How To Keep Your Natural Hair Moisturized, Hydrated and Soft

At the start of your natural hair journey, you would most likely battle with dry hair that is coarse and breaks easily. In fact, many women will attest to the fact that the major reason they haven’t taken the natural hair path is that they have very strong hair and they find it difficult to manage. The real problem, however, is that their hair is dry and not moisturized, or at least, not moisturized enough

The key to having natural hair that is soft and hydrated is moisture. For a person to have healthy natural hair, you need to be deliberate about how you treat it. The scalp produces a natural oil called sebum that is meant to waterproof the hair and lubricate the skin and hair strands. But because of the nature of our natural hair, it is almost impossible for this oil to travel the entire length of the hair. Our natural hair is kinky or curly, making it difficult for the sebum to make much progress. This is where moisturizing your hair comes in.

The purpose of moisturizing your natural hair is to help seal in moisture into your hair strands.

A good moisturizing routine (and product) creates a barrier around the hair strands so that water does not escape easily. Moisturizing your natural hair keeps it hydrated, soft, and lush. 

How Do You Moisturize Your Natural Hair?

There’s so much more to moisturizing your natural hair than slathering some moisturizing cream or oil on it and calling it a day. As with everything else about your hair, you need to be intentional and deliberate. Here are a few things to do to moisturize your natural hair and keep it moisturized.

  1. Know Your Hair Porosity
    Your hair porosity equates to how easily (or not) your hair absorbs moisture. Knowing your hair porosity will help you understand how much products your hair really needs and steps you should take to help your hair retain moisture. There are three main porosity levels: high, normal, and low.
    High porosity means your hair can absorb moisture quickly. Unfortunately, it also means that it easily loses moisture. So, this hair type calls for sealing in moisture in the hair. Use a leave-in conditioner daily, like the African Naturalistas Leave-in Conditioner, and also try out some oils to see which best keeps your hair moisturized all day.
    Normal porosity hair doesn’t require a lot of work to absorb moisture (it’s neither here nor there). Still use a leave-in conditioner, and apply oil to it after wetting it to help retain moisture.
    Low porosity hair does not absorb moisture easily and requires the most care (not lots of products, but lots of care). This type of hair has tight cuticles, making it difficult for moisture to go in. Use heat when applying products to your hair, to open up the cuticles. Steam, warm water, or a heat cap will do just fine.

  2. Check Your Hair Products
    There are so many products for natural hair in the markets these days. More people are embracing the natural hair movement, so more products are springing up. Now, because a product label says “specially designed for natural hair” doesn’t necessarily mean it was specially designed for your type of natural hair. The products we use sometimes cause more harm than good by damaging our hair cuticles and drying out the hair. Some hair types require products with low to zero proteins, while others may require more moisture. You can try out different products to see what works best for your hair, or you speak to a professional trichologist, like African Naturalistas’ Atilola, to help you determine what type of hair you have and what kind of products will be best for you to give you moisturized and soft hair always.

  3. Deep Condition Your Hair
    Natural hair is prone to losing moisture easily and as such, you need to moisturize and deep condition regularly. Deep conditioning will help replenish whatever moisture the hair has lost while keeping it hydrated and soft. It will also restore your natural hair shine and lock in moisture. To deep condition your hair, you will need some heat to help open up your cuticles ready to absorb the natural goodness you are bringing its way. You can choose to combine African Naturalistas deep conditioning mayonnaise, 100% pure shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, eucalyptus oil. Apply to hair thoroughly and cover with a satin hair bonnet. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, you can also use a steamer while you wait. Rinse your hair and comb out with a big-tooth comb while still wet.

  4. Moisturize and Seal
    After going through the entire process of washing and deep conditioning your hair on wash day, your hair feels so soft, lush, and hydrated. You are over the moon, your dreams have become reality. Then you wonder why a few days later your hair feels so dry and hard. Your natural hair isn’t going to miraculously stay moisturized after just one day of treatment. Your hair needs constant TLC to maintain the lushness and shine you desire. Your hair needs moisture to stay moisturized. Use a leave-in conditioner like the African Naturalistas Leave-in conditioner to spray your hair strands lightly every day. The moisture content along with the other essential ingredients in the leave-in conditioner will help keep your hair hydrated and soft. Follow it up with a sealant such as shea butter on the slightly damp hair. 

  5. Trim Your Tips And Use Low Maintenance Protective Styles
    Sometimes, the reason why your hair is not as soft as you want it to be is that your tips need a bit of trimming or you stress out your hair from over-manipulation. Give your hair time to rest between styles and ensure you deep condition when you take out any style. Low maintenance hairstyles give your hair time to rest and do not hurt your scalp. The tips of your hair may have split ends that require trimming. Split ends left untreated will simply continue to split and you don’t want that for your natural hair. Split ends mean that the hair is dry and dry hair is prone to breakage. Read our post on how to prevent split ends in your natural hair here

We all want soft and moisturized hair but you have to remember that reaching the hair goals you have set requires work and dedication. The compliments you receive about your hair will be well worth the work you put in. Also, you will love your hair even more. Don’t forget to keep your hands out of your hair as this strips the moisture and oils your natural hair carries.

Are there other ways you have tried to keep your hair moisturized and soft? Share them with us, we would love to know them. Enjoyed this article? Share it with other Naturalistas you know!

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