A few years back when I first created my YouTube channel chronicling my natural hair experience I said some things that many people resonated with except for one. I stated that water isn’t a lone source of moisture and therefore isn’t moisturizing. I received a fair amount of flack for that statement, but since my hair was long, people trusted my word and the controversy blew over. Fast forward a few years and I am now enrolled in cosmetology school and have read as much literature on natural hair as I can get my hands on, and I have the words to explain what exactly I meant.
My belief now is that water will reflect the true characteristics of your hair, whether it be soft, rough, prone to tangling or damaged. I also believe that water is a partial moisturizer, as it needs additional products to be effective.
Understanding this, here are two simple fixes to help you boost your hair’s moisture level.
1. Use Distilled Water
As you continue on the quest to familiarize yourself with product ingredients in order to achieve your best hair, have you noticed that the water most used in hair products (especially more recently) is distilled or de-ionized water vs. ‘regular’ water? This is because our water supply typically comes from the ground and municipal water can contain varying amounts of magnesium, calcium, fluorine and chlorine, depending where you’re located in the world. Water that contains these dissolved minerals is classified as ‘hard water’. Hard water can cause buildup in pipes, around the bathroom tub and also on your strands. And, if you frequently mist or wet your hair with tap water, this buildup comes long before a once monthly clarifying shampoo treatment.
If you are like me and have thin strands that are pliable (mold very easily and fragile), you are more vulnerable to the effects of hard water. A very simple and cost effective solution is to purchase distilled water and only use that on your hair. A shower head filter (which will cost anywhere from $30 to $90) is also a great fix.
2. The LOC Method
Good moisturizing technique is also important. If you clarify once per month, skip the conditioner after shampooing and continue with the L.O.C method. Conditioner will coat the strand for an appearance of healthier hair, but if your strands are desert dry, then it’s a good idea to forego that and get the moisture as close to your strands as possible. L.O.C is the acronym for Liquid, Oil, Cream. After you wash your hair place the oil of your choice onto it, then a cream, which acts as a heavier substance that keeps the oil in place. If you don’t have a cream, try using a leave in conditioner as part of the LOC method, instead of applying it directly immediately after a wash. You’d be surprised at how a simple switching of the application order can soften up your curls and make your hair fun and easy to style without worrying about breakage!
Ladies, have you tried either of these tips? How do you boost the moisture level in your hair?