When it comes to afro hair, the most frequent issue that greets me is that of overly-dry hair. As stated in the previous article Moisture – Your Hair’s Best Friend water is what your hair needs, craves and loves. But it’s not always as easy as washing your hair with water once a week. The steps to a moisturised head of hair vary a bit from hair to hair, but let’s break down the basics.
Start from the inside
The first step to healthy hair starts on the inside; you are what you eat. And so is your hair. Eat a healthy balanced diet and make sure you drink lots of water daily.
The goal is to get the water into the hair strand but if your hair is coated with hair products and oils the water will not get to the hair strands. So the first step is to make sure you have a clean base to start off with. Now for some this may just be washing their hair with any cleanser, but for some this may not be enough. Read the ingredients of your hair products. If you are using products with a lot of (not water soluble) silicones you need to find a cleanser that can truly strip your hair of the product.
Make sure you choose a shampoo/cleanser that doesn’t strip your hair of moisture. You want your hair to be clean, but you don’t want your hair to be completely stripped of moisture every time you wash it thus making moisturising your hair even more of a struggle.
Read the ingredient list. I suggest the first product in the ingredient list be water since the first
the product name is the one there is the most of. In my experience products with mostly natural or all natural ingredients work the best. For more tips on how to choose products, read the article How To Choose Hair Care Products. Conditioner is used to make your hair soft and moisturised if you don’t feel that your conditioner is doing this for your hair try replacing it with a different one.
After washing and conditioning your hair, choose a leave-in conditioner that has, yes, you got it, water as the first ingredient. The leave-in conditioner’s job is to help moisturise your hair after you step out of the shower. Distribute it generously. If you have longer hair you may prefer working in sections when distributing products. I work in four sections to make sure I get as much of the product evenly distributed as possible.
Leave-in conditioner may have to be re-applied as the week passes. For some, this means on a daily basis, for others a few times between washes.
A lot of people that have dry hair complaints have never actually used a deep conditioner. If you have dry hair deep conditioning the hair is very important for the moisture balance. Choose a deep conditioner that has water as the first ingredient. Make sure you don’t confuse your protein deep conditioner for a moisturizing deep conditioner as the protein deep conditioner isn’t used to add moisture to the hair. Also read the instructions on the products on how to best use it. Some deep conditioners suggest using the product in combination with heat like a heating cap or a steamer.
Spritz with water
This step is very easy but for some reason, a lot of people skip this one as well. Buy a water spray bottle and spritz your hair with water daily. For some, the morning is the best time for others the evening or even both. Whenever you choose to do this is really up to you, the important thing is to do it regularly. When you spritz your hair with water you help it to stay moisturized as it loses water daily through manipulation, environment, etc.