Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by The Blessed Queens
Natural hair hydration is super important when it comes to making sure your hair is soft and well kept! But how do you master the natural hair hydration method?
How To Master Natural Hair Hydration For Feather-like Curls!
How To Master Natural Hair Hydration For Feather-like Curls!
Our hair type is the most delicate hair type. It grows from our scalp in tight helixes and although it may look full and compact, compared to other hair types, it is the least dense in terms of hair follicles per cm.
Each hair is surrounded by a gland which supplies it with a natural oil called sebum.
It is meant to lubricate and waterproof the hair and skin while protecting it from bacteria and fungi.
The tighter your curls and kinkier your texture it is almost impossible for the sebum to travel and coat the whole strand.
This means our hair types don’t have that essential layer of oil and it is prone to dryness and dehydration as moisture is able to leave freely.
Natural, textured, and curly hair care product descriptions tend to employ generalized language to imply beneficial results. Across the board, these products do exactly as they say:
Moisture boosting botanicals will nourish your hair, causing a silky smooth finish and shine!
Even though this common promise is plastered onto a large percentage of the products in your curly cabinet, how can you know which of them is a true moisturizer, hydration treatment, or both? It really it a matter of science and understanding what to look.
Let’s look into the key differences between hydrating products and moisturizing products so that you can make more informed product purchasing decisions for your crown.
Moisture: It is exactly how it sounds.
Moisturizers are formulated to smooth your hair cuticle to achieve a softer texture. Moisturizers achieve this by forming a barrier on the hair fiber.
This barrier is made up of emollients, or hydrophobic oils that act as anti-humectants or sealers.
The beauty of moisturizers is that they work overtime to attract water to your hair. Moisturizers that I recommend for dry curls can be found in stores and online:
- Aunt Jackie’s Soft All Over Multi-Purpose Oil
- Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer – Coconut Cream
- Alikay Naturals Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil
Hydration: It too is exactly how it sounds.
Hydrating formulations are designed to increase the moisture content in hair strands. This is achieved through the use of humectants, the ingredients that withdraw moisture from the air to retain it for your hair.
You will know them by their most common presentations: oil and grease.
Among the more well-known humectants in the product ingredients listings is glycerin, a powerful hydrator that pulls water into the deepest layers of hair and skin.
I know… glycerin is not necessarily the hero for all us curlies, but it is in highly effective products on the market and I want to ensure you know that it will be everpresent.
But if you are not a fan of glycerin, I recommend these hydrating products for your curls that a glycerin-free:
- Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Style Setter
- Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner
- Creme of Nature Straight from Eden Natural Oil-Infused Hydrating Conditioner
Understanding Hair Hydration
To hydrate simply means to add water. Kinky hair is inherently dry so it will need additional water.
It is often believed that drinking plenty of water will help to keep the hair hydrated.
However, you can drink all the water you want and it will have no effect on the hydration of your hair, let me explain why.
The hair is made mostly of a protein called keratin which is the same as nails, hooves, and feathers.
The process which takes a normal cell and makes it keratinized involves removing all of the water content and everything else that makes it ‘alive’.
So the natural hair above the scalp is dead and can’t regenerate. The products we use improve the condition or look and feel of each strand but for the most part, results are only temporary.
The water content of the natural hair is primarily based on the humidity of the air around it and will always aim to be in equilibrium. So if you live somewhere with low humidity your natural hair will be more prone to dryness.
How to Hydrate Hair
There are ways to improve hydration by using humectants which will draw water into the hair shaft.
A humectant is a chemical that helps to retain or preserve moisture (water). These are commonly used in hair products and are listed in the ingredients like glycerin or xxx-glycol.
To be frank, unless you live in a very dry climate or are around artificial heat sources your hair is unlikely to be severely dehydrated.
We often mistake damaged natural hair for dry hair. A raised or rough cuticle (outer layer of the hair) will not reflect light as usual thus making your natural hair look dull with no shine or gloss. It may also be unable to hold on to products and styles can be limp or frizzy.
These are signs of deeper issues that may result from hair care habits that need altering.
Hydrate vs. Moisturize
Moisturizing is somewhat of a tricky term. At first glance, it may imply adding moisture or water into the hair but its main purpose is to seal or lock that moisture into the hair strand.
They create a barrier around the hair so that water does not leach out and give your natural hair a boost of key chemicals that can be used to repair or create bonds that will make it stronger and more resilient.
A good moisturizer will usually be water-based and have a mix of other groups of ingredients including emollients, oils, and lipids.
Avoid products that contain alcohols or synthetic fragrance and preservatives. These compounds can often have an adverse effect on your natural hair and scalp over time and work against the aims of a moisturizer.
Instead, look for water (aqua) and plants derived extracts and oils. You can search for the benefits of each to make sure it is a great match for your hair.
Other Hair Rejuvenating Tips
Coconut oil is a very effective moisturizer as it is able to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. It has a high lipid content which helps to soften the cuticles. This not only gives the hair an amazing shine, but it also aids in detangling and staying frizz-free.
Ideally, moisturizers should be applied on to wet or damp clean natural hair otherwise they will prevent water from entering the strands.
Many naturals use the LOC method – liquid/ leave-in followed by and oil then cream.
It is actually more effective to do LCO where the leave-in and cream are water-based so the oil which is hydrophobic (water-repelling) will push the moisture deep into the hair.
For daily hydration, a light spritz of water is enough but rosewater and aloe vera have excellent benefits for the scalp and ensure a healthy environment for new growth whilst protecting the rest of your natural hair from damage.
Oil should be avoided for frequent use when the hair is not clean as it can leave your natural hair feeling suffocated and provide a breeding ground for bacteria when applied directly to the scalp and will disrupt the pH balance which can cause it to look more dry and flaky.
There you have it, How To Master Natural Hair Hydration For Feather-like Curls!
How do you keep your natural hair hydrated?
What to read next? I’ve got you, girl!
- How To Use Low Porosity Shea Moisture Products For Curls That Sing!
- The Supreme Avocado Hair Mask Benefits For Hair That Glows
- The Must-try Loc Method For High Porosity Hair Sistas!
- How To Master Natural Hair Care In Winter Like A Boss!