Is your hair always parched?
The number one problem people comment about on this blog is dryness and retaining moisture. There are obvious reasons like too much heat and not moisturizing enough, but here are some less obvious reasons.
1) Hair Porosity
Got time for a quick science experiment? It’s easy. Promise. See how to test your strand’s porosity.
Whether it’s high or low, both can result in thirsty tresses if you don’t know what kind of products to use.
Low porosity hair doesn’t allow moisture to get in. (The Sign: You see beads of water on top of your hair after washing.) High porosity hair allows too much moisture in (frizz is a major issue) and then moisture escapes quickly.
The goal is to get the right amount of moisture in and not have it escape too quickly.
Read more about porosity and recommended products for your hair type.
2) Your Hair is Over Moisturized
Yes. You can have too much of a good thing — even moisture. How can you tell? Your hair may feel limp, gummy or it suddenly becomes too porous and you no longer retain moisture.
3) You’re Only Using Sealants and No Moisture
Remember, moisturizers always have water as one of the first two ingredients. So if you’re only using butters and oils then you are not really moisturizing your hair.
When I use butters, I always dampen/spritz my hair first (water = moisture) and then use the butters to seal it in.
This combo makes for such a luscious twist out and my hair stays soft and moisturized for several days.
I do like gel-like twisting potions with strong hold because the twist outs last FOREVER! The downside is my hair often feels super dry after a few days — not to mention flakes like to come out and play.
My Tip for a More Soft and Luscious Twist Out
(Transitioners, you can do this too. Just use tiny perm rods to curl the ends!)
So I’ve been twisting with damp hair/water then I use more rich sealants like Jane Carter Nourish and Shine and Afro Veda’s Shea Amla Whipped Butter to lock in the moisture.
Why 2 Sealants?
You don’t necessarily need two, but both products have their roles…
The JCNS is a great, lightweight sealant that holds water (moisture) in very well. I also love the mango smell. It’s easy to smooth into the hair when it’s damp.
The Whipped Butter gives my twist outs a slight hold, but without the crunch that some gels have. I wish I knew what the “holding” ingredients are in this product, but it’s hard to know. I apply the JCNS first, by the way.
The good news is, a little of both products go a long way. You don’t want to reenact the “Coming to America” greasy-spot-on-the-couch couch scene. 😀 I also don’t have any build up (as long as I smooth everything in and don’t use too much product.)
A couple of quick finger dabs is all you need.
The con of using creamier products (instead of gels) for twist outs is that you won’t get a lasting style (you may have to re-twist on night 2 or 3), but your hair will feel soooooooo incredibly soft! Again, the Afro Veda does have a slight hold.
4) You’re Using Humectants in the Wrong Situations
Honey (my favorite humectant) works so well on natural hair in the summer because it pulls moisture out of the air and into your hair.
However, if you have high porosity hair, you may notice that humectants attract too much moisture. Your hair swells, frizzes easily and quickly dries out again.
In colder weather, humectants can actually dry your hair out by removing moisture from the cortex of your hair.
Now that you know how they work, check those labels and look for the following humectants…
- Castor Oil
- Hydrolized Silk Protein
NOTE: If there are minimal amounts of humectants in the product then you may not notice a difference. But if you’re using a honey-based leave-in or moisturizer in 20 degree weather, the effect will be more noticeable.
A Reality Check
Is your hair dry or are you just not used to how your natural hair is supposed to look and feel? Remember, natural hair is more coarse and has bends and turns. It does not reflect light in the same way as relaxed/straight hair.
Natural hair has more of a sheen when properly moisturized, so it’s important to know the difference. Otherwise you’ll be trying to fix something that isn’t broken. 🙂
Properly moisturized hair should feel soft, somewhat elastic and not limp or greasy. Finally, it will have a sheen (or a shine if your hair is less kinky and more curly).
A Big Thank You!
I just wanted to say thanks to those who have supported my natural hair shirts on Spreadshirt. Sales have exceeded expectations since I launched the new store last Summer and I’ve done very little promotion (just pictures on this blog and forum).
I now have over 110 designs (many I’ve designed myself), and will be creating even more.
Some of you have even created your own free Spreadshirt shops to sell my designs and are making passive income by sharing your stores on social media.
That was an unexpected surprise. Thank you, thank you!
If you have any suggestions for the kinds of designs or sayings you’d like to see just let me know! I appreciate your support. 🙂
I’ve been using WEN for at least 7 years (not exclusively anymore…product junkie) and I have not experienced any hair loss. Your friend may be allergic or sensitive to something in it. Some people are more sensitive to essential oils and may be allergic to ingredients from coconut.
I live where winter is long and humectants kill my hair. Everything seems to have the humectants you listed. Any suggestions on products that don’t have those ingredients?
Viviann Harris says
Has anyone use the the hair product Wen, by Chaz Dean? It is advertised to alleviate dry scalp and hair. What were your results….is it worth investing into. I welcome any comments or suggestions. Thanking you in advance.
I’ve tried WEN and I love the shampoo/conditioner. My hair feels and is great after I use it. Down side I have thick shoulder blade length hair. After 3 uses its time to buy again. Bottle only comes in one size. I do not like the other products WEN offers at all.
Know that there’s a lawsuit again WEN bc it’s making folk lose their hair!!!!
I have a GF who admitted to me her hair has thinned considerably after using WEN for 2 years.
At what point should I use the honey and how? It a really dry here now in the summer. Thank you.
Miss Jessie’s kelly Soft Curls is a nice product to use for soft twist outs with hold.
I meant “jelly”.
Never tried this. Thank you! Will put that on my list. 🙂 I know a lot of naturals don’t like MJ products because they have mineral oil. But having low porosity hair, my hair actually responds well to it and I just try to put a real moisturizer underneath.
Yes, this one doesn’t have mineral oil, petrolatum, or cones though.
Ahhh OK good to know. Looks like they are listening to the wishes of their customers and other feedback. Thanks!
Thank you for that piece of important information.
Am responding from Uganda, i have Natural hair and i admire so much to do all that you share here on it.
But the challenge is , how do i get these hair products in uganda. Because i have looked for them here and failed to get.
Or. is there a way of getting them from there especially the curls enhancer, and the two products you have shared above?
Or, is there a replacement for those products?
And how can i access the Tshirts, i love them.