How To: Effectively Moisturise Hair

Hi Ladies,

Through my ‘Ask Phro’  page, a few women have asked for a tutorial on effectively moisturising their hair. I always talk about using products in moderation but it’s clear to me that I need to physically show just how much product I place in my hair to get that healthy glow. I admit it is a fine line between that and greased up hair. I hope this tutorial is clear for everyone

This moisturising ‘how-to’, works for naturals as well as those who chemically treat their hair.

I’ll now dedicate the rest of this post to taking you though the steps of moisturising and sealing your hair.

Step ONE: Choose the right moisturiser

I’ve talked a lot about making sure you use the right moisturiser for your hair. Moisture works to build strength within the bonds of your hair. For the moisture to get to the hair bond, it needs to go through the hair shaft. A moisturiser should have ingredients with small enough particles to penetrate your hair shaft and go straight to strengthening the bond.

Ingredients such as mineral oil, lanolin, petroleum oil and petrolatum coat the hair as opposed to penetrating the hair shaft. The particles that make up these oils are larger than your hair cuticle. By coating your hair, these ingredients actually seal the dryness into your hair. This explains why your hair still feels dry even after you’ve ‘moisturised’ your hair. If you are dealing with excessively dry hair, I ask that you stop using moisturisers with these drying ingredients.

Carrier oils such as coconut oil, castor oil and olive oil have smaller particles that are able to penetrate your hair shaft. I sometimes double my coconut oil as a moisturiser. Amla Oil (which I love) is basically a combination of amla powder and oil. I’ve seen a brand that uses mineral oil in the mix. I’d advise that you keep amla oil as a pre-poo, use while hair is wet, add in with your deep conditioner or as a sealer.

I love love love S Curl No Drip as I find that it’s the most effective moisturiser. It has glycerine and water as its two main ingredients which are great at bringing true moisture to your hair.

SCurl No Drip

Spritz Users – GREAT FOR NATURAL HAIR: For those with no S Curl No Drip, you can create your own spritz. Take a spray bottle and add 1/3 water, 1/3 glycerine and 1/3 carrier oil. Shake well before use. 

Step TWO: Effective Moisture

Now that you’ve selected an effective moisturiser, it’s time to assess how much you feel your hair needs. Determine your hair type and how dry it is to get a basic understanding of how much moisture your hair may need.

I believe that the first step in curbing problems with your hair is to understand what you’re working with. I have 4a hair type meaning that I don’t require a lot of product in my hair. My hair is also not excessively dry, therefore I only moisturise and seal up to twice a week. You will need to adjust the effective moisturising process based on your your hair type and how dry it tends to get.

Here we go.

Separate your hair out into quarters and start detangling the hair in one section. Detangle by using fingers or a wide toothed comb from the ends of your hair to the root. When it’s sufficiently detangled, then add a small amount of moisturiser to the palm of your hand and glide it onto your hair from the roots to the ends. It’s done this way to avoid going against the hair cuticle therefore results in smoother hair. Work the moisturiser into your hair by continually gliding your hands from root to end until you are satisfied that you have enough moisture.

glide moisturiser onto hair, from root to tip

Your hair shouldn’t feel greasy or oily, it should feel nourished … the closest example I can give is when moisturising your skin. The most comfortable feeling is when your skin isn’t feeling too oily or too dry. For those who weave it up … think of the way your weave feels on a good day – it doesn’t leave gunk sticking to your face at all.

Effective Moisturising should leave your hair looking and feeling nourished

Continue this way until all the sections are finished.

Spritz Users – GREAT FOR NATURAL HAIR: For those that created the spritz, spray your moisture blend lightly, one or two pumps should be enough for each section. You don’t want your hair to get damp; you want it to feel nourished.

Step THREE: Sealing and its importance

Now you’ve moisturised your hair with a product that’s mainly made out of water. Water, even on your hair, will evaporate. To minimise the rate at which this moisture will evaporate into the atmosphere, you need to seal in the moisture you’ve just added to your hair with carrier oils.

Carrier oils that are organic are better than the synthetic ones because they have added benefits than just coating hair. For example, coconut oil has protein properties that mimic that of your hair so they add a strengthening component when used as a sealer.

You seal the same way that you moisturised. You add a small amount of oil to the palm of your hands (5 cent coin – 4a hair type, adjust accordingly) then you glide starting from your root to the tip of your hair. Do this until the four sections are finished.

If your scalp is excessively dry, ensure that you add your scalp moisturiser after the moisture and sealing process.

THEN FINALLY…

Step FOUR: Style as usual

I hope that this video … although it’s long, answers your ‘how to’ questions sufficiently.

Happy Hair Journey Ladies… #TeamHealthyHair

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18 comments

  1. Maame Esi · · Reply

    Can see d spark in your eyes each tym u run a comb tru it
    real progress Phro..grea tutorial as well..tnks

    1. :) thanks so much. looking forward to have a full head of texlaxed hair!

    2. Thanks so much!

  2. kuda · · Reply

    great stuff! i have an afro and my hair loves S Curl No Drip.

    1. I believe S Curl is the black girls hair secret. Everyone should have a bottle.

  3. Boipelo · · Reply

    Day one of my home made moisturizer 😊 will let you know how it goes. I’ve been on #hairchallenge for 2weeks now…thank u thank u thank u!!! #teamhealthyhair

    1. :) i’m SO HAPPY FOR YOU! Yay for Happy Healthy Hair

  4. Hi Phro,
    Thanks for the tutorial. This is how i pretty much moisturize my hair but im going to start using a little less product. My biggest problem is that my front is great , looks healthy bouncy and when i unwrap my hair its always sleek. I always moisturise before i go to bed every other day so i can wrap my hair. But the back is a problem!!!No matter how much i try to effectively moisturise its always drier and not as sleek as the front. Also my hair is way shorter at the back so im not sure if there is a contributing factor. I am currently on back to health and castor oil challenge and my hair is looking very healthy but the back mufushwa needs help!!

    1. MMM Dee,

      I’m thinking for you to start combing / spraying in the moisture to the shorter part of your hair … daily as well. Perhaps with the back, use a spritz, as proportionately, you’re dealing with more growth relative to the length of your hair at the back. So the ‘natural hair spritz’ lightly sprayed at the back and then massaging a small amount of oil may be the best way to get rid of the dry hair effect. Let me know how you go with that.

      1. I have the same exact problem! My hair at the back just refuses to co-operate. I sprits that area daily, no luck. Help pleas!

      2. perhaps start looking at other ingredients if you aren’t happy with the consistency of the ones you’re currently using. mmm

  5. [...] How to moisturise effectively [...]

  6. Hi thank you for the wonderful and informative site. I am trying to grow my hair and also to have more volume. I am trying some of the products you suggest in your regimen.

    I stay in Pretoria, where can I find the S Curl no drip moisturizer? I have seen some good reviews on this. Also my hair is relaxed and I want to start stretching the time between relaxers, how long would you say can be the maximum or should I consider other factors like breakage etc. I’m currently losing hair cause I have a five month old baby so was hoping I could stretch beyond 12 weeks if it won’t have negative effects on the new growth as well as the relaxed hair. Thanks and sorry abt the long message!

    1. Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, I think S Curl No Drip is quite scarce in Pretoria. If I hear anything, I’ll post it on this page.

      Stretching between relaxers is likened to a fine art – lol. I’m currently at 12 weeks post and will be going another 4, but it’s taken me close to two years to stretch this long. If your hair is breaking while you’re stretching, it’s hardly worth it. The way I’ve made it work was to just go an extra week between relaxers. This post covers that in-between phase really well – http://phrophro.com/2011/10/24/in-between-relaxing-23/

  7. Titi · · Reply

    So well explained, love your blog. Ive been on my HHJ since December but my 4c hair continues to struggle with retaining moisture. I Moisturise (ORS carrot Oil and sometimes a glycerin/water sprits) and seal (coconut mostly, grape seed oil when wearing my hair loose) twice daily but I’m not winning! Any ideas on how to deal with what seems I be very porous hair?

    1. How frequently do you do this? It may be that you need to increase the number of times you spritz. the only way to curb dryness is to infuse as much moisture as you hair needs …. seems like your hair is really thirsty. Also, you could try sealing with shea butter.

  8. Priscilla · · Reply

    Hi Phro,

    I like the tutorial on moisturising, i would also want to know do you blow your hair after washing it or just leave it to dry on its own?

    1. Hi Priscilla,

      I let my hair air dry most of the time. If time isn’t on my side I cool dry and a hooded dryer. If I’ve got even less time, I do use a hair dryer …

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