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FEATURES Oct 29 2012 1:34AM

How To Properly Moisturize Natural Hair

by Precious Henshaw of Precious Curls

All hair needs moisture in order to survive. What would happen if you didn’t water your plants? They would die, of course! In the same way, if you are not moisturizing your hair, it will dry out and break off. Unmoisturized hair may feel dry, coarse, and brittle to the touch. If it is difficult and hurts to comb the hair, and the hair breaks when you do comb it, this may be a sign that your hair needs moisture. Moisturized hair is elastic, has shine/sheen, is very soft to the touch, and is easy to manage.  Moisturized hair is healthy hair, and healthy hair grows long and strong! Proper moisturizing will ensure that your hair retains moisture for as long as possible. Here are some steps to moisturizing your hair.
Spritz Your Hair With Water

First, spritz your hair with water. It helps my hair absorb other products much better when I spray it with water first. Water is the essence of moisture, and is the best moisturizer for your hair. Once you begin spraying dry, unmoisturized hair with water, you may actually feel it becoming softer! Water is definitely a key ingredient to moisturized hair.
Use a Water-Based Moisturizer

Instead of using plain water, you can use a water-based moisturizing product. A water-based moisturizer is simply any product with water as the very first ingredient. Water-based moisturizers come in many different consistencies, from liquid sprays to hair lotions to super thick creams.
Seal with an Oil or a Butter

We all know that water evaporates. This is why sealing the hair is just as important as moisturizing it. Sealing is applying oil or butter to your hair after moisturizing it. Sealing in your moisture will ensure that the water does not evaporate as quickly, and it can help leave your strands moist longer. On a molecular level, oils and butters are larger than water molecules and cannot penetrate the hair strands. By applying them to your hair after moisturizing, it creates a barrier that the water will be unable to easily get through, and will thus leave your hair moisturized longer. Some great natural oils to seal with are coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and castor oil. Some favorite hair butters are shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, and cupuacu butter. I like to seal my hair by first applying an oil, then following that with a butter. However, you can use one or the other. If your hair is thin, fine, or gets easily weighed down, a butter may be too heavy for your hair. Just using an oil would work just fine.
Use moisturizing creams and lotions 
Instead of using water, a moisturizer, then an oil and/or butter, you can opt to use a hair product containing all of these ingredients! If water is the first ingredient and an oil or butter is one of the next five ingredients, then it can both moisturize and seal very well at the same time. If water is not the first ingredient, the product will most likely not moisturize properly, and if the butter or oil is too far down on the ingredients list, it is probably not enough to seal the hair. Of course, if you feel like the product is not enough to seal, or if the water it contains doesn't feel moisturizing enough, you can add the first and last steps of spraying your hair with water first to give the hair a bit more moisture, and sealing with an oil/butter after using the product.
Always Use Water/Moisture First!
Always moisturize before sealing! Don’t use oil or butter on dry, unmoisturized hair! This will block out any moisture and leave your hair even drier. Also, don’t moisturize without sealing, since the water can evaporate just as quickly as you put it in! Remember that oils and butters are NOT moisturizers. They should not be used on hair that isn’t moisturized.
Moisturize Your Hair In Sections
Apply moisturizers and sealers to your hair in sections. This will ensure that your products reach all the parts of your hair.
Drink Plenty of Water
You need to moisturize your hair from the inside as well as on the outside. If you are not replenishing your body with water, your hair will show it.
Moisturize As Often As Your Hair Needs
Moisturize and seal your hair when it feels dry, brittle, or when the hair becomes more difficult to manage or style. This depends on your own hair and the products that you use. For me, this is every two or three days.
How do you moisturize your hair?


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