By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

Moisture is a problem that many naturals find difficult to deal with. Dry hair for many is normal and is not indicative that your normal regimen is somehow lacking. It is not unusual to need to moisturise hair before styling it or to find it getting progressively drier if let alone without products or water for several days.

The idea that you can eliminate dry hair is actually not true for the vast majority of naturals. Some hair will respond to regular conditioning or indeed to using leave in products but for many, dry hair is a regular issue to address.

For this second group it is more important to not stick rigidly to one routine or one product. Sometimes hair requires one or more of the following

-more intensive conditioning every so often to increase softness and repair damage
-a good spritz of water followed by an oil
-layering of leave in products
-a simple mist of water without adding oil
-a change in products e.g using/eliminating humectants, changing leave-ins

The idea of being flexible with what you do to your hair and the products you use is not a sign of a struggle but rather an understanding that your hair needs something different depending on its condition or on how the weather is behaving (more/less humidity).

Often not being flexible can lead to problems with moisture, for example, sticking to the idea of applying a water based product or water before applying a sealing product such as an oil or butter is in general a good idea to increase moisture. However for some naturals, repeating this routine too often actually leads to drier hair as the oil layer builds up on their hair making it more difficult for the water to perform its function. Switching the frequency to once every 2-3 days or once a week and simply adding water in between can actually work better. For others switching from a light oil to a heavier oil can also help.

Dry hair in my view should not be looked at as a problem but rather as a property of some natural hair. In other words, finding your hair dry should not frustrate you. It should just prompt you to try different methods and routines so that you can achieve longer spells of moisture (ideally getting to a point where you do not require additional moisture anywhere from 2 days to 1 week between washings).

Ladies with super dry hair, how do you infuse lasting moisture?

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72 Comments on "How to Deal with Super-Dry Natural Hair"

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Vera

Haven’t worn a perm in nearly a decade, and when I do my wash and gos, moisturizing my hair with some oil and leave in conditioner works, but when I fatiron my hair, pomade seems to do the trick better. Wearing a silk scarf or bonnet to bed was one the best things I started doing as well.

NubianPrize
I wear a wig in winter as protective style. This winter has been very snowy..in fact, a snowy nor’easter is going on right now! maybe 6-10″ by tomorrow! After suffering stress related hairloss in the past year I’ve gone back to old school grease; Dax & Blue Magic. I usually use Qhemet but my workouts & a new hair treatment need me to wash 3x/week & I’d use up the expensive Qhemet in no time but grease is cheap AND IT WORKS ! No more split ends & little broken pieces of hair on the floor. I shampoo, condition &… Read more »
Syahda

it’s organic . However, I try to use siplme products and I use very few. I don’t wear makeup, and I use mostly castile soap, shea butter, baking soda, etc things I wouldn’t be afraid to eat.

candy
As strange as this sounds…I stopped using products……..yep! you read that right! Im using the “water only method” which is just that, “washing” your hair with water lol! you will DEFINITELY have an “adjustment” period where your hair will be either greasy or dry for a few weeks(if you have long hair it’ll be dry until your natural oils spread through the hair). this period tend to last 6 weeks. the logic behind this method is, of course, to allow your natural oils(sebum) condition your hair, there’s also the belief that after some time of not using products your hair… Read more »
teena

Hi i know im late cuz u answered 2 years ago lol but anyway im doin the water only washing method for a lil over a month and all i got from my hair was dry britte ends and splits. many times i put shea butter on the ends but that realy didnt help much. Any tips or suggestions will be much appreicated 🙂

Alesha

I have psoriasis and my build-up is worse in the winter. I HAVE to wash at least once a week. Is there anyone out there who suffers from this? What is your routine?

Natasha

Hi Alesha I use to suffer from psoriasis and the only products that help me , actually cleared it completely was Optima Australian tea tree shampoo and conditioner.I found it on Amazon.Hope this helps.Good Luck.

Christina Patrice
Hi Alesha! I have psoriasis as well, and I’ve written some articles here and on my blog about what to do for psoriasis. I refuse to use any of the prescription shampoos for fear of hair loss lol. I do an oil or water and conditioner based overnight prepoo, which helps soften the scales to clear the scalp. Then I use a sulfate free shampoo (or sometimes TSal), deep condition, and style. I mainly wear wash and go styles and cleanse my hair twice a week. Using a dropper to apply a 50/50 mix of glycerin and witch hazel (with… Read more »
Dabney

I live in a very dry place. The San Gabriel Valley. UGH! my hair is drying out a lot. I have tried a variety of different things. So far my Hair is responding to S-curl Spray and a leave in mixed with VO5,Castor oil, Coconut oil and Aloe Gel.

Joy

I love the LOC method and my natural hair.

ttita castro

I gone natural< I work out 4 to 5 day a week and sweat like crazy I have to wash my hair everyday, i think it's making my hair super dry what would you recommend. Thank

Nicole Veazie

I totally feel you. I was experiencing the same and finally just had to cut back to to washing 2 times a week, WITH SHAMPOO! Good luck :/

anonymous

I sweat all the time. Shampooing every day is far worse for your hair than sweat. Rinse it off with some water and condition/oil your hair but be sure to use shampoo every few days to avoid build up. I would stretch out the shampooing anywhere from 2 to 4 days with or without sweat. Also be mindful of what kind of shampoo you use. You want a very mild ph balanced shampoo and be sure your hair is well moisturized after cleansing. Cleansing should actually be very moisturizint to the hair in and of itself if done correctly.

Chachamusicgirl
For my hair, I wash every other day alternating between Philip B Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo and Terax Miele Hydrating Shampoo and Redken Smooth Lock Butter Silk and Joico Moisture Recovery Balm. I always leave my conditioner on for a minimum of ten minutes. Then I detangle with a wide tooth comb and rinse in cool or lukewarm water and wrap my hair in a towel until damp. Then I apply either Circle Of Friends Marisol’s Melon Leave In Conditioner or Circle Of Friends Pia’s Pineapple Leave In Conditioner. I use a serum on top- either Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi… Read more »
anonymous
I agree with you about product build up. Every conditioning agent and moisturizing shampoo contains ingredients that have to be clarified in order to remove. The one concern about shampooing frequently is sebum. But sebum will only go so far with our hair. I think shampooing should be done as frequently as necessary but as infrequently as possible, if that makes sense. I think it is best to find a good mild cleanser with just a few ingredients. I likr Shikai. Btw I started using mineral oil and put vaseline on my ends. I have much less damage now than… Read more »
Terri Fletcher

I’ve never had a relaxer. I have always been a press ‘n curl girl. This summer I am doing the natural thing. I am forgoing the use of heat and embracing my curls. It’s not working:-( My scalp is flaky and my curls are a combination of super straight and crunchy coily. This is not going to be a good summer…

Joyce

It’s probably heat damage that’s leaving you with straight bits. I would recommend aphogee protein treatment, it’s really good

Chadette

Try shampooing with a moisturizing shampoo, rather than a mineral oil and paraben laden poo. Shea Moisture has a great product. Check out a review here: http://un-ruly.com/review-shea-moistures-raw-shea-butter-moisture-retention-shampoo/

BlackAngelPlayah
I switched to a SLS free shampoo. It took a minute to find the right one. I’m using L’Oreal EverCreme right now and it makes my hair soft.. REALLY soft and doesn’t strip it. I condition over night. No matter what type of conditioner I use, I keep it in under a plastic cap over night. Right now, I’m using Tresemme Naturals. The moisturizing formula, of course. And fyi, it is WAY better than the silicone ladened versions. I use curl activator. It really does make a difference. I tried a creamy curling cream last week, though the petroleum in… Read more »
TrueL

I am I newly natural and big chop August 3. I believe this is what I’m experiencing now. Im going though the whole trial and error thing 🙁 so frustrating. But I curious to know what moisturizers you use

Jordan

i feel my hair is dry these summer days&& I’ve learned to learn thru trial & error. Actually every time I do something It’s trial & error. Oh welly I still enjoy my hair! =)

Natalie
My hair has been dry recently and Zanthe, above, mentioned clarifying your hair. I did an ACV rinse then used my shampoo bar and deep conditioner. I then applied KCKT, my own oil mix and my own moisturiser my hair was silky smooth the next day. I had to have it trimmed and the hairdresser commented on it been in good condition. Sunday I was out all day in the sun with no sun hat. That evening I spritzed with a gel mix I made from that seaweed you can make a drink out of, I bought it in St… Read more »
surVIVEr28

The layer of leave-in products has worked for me.
1. A leave-in spray of Aloe Vera juice/water mix
2. Add Kinky Curly Leave in
3. Seal with a shea Butter mix (shea butter, coconut oil, vitamin E oil).

a. I have also added pre-poo treatment of coconut oil to my regime.
b. Increase my water intake.

FOR ME, this has worked. I’ve noticed a big difference.

Bluethenaturalmami

This is my EXACT routine (products and all!) and its working perfectly for me AND my daughter!

Landry

I spritz my hair daily with water and seal with grapeseed oil before I braid or twist at night, and my hair 4a/b stays moisturized and fluffy without heaviness and/or greasiness. For me, less is more!

Yonnie

Yeah this works for me too but… UUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!! So. Much. WORK! I just want to go to bed, lol.

Tiff Dizzle
Well… i know its a natural hair no no but good ol fashion hair grease is perfect for my hair I dont put it on my scalp but hey….. Ive tried the coconut oil and olive oil mix and it really dont do anything at all… I do like castor oil. I started using this palmers brand replenishing hair milk its has good ingredients in it too.. first two are water and shea butter. My last relaxer was in April. I realized that it was no point in having one cus I would get a relaxer and ALWAYS braid my… Read more »
Vera

When I flatiron my natural hair, I find that Old School pomades work the best for me too. My favorite is the ORS Olive Oil which does have mineral oil, but it makes my ends feel so much better, and I don’t use that much.

Kinky Curly Marie

You can also make your own Natural Hair grease or pomade. Raw or 100% Shea Butter, Raw Coconut Oil & Natural Oils (Olive oil, jojoba or Castor Oil). It forms into a nice solid.

Kinky Curly Marie

Use more shea Butter and coconut oil in the mixture

Kinky Curly Marie

It’s not a No No, use Natural Oils on the scalp and hair grease or pomade on the hair itself to retain moisture. Grease does not hurt the hair. The Natural community came up with that one. Yes, it does wash out easily.

lexdiamonz

I FEEL you this is the ONLY thing that works for me … so I stick with it LOL

luminous

I stopped shampooing… huge difference in moisture retention. My hair is shiny and I can even see a curl pattern that clumps together (not just frizz). I currently use ACV and a mud wash to clarify/cleanse my hair.

Odee

YES I stopped using shampoo too! Major difference!

lovelylauz02
For those of you who are talking about shampoos drying your hair. HAve you tried “the buffer technique”? It goes as follows: Shampoo hair – DO NOT RINSE OUT WITH WATER SQUEEZE as much of the suds out as possible- DO NOT RINSE WITH WATER Cover hair with conditioner, massage into strands (I use a lot of my super cheap conditioners for this step) NOW RINSE WITH WATER — what you should be left with is hair that does not have that stripped feeling. From there DC and carry on as you normally would. This Buffer Technique lets me wash/clarify… Read more »
Dolores

I’m going to try this. I’m using an everything free moisturizing shampoo (Organix Tea Tree and Mint) and my hair feels stripped like no ones business.

The Natural Haven

I actually wanted to talk about the pros and cons of this technique, thanks for the reminder.

Dana

Dryness is not a prob for me. My hair doesnt feel wet but doesnt feel like hay either. My hair is really black sheeps wool.

Inf
I BC’d a month ago after transitioning for 5 months and my hair was dry constantly. I tried all the tricks spoken about here and nothing worked. Since my hair was about 2-4 inches (depending on the section), I decided to take off another inch or two. That helped a great deal. I run conditioner and water through my hair every night during my shower and add REVE hair and body moisturizer. I seal with a dime size amount of castor oil when it’s 85% dry. My hair is loving it. I sometimes refresh with DonnaMarie’s Buttercream in the morning… Read more »
Inf

I also stopped using shampoo. Sulfate free and all the others simply make my hair dry. Terresentials and As I am cowash are my methods for clensing.

Zoopath
I think the first step is to determine what type of hair your have (strand thickness, eleasticity, porosity). I finally got a hair analysis and found out that some of the things I had been doing to help my hair, like protein treatments, are actually harmful and giving me dry brittle hair. I’ve also been following the CG method for about 3 months and it has really helped with keeping my hair moisturized. I can’t go a whole week without cowashing but I can go a good 2-3 days. Also, I found that applying my conditioner, then and oil, then… Read more »
Danielle

I use my spray bottle with water every night followed by raw shea butter (every 2-3 days), my oil mix (coconut, castor, jojoba, sweet almond and lavender), and a little aloe vera gel. It works me and my hair loves it.

KaraJ

It was definitely about figuring out what worked for my hair. To keep my hair from getting dry I incorporate a deep conditioner once a week using a smashed avocado coconut milk and olive oil and I leave it on for about an hour, and I swear my hair feels like silk afterwards. Also during misting my hair with water and sealing with castor oil, it really helps a lot.

Zanthe

So where does she stand on the following:

1. Dry hair is due to build-up therefore you need to clarify.

2. Those with super dry hair need to look at their diet, water and vitamin intake and what alterations they can do to increase internal moisture.

3. Dry brittle hair means you need protein.

I have suffered with dry hair always, relaxed or natural.

merry

i agree that build-up can cause the appearance/behaviour of dry hair.

this can happen with skin too.

this is one of the reasons why dermatologists don’t always attribute flaky scalp to dryness. it can be build-up that needs to be cleansed away.

i think suggested to someone that they clarify their hair and then moisturize a couple of weeks ago. she was having problems with moisture.

Natalie

You know I think you may be right, I have been suffering dry hair recently and I realised I have not been using my ACV rinse. You are a star, I was going to wash my hair tonight so thank you.

It didn’t matter how well I was maintaining it my hair has been so dry recently.

Zanthe
I’m curious because I hear people say they are suffering extreme dryness and then the solutions given usually involve one or more of the things I listed above. I can’t take credit for it just wanted to know if JC could shed any light on why some people seem to have chronically dry hair that does border on abnormal rather than that being their hair’s natural state – I’m talking start fires kind of dry! Yes, the weather is hot and that may contribute but winter or summer dryness is here. I decided to use a detox shampoo, protein and… Read more »
The Natural Haven
I actually think of it in the reverse. Many people have hair that feels dry all the time, therefore this is the default. As opposed to people whose hair is easily moisturised, not requiring a conditioner after a shampoo even (and they do exist). I think that many of the reasons listed (dry due to build up, dry due to lack of vitamins ) actually are fixable quickly, they should not lead to perpetual dry hair. I think if your hair becomes dry quickly (within a day or so of washing) and always does this, perhaps it is the case… Read more »
Zanthe

Thanks for your response.

Doubt you will see this now but I finger comb, wash in sections etc. I am a 4b and dryness could just be inherent in my particular hair type. I’d just love to know how the super drys can get to a point where our hair is as moisturised as it can be.

I stand by the LOC method but may need to move away from a rigid regimen of 1x a week wash and try an as needed one.

Joma
I understsnd my hair is dry as that is part of it characteristics. Here’s how i mange it: -Co-wash to add moisture to my hair (shampoo only if have a lot of build up as it dries my hairmore) -Deep Condtioning does wonders -I use Anita Grant Creamy Cafe Latte as a leave-in and to seal in the moisture it works very well on my hair -I braid my hair after every wash and air dry -I re-braid at night and cover my hair with a satin scarf -In between washes i re-mist my hair with water and re-apply the… Read more »
Joma

*understand
*wear

ashes

My hair is thick, thick thick, I guess one would type it as 4b/c. i mist it with purified water every day. i deep condition once a week, and I baggy it with water and my jojoba/olive/avocado mix whenever i’m in the mood. My hair is never going to feel like silk. But I like cotton candy just fine. Get it? lol.

merry

i spray my hair with a water/vinegar mix.

then apply my qhemet biologics amla cream.

then braid into 4-6 plaits and pin them up.

every night.

wash my hair once a week with a clay/ayurvedic herb mix i make.

apply qb amla cream.

braid or twist.

i do this once/week.

apply a protein treatment.

wash with a clay/herb mixture.

apply qb amla cream.

put in braids/plaits.

1or2/x a month.

repeat.

Monisola

I have 4c porous hair that needs regular moisture THROUGHOUT the week.
that once a week only on wash day routine will not work for my thirsty strands!

I moisturize every other day with a water based (creamy) leave in (that has humectants!) this is key.

I seal every other time I moisturize with a Shea butter, castor oil, wheat germ oil, olive oil, and lavendar oil mix. Sealing has made all the difference ot my hair.

TheRYL1

I have had my battles with super dry hair!!!!

For me, the most important step in maintaining moisture is SEALING! You can put gallons of water/moisturizer, but if it just evaporates, it serves no purpose.

I currently use my homemade spritz concoction: Aloe vera juice (gel can be used as well), water, castor and jojoba oils, with lavender and peppermint essential oils (just a few drops of each). I lightly dampen my twists, making sure to get the ends, and seal with castor or jojoba oil.

I find this process helps keep the dryness at bay.

Winnie

Aloe Vera Gel!!!! I bought it last week for hold but it does a much better job at swaling in moisture. i mist my hair with water, followed by aloe vera gel then vatika. my hair feels light and not at all weighed down (4a/4b) but still super soft and moisturised. i can go a whole 2 day without remoisturising which is unheard of for me. I’m a convert!

Winnie

*sealing *days. apologies for the typos. i was obviously too excited!

df
it takes trial and error to figure out what works. I wish I’d spent time doing that when I first big chopped. I big chopped AGAIN and started to do experiments with my hair. I’d try out a technique or a product in different ways on both halves of my hair. That way I could compare very easily what was better for my hair. It’s actually quite fun… I think some people are looking for 2-3 day moisturized hair when it MIGHT not be possible with your hair. The most important thing for me is that once i’ve found a… Read more »
JenniD

That is so true about expecting the hair to stay moisturized for two or 3 days. That isn’t always realistic considering indoor heating, air conditioning and other enviornmental factors.

Heart Curly

Melting my Sheabutter! I put some into a smaller container then in the microwave for one minute. This leaves my hair feeling soft/moisturized for the whole week.

Linn

You’re right! I also add olive and castor oil which gives the mixture a creamy base. After unsuccessfully fighting with dryness, this seems to be the answer for my hair.

JenniD
To avoid dry hair I avoid using water and watery type products in my hair after wash day. Water is the ultimate moisturizer but it can also lead to some extra dry hair if one gets over zealous. If I try to spritz, mist or rinse my hair after wash day it is a wrap! It took me a long time to realize that my hair prefers a light cream based product and a bit of oil to seal it in. The trick to avoiding build up is to keep the products on the ends and do it every other… Read more »
TrueL

I am I newly natural and big chop August 3. I believe this is what I’m experiencing now. Im going though the whole trial and error thing 🙁 so frustrating. But I curious to know what moisturizers you use.

Barbara
Barbara

Baggy, baggy, baggy is the key to super moisturized hair, it works so well in fact once it worked a little too well! My super dry hair become too moisturized O-M-G

Now I found a happy medium:

On Co-wash day, baggy w/ grapeseed oil as a Pre-poo (30 min), baggy w/ DC (30 min) then baggy w/ conditioner (30 min), then M&S as usual<—–this has kept my hair soft & moisturized for a whole week,no need to M&S daily.

MsAllen2U
@ Barbara, Do how do you style your hair? I let my hair air dry; @ work or whatever I’m doing for the day and that night I chunky 2 strand twist to stretch. I havent really done the Pre-Poo method. I’ve detangled with coconut oil then co-washed with conditioner and 15 – 30 min DC with Aussie 3 minute conditioner. Not too familiar with the baggy method?? I’ve heard of it, but honestly it sounded complicated so I just skimmed the how-to 😉 Now I understand the Pre-poo part and the DC, but how do you rinse the oil… Read more »
Barbara

Hi @MsAllen2U

Baggying is get this… using a plastic conditioner cap or even a shower cap, not complicated at all, easy peasy!

Oil rinsing won’t remove all f the oil but that’s the point, your strands are now coated and protected from the washing process.

Right now, I am in braids for the duration of the month.

BTW grapeseed oil is sssssuper light almost a water consistency and a little goes a long way.

Hope this helps 😉

MsAllen2U
Wow! I’ve tried both methods listed above. I’ve found that I cant’ use a water based product daily, it’s to heavy and my scalp gets itchy. I didn’t know if it was the product (Shea – Moisture Milk) or not wetting my hair; it also ended up very dry after a few days. I’ve tried misting with water then coconut oil; that’s ok but can some what drying but better. I’ve recently been using Aussie Leave – In Conditioning spray and I luuuv the way my hair feels; not heavy very light, but after 3 day my scalp gets itchy.… Read more »
LillianMae

Can’t wait for your input ladies! As a new natural, I am experiencing this currently.

I switched up my sealing method to the L.O.C method with results that haven’t convinced me that this method is specifically for me. This trial and error thing can be frustrating, but I’m hoping for a big pay off in the future!

Lela7

Took me a year to find the right products and I’m still trying to overall techqniue, but I’m getting better!

lovelylauz02

The saving grace for my hair is a mixture of aloe vera gel and castor oil. I spray it on my hair as a pre poo, leave in and daily moisturizer. This stuff makes my hair so soft and manageable. I’m talking detangling in 15 mins or less!! It used to take forever!

You just have to do what works best for your hair. My hair LOVES aloevera gel and castor oil together. It doesn’t care for coconut oil, EVOO and shea butter.

I’m 2 years in the natural game and still learning… just don’t get discouraged.

merry

seriously, it might take a while.

be patient. lol.

as soon as you find that right protein/moisture balance for your hair, everything will fall into place. imo.

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