The Importance Of Keeping Your Naturally Curly Hair Hydrated
For the natural curly hair community we often hear different words used to when it comes to caring for our hair, hydration/hydrating is often used.
But what does this really mean for curly hair and how can we continue to introduce it into our routine.
The difference between Moisture and Hydration
Hydration applies to the inner layers of the hair shaft, that is the the medulla and cortex. Hydration is all about how the hair absorb and retains water. Whereas, moisture applies to the outer layer of the hair shaft, the cuticle, moisture is all about regulating that water by sealing it in with oils, creams or butters preventing it from evaporating from your hair too quickly.
To give you an idea of your hair structure see the image below:
Signs Of Dehydrated Hair
- Dull looking hair
One way to test this other than just looking visibly at your hair, is taking a curl and stretching it, often your curls will not recoil as they would when hydrated.
How To Protect Your Hair From Dehydration
Moisturise your hair
As discussed previously moisture helps to lock in the water loss, to simple preventing water leaving your hair you have to Klace something on top of it to hold in the water. This will allow water to be held within your hair shaft for longer. So how can you do this.....
1. Condition/Deep Condition
Conditioners are a key part of your curly hair routine, they help to replace key nutrients lost during the week and lost while shampooing. Also conditioning add that key factor HYDRATION, if you find a conditioner that has humectants that draw moisture from the environments around you to your hair shaft, reducing damage and breakage.
For more on deep conditioning, see our blog post here.
How do you know if an ingredient is a humectant and are they always what you want in your products... well... check out our EBOOK COMING SOON for the answers around humectants and other key ingredient's within hair products.
2. Do Not Shampoo Excessively
For some of you, you maybe thinking is this even a thing you can do, well yes.
The idea of shampooing your hair is to remove impurities and build up that has formed throughout the week, if this is overly done, this can result in your removing key nutrients from your hair that give it the strength, luster and hydration it needs.
Some of the key signs you will notice from over shampooing is that stringy, dry feeling.
Many curlies have swapped to sulfate free shampoo's as they have been found to be extremely stripping to your curls. There are many sulfate free shampoo options. Let me into a SECRET we tell all in our ebook, if you didn't before you may want to consider downloading it. Its FREE ! What more could you ask for.
3. Have A Good Night Time Routine- Protect Your Hair At Night.
A night time routine is just as important as a night time routine, one it saves your time the following day from the constant refreshing but with that your curls pop for longer.
There are different options to protecting your hair at night, whether its a bonnet, a satin pillowcase or a head scarf, whatever works for you, work it !
If you love satin pillowcases why not try ours, satin is vegan friendly, breathable, great on your skin reducing lines and wrinkles and of course helps to maintain hydration and moisture to your curls therefore reduce frizz, tangles and breakage ! AND helps to make your styles last for longer.
They come in two different colours Silver and Black.
4. Wear Protective Hair Styles
One of curlies top ways to seal in that hydration and moisture is to use protective hair and for those who don’t always want to wear their wash n go, protective styles are for you. Protective hair styles are great for the winter months as the harsh cold can take its toil on your curls as it strips away the moisture leading to lack of hydration = DRY CURLS.
As an adding bonus protective styling is a low maintenance hairstyles that normally last from wash day to wash day, if treated right remember your night time routine, Protective hair styles help to maintain moisture, reduce frizz and tangles. Cutting down refreshing intervals throughout the week.
Some hairstyles you can try are braids, twists and/or curly buns.
TIP-Carry a Scrunchie around with you because if you rock a wash n go and change your mind you have one ready. We offer scrunchies in four colours, Dark Brown, Black, Gold and Pearl White.
5. Protect Your Curls With Curly Apparel
There are many different pieces of clothing you wear throughout the year that you may not realise has a big impact on drying our your curls. Why is this, mainly due to their cotton lining. Cotton often rubs against your curls taking in the moisture leaving your curls dry, frizzy and prone to breakage as they snag in the cotton.
Where possible try to find head where that is satin lined this includes caps, hats and hoodies. You may also consider putting a large bonnet over your car head rest for extra protection, because lets be honest no one wants to spend ages on perfecting a curly hair routine for it to get routine by cotton fabrics.
Check our some great items here to keep your curls popping summer and winter time:
6. Refresh Your Curls Throughout The Week
Ultimately what is the first stage of hydration ? WATER. Starting off your wash day routine with dampened hair and then moisturising with products will help to lock in that water first placed.
Although throughout the week you will notice your hair need a new lease of life and what better way than to get those curls bouncing back than how you first started WATER. If your refreshing your curls why not try our Continuous Mist Spray Bottle they help reactivate product and give your curls that much need drink from the outside in.
Our mist spray bottles are continuous give it x2/x3 presses and watch the water come out for longer and an average bottle. Due to its fine mist spray it wets larger sections of hair in less time. If you want to watch it in action, check out this YouTube Video.
7. Air Dry
Often curlies will diffuse their curls with an attachment and blow dryer but the truth is that heat dryers out the moisture from your curls. Sometimes the best way to maintain the hydration and moisture in your curls is to simply air dry.
Equally this isn't always practical due to the weather or needing to be somewhere. A suggestion is part air dry and part diffuse or you could do one week air dry, one week diffuse.
If you do diffuse remember to use HEAT PROTECTANT, this is often a key stepped missed when diffusing because often people see it as JUST drying their curls. But actually excessively close contact with heat can have an impact on your curls.
8. Cleanse your scalp of product build up
Now yes I know, we said don't excessively shampoo your curls. There is a difference between excessive shampooing or using a shampoo with harsh ingredients such as sulfates and ensuring your scalp and curls are cleansed of build up, this includes products and dead skin cells.
Build up will often cause a barrier, limiting the amount of hydration and moisture that enters your curls. In order to refresh your curls and give them a complete new lease of life, a great cleansing shampoo is worth an investment.
Reminder: Throughout the week the more product your add to your hair this will cause build up, this will block water penetrating your hair depending on the creams and oils you use. Once you notice build up this is when your will need to shampoo your hair to support your scalp and hair strands to thrive.
Sulfate Free Shampoo's Include: