People are often told that in order to retain length, it is important to moisturise your hair. As simple as it sounds, most people do not know exactly how to moisturise their hair correctly.
Firstly, it is important to understand that hair is a delicate fibre that requires moisture in order for it to survive on our heads for long periods of time. Moisturising curly textured hair, often comes with a process. Many people believe that if their hair is dry then dousing it with an oil or a butter or any cream in a bottle that says ‘moisturising’ is the answer but it is important to really touch your hair and notice how it feels..is it crunchy? is it brittle? does it snap quickly? These are signs that your hair is really dry and just adding a cream on top of it may not do the job.
As you can see in the above image, each hair strand is covered with cuticles. Your cuticles open when warm water touches your hair and closes when the hair has been properly sealed with an oil or butter and has been left to dry. If your cuticles are closed, products that are put on to the hair, that does not contain water, will only sit on the hair and not penetrate into the strand, therefore your hair will still be dry but may have a greasy feel.
It is important to take the following steps to ensure that your hair is properly moisturised from the inside:
1. Wash and deep condition your hair on a weekly basis if your hair is dry (this can be increased or decreased based on the condition of your hair)
2. After washing your hair, add a moisturising product that has listed ‘aqua’ or ‘water’ as it’s first ingredient to your damp hair (this is very important in determining whether the product is actually moisturising enough)
3. Seal in the moisture with an oil or butter. Shea butter is a very good conditioning butter that also adds sheen and keeps your hair feeling soft.
4. Listen to your hair, if your hair feels dry the following day, in 2 days or even on that same day, add more moisture by spraying your hair with water until it is damp, not soaking wet, add your moisturiser and then seal.
The key thing to note is that hair needs water as water is the moisture (just like plants need water to thrive) But in order for the moisture to remain in the strand, without evaporating as quick as it was put in, it is important to seal in the moisture to allow the water to remain in the strand without escaping.