Dryness is something that we’ve all faced at some point during the course of our Natural hair journey. The breakage and limp, lifeless hair that has resulted is probably one of the most frustrating aspects of the Natural hair experience. The good news is, your hair does not have to be perpetually dry! But it’s important to know what the key factors might be in order to best tackle your individual problem.
1. The Weather
Sometimes when the seasons change or if you live in an area with very dry heat during the summer months or harsh cold during the winter months this can have a huge effect on your hair.
REMEDIES: During the summer months, it is important to combat dry heat with tons of moisture. If you have a favorite water-based moisturizer, apply it as needed throughout the week after spritzing your hair with a combination of water and vegetable glycerin which draws moisture from the air and into your hair. Sealing the ends with Jamaican Black Castor Oil is also a great a way of retaining moisture in the length and ends of your hair.
2. No Protection
Do you sleep on a satin pillowcase or with a satin scarf? Do you wear hats made of harsh materials in the winter? Leaving your hair open to the elements will definitely cause dryness, tangles and/or breakage sooner or later.
REMEDIES: Invest in a few quality satin scarves/pillowcases for when you’re sleeping and/or just lounging around the house. This small investment goes a long way because the constant friction of your hair against even the softest cotton will have harsh effects in the long run. The smoothness of satin protects the hair. Search out hats that have a satin or silk lining for the cooler months. A wool hat against the nape of your neck will definitely lead to dryness and intense breakage. If you can’t seem to find any hats with a satin or silk lining, adding your own is a cinch if you’re good with a needle and thread.
3. Your “moisturizer” is all wrong
If you use heavy petroleum-based greases, this can sometimes prove to be more of a barrier to moisture than a catalyst for it. Heavy grease can clog the scalp and hair follicle actually keeping out the oils and moisture than could get into the hair to do some good there.
REMEDIES: Try an oil mixture to spray and massage into your scalp. Research which oils offer the results your hair needs most and mix those. Keep in mind that olive oil and coconut oil are two of the most penetrative oils into the hair follicle. Also, use water-based moisturizers as they do not clog pores or follicles.
4. Your Focus Isn’t On Your Length
While it is important to keep the scalp moisturized and massaged, it is equally, if not more important to maintain the length and ends of your hair. They are, as the Urban Bush Babes say, “your elders” so it is important to nourish them and treat them with intense care.
REMEDIES: Try gently finger detangling your hair with well-oiled hands from root to tip. If you come across a snag, gently work it apart with your fingers instead of ripping through it. The oil gives you much more slip and moisturizes at the same time. Daily assess your hair’s needs. Within a week or two weeks you will be able to see how often your hair needs moisture and provide it accordingly. Everyone is different. Some only need to moisturize once or twice a week. Others needs to moisturize every day. Be aware of your hair’s needs.
5. You Don’t Deep Condition
Leave-in conditioners and regular conditioners are excellent ways to get back some of the moisture that may have been stripped from the hair during the washing process. No doubt about that. But the extra time and attention that the correct deep conditioner provides is unmatched. The concentrated effort of a deep conditioner can prove to be the difference between totally unmanageable, dry hair and a luscious mane on the road to recovery.
REMEDIES: Research various deep conditioners. Shea Moisture and Neutrogena have some excellent reconstructive deep conditioners. Or, if you are more of a DIY person, try making your own at home. Avocados, egg yolks, olive oil, mayonnaise and honey are all great ‘in-the-kitchen’ ingredients for deep conditioners. Create or buy the one that works best for you and apply it generously to your hair once or twice a month on a day when you have time to spare. Let it marinate, then rinse. You’ll love the results.
La Truly is a late-blooming Natural haired Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change through her writing. Check her out on her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.