By Patricia Gaines on Saturday, 27 July 2019
Category: Blogs, Stories and More

Locking in Moisture - Natural Hair

The best thing you can do for your natural hair is to keep it moisturized. Understanding how well your hair holds moisture and how it treats products is the key to making sure your hair stays soft and hydrated all day. We outline the best moisturizing tips for all hair textures.

To find the best regimen for your hair, you must work out your hair's state of health and category first, because different methods work well for some hair types and not at all for others. So, let's figure that out first. Do all the tests below when you're in a comfortable, room-temperature environment, your hair is dry and you and not right out of the shower or in a sauna.

INDIVIDUAL STRAND THICKNESS will determine if you are in the fine, average or coarse category. Grab a single strand of hair and place it between your thumb and middle finger. Roll the hair around. If you can not or can barely feel the strand (assuming your fingers are normal ad not overly calloused), your hair can be categorized as FINE. If you can feel the hair but it doesn't feel like cotton thread, your hair is AVERAGE. If it feels like a thread, your hair is COARSE.

The "skin" of your hair strands (cuticle) is a bit like like fish scales. When they lay flat they feel smooth, when they are sticking out they feel rough. Now while holding the strand, use your other hand to pinch the strand between your index finger and thumb and run your fingers UP the strand. If you don't feel any resistance or roughness, your cuticles are CLOSED. If you feel roughness, your cuticles are OPEN and this may indicate damaged hair. Open cuticles also are an indication of POROSITY which is a whole different article. Read our article on Porosity to better understand how porosity affects product absorption.

Now grab the strand between the index and thumbs of both hands and pull apart gently. If your hair snaps immediately, you have no elasticity and your hair may be damaged. If you feel some stretch, then can release and stretch it again without breaking the strand, your hair has good ELASTICITY. If you can stretch your hair out more than 1/4 inch (.6cm) without breaking then your hair has extraordinary elasticity.

Do these tests for a few strands or groups of strands around your head to get a good idea of your whole head and what it's like. You may have one area that is more damaged than another, or multiple hair types across your head though most people have the same uniform strand characteristics all over their head.

Once you have done all these tests and understand your hair, you will have a better understanding of what you are working with. So now let's get to moisture.

CHECK YOUR HAIR PRODUCT FOR GLYCERIN / GLYCERINE

Using products containing a lot of glycerin will cause your hair to hold moisture in the short term but during the course of the day the glycerin will slowly pull the moisture out of your hair and to itself. This is especially true in dry environments, like in air conditioning and in low humidity. This may be why when you put your product on in the morning the moisture doesn't last. This is the GLYCERIN doing this, not your hair. If you have any state of fine hair, try to avoid glycerin altogether. For all other hair types:


MOISTURE FOR COARSE / DAMAGED / NO ELASTICITY HAIR

If your cuticles are open and/or your hair has little or no elasticity, you can probably gather that your hair has been damaged. This may be through excessive heat styling products, chemical application, UV damage, illness or drug use/medication. This is not the healthy natural state of your hair but there is a positive. This hair will soak up products like a sponge. You need to keep the moisture in to stop the damage getting worse and affecting your new hair growing in. Follow the glycerin protocol and...


MOISTURE FOR FINE AND AVERAGE, CUTICLE-CLOSED HAIR

Products may take a long time to soak in (if at all), water may bead up and roll off. Hair may be hold on to products containing silicone, which coat the hair and keep it impenetrable. You need to apply products when your hair cuticles aren't slammed shut. Follow the glycerin protocol and...

The tips I will give to everyone, no matter hair type, are to


If your hair is getting worse or is falling out, seek the advice of a doctor or specialist for some professional advice. Your hair health is an indication of what is going on within you. It can b changed by hormones, medication, stress and illness. So if you are concerned, don't hesitate. Talk to a professional. 

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