The most enjoyable experience I encounter at an expo is the opportunity to have real demonstrations on real hair and consult about the real results. We invite people to come as they are, regardless of hair type, hair color, or hair condition. Why? Because of course the hair will look great if you have a ready-to-go model, but people are most interested in knowing, “how will this work for me?”
One of the most frequent questions we hear is:
“I don’t use chemicals or much heat on my hair, but it still stays dry…how can I keep my hair moisturized for more than just one day?”
Here are a few tips for those of you who are wondering the same thing.
Causes & Symptoms of Dry Curls
If you are experiencing dry curls or waves, some notable characteristics are usually a lack of curl agility, brittleness, ruffling sounds when touched, and a dull color tone. Dry curls are also more prone to breakage; so excessive breakage could be caused by a lack of moisture as well. Two things that are commonly overlooked when assessing causes of dry curls are (1) diet and (2) overall health status (mentally, physically, emotionally). Are you getting enough water? How about maintaining a healthy diet? Both play a part in maintaining healthy hair. Also, be sure to consider any medications or health issues that could be impacting the health of your hair. Diet and health need to be addressed 1st, but assuming neither of those are issues for you, let’s consider your hair maintenance routine and products.
Hydrating hair and retaining moisture
1. When you wash your hair, make sure you are actually removing product build-up. Co-washing can feel great, but those of us with curly hair need to make sure that we are cleansing in a way that removes build-up left by products we use over time. Build-up can prevent water and hydrating products from being able to penetrate the hair’s cuticle, which can lead to dryness. So, the more styling products and oils you use, the more you need to ensure that you cleanse well enough and regularly enough to avoid dry hair due to product build-up; but not so much that you strip your hair of all of its natural oils. It’s a delicate balance. Personally, I wash my hair once a week with a gentle clarifying shampoo, however, if your hair is very prone to dryness, you may want to go with a moisturizing shampoo. You may have to experiment a bit to find your sweet spot, but your curls will thank you!
2. Use a GOOD Leave-In Conditioner after cleansing, AND make sure to apply it thoroughly.
Make sure to apply the Leave-In Conditioner throughout your entire head of curls while it’s still wet after cleansing, raking the product through your curls with your fingers. Pay special attention to work the product through your problem areas, since for many people with curly hair, some areas of the hair are more prone to dryness than others. If you’re in search of moisture, you want to use products that are water-based (in which water is the most prevalent ingredient), formulated to let moisture into the hair, and include natural extracts and oils that can be easily absorbed into your hair strands,without weighing them down. It’s also helpful to use a conditioner with a naturally slippery consistency to make application easier.
I use and highly recommend our Untie the Knot Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner ! (see the image above for my before-and-after). It’s (1) water based, (2) slippery enough to glide through tangles and manage single strand knots, (3) was formulated to work with all hair textures, (4) includes light oils like avocado and broccoli seed oil (so it can be applied liberally without fear of build-up), and (5) features our all-natural 360° Curls Complex that penetrates the cuticle layer of hair to not just deliver moisture, but also strengthen weak hair strands.
3. Put the heavy oils down! PLEASE. Many people think natural oils and moisture go hand-in-hand; let’s take a look at this from a different perspective. Our hair is a natural extension of our body. Just like our body needs water to maintain a healthy level of hydration, our hair has the same need. Oil does not moisturize…water (h2O) does. Oil can only help to seal in moisture that is already there. So, if your hair is dry, and you just slather on more natural oils, you’re only worsening the problem of dry hair. Too much oil can even contribute to breakage. To hydrate your curls: gently cleanse > rinse > then condition while your curls are still dripping wet, to infuse moisture. If you need to re-moisturize after a few days, take a spray bottle with water and mist/re-wet your hair. If you want to seal with an oil, use a light oil that won’t prevent water from penetrating when you refresh your hair, and will easily lift when cleansing.
If you are transitioning, have damaged curls, or more tightly coiled curls, you might find that a cream-based hair product gives you the moisture and hydration that you are looking for.A quality moisturizing creme will help protect hair against moisture loss, without feeling like it is sitting on top of your hair. Our Curl Supreme Styling Creme, is a rich, thick, whipped cream, that when used directly after our Untie the Knot Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner, slides onto your curly strands like slipping into a silk shirt! It really is that great of an experience. Curl Supreme combines the moisture retention benefits of lightweight oils and natural butters, while also helping to define curls with a light hold. Check out my results in the picture above.
So, what’s 1 thing you will reconsider about your curl routine, now that you know what you know? Share below, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more tips!
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