There is a lot of talk about moisture retention for textured hair – but what does that mean? And why is it so important? If you're asking yourself these same questions, read on and find out how it can benefit your hair and the way you care for it.
Moisture retention, or keeping your natural hair moisturised helps to maintain elasticity in your strands. This in turn helps to prevent breakage. Less breakage ultimately means that you can retain more length.
That's not all though! Moisture retention also helps to define curls and reduces the amount of tangling or knots in your hair. However, the colder weather can make it more challenging to retain moisture, and so we may have to switch up our approach to help our strands hold on to moisture for longer.
This can often cause confusion. So, let's break it down. To moisturise your natural hair, you need a hydrator. A hydrator is a water-based solution such as water itself, aloe vera juice or a herbal hydrosol. This hydrator then needs to be followed up with an emollient. An emolient softens or soothes and can be plant oils or butters. This can mean hydrating the hair with something like our Loc-It-In Moisture Spray then sealing it with an emollient like our Hair Too Balm. You may also find that some products offer all of these benefits at once, such as our Curl Crush Flaxseed & Marshmallow Gel.
Regardless of the products you use, it is important that you try to minimize daily use of products that have silicones, petroleum, animal waxes, as these are occlusive ingredients. This means that they moisturise by creating a protective barrier that can block out additional moisture, as well as being hard to remove.
That being said, here are 6 effective ways that you can keep your hair moisturised.
Start by hydrating internally. Our hair needs water, and so drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day can help to keep our hair nourished and hydrated. Kinky hair is more naturally prone to dryness compared to other hair types and needs additional water.
Deep conditioning your natural hair helps to improve your hair’s moisture levels and can also reduce the likeliness of breakage and damage, especially deep conditioners that contain a balance between strengthening proteins and moisture, like our Coconut Cream Deep Conditioner. Proteins help temporarily repair damage to the hair shaft and deep conditioning can also promote elasticity, restore the pH balance and provide shine. All the things we love!
A pre-poo treatment works wonders on the hair, this is a treatment applied to the hair and scalp before the shampoo. With benefits such as softening the hair and restoring moisture, it has become a popular method with popular oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, DIY blends, or try using Hair Too Balm as a pre-poo.
4. Start trimming those pesky split ends. The ends of our hair are the oldest and most weathered parts of our hair. They have been through some things, which means they’re less robust and more prone to damage. Cut this damage off before it extends further up the strand. Keeping your ends off winter’s friction-inducing knit-wear helps lower the chance of split ends. Speaking of which…
5. Protective styles are great for protecting your hair during the colder seasons. However, if you neglect taking care of your scalp and regular washing it can become counter-intuitive and leave your hair more vulnerable. Cleansing and moisturising your hair whilst in a protective style will help to prevent dry hair and retain lots of moisture. Loc-It-In Moisture spray is a great product to moisturise and soothe the scalp as well as the hair.
6. Whilst it is not necessary nor advisable to oil your scalp, some people swear by it and experience no adverse effects. If that is you, try adding a little plant-based oil, or try a blend like Hair Too Balm. Remember this should not be done every day. Oil on its own is not a moisturiser!
If you have any additional tips, leave them in the comments!