It’s no secret that natural tresses require a little extra TLC to retain optimum health and length, but deep conditioning alone isn’t enough to provide curly hair the hydration it craves. To understand how to properly moisturize, one must understand one thing: the relationship between hair, oil, and water.
When we think of moisture, we have to break it down into two factors; oil and water. Often we refer to our skin or hair as, ‘dry’ without having a complete understanding of what that really means! When hair is lacking in sebum, or oil, it is truly considered dry, however hair lacking in water is considered dehydrated. Hair (as well as skin) requires a balance of both oil and water to achieve key hydration levels. Sebum is the natural oil produced to lubricate and protect the hair from external factors. Straight hair stays hydrated with hair’s natural oil, because the sebum can travel easily from hair gland, to root, and shaft. It is harder for curly and kinky hair to maintain balanced oil hydration because of the complex structure of the curl. This is when introducing protective styles rich in oil becomes key.
It’s easy and relatively inexpensive to incorporate a healthy oil/water balance within your natural hair care regimen. To provide hair with vital hydration I recommend a glycerin and water spray mixture, followed by a protective style sealed with oil. Glycerin is ideal to hydrate, as it is a natural humectant; which pulls moisture from the air and binds it to the hair and skin. You can customize your hydrating elixir with the essential oils of your choice. Following the hydrating elixir I recommend Shea butter, coconut oil, or castor oil to lock in moisture and provide natural hair with and ideal level of hydration.