Why is My Hair Dry?!
Its dry season for most of America, but if your hair is anything like mine, you struggle with dry hair year round. Its terrible waking up to a dry matted mess on top of your head no matter how much tender loving care you gave it the night before. What’s even worse is all the money spent on, what we thought would be, miracle products. I can’t tell you how many different brands of leave-in’s and deep conditioners I went through. At best, I found products that would fix my problem for two days at a time – that get’s expensive. Expensive as in I was spending far too much money to still be wrestling with a tumbleweed every other morning. But after a few years of trial, error, and research I’ve learned 7 reasons why we’re haunted by dry hair.
#7 Lack of Deep Conditioning
Time is often a naturals enemy. Setting aside time to sit pretty with a shower cap on your head and conditioner running down your neck doesn’t look tempting when you have a 101 things on your to-do list. Still there are ways to squeeze it into your schedule. First, get a highly recommended conditioner. YouTube is full of before and after videos that can help you choose the best deep conditioner for you. Next, multitask! Applying conditioner to damp rather than wet hair makes it less messy and easier to contain in a cap while you handle business.
#6 Using Any Conditioner
Now, I love my Euro-American friends but some conditioners only work on their hair – not ours. That is not to say that we should only use products specifically made for women of color. Some of them aren’t the greatest either. Point being that you can’t go to CVS and grab any bottle that says conditioner anymore. Use Google to your advantage! Read reviews, or just wait for my next article 😉
#5 Sleeping Without a Silk Scarf
Weaves and presses are not the only things that need to be wrapped at night. Your curls need the same that same TLC. Pillowcases and sheets are hard on your hair. Cotton especially dries it out. If you’ve been using a cotton bandana, I strongly suggest heading to your local beauty supply for a silk scarf. It may seem like a small thing, but you’ll definitely see a difference.
#4 Oil is an Oil, is an Oil – or Not
All oils are not created equal. While some may be too heavy for your hair others can be too light. If you have fine hair I suggest mixing coconut oil with jojoba or peanut oil. If your hair is more coarse olive oil mixed with melted shea butter would be better. Finally for my in-between people try adding some shea butter to the coconut with jojoba or peanut oil mixture.
#3 Rinsing with Hot Water
This is another small thing that makes a big difference. Rinsing your hair with hot or warm water leaves your hair cuticle wide open. Meaning all the money you just put in your hair to moisturize it, is evaporating into the atmosphere. No one wants that. Rinsing you hair with cold water closes your cuticle and seals in the moisture you so lovingly put in it.
#2 Using Oil to Moisturize
I cannot express to you how big of a myth this is. Oil does not moisturize, water does. Ever noticed how dry skin laughs at baby oil? We rub it on thinking we’re doing something only to find that our crocodile skin hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s just shiny now. Oil does the same thing to our hair. It doesn’t moisturize but it can seal in moisture. Apply oil to your hair after applying your leave-in conditioner. This will hold in the water from your leave-in.
At first I was a skeptic, but I promise it’s true. Shampoo is evil. Now that may sound extreme, but its number one on the list for a reason. There are some shampoo’s (sulfate free) that are more moisturizing than others, but all of them strip your hair to some degree. They should be used to remove product build up every so often but not on a regular basis. Washing your hair with conditioner (co-washing) cleanses your hair and scalp without robbing it of all its goodness. Give it a try for a month or two. You’ll be happy you did.
~ Esperanza G.