Girl with moisturized curls.

Nail Your Moisture Routine: How to Moisturize Your Hair in 3 Easy Steps

Photo Credit: Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz

Let’s Talk Moisture

Why is it so difficult to figure out how to moisturize our hair? It seems simple and yet so many of us struggle to find the right balance – hydrated but not weighed down, supple but not greasy. We can’t talk about how to moisturize our hair or moisture routines without addressing the most important ingredient in any moisturizing regiment – water. Even though it seems crazy to those who know, many women of color were taught that water is bad for our hair. This type of misinformation has led tons of women to avoid water at all costs, including weekly washing!

The Importance of Water

Water is critical for hair health and growth. In fact, in severe cases, dehydration can actually cause your hair to stop growing or break excessively making it appear as though your hair is thinning. The human body is made up of 60-80% water. Every vital organ in your body needs water to function because water drives cellular activity – it’s an energy source.  In that vein, your hair follicles and hair cells use water to activate turnover and growth. And hair not only needs water to remain supple, but it needs it to remain strong! Hair protein (what gives you hair it’s strength) is attracted to water –  water is an integral part of the bonding structure of our hair. 

So when it comes to moisturizing our hair, we can’t do it without water. But, the undeniable, unavoidable key to success here is C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y.  If you just don’t know where to start, use these foundational steps to boost your hair’s moisture and health.

Drink Your Water

You can put as much topical stuff on your hair as you’d like, drinking water is essential for your health, skin and hair to thrive. A general rule of thumb is that moderately active adults need 2 liters of water a day, even more if you exercise or are active. If you are someone who is vexed by drinking water because you just aren’t thirsty or you hate the taste, consider a few tips to help your water habit and ensure you’re getting enough water each day.

  1. Dress it up – If the taste of water doesn’t excite you, add lemons, melons, mint and any other tasty fruits or herbs to your water to boost the flavor. Over time, you’ll come to crave water as nothing else is truly as hydrating. 
  2. Track it – If you just aren’t thirsty consider using a tracking app to log the number of cups a day you’re drinking. If even tracking is too much for you, you can buy (or make) a water bottle with hours marked on the bottle. Fill it up in the morning and be sure to drink the water to reach the hour line at the corresponding time.
  3. Eat it – Drinking is not the only way to get water into your body. Eating foods with high water content (think veggies and fruits), will help you get more out of your meals.

Wash AND Deep Condition Weekly

Yes, every week. Washing your hair weekly comes with more advantages than just exposing your strands to water. Often times the products we use on our hair throughout the week actually block our hair’s ability to absorb moisture from our environment. By washing weekly, you wash away the product buildup that is actually drying out your hair (not moisturizing it!) giving your hair a chance to breathe and soak up some atmospheric moisture. As part of your wash day routine, you need to deep condition weekly. Deep conditioning is not for special occasions, like before your cousin’s wedding or a big date. Deep conditioning is for every week. Unlike the moisturizing lotions and creams you put on your hair throughout the week, deep conditioners penetrate into your hair shaft more deeply (because of the presence of water) truly moisturizing your hair from the inside.

Pro-Tip – If you struggle with spending time on your hair each week, retrain your brains to think of wash day as your self care time. #perspectivematters. Read, meditate, cook, netflix and chill – do whatever fills you up while you fill up those locks with moisture!

Obi Chukwuma, Co-Founder

Get an “M-B-C” Routine

“MBC” stands for Moisture Between Conditioners. For some of us that’s a daily thing and for others it’s just a few times a week. You can start on either side of the spectrum and monitor how quickly your hair dries out to adjust. Whether you are relaxed, natural or somewhere in between, we recommend the LOC or LCO method depending on your hair’s porosity. If you don’t know your hair’s porosity you can take the MMARA quiz to find out. 

High porosity ladies should use the LOC method. High porosity hair has a propensity to lose moisture easily. By spraying or wetting hair with a water-based liquid and then coating with oil, you will introduce true moisture into the hair shaft and then seal the cuticle with oil. Adding cream as the final step ensures that the cuticle is sufficiently closed, locking in the moisture. 

Low porosity ladies typically have the opposite problem where it is difficult to get moisture into the hair strand. Here it is equally important to start with a water-based liquid as a first step and then following with a highly moisturizing cream. With low porosity hair, you want to prioritize the products with the highest water content meaning the oil comes last. After water and cream, the oil will help to seal the hair shaft locking in moisture. 

Developing healthy habits around water consumption and use on our hair will help ensure our hair is absorbing as much water as possible keeping it moisturized vs. coating it with products and weighing it down. {Water} Glasses up and cheers to the healthy hair days ahead.

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