Has your natural hair been really dry with the change of the season? And no matter what you do, your hair always looks and feels dry, dull and lifeless? Sis, I’m here to help as I’ve been there. Here’s four easy steps to bring life back to your dry natural hair.
Firstly, you should be washing your hair regularly to avoid product build up. But all shampoos aren’t made equal. When is the last time you used a clarifying shampoo? A clarifying shampoo is a super cleanser that removes all remnants of product from your hair, leaving it squeaky clean and ready to style anew. Clarifying shampoos strip hair and can be very drying. So no need to use it every wash. Maybe at least once a month. But if you’ve noticed that your moisturizing products aren’t working as usual, then sis it’s time to clarify.
In addition to using a clarifying shampoo, every couple of months I give my hair a bentonite clay mask treatment to really strip out the gunk. Bentonite clay does wonders for unclogging the pores as well.
So remember when I said that clarifying strips the hair down leaving it dry? You’re going to need to deep condition to bring moisture back to the hair. Now you have to make sure that you use the right type of deep conditioning treatment as there are two types… There’s the protein-based deep conditioning treatment which helps to combat breaking and shedding, and improves elasticity. You don’t need that right now as using a protein treatment on dry hair can leave it brittle. What you need is a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment to bring life back to your hair. Some deep conditioners are both moisturizing and protein-based, this is also fine.
Heat will help boost the effectiveness of the treatment. Apply your deep conditioner and put a plastic cap on your head. Then sit under the dryer for 15-20 minutes before rinsing out. If you don’t have a dryer or prefer not to use heat, then cover your hair with the plastic cap and wrap a towel around it. Let it sit for up to 45 minutes. The increase in your body temperature from the towel will help to boost the treatment.
Now that you’ve successfully brought your dry natural hair back to life, you want it to retain moisture after styling. For optimal moisture, you’ll want to use the L.O.C. Method. The L.O.C. Method is the practice of applying a water based Leave-In Conditioner to wet hair to moisturize. Followed with an Oil to lock in the moisture. Then styling with a Cream to close the hair cuticle and prevent moisture loss. This 3 step product application process leaves the hair extremely moisturized and shiny. See this post for more information and product combo recommendations.
Repeat after me- oil is not a moisturizer. It is a sealant. You need to first use a water-based leave-in to moisturize your hair before adding any oil. Or your hair won’t absorb the extra moisture. Don’t use too much leave-in as that’s probably how you got product build up in the first place. Use just enough product to coat your hair evenly from root to ends. Pay extra attention to the ends.
At this point your natural hair should be juicy and loaded with moisture. So now it’s time to style your hair. As mentioned above, you should use a styling cream to help your hair retain moisture. You can also use gel along with the styling cream to give your hair more hold. Be careful with the amount of product you use though to avoid build up and flaking. I myself skip the cream and just use an alcohol free gel (Eco Styler Olive Oil is my fave) to style my hair. If your hair is really dry though, you may need that extra layer of moisture.
After you style your hair, leave it alone until it’s time to wash and style again. Don’t spray water in your hair every day as that will cause flaking. Don’t add more product to your hair as that will cause build up. Sleep in a satin bonnet or on a satin pillow case to protect your style and keep your hair moisturized. Cotton and other fabrics will suck your hair dry. If your hair gets flat, you can use a pick to gently lift the roots. Gel your edges in place if you choose. But I’d suggest to wash it off every night to avoid product build up and possibly thinning edges. Less manipulation also means faster hair growth.