Before I knew how important it was to retain moisture in type 4c hair, I had struggled so much with dryness to the point that I wanted I give up my natural hair and just stick with a relaxer. I wanted out on natural hair.
As you dig deeper you might find that everything you are doing is the opposite of keeping your hair moisturised. If you are always blowdrying your hair, using non-hydrating products, and leaving your hair exposed too many times you will likely begin to experience dryness to some degree.
If you begin to be intentional in everything you do to your hair, it will start thriving and growing longer. It will also become easier to manage and dryness will become a struggle of the past.
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Here Are 9 Things You Can Do To Retain Moisture In 4C Hair
1. Invest In A Good Moisturiser
Anything but a good moisturiser will leave you frustrated and always struggling with dry, brittle, and breaking 4C hair. I understand all too well that it takes time to find a good moisturiser but knowing the basics is a good place to start the search.
Check the ingredients of your moisturiser, Aqua or water should be the main ingredient in the product. If it’s not in the top two, ditch that moisturiser because it probably won’t be right for your natural hair. Brands always list the ingredients in the order of their composition, so if Aqua is at the top it means it is more moisturising for your hair.
2. Adopting The LOC Method To Lock In Moisture
If you don’t know what the LOC method is by now, you need to get up to speed really quickly. The LOC method is one of the most basic practices of natural hair. It helps you to retain moisture in your 4c hair as well as make your hair shiny, manageable, and soft.
The LOC method is simply the order of how you apply your moisturising products to your hair.
L- is for liquid or leave-ins that have water as their main ingredient. These liquids help to open up your cuticles so that moisture can penetrate into your hair.
O- stands for oil, a key ingredient that helps to seal in the moisture. Lightweight oils are the best at retaining moisture in 4C hair. They also help in retaining the curly pattern on your hair as well as hair elasticity.
C– stands for cream. This is the last product in the LOC method. The cream locks in the moisture so that it doesn’t escape from your hair.
3. Keep The Heat Exposure To The Bare Minimum
It’s hard to stay away from heat stylers if that’s what you’ve been using nearly all your life, but there is a very high chance that these stylers could be what is causing your hair to feel dry and brittle.
Too much heat messes up your hair. It dries up the moisture in the hair causing it to dry out and eventually break, it can alter the curl pattern of your hair and cause split ends.
If you must use heat, limit the usage to very few times in a year, use very low-temperature settings, apply heat protectants to your hair before introducing heat and consider heatless ways to style and stretch your hair.
4. Wear Protective Styles
Another great way to retain moisture in your hair is to wear protective styles. As the name suggests, these styles can protect your hair from moisture loss, harsh weather elements, and damage that comes with excessive hair manipulation.
There are plenty of protective styles to choose from. You can do twist outs, braids, Bantu knots, African threading, flat twists, updos, puffs, crocheting, or even wear wigs. Just remember to still care for your hair even when in protective styles. This is very important.
5. Wash, Condition And Deep Condition Your Hair Regularly
You must adopt a wash day routine that involves shampooing, and conditioning at least every two weeks. Keeping your hair and scalp clean gives your hair the space to absorb moisture as it is not crowded with product build-up and dirt.
After shampooing your hair, you must follow up with a conditioner to replenish the lost nutrients, oils, and moisture that the shampoo stripped away. Conditioners also smoothen hair cuticles to make detangling and combing easy.
Once every two weeks, try to deep condition your hair. Deep conditioners do the same work as conditioners but are more penetrative and jam-packed with nutrients and moisture.
6. Cover Your Hair Every Night
While sleep is a beauty treatment in its own right, it can cause havoc to your hair. A lot of moisture is lost to the pillows and the tossing and turning can cause breakage and frizz. To protect your hair and ensure no moisture is lost, cover it with a satin scarf or bonnet or sleep on a silk pillowcase.
7. Spritz Your Hair Daily
No matter how much you quench the thirst of your 4C hair, it will always need a few gulps of moisture every day. To keep up with this, you can spritz your hair every morning with a water and leave-in mixture. I love this bottle for spritzing my hair, it’s definitely my favourite!
It’s easy to create this mixture, just do equal parts of water and your leave-in conditioner and pour into your spritz bottle then lightly spray into your hair. You can add a few drops of your favourite essential oils or glycerin if you so please.
8. Hydrate, Hydrate And Hydrate Some More!
You may not have thought much about it but do you know that not drinking enough water is a great recipe for dry and brittle hair? Drinking enough water, at least 2 litres every day helps to moisturise your hair from the inside out. A simple and effective technique!
9. Ditch Your Sulfate Shampoo
Don’t get me wrong, shampoos with sulfates are not necessarily bad but they are bad for your 4c hair if you are struggling with dryness. Sulfates do a great job at getting hair to be squeaky clean but in the process, they strip away too many nutrients and moisture from your hair.
It is okay to use sulfate shampoos once in a while when you feel your hair is in need of a thorough clean, but not at every wash day.
Final Thoughts On How To Retain Moisture In 4C Hair
Retaining moisture in 4c hair may seem like a difficult task, to begin with, but it really is not once you get the hang of what to do. Once you commit to the various ways of moisturising your natural hair that is the biggest hurdle over. What you need is to follow a simple hair care regimen and be consistent with it. You can even follow your hair journey with a hair care journal to track your hairs progress.
Making sure your 4c hair is moisturised at all times is the only way to guarantee long, healthy hair in the future.