You have spent your time choosing the perfect moisturizer for your hair while avoiding any red light ingredients. Continuing on with the back to basics series, this article will clarify how to go about your night-time routine. In essence, how to moisturize your hair.
With all the talk of moisture in the black hair community you may be surprised to learn that healthy hair is only about 10%-15% water. Not very much but when that moisture is not there dry brittle strands that breaks easily is the usual result.
Because black hair tends to be so porous it loses moisture much faster than other hair types. Porosity can be controlled with specialist hair products. But more commonly, the very act of moisturizing and sealing hair also reduces the porosity of the hair. If you apply a coating oil after a moisturizer, you are literally ‘sealing’ the moisture in your hair. The oil molecules which are generally larger than water molecules will in essence block the path and prevent moisture from leaving your hair.
A different tactic is to choose a moisturizer which contains a humectant. A humectant simply attracts moisture to your hair, usually one with glycerine or honey*. In the summer months you will find glycerine* keeps your hair soft really well but in colder months, glycerine will actually take some moisture away from your hair.
I’m a big fan of S Curl Moisturizer which is cheap and very good at it’s job!
Here is a simple but effective method of ensuring optimum moisture balance in your strands between your washes and whether your hair is relaxed or natural it will allow you to breeze through your night-time routine:
1. Divide your hair into 4 or more sections, depending on thickness.
2. Take a dime sized amount of moisturizer and rub between your palms.
3. Apply to the bottom 2 inches of your strands. There is no need to apply from the root. Moisture is lost faster from the ends upwards so this is where moisturizer application should be concentrated. You can replace the moisturizer with plan ‘ole water if you don’t fear reversion. Just use a spray bottle to lightly mist your ends.
4. Using a boar bristle brush and the method I shared here lightly brush the ends to evenly distribute the product. You should only use the boar bristle brush if your hair is straight. If it is in a curly style then use your fingers to distribute the product.
5. Rub 3-4 drops of oil between your palms and apply to the moisturized section of hair to seal. Again brush with the BBB to evenly distribute. Any more oil than this and you run the risk of leaving your hair feeling extremely coated and weighed down.
6. Repeat steps 3 – 5 for the remaining sections of hair before covering with a satin bonnet* for the night.
Note: If you are using a moisturizer with a humectant and you are in moderate to high humidity climate, it is not absolutely necessary to seal in the moisture with oil but many ladies do so anyway as added insurance! In fact the best advice for using glycerine* containing products is to always seal with oil.