Category: Moisturizing

How to Keep Your Hair Moisturized Between Wash Days

moisturized between wash days

If you have natural hair, you’ve probably been wondering how to keep your hair moisturized between wash days. Maybe you have dry hair, and by the time you get to wash day, your natural curls are suffering breakage. Moisturization can even affect frizz and curl pattern definition during the week when you want to wear cute hairstyles to work and school.

As you probably know, curly hair thrives on moisture. It is always the first thing to check if you’re having a bad hair month. In this post, you’ll find helpful tips to keep your hair moisturized throughout the week so that you can rock your curls with minimal breakage.

Are You Moisturizing the Right Way on Wash Day?

The first step to keeping it moisturized between wash days is to make sure you layer products onto your hair. The LOC method was created for this purpose. When we layer products, we’re able to withstand harmful elements, like friction from a shirt collar or ponytail holder. And we can protect our hair strands from harsh elements like sun rays, wind, and pollution.

The basics of the LOC method are as follows:

– Liquid. Water is the best hydration on the planet. All aspects of our health need H2O to look and feel alive, including our hair and skin. You can choose to apply a detangler during this stage, for minimal breakage during the detangle process.

– Oil. Favorite oils for coilies include avocado, jojoba, and coconut oils. Avocado oil is excellent because its molecules are the perfect size for penetrating the hair shaft. Jojoba oil is ideal because the texture and composition closely resemble the oils found on your scalp.

Coily hair often gets too dry because the natural sebum cannot make its way around the tight coils each day. Using jojoba is an excellent way to help the natural process. Coconut oil is a marvelous oil, praised for its antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal attributes. It softens and conditions the hair.

-Cream. Using either a store-bought cream or a butter is the ideal way to coat the hair and protect against damage that could occur during the week.

For a store-bought cream, use either a light daily leave-in conditioner or a heavier curl cream. Plain shea butter works well at this stage because it is nutritional and does an excellent job of sealing in the oil layer from the second stage.

moisturized between wash days

What to do Between Wash Days

Now that you know exactly how to moisturize on wash day let’s discuss techniques to prolong the moisture. Avoid waiting until your hair is dried out to hydrate. If you keep it moisturized before it needs it, you won’t have gaps in your routine that put you into panic mode.

Remember the LOC method above? The LOC method is the exact technique you’ll use between wash days. Only, during the week you’ll skip the shower water and head straight for a water spray bottle instead.

Your water spray bottle doesn’t only need to consist of water. You can add 5-10 drops of wonderful smelling essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus. Also consider adding glycerin, agave nectar or honey if you live in a dry climate. Humectants like these help coily hair by drawing moisture from the air into your hair.

A water-based detangler like Kinky Curly Knot Today works well here because it will help to detangle while hydrating.

Your hair doesn’t need to be soaking wet to absorb moisture. The idea is to dampen it to get it softer and more manageable. Plus, dampening will help it to dry faster so that you can set a hairstyle for the following day.

How often should you moisturize between washes?

It depends on how much your hair needs it, or how fast it loses moisture. The coilier your hair, the more you’ll need moisture. You might try moisturizing every 2-3 days.

However, some kinky curly types do a moisturization method every night before they go to bed. Setting your hair at night will give you nicer curls in the morning. It may even save you time, considering you may spend more time fiddling with your hair when it’s dry and unmanageable.

Stretched and Protective Hairstyles Are Less Drying

Have you noticed that when you try a wash and go, your hair gets tangled and more dehydrated on the second day? That’s because it’s unprotected and exposed to the elements. The wind, sun, and everyday friction take a toll on kinky hair.

Stretching natural hair isn’t just for naturals who want to loosen their curls. It helps protect the hair by allowing sebum oils to coat and nurture the hair. It also helps prevent damaging tangles.

Protective styling keeps some or all of the hair tucked in and preserved. Protective styles can be done with extensions, weaves, or wigs. Or you can do them with your natural hair only, by doing techniques like roll, tuck, pin and Bantu knots.

Most protective styles aim to cover the ends, which is the oldest part of the hair. You will retain length by covering the ends and not allowing them to be exposed to damage. It also prevents moisture from being sucked from the hair.

Keeping your hair moisturized between wash days will help you avoid tangles and dryness, two things that lead to breakage. If you keep your hair well-moisturized during the week, your natural curls will look and feel much healthier.

Have you tried any of these methods for keeping your hair moisturized between wash days?

Guest post was written by Patrina of NaturalHairQueen.net

Bio: Patrina is the founder of Naturalhairqueen.net; a blog to educate and inspire women with natural hair. Patrina just celebrated her 10-year natural hair anniversary and achieved her goal of waist length hair. With the knowledge she has learned over the years she is dedicated to sharing her knowledge, and experience to educate women who wish to have moisturized, healthy natural long hair.

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Harmattan Hair Care Regimen

As I stepped out of the gate of my house this morning, I felt the cold breeze of the harmattan. I quickly went back into the house and took my pashmina. On my way to work, I noticed the usual haze that comes with harmattan mornings; it was then I realized that I am yet to put together a concrete hair regimen for this season. This weather is known for its dryness. Your wet clothes can be dried in less than 10 minutes with the wind of this weather.  Luckily for me, my hair is already in a protective style (box braids). But then, I realized that protective styling my hair is not enough for a harmattan hair care regimen. I have decided to do a few things more.

1. LCO Instead of LOC: There’s been some argument that there is no real difference whether you do the LCO or LOC method. However, I realized that the LCO method keeps my hair moisturized for longer. I apply my leave in conditioner, followed by shea butter and then olive oil. I will be adding the LOC method to my harmattan hair care regimen.

Harmattan hair care regimen - long Nigerian hair

2. Styling with Scarves: When I take out my box braids, I intend to style/cover my hair with scarves especially when going out in the mornings when the wind is at its driest. It is always a wonder to see how quickly your wet hair gets so dry & brittle by the harmattan wind. One has to be careful. No breakage allowed.

Harmattan hair care regimen - long Nigerian hair

3. Daily Moisturizing: For the past two months, I have been moisturizing and sealing my hair every other day. But with this weather, I have to moisturize & seal my hair every day preferably in the mornings.

4. Satin Sleep Caps: I am already used to wearing my satin cap to bed every night, but sometimes, I am really tired & just fall asleep on the couch. With the harmattan, there are no excuses not to wear my satin cap to sleep.

Harmattan hair care regimen - long Nigerian hair

5. Water Intake: I currently take about 2 liters of water daily. I intend to increase it to 2 & a half or even 3 to moisturize from inside out.

Harmattan hair care regimen - long Nigerian hair

Tel us! What is your harmattan hair care regimen?

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Moisturizing Oils for DIY Leave-in Conditioner

moisturizing oils

Hello! Last week, I experimented with a DIY leave-in conditioner using some oils as well as glycerin. My hair felt great, but for some reasons, it dried out very quickly. I came across an article his week which mentioned that some oils are best for moisturizing while others are best for sealing. This is due to certain components (fatty acids, molecular structure, etc) in these oils. This could mean that some selections of moisturizing oils for DIY leave-in conditioner would be perfect.

Top Moisturizing Oils for DIY Leave-in Conditioner

Coconut Oil: A lot of hair enthusiasts are in love with this oil. Personally, I use it when pre-pooing. It has the capacity of penetrating the hair. However, it should be used with water when doing the DIY. This is because, not all of it gets absorbed into the hair, some might still sit on the hair.

Moisturizing oils

Olive Oil: Prior to now, I used olive oil as a sealant because of the shine it gives. I mixed it with my deep conditioner sometimes too. However, it is a moisturizing oil. Like coconut oil, it works best when mixed with water.

Moisturizing oils

Palm Kernel Oil: It is said that  this has the capacity to penetrate the hair, although sufficient research has not been done on it. Palm kernel oil has a nutty smell. Women in some parts of Nigeria applied it on the skin of babies. Now I know that it is also beneficial for my hair. In case you are looking for it in Lagos, it is called “Adi Ekuro”.

Avocado Oil: I have not used this oil before.However, internet sources claim that it has the ability to penetrate into the hair. I would like to experiment with it someday.

Moisturizing oils

Now that I know the top moisturizing oils for DIY leave-in conditioner, it is important to know the best oils to use when sealing in moisture. They include Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Grape seed oil, Jojoba oil.

Which of these oils do you use?

References

http://trialsntresses.com/natural-hair/moisturizing-oil-vs-sealing-oil

http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com.ng/2013/06/oils-which-ones-soak-in-vs-coat-hair.html

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Dandruff Versus Dry Scalp – 4 Differences

differences between dandruff & dry scalp

A lot of us have battled with wither dandruff or dry scalp, but we do not know exactly which one it is we have. Your scalp would have itched you so badly that when you finally scratch it, you noticed some flakes. It is important to know the differences between these two so that you will know how to manage them effectively. Let’s check out dandruff versus dry scalp.

Dandruff is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection such as psoriasis. For those that have dandruff, the skin cells on their scalp are being renewed faster than they die. So the skin cells shed more frequently and clump into flakes. Dry scalp on the other hand is caused by extreme dehydration, cold weather, stress, harsh shampoos, etc.

Another dandruff versus dry scalp point to note is that dandruff’s flakes are larger than dry scalp flakes and are harder to come off the scalp . They are usually accompanied by an odor as is a result of a fungal infection.

Dandruff is usually greasy and yellowish white in color while dry scalp has whitish flakes that fall off when you comb your hair.

dandruff versus dry scalp
Dry scalp

One of the differences between dandruff and dry scalp is that dry scalp can be treated by drinking lots of water to keep your body hydrated. A well hydrated body can also make your scalp well hydrated too. Moisturize and seal in moisture to your hair regularly. Wash your hair with lukewarm water instead of hot water which can strip your hair of its natural oils. It is also important to eat a healthy diet too.

Dandruff should be treated with a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo. You can also reduce the oil you apply on your scalp as it can worsen he dandruff. You can also mix some tea tree oil with your shampoo or mix it with some coconut oil for pre-poo. Tea tree has anti-fungal and antibiotic features that can help to treat dandruff.

NB: Information provided here is very basic. You may have to visit a health practitioner like a dermatologist if you have a scalp condition.

References

http://healthresearchfunding.org/difference-dry-scalp-dandruff/

http://theboah.com/dandruff-or-dry-scalp-theboah-read-part-1/

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Hair Updates – 1 Year Post Relaxer

1 year post relaxer - long Nigerian hair

*Throws confetti in the hair* Yippee!!! It’s official. It’s been one year since I last applied relaxer to my hair. Happy hairniversary to me! I had no idea I will make it this far. There were days I was really tempted to get a jar of relaxer and rid myself of a headache. Despite this, it’s been fun as well.  At 1 year post relaxer, here are some lessons I’ve learnt:

Moisturise before detangling: Water indeed became an essential part of my hair regimen. It made my detangling easier. It makes my new growth softer as well. Spraying my hair lightly with water before detangling makes me have less breakage and detangling is easier.

Not trying all hairstyles on Instagram: Most times after work, Instagram is the television that I watch. I enjoy admiring those amazing twists, braids, styles et al on Instagram that I usually attempted to try them on my own hair. I realized that my hair preferred not to be manipulated a lot. I stuck to my buns and wigs.

1 year post relaxer - long Nigerian hair

Google is a Friend: When in doubt about whether to buy a particular product or how to deep condition or anything at all, I usually verify via Google. This has really saved me a lot of stress. At 1 year post relaxer, I still have a lot of learning to. YouTube videos have been of great help as well.

Patience is Key: The true test of patience comes when I am detangling my hair. If I rush through detangling, I experience lots of hair breakage.

Protective Styling: Lots of bloggers have spoken about manipulating one’s hair less often. They are absolutely correct! My favorite protective styles this past one year has been Senegalese twists, buns, and wigs (My personal favorite!).

1 year post relaxer - long Nigerian hair

1 year post relaxer - long Nigerian hair

How do you mark your hair anniversaries?

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5 Tips to Reduce Hair Breakage this Harmattan

Harmattan essentials when on a journey to long Nigerian hair

Finally! Harmattan is here. It’s time to adapt a  harmattan hair regimen. For readers who do not know, harmattan is one of the season here in Nigerian. It is known for its dryness, cold & haziness. I wanted to write a post on a harmattan hair regimen since last week but I had not seen any harmattan then. I stepped out of my house this morning, and voila, my favorite season of the year was here. Yaaay! But then, this weather comes with a lot of hiccups:

  • Cracked lips & soles of feet
  • Dry skin including ash-looking elbows, knuckles & knees
  • Conjunctivitis (a.k.a Apollo)
  • Dry & itchy hair scalp
  • Hair dryness
  • Cold & Catarrh
  • Excessive dust

Despite these hiccups, you & your hair can still enjoy this weather. Here are top 5 tips

  1. Increase Water Intake:True. Beauty starts from the inside. It is recommended that you take a minimum of 8 glasses of water every day. But with this harmattan, you need to unleash the camel in you. Lol. Even if you feel lazy to drink 8 glasses of water, the frequent thirst as a result of the weather will propel you to drink water. Drink as much water as you can this harmattan. You skin & hair will thank you for it. Deep conditioner for hamattan for long Nigerian hair.
  2. Moisturize & Seal in Moisture Daily: Because of the dryness that this weather brings, you MUST moisturize your hair at least once a day. Get a spray bottle, leave-in conditioner and your favourite oil or butter. You can mix some water & the leave-in in the spray bottle. Spray it on your hair and then apply your oil or butter to seal in the  moisture.                                                                                    DSCF0409
  3. Reduce Manipulation: Sincerely, harmattan is not the time to manipulate your hair excessively. You will say: “But I want to do 1 million braids for Christmas”, “I want tiny Ghana-weaving”, “I want to make 3 different styles before the new year”. I understand, but the health of your hair should not be compromised. You can do hairstyles that do not require too much manipulation like normal or chunky braids & twist, weaves, etc.                                                                                                   collage_20150518084707350_20150518084849976
  4. Protective Styling: As the name implies, you need to protect your hair with protective styles like box braids, Senegalese twists, wigs (my favorite), faux locs, etc. You can even add some spice to protective styling with turbans & head wraps.                                                                                                                         Scarves add some colour when protective styling in order to achieve a long Nigerian hair.
  5. Deep Conditioning: At least once in 2 weeks,  you should deep condition with a moisture deep conditioner like Creme of Nature Intensive Conditioning Treatment. You can add some honey to this deep conditioner to give an additional moisture boost.
Deep conditioner for hamattan for long Nigerian hair.
Source: Amazon

 

Remember you skin needs some love this harmattan as well. You can try using shea butter on your skin to reduce dryness. For me, the good ol’ Vaseline petroleum jelly is perfect for my elbows, knees, knuckles & heels

Deep conditioner for hamattan for long Nigerian hair.

 

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Top 5 Favorite Hair Oils & Butter

It is important to have hair oils in your regimen when on a journey to long Nigerian hair.

Over time in my hair journey, I have used various hair oils. I realized that some are thicker & heavier than others, some greasy, others non greasy. Some have the weirdest smell ever, while others smell heavenly. Amidst all of these, here are my top 5 selection of hair oils:

  • Grape seed Oil: I totally love this oil. It is the number one on my list of hair oils. It is light and does not weigh down my hair. It is also odorless ans less greasy when compared to other oils.
  • Coconut Oil: Since the day I made this oil myself at home, I have fallen in love with it. I use it most times as a pre-poo treatment. I also use it to detangle my hair. It also helps me to relieve dryness on my elbows.

It is important to have hair oils in your regimen when on a journey to long Nigerian hair.

  • Jamaican Black Castor Oil: What would I do without this oil? It is my miracle oil for restoring my edges. It is quite thick and smells burnt. I also use it when the weather is cold to seal in moisture to my hair.
  • Olive Oil: This is one oil I use sparingly but it is still one of my favorites. I use it the way I use my grape seed oil. I like the shine this oil gives to my hair.

It is important to have hair oils in your regimen when on a journey to long Nigerian hair.

  • Shea Butter: It is also known as ‘Ori’. When I want to add a zest to my pre-poo session, I add some Ori to my hair. Because I do not really like the smell, I rarely use it as a sealant.

 

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