Hi guys, so today I am going to focus on moisturising, because this is a huge part of the natural hair care process. This is also perfect timing to discuss moisture seeing as it is winter and as we all know natural hair tends not to fare well in winter. So I have put together my list of top tips for retaining moisture and ensuring your hair does not dry out in the winter 🙂
For me, this is the most important way in which I keep my hair moisturised. Without LOC method, I genuinely do not know what I’d be doing.
So what is the LOC Method?
LOC as you can see stands for Liquid, Oil and Cream and it is just a method most people use to seal in moisture as effectively as possible.
For the liquid, it can be any form of water based leave in conditioner or just plain water. What I do is mix water and aloe vera juice into my spray bottle and this acts as my liquid. For the oil it can be literally any oil you like; I use shea butter as it is winter and this tends to be thicker and seal in moisture more effectively. Yes shea butter can be classified as oil as it is an oil-based product. For the cream, it should just be a butter based, creamy moisturiser to seal that moisture in even further. This is where you can incorporate styling products for bomb *moisturised* twist outs, or braid outs. I personally love using the Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
Basically, this method is easy to incorporate into your routine as you can just grab any product that works for you. This method works best for type 4 curlies as our hair tends to need more moisture. The main rule of thumb is the kinkier and coiler the hair the more thirsty it gets, so definitely try to incorporate this into your routine. Some people like following the LCO method which is just alternating the Cream and the Oil but it’s really up to you to find any product that works best for your hair!
Many people fuss about their hair type but often ignore hair porosity which to me is just as important. Two people can have 4C hair but extremely different hair porosity and this goes a long way to how moisturised your hair would feel or be.
So what is porosity?
Porosity refers to how well your hair absorbs moisture. There are three types of porosity levels and this affects how your hair takes in moisture. The test is simple: Put a strand of hair in water for 2-4 minutes and if your hair flows you have low porosity and if it sinks you have high porosity.
Low Porosity: this type of hair repels moisture when it is moisturised and products build up in it very easily. If you have this sort of hair you would notice water beads around your hair when its wet, this is because the water does not properly enter the cuticles but lays on top. This sort of hair requires moisturisers which are rich in emollients such as shea butter or jojoba oil.
Normal Porosity: this is the least porosity to worry about as it allows just the right amount of moisture to enter hair.
High Porosity: this type of hair has gaps in the cuticles and so it allows too much moisture to flow through the hair, but the moisture is not retained and so the result is that the hair looks dry. The key here is to layer products and to use generally heavy products, so the LOC method works best here. So heavy butters and regular deep conditioning are perfect.
Take the porosity test here.
Other general tricks.
There are other general and non-technical things that you can incorporate in your day to day life to maintain moisture.
Focus on your ends. Your ends are very dry and brittle as they are the oldest part of your hair. Never forget to moisturise the ends of your hair!
Try using steamers and hooded dryers for an extra boost when moisturising. Heat when deep conditioning is a great way to lift the hair cuticle which allows products to better penetrate the hair.
Try doing hot oil treatments and aso try pre-proo. If you are about to shampoo your hair, it is very wise to do an oil treatment or what may call ‘pree-poo’ which is short for pre shampoo. By coating your hair with oil for about 30 minutes before you shampoo you ensure your hair is fully moisturised and strong before then using a shampoo that may dry it out.
Reduce unnecessary heat! If you are constantly straightening and blowdrying your hair, you risk the possibility of having very dry hair as well as having heat damage which leaves the hair looking very unhealthy. Try switching to stretching methods which do not use heat. Check here for some inspiration.
Oils are not moisturisers. Most oil excluding coconut oil and jojoba oil will generally just sit outside your hair as sealants, in order to actually moisturise your hair ensure to spray water first and then apply these oils, else your hair would have the appearance of glossy and shiny but would actually be very dry.
Lastly: pay attention to your hair. If your hair feels dry, moisturise it there and then. Do not wait till wash day or before your hair starts breaking before you moisturise. Water is a great way to do so. I personally love spraying my hair with water and then sealing it with oils after and I do so every mid-week when my hair feels dry. Do this and your hair would feel and look much healthier.