4 Styles that Maintain Moisture In Natural Hair

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By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

We are always talking about products to help maintain or increase moisture.  We talk about humectants, proteins and oils all the time. Today, it is the turn of something rather deceptively simple – hiding your ends!

If you wash your hair in braids or twists, you may notice that if you do not unravel the twist or braid, your hair could take several hours (12 -16hrs or more) to fully dry as opposed to 2-3 hours if you untwisted the hair and exposed it to air.  This demonstrates how compacting and binding the hair reduces evaporation of water. This is the same principle that applies to hiding your ends.

1. Buns

Many people assume that once in a protective style such as twists or braids, hair will naturally hold moisture. This is true but you can further increase moisture retention especially at the older fragile ends by simply hiding them away in a bun.

2. Tucked in ends

With free hair, buns are an obvious style to choose to tuck in or hide those ends. However, you can get very inventive with rolling your hair into pretty much any style you desire.  The only thing you require is plenty of bobby pins and a little bit of patience

3. Flat twists

Another fairly simple way of hiding your ends on free hair is to flat twist it. This not only creates an elegant style, but also gives open hair more protection from moisture loss.

4. Curl Clumping

Breaking the hiding your ends rule is curl clumping. If your hair naturally forms clumped up curls, this is a great way to maintain moisture as well as give your hair added strength to resist breakage.  Each clumped curl will contain several strands of hair in a compact form therefore reducing the evaporation of water from the surface of hair. The fact that there are several strands together also means that each clumped curl is more resistant to breakage compared to  singular strands.

How do you style your hair to lock in moisture?

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23 thoughts on “4 Styles that Maintain Moisture In Natural Hair

  1. I wear twists in a bun but this winter is really drying my hair out even in this winter. It has only been a week since my last wash but my hair was so dry I had to take my bun down to deep condition. Also my hair is not curly and despite practicing, I have no styling skills. I could not master these styles so I’m going for pinned up jumbo twists, easily taken down to remoisturise. Never done that style before but natural 4b/c dense hair is not easy to keep moist for me.

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    • I have the same type of hair as you and your right. All the tucking in the world doesn’t stop dryness, but the tips above to keep the ends tucked helps. You say you lasted a full week before getting some dryness? That is pretty darn good for us with 4b/4c hair. Personally speaking if I leave my ends out I have to moisturize almost twice a day. With the ends tucked I get about 4 days tops before I gotta recharge lol. For our hair texture/ type several days of long lasting moisture may not be realistic. As for mastering styles, what I have learned in my 12 years as a natural is you gotta make up your own styles. Sometimes trying to copy someone from youtube or a blog can be frustrating. Get you some hair pins and bobby pins and just try diffrent tucks, folds etc on the hair that you have. You’ll find something cute eventually. Believe me that is what those ladies are doing. Making stuff up off the top of their heads lol.

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      • Thank you! You are right, it seems that the moisture is short stay moisture. The moisture problem always becomes more severe in winter. I wouldn’t say I get a week’s worth of moisture. I must moisturise twice a day EVERY day or my hair is arid. I am going to try tucking all my ends with the pins. I know PS work and I do practise with a styling head so hopefully I’ll get cornrows and flat twists one day. I need to save time spent on hair. Thanks again to all who are giving advice.

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    • I also have 4b/c hair. I retain moisture by twisting damp with a leave-in conditioner or twisting cream and sealing with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. It’s heavy and holds in moisture. Also try a hot oil pre poo with coconut oil.

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    • During this/past winter I just wore my hair in twists and kept my satin scarf and beenie on because of how dry my hair would have gotten – I know it’s boring but I want to protect my hair as much as possible lol….then at home let my hair breathe lol – I live in GA so it doesn’t get that cold as other places but I would suggest that lol

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  2. I am happy to say that my hair in the middle is FINALLY long enough to make two large twists that go back. This (w some slight variations) will be my protective style until I reach my hair goals!! Thank you for all the great info:)

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    • I am still working on the hair in the middle of my head. Did you do anything special to coax it along or is this just a matter of being patient??? Thanks!

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  3. Since it’s been colder, my hair has been a hot mess. I switched to heavier products for the winter. I usually don’t use heavier dressings but my hair is truly happier. I like wearing my hair out, but I’m really thinking of challenging myself to wear a protective style for a month.

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  4. Tuck and pin, tuck and pin, for us girlies who can’t style their own hair I say thank you You Tube for showing me the tuck and pin style.

    I can do buns but my hair is so thick it won’t stay close to my scalp and I look like I have an extra forehead, not a good look. Tuck and pin with a fringe of two strand twists when I can be bothered. I can’t even get a pompadour right, very frustrating.

    At the weekend I do an afro puff, who cares I’ll wash it on Sunday. I like the styles and will try doing them but it normally ends in a fail and I don’t have the patience to do the flat twists, sometimes my sister will canerow my hair for me but yes I have that horrible fluffy hair that breaks loose from a canerow in about 2 days by Friday it looks like a hot mess.

    I’m only going to work do I really care if my hair doesn’t look like those stylish Goddesses on YouTube, WTF, no!

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  5. i like curl defining. i alternate between it and minitwists these days. my hair stays so moist when i curl clump. i’m surprised that its not mentioned as a protective and moisture retention style more often. it’s what preserved my ends so well over the course of the last five months. grew my hair from 7 to 10 inches via curl clumping. great style and my favorite of them all!

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  6. I have short 4c hair, about 5 inches. Other than these raggedy twist I put in my hair (out of desperation from how dry my hair was getting) I have no idea what to do with it. I also have be keeping the majority of my hair covered with stylish silk scarves tied up in different ways but I need more! Not quite enough to tuck and pin but I’m getting there:-)

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    ~Nikkie~

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  7. Currently I’m in twists that I keep in a “bun” — which is more like a ponytail with the ends tucked into the base — but I have to co-sign curl clumping. Once I got the hang of it for my mostly-4b hair I was SHOCKED at how well it worked. There is definitely a science to it though and I don’t do it as much now because I’m not feeling the shrinkage.

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  8. this is my 9th mo going natrual. i have short layered bob. i do wash in go but they are looking like a jheri curl. is it any advice on how to solve this prob or any products u recommend. i feel like maybe am not doing my daily process correct? am not sure. help!!! i rewet in the am i use leave in conditioner in it then my curl smoothing cream and a antifrizz on the top. thanks for any help or suggestions

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  9. I kinda disagree… sorry . With my hair it does dry faster like in 30 mins if it is hair down , but it is still moisturzed in protective style or hair down. I guess it is because I cowash and dc a lot that make them still moist all year round.

    I used to cowash basically everyday and dc probably 2x a week. That what making it condition but moisturzed as well it seems to be 3b or c and 4.
    It is supposed to be dryness but you can combat by doing those. And drink a lot water.

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  10. I try to wear tucked in styles after a twist out sometimes but I can only wear them for like one day or so. My hair tangles up so easily unless I’m twisting my hair up every 2-4 days. Would it be better for me to blow out my hair like every two weeks or so to avoid too much manipulation? Or is this a worse idea?

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  11. @Soleil: I understand what you mean about your hair drying out, I live in the desert. Have you tried misting your hair with water or a water/moisturizer combo in the mornings and before bedtime? Doing so has reduced my dryness substantially. I hope this helps! Good luck Sis!

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    • Hello dear Project Numbat staff,Is there any chance that some of the mrichandese could be sent outside of Australia? With all corresponding shipping expenses being paid by the customer, of course.Thanks in advance for your reply!

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    • Yup it helps a little but with the central heating and the cold UK air, it dries out. Also I work with children and I’m often outside hence extra dryness.

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