Moisture is one of the most important routines naturals have to get right to see their hair grow and flourish, its the key to soft and manageable hair! The complaints i hear the most are “arrgh my hair is too stubborn”, “its too strong” and “it breaks no matter how often i cream (grease) my scalp”. This is because the hair is not moisturized and cared for properly. Would you go a week without bathing? moisturizing your skin? nope? i didn’t think so. It would become dry, flaky and itchy (not to mention the funk!), this applies to your hair too, the routine may be different but the principle stays the same.
The Alpha of hair moisture is water, yup, regular water. It hydrates your body when you drink it, cleanses your skin when you bathe and cleans and hydrates the hair when you wash it. Applying grease, oil or butters to your dry hair will do nothing for your hair, it will sit on that dry hair and make it even more dry, eventually causing breakage. So first you need water.
Lets start with freshly washed and deep conditioned hair, its clean (smells nice) and damp. if you leave it that way, the water will evaporate and leave your hair dryer than it was before so to keep that moisture, you have to seal it.
Sealing the moisture is done best by using the LOC method which stands for Leave in. Oil . Cream.
This is arranged in the order in which you apply these products.
A leave in conditioner should give you great slip and will absorb into your hair strands over the next few hours.
Oil serves as a light sealant to keep the moisture you have put in place and
Cream/ butter acts as a heavier sealant as well as a styler (depending on your choice of hairstyle).
There you have it, soft, manageable hair. Plus moisturized hair is easier to style and holds curls better.
Nevertheless, natural hair is as different as our faces and there are a lot of things that will work for one and do nothing for another. Factors such as hair porosity, dyes, heat damage, thickness or density of hair (will cover the details in future posts) may change the way it responds to some techniques or products. Keeping that in mind, you may have to indulge in trial and error to see what your hair permits.
Some people use the LOC method as is while others switch it to LCO (leave in, Cream, oil) and others like me had to do more experimentation.
Here is a question i asked a hair guru:
“Hi, i noticed that after deep conditioning my hair and putting my leave in, my hair is very soft and detangled but as soon as i put oil on it, any oil, it tangles up and starts to feel dry and brittle! Do i go off oils all together?”
askpRoy who is an awesome youtube Vlogger had this to say:
“Try skipping the oil and see how that works for you. Many times your leave-in or styler will have an oil infused so you can skip the oil altogether. Try it out and lemme know how that works for you!”
“instead of using oil to seal in moisture use butters instead (shea,avocado)”
Taking their advice, i started applying my leave in conditioner and following it up with a cream, instead of the oil, i used shea butter to seal and my hair loves it! now i use my oils to preepoo and massage my scalp and that works for me.
During the week or when i protective style i lightly spritz the hair with mixture of water and a leave in conditioner to keep up that moisture daily before another wash day rolls and i get to pamper my strands again.