The Beginner's Guide to Moisturizing Natural Hair

woman-holding-her-beautiful-natural-hair

Beginning the natural hair journey is an exciting, dynamic opportunity to embrace your beautiful curl texture. Many transition to natural hair following hair care techniques that centered around "taming your curls." At RevAir, we believe in living wild and free. There's no need to tame perfection. No matter where you are in your natural hair adventure, our team has plenty of tips, tricks, and healthy hair hacks to support your style goals.

Hydration is the key to health. Not only is your daily water intake important for things like skin care, metabolic health, and overall wellness, but natural hair needs luxurious moisture to thrive. Most hair care products readily available on store shelves are not suited to textured hair. In fact, the majority of commercial products only cater to a small margin of hair types.

It's time to think outside the box with these key tips for moisturizing natural hair.

Try the LOC Method

Dryness is a challenge many curly-haired goddesses face. This is because tighter curl patterns tend to have high porosity. The higher the porosity, the easier it is for water to rapidly cycle through. Moisture is absorbed and lost quickly in high-porosity hair. Waves and curls feature cuticles that lay more loosely on the hair shaft, thus allowing moisture to escape. Coily hair (think Type 3 and Type 4 hair) is the most porous as the cuticles are very loose. Your curls deserve extra care when styling to protect healthy hydration levels.

Give the tried and true LOC method a chance to brighten your natural hair ventures. LOC stands for:

- liquid/leave-in

O - oil

C - cream

This simple method can be completed in 3 simple steps. First, hydrate your hair with a water-based conditioner. Next, stock up on nourishing hair oils. Hair oil is something you can DIY with a few ingredients that are likely already in your house. You'll want to choose a lightweight oil base that won't leave behind build-up or residue. Coconut oil and jojoba oil are some of the best for natural hair.

The oil penetrates the deep hair shaft to allow water to enter. Mix a pinch of your favorite essential oil for fragrance and scalp care, and you'll be ready to proceed with Step 3. Once your hair and scalp have been treated to a relaxing oil massage, the last step is to seal in that rich moisture. An indulgent hair cream will close off the cuticle to prevent your curls from losing moisture. Once sealed, your curls will retain their bounce, shine, and health until the next wash day.

Go LCO for Deep Hydration

The LCO Method is a twist on the LOC method for moisturizing natural hair. As you may have guessed, LCO stands for liquid cream oil. This changes the order of the process a bit to suit your unique hair type. Some hair textures respond best to applying cream immediately after leave-in. The idea is that the cream will better seal the liquid at this step. Next, you'll apply the hair oil as the final step in the process.

Not sure which method of moisturizing natural hair is right for you? Try both techniques and see how your hair feels and reacts. Trial and error is the best way to determine the right moisturizing routine for your unique hair type. With time and practice, your perfect natural hair routine will become second nature.

Maintain a Healthy Protein-Moisture Balance for Natural Hair

The science behind the beauty of natural hair is as illuminating as it is fascinating. Maintaining optimal hair health comes down to a delicate balance of protein and moisture. Although our focus is hydration, balancing your moisturizing routine is key to ensuring maximum effectiveness. Keratin is the name of the protein that makes up healthy skin, hair, and nails. Keratin gives hair strength and elasticity. Your curl shape has keratin proteins to thank for its stunning quality.

When we over-moisturize, our curls can become dull, flat, and limp. This can lead to breakage over time. Of course, too much protein will also result in damage and weakened hair cuticles. So how do we strike a balance between the two?

Start by rotating between protein and moisturizing deep conditioners each week. Focus on the best ingredients to promote elasticity. Hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed keratin, and hydrolyzed silk protein are all excellent ingredients for restoring natural movement and strength while hydrating the hair in one simple step.

You may see balancing deep conditioners advertised as:

  • Repair/Repairing Cream Reconstructor
  • Balancing Conditioner Deep Repair Mask

Likewise, the best ingredients to look out for when boosting your hair's protein intake include:

  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Hydrolyzed keratin
  • Hydrolyzed silk protein
  • Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
  • Keratin
  • Variations of hydrolyzed collagen
  • Variations of hydrolyzed soy protein

Remember; moderation is key! Always balance your hair treatments for optimal wellness.

woman-touching-her-natural-hair-while-sitting-outdoors

Embrace Seasonal Natural Hair Care

Not changing your style routine from one season to the next is a common beginner mistake when caring for natural hair. This affects your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture because your hair's profile is likely different from one season to the next. Therefore, the same products and techniques that worked a month may not be as effective for moisture retention.

Each season has its own unique environmental stressors. Therefore, your hair needs a dynamic care routine to match. The summer-to-fall transition is the most prominent shift to note when it comes to healthy hair. You may notice that your summer hair is less oil-prone and suddenly becoming dry and brittle. A change in temperature and humidity is to blame for this unexpected development.

Be proactive in managing seasonal changes. This may include investing in a dehumidifier, trading your summer bedding for an anti-frizz, silk pillowcase, and getting a head start on products designed to protect your hair. In the summer, these products will likely be UV protectants and heat sprays or serums. Dry shampoo is a summer must keep your curls from looking greasy as you run from one activity to the next. However, in the cooler months, you may want to prioritize hair oil over dry shampoo.

Scalp care is always a good idea regardless of the season, but should be especially prioritized during times when your hair is more prone to dryness or breakage. Proper scalp care stimulates the hair follicles and encourages the growth of new cells. In addition, a good scalp care routine promotes better moisture retention. If you're growing out of natural hair, start at the top and show your scalp some love.

Pamper Your Curls

Natural hair may be beautiful and free, but keep in mind that your curls will need to be maintained. Long hair, don't care, is not among our natural hair mantras! In fact, we care enough to pamper your lovely locks and indulge in some me time. 

Treat yourself to a deep conditioning day at the salon. Aim for a salon visit every one to two months. This will give your hair the extra boost it needs, especially if moisture loss has been a challenge. Olaplex is a fantastic deep conditioning option for hair that has been damaged or compromised. Give yourself -- and your hair -- a break. Kick back, relax, and let the experts do the work for you. Your gorgeous hair will appreciate a self-care moment.

Go Low Heat: Not Your Mama's Hair Dryer

Do you find yourself fighting the frizz every wash day and battling tangles to achieve the perfect look? Stop torturing your curls with heavy products, brushing, and tugging. The issue may be the tools you're using, not your curls themselves. 

Traditional hair dryers produce heat that ranges from 80 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. At close proximity to your curls, these dryers can cause the hair to break and split at the end, resulting in frizz as moisture escapes the hair shaft. You may notice increased dryness in the form of build-up and flaking. If this sounds anything like your wash day routine, it's time to change the way you style your curls.

Gentle styling is the best option for natural hair. Many naturalistas are embracing this new mantra by going low heat. Unlike an old-school hair dryer, a reverse-air dryer utilizes cutting-edge technology to deliver low-heat styling. Our amazing RevAir styles 3x faster than your mama's hair dryer with a fraction of the heat. These dryers are great for stretching and straightening natural hair as it dries. Using the device to section and dry hair saves time and allows your hair to retain moisture following a shower.

Are you ready to join a remarkable community of natural hair fashionistas? No matter where you are in your natural hair journey, you'll find a network of empowering naturalistas eager to share tips, tricks, and hacks for transitioning to natural hair. Connect with us on Instagram and reach out to the RevAir team for more RevAir questions and info.