The best way to keep your hair moisturized is to get on a good schedule. The tough part about it is that everyone’s hair is different, which means no two moisturizing regimes will look alike. There are a few factors at play when it comes to moisturizing. First of all, you have to figure out the porosity of your hair. How readily it absorbs moisture.
Also, you need to factor in the environment you live in. Dryer climates mean dryer hair! Along with humidity, you need to think about the temperature. Does hotter air tend to dry out hair quicker than colder air? That means the summer months will probably require a bit more moisturizing than the winter.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy answer here. You need to experiment and figure out what works best for your hair. Start with moisturizing every three days, and go from there. That is usually a good starting point because it isn’t too long in between moisturizing, but it also isn’t so soon that you risk over-moisturizing.
4C hair has the tightest curls of all hair patterns, with hairs forming tight s’s, z’s or coils. 4C hair shares many of the other characteristics of type 4 hair, and of course, individuals with 4C hair can have different hair densities and porosities, which changes how your hair behaves. However, these are some of the defining qualities of 4C hair:
- Hair dries out quickly, or struggles to maintain moisture more than other curl patterns
- Individuals can experience extreme shrinkage, sometimes up to 75%!
- Hair is prone to tangles and matting if not properly cared for and regularly detangled
- Hair is fragile and prone to breakage
Even if you have low porosity hair, 4C hair needs to be kept moisturized. The kinks and coils of 4C curls prevent the distribution of sebum (natural oil produced by your scalp) throughout your hair. This allows your hair to dry out faster than other curl patterns, so you need to take extra precautions to keep your hair moisturized. Find a good moisturizer AND a good sealant. Oils like coconut oil and olive oil, and creams like Shea butter are effective at sealing moisture in your hair. If you wear a protective style, don’t forget to moisturize regularly!
Our hair is made up of protein, fats, and lipids. While protein is the lifeline of hair, lipids and fats also play a vital role in hair growth and strengthening. Cholesterol has been studied to influence hair growth. In fact, the now-popular cholesterol hair treatment has been around for decades.
Cholesterol treatment helps in repairing and restoring moisture to damaged and dehydrated hair. This treatment has been used by African communities for decades to restore softness and moisture after repeated styling processes.
Cholesterol deep conditioning is the most widely used hair treatment by hair professionals. Here’s how to do it. Let the conditioner stay on your hair for 15 minutes. Make sure your hair is covered with a plastic cap. Later, you can wrap your head with a warm towel or sit under a hooded dryer. If your hair is severely damaged, leave the conditioner on for about an hour. While some cholesterol deep conditioning treatments contain olive oil, if you want better results, add a little amount of olive oil. It has been reported that this treatment makes the hair silky and smooth.
Hair breakage happens when the shaft of a hair strand breaks, resulting in a shorter strand and, often, a split end. Once a strand of hair breaks, you’re never gonna put it back together, so the key move here is really about prevention. On the plus side, if you can prevent hair breakage, many of your other hair woes will be solved, too.
Here are a few ways to stop this frustrating phenomenon.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
Hair breakage is often a side effect of dryness. If you have curly hair, you probably need tons of moisture in your hair anyway, so you know what to do – step it up on the deep conditioner, and leave-in conditioner, and don’t forget to seal with oil to prevent your hair from losing moisture throughout the day. Read more about the steps you can take to prevent dryness on wash day.
To retain moisture for the next few days, use a satin or silk pillowcase or wrap your hair at night. Otherwise, you’ll lose a ton of that moisture to your pillow.
Try a protein treatment
In some cases, hair breaks because the shaft of the hair has simply become too weak. This is often the result of chemical processing (like hair dye) or high porosity hair. The hair cuticle itself is made of protein, so you can strengthen your hair strands by doing a protein treatment. Look for a store-bought protein treatment with hydrolyzed protein in it.
Detangle properly – and patiently
Never brush your hair with a regular brush while it’s wet. (Or dry, for that matter!) Only use a brush that’s specially designed for waves and curls, like a Denman brush or a Wet brush.
Wet hair is easier to detangle, but it’s also more fragile and prone to breakage. Make sure that your curls are coated in a product with plenty of slip before you even touch a comb or brush.
When you inevitably run into tangles, be patient. Sit down, put some Netflix on, and get ready to really take your time with each knot so that you aren’t forced to yank it out of your hair. Ripping knots = instant breakage.
Protect your hair from heat
Unlike hair breakage, heat styling is a more controversial issue among naturals. Some steer away from it entirely, while others go wild with the blow-dryer weekly. If you do use heat on your hair on a regular basis, use some type of heat protectant to protect your hair from damage. Air-dry your hair for a bit before you blow-dry. Try not to use heat on your hair more than once a week, at most.
Be gentle with your up-dos
Yes, your ponytail looks flawless, but what about your hair strands?! Updos pull on your strands, and all that tension can lead to breakage (as well as hair loss). If you wear your hair up often, make sure to give it a break and let it hang loose sometimes. You can also practice looser up-dos using only gentle hair ties.
Get regular haircuts
It’s important to get regular trims to remove dead and split ends. Otherwise, those split ends will travel up each hair strand, resulting in even more hair breakage. If you’re cringing at the thought of paying for frequent haircuts.
Watch your health
Stress can lead to hair breakage, believe it or not. So can the lack of certain vitamins and minerals, like zinc, iron, and folic acid. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet, and try to find a way to manage your stress. Easier said than done, I know.
Buy a shower filter
Are you doing everything right, but still experiencing hair breakage, frizz, and dryness? It might be your water. Hard water contains minerals and heavy metals that can wreak havoc on your hair and cause cuticle damage. A showerhead filter takes all of that out, so your hair only soaks up water that’s as pure as the water you drink.