Sunday, April 22, 2012

Are Your Products Actually Moisturizing? Shiny Hair Does Not Necessarily Mean Moisturized Hair

I would say I commend myself for keeping shiny hair although my hair naturally can be anything less than lustrious at times. I have so many people stop me and ask me how I get my hair so shiny, with the famous question "What do you use? Oil Sheen?" Definitely not.
I feel so lucky to have found this community that has helped me to learn the truth about our hair and the products we use in it and why. As a hairstylist, there has been countless times where a girl would come to get her hair done and it would be dry, hard and brittle, but greasy or oily at the same time. Adding layers of grease to already dry hair does nothing but clog the pores, weigh the hair down and make it greasy, and make the hair dirtier faster. Now I'm no scientist so I'm going to break this down in laymens terms...

Moisturizing in 3 Steps:
Part 1 -  Water & Washing your hair ~ When your body feels dehydrated, you drink water, so why not give your hair water when it's thirsty? Water is the first part of moisturizing, so if your hair's feeling dry and brittle , it may need some water. If your regimen is one that is low maintanence with washing, make sure you're still adding water to your hair, i.e. via a spritz bottle before retwisting or rebraiding.

Part 2 - Moisturizing ~ Add a moisturizer of some sort. I like cream moisturizers and leave-in conditioners personally, but I will occasionally use a regular conditioner as a leave in or sometimes just a light oil like coconut or jojoba oil.

Part 3 - Sealing ~ You know that feeling you get when you come out of the shower and you dont put any moisturizer on and you feel like your skin is about to crack... maybe it does ::chapped lips for example:: Moisturizing really seals in the moisture our skin just soaked up from the water in the shower... Same scenario for your hair. Moisturizers will dry out quickly if not sealed in with anything. A few of my favorite sealers would be Jamaican Black Castor oil, Jojoba & Coconut Oils, Shea Butter & Shea Oil, Vitamin E oil, and my latest favorite CHI Deep Brilliance Glisten.
Quick Tips
If you are washing, conditioning, moisturizing and sealing and your hair still feels dry, it's possible your products aren't providing the right amount of moisture for you, or you just may not be applying them correctly or as frequently as needed. Try tweaking your regimen a bit until you find something that works... One thing I used to like to do was read natural hair blogs and watch YouTube videos of people who had hair like mine, doing the same styling, and see what they would use...

*For Transitioners and Newly Transitioned Naturals - Realize that with this new texture involved that your regimen will have to change, as well as your products probably. Don't expect everything you used to use to work for you now. If your old products are still serving you justice, just make sure you adjust to how much more moisture your natural/transitioning hair needs.

* For Naturals - If your natural hair is always feeling dry, there's definitely a huge problem there. Make sure your products contain humectants such as glycerin, propylene glycol, aloe vera, and honey to name a few, which are moisture attracting molecules.

*For the drastically different multi textured hair - Know that with extremely different textures, sometimes we need to not forget to baby our more fragile textures, or add a little more or even a different product to these areas.

I hope this helps someone out there with their dry hair... Feel free to ask any questions :)


  1. My daughter was natural an entire year before I got rid of the dyed&fried hair and the first thing she stressed to me was that w/my natural texture I will not have the sheen/shine I had with dyed&fried hair. She also mentioned that moisture is the best accessory I could ever place on my hair. I did eventually find products that do give me some shine/sheen (coconut oil is great) but moisture comes first. My go to CHEAP moisturizer is Luster's S-Curl Activator... this does wonders for my hair.

  2. She made a good point but it's not true that your hair can't be naturally shiny, it just takes alot of TLC and moisturization if you dont have hair that's naturally silky/shiny.
    S-Curl activators are great! I use Care Free Curl Instant Moisturizer! It's one of my favorite leave-in go-to's for the summer! And who doesn't love coconut oil all yr round? lol


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