I often hear naturals complain about how dry and dull their hair is, especially if they have 4C hair, which can be tightly coiled and prone to dryness. I’m sure your thinking, “If I am no longer relaxing my hair, then why does it feel drier than when I used chemicals?” The one thing you need to know about natural hair is that the kinkier (tightly coiled) it is, the drier it will be in many cases. When your hair has more kinks, it’s harder for your scalp’s natural oils to travel down your strands. This is why you have to be on top of your game when it comes to moisturizing your hair.
When you moisturize your hair you want to follow 3 basic steps, using the LOC (Liquid, Oil, and Cream) Method:
Step 1: Apply Liquid and/or a Leave-in Conditioner
L stands for liquid or leave-in, as both are used by naturals to provide the moisture that will be sealed in. I recommend applying a moisturizing, water-based, leave-in conditioner to cleansed hair. Many women also use water in a spray bottle for this step. Popular leave-ins are: Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and CURLS Curl Milkshake.
Step 2: Apply Oil According to your Hair’s Porosity
Next, apply a thin layer of oil to your hair to help lock in the moisture. The oil you apply will vary depending on the porosity of your hair. For a list of oils categorized by low, medium and high porosity click here. If you're unsure what your porosity is, and would like help to determine it click here.
Step 3: Apply Cream, and Concentrate on your Ends!
The final step is to apply a butter-based, creamy moisturizer to your hair to seal that moisture in. Please don’t forget to concentrate on your ends, as they are the oldest section of your hair, and need the attention. The cream can also provide your curls with definition and hold, so pick a styling cream that works for your hairstyle. If your curls require more hold than a creamy moisturizer can give, then feel free to finish up with your regular styling products to style your hair as normal. Some popular curl creams include MY Honey Child Hair Crème, and Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer.
To extend the amount of time moisture stays in your hair try protective styling. When the ends of your hair are tucked in and not exposed to the air, they hold in moisture for a longer time period. Hair that is not worn in a protective style, will lose moisture at a much faster rate. So not only is protective styling good at preventing damage from manipulation of the hair, it is also a great way to preserve hair moisture as well.
Do you use the LOC Method? Please share which products you use, and if you find it effectively moisturizes your natural hair.