7 Things That Deplete Moisture From Natural Hair

Moisture is critical for the growth, health and strength of natural hair. But it can be elusive for some. You apply moisturizing products to your hair in the morning and find your strands are dry by the late afternoon. Well, there are many internal and environmental factors that contribute to moisture depletion. Here are 7 to look out for

1. Dehydration

No surprise here. Water plays a critical role in how our body functions. Ehow.com contributor Tiesha Whatley summarizes it perfectly:

Water is essential for the health of hair for a number of reasons. The hair is one quarter water. That fact alone should accentuate how important water is for the hair. Water also carries vital vitamins to the hair root and hydrates the entire hair strand from the inside. Water is the main source of energy for hair cells, including the cells that generate new hair growth. Water also clears the body from pollutants, which also cause hair loss. Without proper hydration, you will see dryness in your hair and skin that can only be restored by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.

Incorporate water into your daily diet as a base line moisturizer for your hair.

2. Sleeping with your hair uncovered at night

While you’re getting your 8 hours of beauty rest moisture is evaporating from your strands into the night air. That’s why hair can feel dry and straw-like after being slept on, uncovered, for hours. You can slow down the evaporation process by covering your hair at night, thereby keeping moisture locked in.

3. Wearing “out” styles in non-humid weather

In dry heat (desert-like conditions) or dry cold (common winter weather) “out styles” like fros and puffs expose individual strands to the elements, speeding up the evaporation process and providing no atmospheric moisture to replace the lost H2O. Styles like twists, cornrows and updos, on the other hand, ‘hide’ strands, exposing a smaller percentage of your hair to the elements.

4. Blowdrying with high heat

Blowdrying works by speeding up the evaporation of moisture from both the cuticle (surface) AND cortex of the hair. No wonder extreme blowdrying leads to brittle hair and breakage.

5. Porous hair

Porous hair has cuticles that are naturally raised making it difficult for them to trap moisture in the cortex (the inner-part of your strand). Naturals with porous hair often find that their hair can suck up a lot of moisture, but lose it just as quickly. To correct this, try using Roux Porosity Control Corrector And Conditioner..

6. Damaged cuticles

Sometimes cuticles are damaged from bad hair practices like excessive shampooing and manipulation or using products that are too high in pH. Since the cuticle serves as a “gatekeeper’ to your cortex if it is damaged, moisture won’t be retained. Protein treatments like Aphogee Two-step Treatment for Damaged Hair can temporarily fill in where the cuticle has been damaged and degraded, assisting in the moisture retention process.

7. Bleaching and hair lightening

Bleaching and hair lightening work by raising the cuticle and removing hair coloring molecules from the cortex. More often than not this process is irreparably damaging to the cuticle, leaving it raised thus increasing the porosity of the strand and diminishing its ability to retain moisture.

Ladies, what “moisture depleters” do you encounter? How do you combat them?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...


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47 thoughts on “7 Things That Deplete Moisture From Natural Hair

  1. always spritz water and drink water too they are most important part of hair routine. My hair been mostly moisturer when I had water/glyernic along with shea moisture cream . But I bet it has t do with me frequent co-washing , you just have to make sure it is hyrdating and natural ingredients (I used Natural Gate’s and Everyday Shea conditioner—never use any Garnier’s , Aussie, Herbal Essence, etc. they are not hydrating or natural )I dc 2 or 1x a wk

    • Not even Garnier? They have many natural ingredients,including the leave in conditioner has Argan oll.
      Anyway, I use a co-wash most the time too..the one by “As I Am”,it’s got lots of coconut oil and cream (among others).

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