be washed every few days.
This is because the natural oils produced by the scalp have a hard time going down the length of very coily hair due to the amount of twists and bends in one hair strand, leaving the hair very dry. Compared to straight or wavy hair, which gets oily much faster because the natural oils can travel down the strand easier. Therefore, it is important to keep the length of your natural hair moisturized because the natural oil produced by the scalp is not enough.
The first step to keeping your hair moisturized is hydration. When you think of the word hydration you think of water. Water is essential for keeping not only hair hydrated, but the body as well. Increasing your daily water intake will help to nourish the body from the inside out, helping the overall health of your hair but applying water to the hair is the best way to get instant results.
Another way to boost hair hydration levels is to add humectants. Humectants are ingredients that help to attract and retain moisture by pulling water molecules from the air and into the hair. Humectant properties can be found in natural ingredients like Glycerin, Aloe Vera, and Honey. While humectants can be beneficial for hydrating dry hair, they can also have adverse effects in the wrong environment. In dry, low humidity areas, humectants can cause the hair to become drier by pulling out the water from the hair and into the air. In high humidity areas, humectants will pull too much water from the air into the hair causing it to be over filled with water, making the hair frizzy.
Next, you want to use a moisturizing hair cream to helps lock in that hydration and smooth the hair cuticle. Products like hair lotions and creamy leave-in conditioners are perfect for this step.
Lastly, to seal everything in, you need to apply an occlusive. Occlusives are sealants used to prevent water loss from the hair’s cortex. Oils and butters are excellent barriers to keep that hydration locked in the hair, helping it feel moisturized for longer.