By Ari Edwards
April 18, 2018
Learning about yourself is a true journey. It takes time to figure out who you are, what you want out of life, your purpose. Even learning how to take care of your hair can be a quest. Luckily, we’ve got you covered--when it comes to hair at least. Let’s explore that protein-moisture balance concept we were talking about yesterday.
Most hair masks and treatments aim to do one of two things: strengthen the hair by adding hydrolyzed protein (proteins small enough to penetrate the hair shaft) or hydrate the hair by adding moisture. So the two types of hair masks out there, strengthening and moisturizing, are used for very specific needs. This means choosing the right one is super important.
How to determine what you need:
The easiest way to tell whether your hair needs a protein treatment or deep conditioning treatment is simply by feeling it. If your hair is dry to the touch and tangles easily, you probably need to add some moisture. If your hair is limp and has no elasticity (ability to go back to normal state after stretching), protein is the way to go. You could also try the strand test to determine which route to take.
Once you've analyzed your hair and determined whether it needs moisture or strength, you're better equipped to make the right treatment choice.
Say your hair is dry....
Don't freak, a simple moisturizing treatment and you're back on track. It’s recommended to deep condition your hair once a week to maintain healthy moisture levels. Deep conditioners are products that impart extra hydration to the hair. Try adding 1-3 teaspoons of Waikiki to one blended banana and a bit of olive oil, or you can even add Waikiki to your favorite deep conditioner to add an extra punch to the product. Either way, apply generously to the hair, cover with a plastic bag or cap and let it sit for about an hour. The cactus in Waikiki will help repair damaged hair follicles while the hibiscus will seal in moisture, leaving your hair super hydrated and feeling good!
*Tip - When you have really dry hair skip the shampoo (we pretty much skip shampoo all of the time) and just co-wash. Shampoo with major suds actually strip your hair of oils while it cleanses which actually dries you hair out even more. So after you deep condition just co-wash the deep contioning treatment out.
What is co-washing? "Co-washing is short for “conditioner-only washing.” It means skipping shampoo and relying solely on conditioner, whether you’re a daily or a weekly washer. The result is something between squeaky-clean and second-day hair—that is, smoother, softer, and easier to manage." - Real Simple. To put it simply use the conditioner as you would the shampoo. Same cleaning, no suds.
Look at this DIY!
This pre-poo treatment is crazy moisturizing! Try it out if your strands are thirsty AF.
If deep conditioning isn't cutting it, cholesterol treatments are another option. This treatment is usually used for color-treated, chemically processed or heat-styled hair--in other words, hair that's super dry and damaged. Cholesterol conditioners meant to temporarily repair damaged hair by coating the strands with lipids, or fats, adding tons of moisture. There are lots of store-bought cholesterol products but we recommend plain ole organic mayonnaise for a great at-home option! Feel free to make th emayo at home yourself. It's really easy.
*TIP - You can use cholesterol conditioner whatever your hair type, although if your hair isn’t dry or damaged, then the conditioner may be too heavy and leave your hair looking weighed down."Deep conditioning treatments using cholesterol are great for very dry, coarse hair types, but will make mildly-dry medium hair types feel oily and flat, and can make fine hair types just look greasy." - KinkyCoilyMe
Maintaining MoistureSo now that you've chosen a treatment and gotten your hair back on track, let's talk maintenance. It's one thing to do a moisturizing treatment, but keeping that moisture in your hair throughout the week is another. The best way to make sure your hair stays super hydrated is to show it some love on a consistent basis. If you're a naturalista, this means moisturizing daily.
Here are a few key things to remember:
- Water = moisture! Your moisturizing routine should always involve water.
- You must seal! Applying water (moisture) to your hair is great, it's perfect. But if you don't follow that up with an oil or butter to seal in that moisture--lock it into place--it'll leave, and your hair will be just as dry as before. Maybe even dryer!
How toThere are so many ways to moisturize your hair, and it really comes down to finding what works best for you, your hair, and the style it's in. Here are a few ways you can get started:
- Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and aloe vera juice (which has lots of benefits for the hair, including being super moisturizing). Lightly spray to hair in sections each morning or night.
- Apply a quality sealant oil to lock in that moisture. Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil and Jamaican black castor oil (for thicker, coarser hair) are great options. If you find that an oil isn't getting the job done, opt for a butter, like shea or mango butter. They're great for sealing in moisture.
- P.S. Don't forget to moisturize when you're rocking a protective style! Spray your hair and scalp with moisture morning and night when you are rocking braids, twists, wigs and weaves. That itch you feel that you normally attack with a rat tail comb.... that's your scalp saying PLEASE GIVE ME WATER! YOUR SCALP AND HAIR IS DEHYDRATED!
Keep In Mind
Properly moisturizing your hair means knowing and understanding your hair's porosity--the hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. There are three porosity levels--high, low and medium. We'll get into those in greater detail in a few weeks. Here's a quiz to help you figure out your porosity. For now, let's make sure we've got balancing moisture and protein down.
The Streets Are Talking
"My hair was so well moisturized that I could (although I shouldn't) comb through my freshly washed kinks and curls without snapping any hairs. This handmade product has exceeded my expectations, especially since I thought it wouldn't work on my already naturally voluminous hair, and has out performed all other store bought hair masks or my own DIY hair masks."
Marsheilah L. says...
"Great product that strengthens my hair, adds shine,and serves as a wonderful refresher spray."
Friday we explain the best ways to add protein to your hair! Sign up for the newsletter to be the first to know!