Hello Beauties! This months blog is ALL about your natural hair and how to keep it at its best! Although we LOVE every texture, this blog is particularly focused upon kinky textured hair because up until recently, it’s been a mystery to care for; even for those of us who have it! We will cover caring for natural silky textures in an upcoming blog, but this time its all about textures 3a to 4c (see chart). So lets hop to it shall we? The major enemy that ladies with these hair textures fight against is chronic DRYNESS. Caring for thick, course hair can really be like caring for a VERY fussy child who speaks to you in a different language and for years and years, the marketing was relentless for products that exacerbated the dryness issue with kinky hair types. We’re going to teach you the RIGHT WAY to get the most out of your natural hair, and make it look and feel as good as your XtensionSpa bundles! If you’re interested in why your natural hair is always dry and what you’re doing wrong, then keep on reading!
So what makes kinky hair thrive?
Did you know that kinky textured hair is hydrophillic? wHAt ThE HeCk DoeS ThAt MeAn? That means that the way you’ve been taught that your hair works is THE OPPOSITE OF WHATS REALLY GOING TO WORK (which is why your hair feels like a tumble weed). What I was always taught is that my hair was hydrophobic meaning that, it repels water and/ or doesn’t like being wet. I was taught to oil it, grease it, and style it… but whatever you do don’t get it wet unless it’s a wash day. I was using products like African Pride, Pink oil, Blue Magic, Murray’s hair dressing pomade and more… running it through my scalp and WRONGLY thinking that my hair was moisturized. Then when I started getting chronic broken ends and stunted growth, I realized that I must be off track somehow.
In reality, Kinky hair is the opposite of what we’ve been taught our entire lives! Kinky hair hydrophillic which means that it READILY absorbs, and mixes with water!! I was doing it ALL WRONG and didn’t realize it! What a game changer when I stumbled upon the my real hair truth! If you’ve only been using oil to care for your hair your hair, you’ve been sealing in, and promoting the dryness all along! It doesn’t matter if you’re using coconut oil, or motor oil… you’re doing it WRONG! Womp womp… but don’t worry… I’m going to give you the tea on what really works, but first things first. Do you know the difference between Hydrated and Moisturized? Hmmmm… bet you’ve never considered the difference, and there in lies the key!
Hydration vs Moisture… Whats the difference?
When something needs hydration, it needs water. When something needs moisture, it needs oil. That’s the quick and easy version… but why do we need both? Simply put, hydration dries over time and water molecules need to be BONDED in order to stick around, ie… moisture seals hydration in place. But… oil and water don’t mix right? EXACTLY! Don’t think of it being a mix, but rather a layering that will bring your hair to its full potential! Hydrate, Moisten, Seal… that’s the name of the game when it comes to your natural hair!
Hydrate, Moisten, Seal… IN THAT ORDER!
Moisturizing products are oil based. Moisture is great… we WANT MOISTURE, however if you’re not following the proper steps it can seal in dryness if there is no hydration present to seal. YESSSSS… THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG! Grease and oils will lock OUT hydration and lock IN dryness if you don’t hydrate your hair first! If you’re using oil based products first you’re locking in frizz, dryness, dull lifeless hair that breaks easily and gets more damaged over time! When you oil your hair and scalp without the proper technique (like we’ve all been taught) you end up in a never ending cycle of your hair feeling great for a couple days, then it gets dull, and you start to get split ends creeping in and so you cut your hair, or get a protective style right? Of course, in and of itself, a protective style is a great way to allow your hair to rest if its been over worked with heat or if you want to prevent extended styling damage, but its not recommended to use wigs and extensions to cover up your hair on a permanent basis because you’re unsure of how to care for your hair.
To care for your hair like a pro, you need to follow the steps! On your wash day, wet your hair with LUKE WARM WATER. Never use hot water on your hair (or even when washing your wigs) as hot water strips hair of any natural oils it may have.
To begin, first shampoo or co-wash with a HYDRATING product. How can you tell if its hydrating? Water will be the FIRST ingredient listed. Next, follow up with a moisturizing product. If the product is moisturizing, it will have an oil or butter (such as shea butter) as the first or second ingredient. Your your moisturizing product should be sulfate free & contain natural oils and /or butters. I can be a regular conditioner, masque or creme. After your rinse, you can seal that with your favorite follow up oil such as organic coconut oil, almond seed oil, avocado oil, or even a known sealant such as silicon mix.
*pro tip: If you’re using silicon mix as your sealant, use it ON TOP of your moisture product, then rinse them out together.
If you need an extra boost of hydration on a NON wash day, we suggest a water based leave in, followed by your favorite natural oil to seal it. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND STAYING far away FROM PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN MINERAL OILS AND SULFATES. These products are drying and coat the hair with a film that doesn’t allow the hair to breathe.
*pro tip: Get a shower filter! Hard water residue is the enemy of healthy hair! If you wouldn’t drink from your unfiltered tap, don’t make your hair drink it either!
Too much Heat without Protection
Are you blow drying, and heat styling without protection? You naughty girl! This is DEFINITELY a reason your natural hair is thirsty and getting possible breakage. Styling without heat protectant will also stunt the natural growth of your hair when done in combination with failing to properly moisturize or hydrate (which we know most of you bad girls are doing!) STOP IT NOW or go to your room!
Lol… the easiest way to combat this is to make heat protectant a HABIT. Set your bottle of heat protectant right next to your hot tools so that you will grab it first before heading for your flat iron or blow dryer. This will help you make it a part of your daily styling practice. So what kind should you use? Liquid or creme?
If you’re hair is prone to dryness or breakage, go for a creme. The cream base will coat your hair strands and create a protective barrier where many spray protectants sizzle the moment heat touches it. Hair sizzle is NEVER GOOD!
Are you ruining your hair in your SLEEP?
Even if you’re doing all the right things during the day, you still could be ruining your efforts by drying your hair pout during your night routine. If you’re not wrapping your hair with a satin scarf, using a bonnet , or at the very least using a satin pillowcase when you go to bed, you’re more likely than not siphoning the hydration, moisture, and natural oils that your body produces right into the next dimension. Be sure to care for your hair in your sleep by using one of the above mentioned methods to keep your natural oils in place, as well as any moisture and hydration products you’re using. Cotton fabrics ABSORB moisture and oil so do yourself a favor and make the switch to satin!
Don’t be afraid to switch up your hair routine! Remember, Hydrate, moisturize, Seal and sleep for the best natural hair your ever had!
We hoped you enjoyed this blog! Do you have any great ways that you like to diy your moisture/ hydration routine? Let is know in the comment section! Until next time!