By Fran of

I like to keep my beau­ty reg­i­mens clean and sim­ple. The less pro­duct I apply in one styling ses­sion the bet­ter. This doesn’t mean I’m not a pro­duct junkie! I’ve tried and own every nat­u­ral hair brand out! But I’m a min­i­mal­ist when it comes to mix­ing them to achieve a desired look. In my mind, being “nat­u­ral” means low main­te­nance. I always pic­ture myself strand­ed on an island, hav­ing to fig­ure out how to make my hair and skin work. Scary thought con­sid­er­ing the mini Wal­greens that is my bath­room, but a goal nonethe­less! I’ve found, through tri­al and error, that my scalp and strand health thrive best with the less I use. Now I sim­ply wet, apply leave-in and seal. Here’s how I came to under­stand that apply­ing mois­ture could be done in 3 sim­ple steps:

Before I start­ed tak­ing good care of my hair, my every­day style was the quick wash & go. I would wash it dai­ly because I was unaware of how to pre­serve the curl pat­tern. My hair was suf­fer­ing due to the con­stant wash­ing and styling: dry­ing out, break­ing and stuck at what seemed a forever shoul­der length. To make mat­ters worse, I was using mousse and gels that were load­ed with alco­hols and syn­thet­ics. I soon real­ized I should switch to prod­ucts with a lighter hold (for the sake of my crispy, dried out curls) and more nutri­ent-based ingre­di­ents, to restore some mois­ture. I imme­di­ate­ly had soft­er more volu­mi­nous hair (good­bye gels and alco­hols!) with more shine and def­i­n­i­tion. Dry­ness solved!

The next step I was hav­ing a hard time fig­ur­ing out was how to retain the mois­ture I applied with­out con­stant­ly wash­ing it. I felt like I had to re-apply the prod­ucts dai­ly or it wouldn’t look right. I jumped on youtube to see what oth­er nat­u­rals were doing for main­te­nance, but all I saw was lots of re-wet­ting and dai­ly wash­ing too! Mean­while, every oth­er nat­u­ral tex­ture was retain­ing mois­ture and pre­serv­ing styles for weeks at a time. Grant­ed, dif­fer­ent tex­tures have dif­fer­ent reg­i­mens and expec­ta­tions, but I began to won­der if fin­er haired nat­u­rals were miss­ing out on a cru­cial step dur­ing the pro­duct appli­ca­tion process. As I kept watch­ing videos and read­ing posts, I real­ized I was miss­ing out on the “seal­ing” method. Instead of con­stant­ly re-wet­ting, it made more sense to seal the water and leave-in with oil on wash day. It’s a method that is sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly based, not just tex­ture based, yet I feel fin­er nat­u­rals avoid it like the plague, assum­ing it’s not for their “hair type”, in fear of being weighed down or pro­duct buildup, or, in some cas­es, because they don’t real­ly know much about it.

No one with type “3” hair was doing it online but I still want­ed to test the method for myself. The first time I tried it, I washed my hair as usu­al, applied my leave-in to soak­ing wet hair and then sealed with olive oil. It was way too heavy. I tried coconut oil but was left with brit­tle, frizzy hair. Jojoba oil gave my hair a flat, “wet look” for days. Noth­ing was real­ly work­ing so I thought, ok, I guess this is why…lol. But know­ing it was an impor­tant step for retain­ing mois­ture, I didn’t want to give up so eas­i­ly. I fig­ured try­ing some­thing that wasn’t an oil would get the job done. But what was con­sid­ered a good sealant yet not an oil?

I had a bot­tle of Aloe Vera in my fridge for a cut I was heal­ing so I decid­ed to give it a try. It was all nat­u­ral, so why not? It turned out to be the per­fect, watery, light yet effec­tive con­sis­ten­cy for my hair type. I’ve been using it as a sealant ever since. Here is a pic­ture of an exper­i­ment I post­ed a few months ago show­ing the dif­fer­ence between my sealed and non-sealed hair. On the right side I fin­ger-combed Pure Aloe Vera by Aubrey Organ­ics over my Curl Souf­fle leave-in by Curls. On the left side I just left the leave-in with­out seal­ing. See the dif­fer­ence? Major!

I’ve seen com­ments with nat­u­rals say­ing they don’t see the need for seal­ing. I per­son­al­ly don’t think it’s a step that HAS to be done, but I’ve found it to be extreme­ly help­ful. It helps me retain more mois­ture and shine, which in turn pre­serves my styles a lit­tle longer. Being able to keep them in longer means less manip­u­la­tion of the strands, which results in improved hair health and growth. In oth­er words, why not seal? In this video I show my 3 quick and basic steps for retain­ing mois­ture:

Do you swear by or skip out on the seal­ing method? If not, what turned you off? If so, what have you found to be the most effec­tive leave-in/sealant com­bi­na­tion?

Fran is the author of Fol­low her on Twit­ter @heyfranhey.

I’m a nat­u­ral hair, nutri­tion and fit­ness blog­ger from New York City. Bat­tling a kid­ney relat­ed ill­ness that doc­tors couldn’t seem to fix, I became obsessed with alter­na­tive med­i­cine. After months of research­ing and final­ly cur­ing myself, it became quite evi­dent that healthy resources in our urban com­mu­ni­ties were lack­ing. I began my health & well­ness tum­blr in Dec of 2010 as some­what of a jour­nal, hop­ing to shed some light on my jour­ney to health as well as our dis­con­nec­tion with healthy liv­ing. It’s been my goal to cre­ate a safe haven where our well­ness con­cerns could be shared and hope­ful­ly cured, as nat­u­ral­ly as pos­si­ble.

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[…] Novem­ber 18, 2015 · by gwcrownof­glo­ry · Book­mark the perma­link. · Hap­py #WearY­our­Crown­Wednes­day Beau­ties! This week we have a great arti­cle on how to mois­tur­ize and seal your hair for our ladies with a 3B or 3C curl pat­tern. We here at CoG are wish­ing you a relax­ing pre-Thanks­giv­ing week!! […]