Knowing how to moisturise your 4C natural hair properly is crucial to your hair growth and natural hair journey.
Dryness. Breakage. Unmanageable hair. Slow growth. All these issues can be remedied by knowing how to moisturise your 4C natural hair consistently and adequately.
Our hair type, which is coily and kinky, is the most delicate. And, so it is super prone to dryness and breakage and some other undesirable conditions. However, all these can be averted by moisturising your 4C natural hair the right way.
Naturally, the scalp moisturises the hair by producing sebum from the sebaceous glands around the hair follicle. But, due to our beautiful tight coils, the sebum cannot effectively travel down our entire hair strands and coat our hair completely.
This is the summary of why we need to moisturise our hair properly and regularly. Without the sebum’s waterproof coating, our hair is left exposed to the elements, which can easily dry out our hair, and the next thing breakage has come knocking.
Read on to get some tips on how to moisturise your hair correctly.
What does it mean to moisturise your 4c natural hair
To moisturise means adding water. Kinky hair is naturally dry, and so extra moisture will be needed for its care.
Drinking plenty of water is also believed to help keep your hair hydrated. Yes, please drink water; it is great for the normal functioning of your body. But don’t think drinking water is enough to moisturise your 4C natural hair. Because you can drink all the water you want, and it will have no effect on your hair’s hydration, let me clarify why.
A protein called keratin is what our hair is made of. Same as our nails too. However, the method that takes a normal cell and makes it keratinized includes all the water content and everything else that makes it ‘alive’ removed.
So the hair is dead above the scalp and can not regenerate itself. The hair products we use only enhances each strand’s condition for a short while, as the effects are only temporary. This is why we have to moisturise our 4C natural hair effectively and regularly.
Also, the hair’s water content is mainly dependent on the humidity of the air around it and will, therefore, strive to be in balance. So, if you live in an environment with low moisture, your 4C natural hair would be more susceptible to dryness.
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What causes dry hair?
The major cause of dry hair is the lack of sebum. And so, If you naturally have a drier scalp due to genetics, or if your sebaceous glands produce less oil due to age and the environment, you will be prone to have dry hair.
Curlier and longer hair are often more likely to dry out because it takes time for sebum to travel down to the ends from the scalp.
In our case, with type 4c natural hair, it is more difficult for sebum to reach the hair’s ends. As every tight kink and coil is an obstruction, its free flow.
Also, lifestyle variables can play a significant role in causing dry hair. The repeated use of heated devices, such as hair dryers, curling iron, and flat iron, can weaken the hair cuticles, thereby making the strands vulnerable to damage and moisture loss.
Too many hair treatments may also damage the cuticle in the same way, such as straightening and colouring.
Dry hair can be triggered by overwashing as well. You only need to wash your hair when it is dirty or oily.
See also: 8 ways to use Aloe Vera for hair growth
7 Tips to keep your 4c natural hair moisturised
♥ Without water, you can not moisturise your hair. You may already use a variety of products and conditioners to moisturise your hair, but water must be listed as one of the first two ingredients for it to be an actual moisturiser.
♥ Stop touching your hair too much. Your hands are not supposed to be in your hair all the time, except for styling and washing. Touching your curls is going to make them dry out more quickly. ( I have hands in hair syndrome, too; I combat it by wearing my satin bonnet when I am out home. When I am outside my house, I don’t touch my hair).
♥ Many naturals use the LOC approach in moisturising their hair; it means using a liquid/leave-in, accompanied by oil and then cream. You may use a thick, natural oil to seal a water-based moisturiser with moisture. Like castor oil or an anti-humectant (doesn’t let water escape into the atmosphere) such as Shea butter.
NB: the LOC approach is not the only approach used in moisturising your hair; there are several others like LBO (leave-in conditioner, butter, and oil), LCO (leave-in conditioner, cream, and the oil ), LO ( leave-in conditioner and oil), LCB (leave-in conditioner, cream, and butter), LGO (Leave-in conditioner, gel, and oil) and so many others. With times, you will know the approach that works best for your hair.
♥ To rid yourself of split ends, brittle ends, and single strand knots, trim your hair regularly. Trimming your hair three or four times a year is ideal. Furthermore, trimming will help your hair grow and retain length in the long run and preserve moisture.
Look at it this way, our ends are the oldest part of our hair and more prone to breakage and split ends. An untreated split end will travel up the length of your hair, making your stands weak and then break off easily. So which is better, to lose a few inches from trimming or lose a greater percentage of your hair strands from breakage? We know the right answer to this.
♥ Reduce your exposure to heat. Flat irons and blow driers extract moisture from your hair, leaving it dry, and it takes a while for natural oils to re-hydrate your 4C natural hair once it’s gone.
♥ Investing in a consistent deep conditioning regimen is one of the most significant ways of moisturising 4C natural hair. Deep conditioners stay in your hair, long enough to load your hair with the moisture and nutrients it requires to flourish.
♥ Protect your hair with a silk/satin scarf or bonnet at night to preserve its moisture when you are sleeping.
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The 4c natural hair needs extra care and attention since the scalp cannot effectively moisturise it with sebum due to it’s beautiful tight kinks and coils.
Thus you need to engage in good hair care practices like trimming your hair regularly, using a moisturising approach that works for your hair, reducing the use of heat while styling your hair, investing in a good deep conditioner, keeping our hands off our hair, and last but not least protecting your hair at night by sleeping with a satin bonnet or scarf.
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Till next time,
Stay be’you’tiful, stay blessed.