Updated: Feb 16
This post is loonnngggg overdue. Ever since I went on this natural journey,and started transitioning, I've had to deal with dry hair. Even as a kid, my mom would use a spray bottle on my hair and say "Nae your hair really sucks up water!" Hello, high porosity! It all makes sense now, lol. So let me just get right into it. Here are my tips for hydrating and retaining moisture in dry, natural hair.
1.Know the difference between hydration and moisture. This has been my biggest help. If your hair is chronically dry, and you may even say it's brittle, try using more water in your styling process, and by more water, I mean A LOT of water, sis. Like, this needs to be you in the shower. 👇🏿
Water equals hydration. Many people think that adding more product to their hair and moisturizing it, will make it less dry, when in reality your hair is lacking hydration (water) not moisture ( oils, butters, etc.). Now if you're saying "I don't use oils and butters so this doesn't apply to me," check the ingredients of your leave-ins. You'll probably notice water as one of the first ingredients, but you will also notice a lot of oils, why? Because leave-ins, moisturize. Simply put, hydration's job is to increase the amount of water in your hair, a moisturizer's job is to make sure that water doesn't escape. You may have heard this referred to as "sealing." Think about it, when you're thirsty and need water, would you ever say "I'm feeling a little de-moisturized?" No, you say "I'm dehydrated" So does your hair! You rush to have a glass of water, not a glass of coconut or olive oil. Live your best hydrated life this Summer! Hydrate your body and hydrate your hair. If you're looking for tips on adding more hydration to your wash day, check out my IGTV video on How I Style My Hair.
2. Deep condition, deep condition, deep condition! Now look! I know you've heard this before "never skip deep conditioning on wash day, deep conditioning is really important." I'm about to step it up..deep condition more than once a week...* silence and eye rolls* I deep condition twice a week. Once on wash day (Sunday), and again mid-week Wednesday. Yes, it is time-consuming, yes it's a pain on nights that I'm tired, but I make it happen anyway. If you just can't do it twice, at least make sure you're getting it done on wash-day and you're properly hydrating when you style.
3. Be consistent. Yep! You've heard this a lot too, but it's so true. Find a routine that works for you, and stick to it. You nor your hair is going to get used to something that you are doing sporadically, and "when you feel like it." Beyoncé grinded day and night for Homecoming, you got this! I'm also adding to this, pay attention to your hair. This is something that will become second-hand, once you are consistent. Once you have a routine you will better learn your hair and when something is "off," you'll know.
4. Be patient! If you're being consistent, and paying attention to your hair you will start to see changes. Personally, I think you can't really write-off a routine until you have done it for at least 3 months. Please notice I said a routine. If you use a product and it makes you break-out, DO NOT continue to use and say "Nae said wait 3 months!" This is why learning your hair is important. I tried the Flaxseed Gel from a company and immediately noticed it made my scalp itch. I stopped using it. It was the only thing I changed in my routine so I knew it was the reason for the sudden itchiness.
I have been deep conditioning 2x a week and using more water in my styling routine for about 3 months and now see a significant difference in both the hydration and moisture of my hair. When I transitioned, it took about 3 months for my hair to start waving up a bit and get over the initial shock that I was actually not using heat any more. Now you may be different. Maybe you notice right-away or maybe it takes longer. I highly suggest giving it time and working it into a consistent routine for some time before saying it doesn't work for you.
I hope you've enjoyed my tips on hydrating and retaining moisture in your natural hair. I know it can be extremely frustrating feeling like your're just doomed to have dry hair, but there is hope!. Be patient, find a set routine, be consistent, and hydrate, y'all!