Blog - How to Keep Your Natural Hair Moisturized Between Washes
March 1, 2018 by Swirly Curly
If you have natural hair, you might be struggling to keep your hair moisturized between washes.
Wash day can be long and miserable when your hair is too dry and tangled. You may be aiming to only wash your hair once every seven days. The problem is, your hair may be suffering during the week from the lack of hydration.
Can you get away with washing it once per week, while keeping it healthy and moisturized? Absolutely!
In this post, you’ll find out how to refresh and retain moisture after wash day. If you want to keep your curls alive and lustrous during the week, keep reading.
Layer Products on Wash Day
Want to keep product on your hair? Layer it.
Layering is a technique that has grown in popularity in the past few years. When you put products and oils onto your hair in a sequence, they tend to last longer than they would if you were to mix them together and put them on all at once.
Using layers will help your curls stay moisturized, and they’ll stay defined for longer too. This means you’ll have less frizz and more style. See the LOC method below to find out how to layer products.
LOC Method for Natural Hair
Use the LOC method for your curls. Here’s what LOC means, and how to do it:
Liquid. The first step in every natural’s routine should be water. Water is the
true hydrator of hair, and you should always use it first. You can always apply water-based products if you want to infuse extra nutrition, but make sure the product contains water or aloe vera as the first ingredient on the label.
Oil. The second step in the method is oil, and it should always follow hydration. Olive, avocado, and coconut oils are well known to penetrate the hair shaft. These amazing oils will protect your hair, lubricate it, and provide long-lasting nutrients. Shea butter and castor oil are also highly effective at healing and protecting your strands.
Cream. Applying a nutrient-dense cream is the final step in the LOC process. Choose a cream that is low in chemicals and make sure it is petroleum-free. If you have high-porosity hair, you’ll probably want a heavy and thick cream. Low porosity types will benefit from a light cream, like a thin leave-in conditioner.
Moisturize Before You Shampoo
Applying moisturizing ingredients right before you step in the shower is a sneaky way of moisturizing between washes. This technique is known as pre-pooing. It moisturizes and protects the hair from the potential damage that can occur during wash day.
A pre-poo will help to reduce breakage and quicken your detangling sessions. Your main goals on wash day should be to hydrate the hair and cleanse the scalp.
Using a pre-poo will help your natural oils to remain intact. Plus, it will allow you to cleanse your scalp without having to worry about the effects on your hair. Pre-poos don’t need to be elaborate.
Doing a pre-poo can be as simple as saturating your hair with your regular conditioner as the first step in your wash day. Shea butter, aloe vera, and coconut milk are also great pre-poos.
Pre-poos can be done before a co-wash too, especially if you’re still experiencing breakage after adopting a co-wash routine.
Refresh Your Natural Hair At least Once During the Week
Seven days is too long to make your hair wait for hydration. Even if you do the LOC method, your hair will likely need hydration and moisturization during the week.
You can either wet your hair in the shower for hydration, or simply use a water spray bottle to dampen your hair. If you want more than water, try a detangler, a leave-in conditioner, or aloe vera juice.
Then follow the hydration with the rest of the steps in the LOC method.
Reducing friction is one of the lesser known ways of keeping your hair hydrated. The less you rub your strands, the more the oils will stay intact. Here are some ways to reduce friction:
Use Softer Ponytail Holders. Pay attention to the type of hair tie you use. It’s not enough to only avoid metal clasps. Aim to wear ponytail holders that are made of a soft material—something that won’t rub against your hair. Snappees are soft and extra helpful because they don’t require you to pull them from your hair.
Avoid Friction from Shirt Collars. If your hair is neck-length, and a rough shirt collar or sweater could potentially harm it, make sure you protect it. Your clothing may be too abrasive, and that will sabotage your efforts to have moisturized hair. Placing your hair in a bun or ponytail will help to get it off your shirt. You can also try wearing a silk scarf around your neck to provide a soft surface for your ends.
Avoid Cotton Towels. Cotton towels are too drying and abrasive for natural hair, and they should be avoided. Use a cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel instead. Microfiber towels are not 100% cotton, so they tend to be easier on the strands.
Protect your Hair During the Day. Use a hat or scarf when you’re outdoors. Wind can make your curls rub against each other and cause breakage. Hats are great for protecting against UV rays. Slip your hat or scarf on when you’re outdoors. Just make sure it is satin-lined, so you’re not causing further damage when you go to remove it.
Protect Your Hair During the Night. Cotton pillowcases are a big enemy of curls. You may not see evidence of breakage on the pillowcase in the morning, but you’ll probably find broken ringlets on the shower floor on wash day. Pillowcases rub against the strands and can wipe off oils that could have been used to protect your mane. Instead, wear a satin bonnet at night to guard against damage.
Hydrating, moisturizing, and protecting your hair between washes will give dramatic improvements to the health of your curls. If you adopt these things into your regimen, you’ll likely have longer, thicker, and more lustrous hair within a few weeks.
What about you? Do you have any special techniques you do to keep your natural hair moisturized during the week?