"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Did someone say MOISTURE? : Keeping the Moisture



As we all know, moisture is vital for naturally coarse and dry hair! But it is also good to note that, moisturizing is one thing, but actually keeping it in the hair, is another. Natural hair has the tendency to easily loose gained moisture because of raised cuticles (cuticles are the outer layer of the hair). Think of it this way. Imagine the cuticles to a strand of hair are the doors in your house for example. Now imagine it's very hot out and you put on your air conditioner, you do agree with me all the air coming from the air conditioner will escape through the open doors? Anyway, that was just an illustration but the principle is just about the same.
After moisturizing, it is imperative to seal in the moisture, especially during the winter months when moisture is most necessary.

Here are a few tips I use to keep moisture in my hair:




  • I use products that contain humectants : According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, an humectant is "a substance...used to reduce the loss of moisture". Examples of humectants are: honey, glycerine, panthenol (also known as provitamin B5). I put glycerine in my daily spritz and any other humectant in all my other products (except for my sealing butter). I know a lot of natural queens are careful about using glycerine or any other humectant during the colder months but it has worked fine for me so far. Because humectants draw moisture from the air to your hair, generally, during the colder months, they would draw moisture from your hair to the air but the science behind this is not as simple as that. It does depend on the amount of humectant you use. If the humectant in the product you are using has enough water molecules to bind to, the bonds will not be easily broken.


  • I moisturize daily or as needed : My hair sometimes needs moisture more than other times. I am attentive and once I notice the moisture level is decreasing, I spritz my hair or give my hair a really good treat. So listen to you hair and it will be thankful.

  • I seal my hair after moisturizing : This is an important step in retaining moisture. It does not even matter if you are using a product that is super moisturizing, if you generally do not seal in the moisture, the results will not be so good and they will not last. Humectants will keep the moisture your hair but the water molecules are so small they can easily enter through the cuticles and leave the same way. The best way to keep them in is to seal! Now you can seal with any number of things, from oils (for example, Extra virgin Olive oil, Castor oil..) to butters (for example, Shea butter, Cocoa butter...). But note that oils and butters are not moisturizers! Though they help keep your hair moisturized by sealing in moisture. Do not apply them to your hear without having moisturized before hand or else your hair will dry out because no moisture will be able to get in due to the large molecules (when compared to water molecules) of the oils and butter!

  • I try to seal frequently : I try sealing my hair after moisturizing in the morning and before stepping out, especially during the winter. During the warmer months, there will be no need for sealing so much.

  • I treat my hair frequently : Treating you hair by maybe deep conditioning, or pre-pooing is a great way to keep your hair moisturized. A good deep conditioning session is one that does not leave your hair dry but moisturized, replenished and strong! Pre-poo treatments are also meant to give your hair extra moisture (and strength) before shampooing.

  • I use moisturizing shampoos : Shampoos rid our hair of dirt but in the process, most shampoos also strip our hair of moisture and much needed oils (for example, shampoos that contain sulfates). These shampoos are way too harsh for our hair and could have a long lasting drying effect. Even if you do use a shampoo with sulfates, try following up with a moisturizing one.

  • I try to wear my hair in protective styles : I have noticed that when I wear my hair in protective styles, my hair retains more moisture than when I manipulate it too much. Apart from this, it is generally advised to manipulate natural hair as little as possible to reduce breakage (from excessive tension). I guess when touching and playing in the hair too much, water molecules escape but when the hair is left alone, nothing escapes and everything is kept in. That's my explanation. 

  • I sleep with a satin bonnet : Sleeping with a satin bonnet on your head, reduces friction against rough surfaces (for example cotton) this friction could cause hair to weaken and break or loss of moisture then breakage. If you cannot sleep with a satin bonnet, then consider investing in a satin pillowcase.

  • I wear my satin bonnet under my caps/berets/scarf etc. : Yes! If I cannot put my hair against cotton when sleeping, why should I do it when I'm awake. lol. I never wear any head gear on my head without my satin bonnet. The foremost reason is : I do not want my edges to break. The second one is : I do not want my hair to dry out. This has helped me retain a whole lot of moisture. But this does not in anyway mean that a satin bonnet is a remedy to sealing your hair! It's not a substitute!

That's it for now!  What have you done to retain moisture? Please share!

Stay blessed and funky Sisters

5 comments:

  1. Great tips sis, I really have to work on wearing a satin bonnet under my scarves and beanines.

    ReplyDelete
  2. good tips

    http://hippiebar.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you ladies!! Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great Post sister. I'm glad u mentioned about using a satin bonnet under beanies and hats. That is so important. Even my little 2 yr old wears a satin bonnet under her wool hats.

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  5. Thank you sis! You are right: if I have not been wearing my satin bonnet under all my caps, I would have suffered terrible breakage!

    ReplyDelete

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