Hair Talk is BACKKKKK! In a different way, but hopefully here to stay as I share more about my natural hair journey. When it comes to natural hair there are so many things I didn’t take into consideration, also looking back I don’t think my parents ever did. When did natural hair become this difficult? When did hair typing become a thing? Why are there so many different products with ingredients you can’t even pronounce? I can’t promise to have all the answers, because I don’t, but we can certainly learn together. One of the questions I get asked quite a bit is “how do you keep your hair moisturized?” If you’re a type 4 natural like myself, you know how DIFFICULT this can be. Therefore, this is what we’ll be starting with, how I moisturize my hair, my favourite products and my weekly routine to maintain that moisture. Please feel free to share your process in the comments below, as everyone’s hair and process is different.
Before we get into the method I use to moisturize my hair, I feel like we need to speak about hair characteristics. Hair typing is a big thing among the natural hair community, are you a type3 vs type 4 or even more specific type 3A, type 3B, type 4C etc. However, I believe your hair porosity plays a more important role in determining how to take care of your hair. Porosity as it relates to hair, speaks about your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Therefore, you can have high porosity, normal porosity or low porosity such as myself. Check out the graphic below to see how to determine your hair’s porosity.
P.S. I did some research because I wanted to get this right. A lot of websites have varying information describing the difference between low and high porosity hair therefore it’s very easy to get confused, trust me I did.
Now that we got that settled, there are two methods which naturals use when applying products to their hair, the LOC and LCO method. The acronym stands for Liquid/Leave-In, Cream and Oil. Therefore, the method of choice simply depends on the order in which you apply each product. Personally, I prefer the LCO method because it makes the most sense and if we’re being honest, sometimes I do forget about the oil. Let’s get into each step of the method!
First thing first, water is your BEST FRIEND. Honestly, if my hair could stay how it is fully drenched in water all day everyday I’d be happy *lol*. However, that’s not the case, so it’s important to learn how to keep in that moisture afterwards. One of the most essential items to have as a natural is a spray bottle. I use this as the first step in moisturizing my hair so that it’s damp. I hardly, if ever style my hair while it’s drenched. In addition to water as your liquid, you can also use a water-based leave-in conditioner. I do this for assistance in detangling my hair as well as additional moisture; some times it can be doubled as a styling cream.
Personally, I prefer creams as opposed to liquid leave-ins in a spray bottle. They don’t seem to penetrate into my hair as much. Additionally, if you’re using only water, I know some people tend to put different products such as oils or conditioner into their spray bottles, I did this before but I never saw any major difference so I use water now.
- African Pride Moisture Miracle Leave-In Cream
- Taliah Waajid Green Apple & Aloe Leave in Conditioner
- Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Leave-In Conditioner
- Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Collection Leave-In Conditioner *I just started using this*
This is where I use a styling product that also has moisturizing qualities so pay attention to the ingredients in each product. This step is also very tricky for me because there’s a variety of styling products such as creams, gels, custards, or jelly. Some part of me really believes my hair loves thick creams, but it doesn’t work all the time – Shea Butter is way too heavy! I may have to retest my hair porosity but lightweight creams seem to work best. The purpose of the cream is to begin sealing in the moisture from the water and leave-in conditioner. To be honest, on some days my regimen stops here as I often forget to follow up with an oil or don’t see the need.
- African Pride Moisture Miracle Curling Cream
- TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer
- EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Defining Creme
- Taliah Waajid Green Apple & Aloe Curl Elixir
Oil is not a moisturizer! Read that again friends. If you were to put oil on dry hair then you’d be making matters worst. Most oils can’t penetrate your hair shaft, therefore oils are known to act as sealers thus why I believe the LCO method makes the most sense. I like to use oil on my scalp as well as applying it to the full length of my hair.
- Coconut Oil – I use this to pre-poo
- Castor Oil – I used this a lot when I first started my natural hair journey to also aid in hair growth
- Olive Oil – great for your scalp
- Jojoba Oil
- African Pride Moisture Miracle 5 Essential Oils
How to Retain Moisture?
I couldn’t speak about moisturising my hair and not mention how to retain that moisture. Unfortunately, it’s not a one and done process, your hair will eventually lose that moisture. This why I refresh my hair during the week by using my handy spray bottle and leave-in conditioner or going through the entire LCO method again. It’s important for you to understand your hair so you’d know how often you’ll have to do this.
There you have it, the process of how I keep my hair moisturized. If you’re unsure of what method to use, try it both ways to identify what works best. If you’re a natural and have any further tips to share, please do so in the comments.