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- Psalms 27 : 1

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keeping The Moisture Levels Up

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After deciding to stay natural, perhaps, retaining moisture, is one of the biggest challenges any natural queen could face. Come to think about it, many natural hair dilemmas such as breakage, two strand knots and so on, are tied tightly to lack of moisture. However, it's not really about failing to moisturize but rather not being able to retain the moisture.

Retaining moisture has been the biggest issue I have had to deal with ever since I decided to wear my natural hair. This lack [or partial lack] of moisture retention has led to breakage, knots, brittle hair that is hard to style, serious shrinkage and lack of hair elasticity. 
I know I'm not alone in this but I have been able to gather a few information through my own personal experience and now somewhat understand what causes lack of moisture retention and how to avert this as much as possible.

To start with, moisture retention problems depends on three essential things :

● hair texture

● environment

● care

Most of the time, the last one, care, is the least of our problems and the two others, hair texture & environment, are the real deals.

● Hair texture : We all know we all have different hair textures and though I am not one to categorize hair texture and label them as this or that for any reason, I do have to point out that hair texture plays a big role in moisture retention. The tighter our curls, the bigger the effort to retain moisture. Our curls makes it hard for applied moisture to actually be retained because the moisturizing agents have a hard time gliding through the strands and satisfying our thirsty strands.

● Environment : Many environmental factors can hinder moisture retention.

- Hard water : hard water prevents moisture prevention by depositing calcium (amongst others) ions on the hair that stop moisture from penetrating the strands.

- Cold weather : The cold can cause our hair to be brittle and hard by countering the moisture on our hair thus making it hard to keep up the moisture levels

● Care : Over manipulation and lack of proper information could impede moisture retention.


Personally, my hair does not absorb much moisture after wash day, making my daily spritz mix redundant. I therefore only use water and a leave in [but even their moisturizing effects only last for a short time]. My hair doesn't absorb oils or butters properly either except when damp or wet, therefore, sealing doesn't work for me and when it does, only for a very short time. This therefore leads to one point : my hair gets most of it's moisture from wash day. I believe this is generally true for most natural queens. This is true because :

1. the products applied on wash day to style the hair don't only moisturize and hold the style but lock moisture in and in the same manner prevent moisture from getting in. That is why it could be hard to re-moisturize the hair properly after wash day in an attempt to keep the moisture levels up

2. of the style chosen. The style you choose to style your hair in really matters. Personally, when I style my hair in small twists, my hair will remain incapable of being moisturized until I wash even after I take out the twists. I believe this is because the small twists makes it even harder for moisture to penetrate my hair on top of my really tight curls.

To counter these issues and keep my moisture levels as high as possible, I have decided to treat my hair to as much moisture as possible and continue washing once a week. I had tried "boycott" the latter but the results I have gotten from my hair has been appalling. My hair cannot stand being washed only once in two or three weeks, it has to be at least once a week. In addition to all this, I will be taking very good care of what I put in my hair. Oils that easily penetrate the hair shaft [like virgin coconut oil] are best for sealing and styling. Heaping excessive amounts of oils and butters on your hair for no reason will impede any further moisturizing. Heavily sealing the hair has it's benefits when trying to keep a lot of moisture in maybe before a long term protective style or so but for everyday life, it could have adverse effects on your hair's health. 
Therefore, I will try [and I advice you to if you are struggling to keep the moisture levels up in your hair] :

1. moisturizing hair as much as possible with a very good pre poo and deep conditioner on wash days

2. moisturizing hair with water based products and water during the week to add a bit of moisture and increase hair's elasticity

3. counter environmental issues by clarifying and styling hair in protective styles when necessary


How do you battle with keeping the moisture levels up in your hair?
Any tips?

♥♥

12 comments:

  1. my hair's been so dry lately,only Jesus can save it...thanks for the wisdom....i will moisturizing like crazy...i hope that has no side effect cos boi,my hair is dry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad it helped sis. Be careful how you moisturize and how much moisture you put in. Try moisturizing effectively as described. Getting to the root of why your hair is so dry also helps a lot.

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  2. Great tips. My hair retains oil but its like my scalp eats it up.
    I wash my hair once to twice a week. That frequency does wonders
    for my scalp which suffers from eczema. If I wait any longer, it's a scratch
    attack waiting to occur.
    I find spray my hair with water does my hair well especially in brAIds.
    Peace and grace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks sis, glad it helped. Yes, spraying my hair with water also helps my hair. Thank you for sharing sis.

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  3. You are right, your hair's porosity level has a lot to do with its ability to retain any moisture applied. When I first went natural, I struggled with dryness. I don't anymore. Putting my hair up was very helpful for me. I always marveled at how wonderful moisturized my hair felt after taking down a protective style in for three days. I worked hard to keep my wash day moisture. For me, drenching my hair was the best way to ensure high moisture levels, which I followed with my KBB Butter Love or Creamilicious. For me, the more natural the product, the better it helped my hair retain its shampoo water levels. Twists have been a great way for me to keep my hair moisturized . . . the smaller the better, liberally coating at the ends with jojoba oil and then styling them in some updo.

    Great post filled with great advice. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a pleasure sis. My hair also retains moisture well when styled in a suitable protective style. Wet hair for me is also best moisturized hair it's just about getting as much of that moisture to stay as possible. I also have to say that my hair only responds to natural hair products, that is, products without any unnecessary harmful, scalp clogging or water-insoluble ingredients. Thank you for sharing sis!

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  4. Great tips!
    I totally agree with you on being careful about using heavy butters.Butters can really block moisture out. That happened to me. But like you said, water is the true moisturizer. I find out that when those ends are hidden, moisture is retained better. That is the only method that helps me with longer moisture retention, otherwise, I redundantly spray my hair on a daily basis and seal with oil.

    That was a great post. I appreciate those that genuinely share their experience to help others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks sis! Yes, properly protecting and caring for the hair is one of keys to proper moisture retention. I have found spraying my hair with "daily moisturizing mixes" have REALLY TEMPORARY effects and most of the time, don't even penetrate the hair except if it's 100% water. I believe we learn best from our experiences and teach best from them too. Thank you for sharing sis!

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  5. Great tips! My hair loves shea butter! I bought Shea Moisture's curl enhancing smoothie awhile back, it sucks at enhancing my curl pattern but its a great moisturizer! I also like keeping my hair in 2-strand twists on cold days to retain moisture in my hair. Protective styles & braids are my friend lol

    xoxo
    MissCrystal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks sis!! My hair also loves shea butter! A definite staple. I also like protective styling with twists but the bigger the better for my hair. Thank you for sharing sis!

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  6. Yes, I definitely need to deep condition more.
    fyi, do you know if you can deep condition with extensions in your hair?

    peacelovenhair.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you definitely can, especially if you are thinking of keeping them in for a long period of time.

      Delete

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