how to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized

The Best Practices for Keeping Your Hair Hydrated and Moisturized

Quenching Your Hair’s Thirst

Summertime is upon us! Who’s ready for the day parties, poolside gatherings, cookouts, and vacays?! I sure am! While this is my favorite time of the year, it’s the most annoying time of the year when it comes to my hair. The excessive heat that the summer months bring always leave my hair feeling dry and brittle. I know a lot of you can relate, so allow me to help us out a little! Here are a few tips that will help us all get our hair in formation for the hotter months.

The Best Methods for Hydrating and Moisturizing Your Hair

Hydrating and moisturizing your hair does not have to be a hassle. It just requires you to pay a little extra attention to your tresses to make sure you are nurturing them properly. The critical thing to remember is that dehydrated hair leads to breakage and other forms of hair damage. Now, let’s get into these tips!

Pour on the Water

There is nothing that some good ol’ H2O can’t fix! Much like everything else on this planet, hair needs water to survive. I know a lot of us were taught to wash our hair every two weeks when we were younger, but you may want to change that to once a week. Allowing your hair to come in contact with water often improves the health of your hair cells and gives your hair a soft, yet supple texture. Not only should you moisturize your hair directly with water, but you should also drink lots of water daily. A dehydrated body negatively impacts the overall health of the cells found in the hair, skin and even nails. You can also incorporate more water into your hair regimen by using water-based hair products as well as spritzing your hair with a little water every morning when styling (if you’re rocking a natural style). Bottom line: there’s honestly no better moisturizer than water.

Take the Heat Down a Notch

Speaking of water, let’s talk about temperature. Who doesn’t love to wash their hair with hot water? It’s relaxing and a lot more comfortable than cold water. However, you should only use hot water during the shampooing phase of wash day, not when you’re conditioning your hair. Hot water is excellent for cleansing your hair and the pores on your scalp from all of the oil and dirt that’s settled in since your last wash. Once you’re ready to rinse out the conditioner, you should turn the temperature of the water down to a cool setting. Cold water closes your pores and secures the moisture. Just in case you’re wondering, this is what helps you regain your hair’s natural sheen!

LOC in the Moisture

Here’s a three-step system that you all need to know about for your wash day or everyday maintenance routine: using the LOC method. The term “LOC” stands for liquid (or leave-in), oil and cream. The first step is to apply a liquid or leave-in conditioner which will add moisture by penetrating your strands. You can even use water (of course) as your liquid base. Regardless, any product that you use needs to be water-based for the best results. Next, you should apply a small amount of oil to each section of your hair to lock in the moisture from the first step. Be sure to use an oil that is best for the porosity level of your hair. Lastly, apply a creamy moisturizer or styling cream that will seal in the moisture and bring your hair to life with a little shine. That will also help you with styling your hair by giving it a soft, yet firm hold. For a more in-depth hydration routine, try the LCO method because using an oil last will allow the moisture to sink deeper into your hair strands.

Step Away from Your Typical Wash Day Routine

Okay, so we’re used to the typical “shampoo, condition, style” wash day routine, right? Well, sometimes you have to switch it up! One way you can do this is by adding a step before you shampoo your hair: pre-pooing. Just add oil to your hair and scalp, then let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Treating your hair with oil helps to mitigate dehydration. Another technique that you can incorporate into your washing process is to co-wash your hair. When co-washing, you’re substituting shampoo for a “conditioner-only” wash. Sounds a little weird? I know. Surprisingly, this method gives you cleaner and smoother hair while adding even more moisture to your hair.

Don’t Skip Out on Deep Conditioning

It’s easy to think that as long as we’re conditioning, we do not need to deep condition now and then. WRONG. It’s essential to use a product that has “deep conditioner” on the label instead of a regular conditioner (don’t get lazy on me now). Heat up your product before use for effective moisturizing and leave it in for no more than 20-30 minutes. When deep conditioning, be sure to focus most of your attention on the ends of your hair. Those babies need a little more TLC than the rest of your strands since they are more prone to dryness and damage.

Protect Your Hair from Your Summer Fun

If you’re like me, then I know you’re excited to participate in some outdoorsy summer activities. Be sure to limit your hair’s exposure to harsh weather conditions (e.g., too much sun) as well as pool or ocean water. Consider using a protective style, such as braids, or wearing cute sunhats to shield your hair. While swimming, it’s best to wear a cap to prevent the chlorine or saltwater from drying out your hair. Yes, I know you want to see your hair flowing in the water and blowing in the wind, but you have to protect the tresses at all costs! If you can’t say “no” to exposing your hair to those types of conditions, make sure you are conditioning your hair a lot more than you usually would and using leave-in products with UV protection.

Check-in with Your Hair Between Washes

Oh, you thought you were done working after wash day? No, sis. Remember when I said that proper hydration and moisturizing would require you to give EXTRA attention to your hair? I meant that! You have to go above and beyond your wash routine to ensure that hair never loses its moisture. During the week, revitalize your hair with different types of moisturizing serums, sprays, and oils. You do not have to overdo it but do a “check-in” with your hair every day to make sure it’s not losing any of its moisture.

You’ve Cured the Dryness, So It’s Time to Flourish

Ladies, the heat may try to come for our edges – literally and figuratively. But the good news is that fighting against dehydration is a breeze if you take the time to include the tips above in your hair routine. To maintain your hair’s luster and health with the right amount of moisture, all it needs is a little water, quality products and lots of love!
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