Moisture, the ever elusive, and always necessary ingredient to healthy and thriving hair. We have all seen the photos and Youtube channels of (mostly) women with long, lush, healthy, glimmering hair. One thing that these women all have in common is that they know the secret to retaining moisture.
Retaining moisture tends to be one of the biggest problems that naturals face. Due to the twists and turns of each strand, it’s difficult for oil and moisture to travel down the strand.
Despite the difficulties to retaining moisture, it’s incredibly important to make your best efforts. Without moisture, your hair will become dry and brittle, prone to breakage and damage.
There isn’t one secret to retaining moisture. You need to be doing a few things right. If you’re shampooing your hair and not conditioning, you’re making a big mistake. Shampoo works well to clean hair, but it often works too well, stripping your hair of all of its natural oils and moisture. So every time you shampoo your hair, you must condition it. Deep conditioning is even more effective than the normal wash-out conditioners.
One word about shampoos. Make sure you’re using a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates take every bit of moisture from your hair. Most shampoos have sulfates as the second ingredient.
Another secret: Don’t use oils and butters as moisturizers. They don’t moisturize your hair! Only water can do that. What oils and butters do is lock the moisture from the water into the strands of your hair. The best way to use oils is to first spray your hair with water and then apply them.
Protective styles also help to lock in moisture. When your hair is up in a protective style, it will stay moist longer than if it is loose.
Perhaps one of the most important secrets to retaining moisture is this. Don’t ignore the tips of your hair. The ends are the most fragile and oldest part of your hair. Make sure to give this part of your hair a lot of attention. Place your moisturizer directly on your ends and seal with a butter or oil, then protect your ends with a protective style and a bonnet at night.