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Going natural is a big commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. There will be a lot of trial and error because no two curl patterns are exactly alike. YouTube videos should inspire you rather than be a source of frustration. Over manipulating your hair can lead to damage, so keep your expectations in check.
The end-goal is to enhance what your hair naturally does. It took me close to a year to figure out how to keep my hair moisturized and defined. I am sharing what I learned with you, and hopefully, it won’t take you as long as it took me.
Here are 13 tips to keep your natural hair moisturized and defined.
1. Use products from the same line
Hair products in the same line should be used together because they complement each other. Moreover, the results get better over time. Choose 2-3 product lines and alternate them every month. I was a product junkie until I found my staple products. Find what works and stick with it.
2. Create a routine
Everything thrives on a routine, and your hair is no exception. Commit to a routine that works for your schedule.
3. Add co-washing to your hair care regime
If your hair is brittle, you need to co-wash more and shampoo less. With this in mind, shampoo your hair once a month and co-wash weekly. Always follow your co-wash with a regular conditioner.
4. Know your hair porosity
Hair porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. There are three types of porosity:
- Low porosity hair has a hard time absorbing moisture. Products sit on your hair and lead to build-up. Use clarifying shampoos to remove product build-up. Treat low porosity hair by adding heat to deep conditioning and avoiding heavy products.
- Medium (Normal) porosity hair absorbs moisture and retains it for an extended time. Normal porosity hair requires the least amount of maintenance.
- High porosity hair absorbs moisture and loses it quickly. Treat high porosity hair with heavy creams, protein treatments, and deep conditioners.
5. LOC vs LCO vs another method
Experiment with different methods until you find what works for you. Select products based on your day 3 and 4 results rather than your day 1 and 2 results. Trial and error led me to the following method:
- thick cream or butter
- light oil
- curl defining gel or custard
6. Add heat to your deep conditioning treatment
Heat turns mediocre results into amazing results because it opens your hair cuticles. Use a microwaveable heat cap to add heat to your deep conditioning treatment. I use the Hot Head heat cap because it makes my hair silky soft.
7. A satin or silk bonnet isn’t enough
Your pillowcases might be the problem if you wear a bonnet, and your hair is dry. Cotton pillowcases extract moisture from your hair, whereas satin and silk pillowcases help your hair retain moisture.
8. Refresh your hair with steam
Do you spritz your hair with water daily? Is it brittle after it dries? If so, use a handheld hair steamer to refresh your hair or the steam from your shower. Shower steaming sans a shower cap is my preferred method because it’s super easy.
9. Skip the tools
Here are some of the benefits of finger combing:
- less breakage
- strengthens hair
- less shrinkage
- prevents knots and tangles
- more control over the process
10. Diffuse your hair
Use a diffuser if you struggle with body and volume. I use the DevaDryer and DevaFuser because it enhances the appearance of my natural curls. I diffuse my hair on the lowest setting for 5-10 minutes and then let it air dry.
11. Get a DevaCut
The big chop is not equivalent to the DevaCut. A big chop is cutting off your relaxed hair. On the other hand, a DevaCut is cutting the hair curl by curl. Your hair will require less manipulation after a DevaCut.
12. Hydrate color-treated hair with an Olaplex treatment
Olaplex is a godsend for curly girls with color-treated hair. Visit a salon for steps No. 1 and No. 2 of the Olaplex system. The only step available for home use is Olaplex No. 3. This treatment dramatically improves hair health, strength, and texture. Moreover, it revives your hair color.
13. Drink more water
Dehydration contributes to dry and frizzy hair. A water bottle with a time marker can help you drink enough water daily. Drinking more water will result in:
- stronger hair
- healthier hair
- hydrated scalp
- hair growth