At some point or another, we have all struggled to figure out how to add moisture to our 4C hair. With questions like how much moisture is enough and how often should I moisturise being the top questions on our minds.
Today, I want to help you figure out how often you need to moisturise your natural hair, in what ways you can add and retain moisture in your hair and most importantly, help you understand what role porosity plays when it comes to moisture for 4C hair.
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Why Is Moisture Important In 4C Hair?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that moisture and 4C hair go hand in hand. You cannot remove moisture and expect to have healthy 4C hair. It’s impossible. 4C hair is structured in such a way that it can only thrive when correctly moisturised. In fact, 4C is the only hair type that requires consistent daily moisture to grow and remain healthy.
What Is Porosity? How Important Is It In Moisture Absorption?
To nail the art of adding and retaining moisture in 4C hair, you must first understand porosity.
So what is porosity, and why is it important?
Porosity is determined by how well your hair absorbs moisture and how long it retains that moisture. This can be moisture from regular water, conditioners, creams or hair moisturisers such as leave-in conditioners.
It refers to how tight or loose the cuticles are on the hair shaft.
Porosity can be classified into three:
Low Porosity Hair
In low porosity hair, the cuticles on the outmost part of your shaft are so tightly bound that it feels as though moisture just sits on top of the hair. It takes longer for this hair type to absorb moisture, but the great thing is that it equally takes longer to lose moisture. That means it retains moisture for longer, keeping your hair moisturised for longer as well.
If your hair is low porosity, choose your moisturisers wisely, to help loosen up the cuticles so moisture and nutrients can get in.
Protein, while good, tends to build up real quick, which can block the already tightly closed cuticles, making it hard for moisture to get in.
High Porosity Hair
When it comes to high porosity hair the cuticles are loosely bound, hence high porosity hair absorbs and loses moisture very fast. If your hair dries up pretty fast, then more likely than not, it is highly porous. You may have to moisturise your hair daily to achieve healthy hair if you have high porosity hair.
The biggest struggle with this hair type is retaining moisture, so using sealants at all times is a must. Also, deep conditioning and protein treatments alternatively can help. Try not to use heat as it will further loosen the cuticles.
Normal Hair Porosity
Normal porosity hair is, of course, the hair type everyone wishes they had. It absorbs and retains moisture fairly well. The cuticles are neither too loose nor too tight.
With normal porosity hair, you don’t have to struggle so much to keep your hair moisturised. You just have to condition and deep condition regularly, use a sealant to lock in the moisture and protein-treat once a month.
How Often Should You Moisturise 4C Hair?
Well, this is a question with no straightforward answer. This is because certain factors determine how often your hair will need moisturising. One such factor is the climatic condition of your environment. People who live in hotter areas will need to add moisture to their hair more often than people living in colder areas.
The best way to make sure that your hair is moisturised as often as possible is to establish a routine. This, of course, will be determined by the humidity and temperature of where you live along with the porosity of your hair.
If you aren’t sure how often to moisturise, you can start by doing it every three days then see how your hair reacts. If in 3 days, your hair feels very dry, then you can reduce that to every two days or daily. Try and find a good balance so that you are not over-moisturising and not under-moisturising either.
Once you figure out how often your hair needs a dose of moisture, stick to the routine. However, this may change as the season’s change. You may find that you have to moisturise more often during the summer months and less often during the winter months.
Different Ways To Add Moisture To Your 4C Hair
A lot has been said about moisturising 4C hair, so I will go straight to the point and show you different ways you can add moisture to your 4C hair.
- Hydrating- drinking the recommended litres of water every day
- Investing in a good moisturiser
- Conditioning after every shampoo
- Deep conditioning regularly
- Spritzing your hair daily with a leave-in conditioner with water
- Introducing a hair mask once every week
As you do all these, don’t forget to seal the moisture, so it’s not lost. Oils are the best sealants for 4C hair, and the good thing is that they are pretty affordable and readily available. Some of the best oils for sealing are coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, and Argan oil.
Different Ways To Retain Moisture In Your 4C Hair
While adding moisture to your hair is important, you also want to retain moisture to keep your hair moisturised at all times. Some of the things you can do to retain the moisture include:
- Wearing your hair in protective styles
- Minimising the use of heat styling tools
- Wearing a satin scarf to bed
- Resisting the urge to unnecessarily touch your hair
- Using a heat protectant whenever you use heat on your hair.
Final Thoughts On Moisture For 4C Hair
So there goes everything you need to know about moisture for 4C hair. Start by identifying your hair porosity, then figure out how your hair’s environment affects your hair’s need for moisture. Lastly, determine how often you need to add moisture to your hair.