It's safe to say that there is no one size fits all approach to moisturizing natural hair. While the rule remains that in order to have soft, healthy hair, you must moisturize and seal, with low porosity hair, it is not that simple. If you are a Natural with this hair type, you may find that despite following the rules, your hair remains dry more often than not.
The lack of moisture may not be caused by having the wrong products or using the wrong methods. It is likely due to how your strands are structured. Low porosity hair strands have tightly packed cuticles that lie very flat. This structure hinders moisture from immediately penetrating your hair strands, much like how shingles on a roof are layered to prevent water from entering a home.
You will find that hair products tend to sit on the hair, taking a long time to be absorbed. The moisture will seep through eventually, but it takes much longer for that to happen on low porosity hair than it would for normal and high porosity hair types.
Here's what you can do to solve this problem:
Use Warm Water On Wash Day Using warm water is the safest way to allow water to penetrate the hair shaft. The steam from the warm water causes the cuticles to lift slightly by allowing for water to penetrate the hair strands and cause them to swell.
Use Warm Water to Detangle Since warm water helps to lift the cuticles, it is also beneficial to use it during post-wash day detangling sessions. Although hair is in its weakest state when wet, for natural hair that is low in porosity, it makes the strands more flexible, thus less susceptible to breakage. After doing a preliminary finger detangling, dampen the hair with warm water from a spray bottle and proceed with your favorite detangling tool.
Don't Be Heavy Handed Since low porosity hair does not soak up moisture easily, the natural tendency is to put more product on the hair to get it saturated. Many naturals think that their hair remains dry because they don't put enough product. Get rid of this mindset, and resist the urge to coat your hair with product. All you will gain from this is product build-up, causing greasy and even drier hair.
Use Water-Based Moisturizers
With low porosity hair, heavy moisturizing creams and styling products are not your friends. These products usually contain silicones or other ingredients that sit on top of the hair and cause product build-up and overly greasy hair because they have not been absorbed. Instead, go for products that are lightweight with a more watery consistency.
Deep Condition With Heat
Whether you use a hooded dryer, a steam cap or a good old fashioned plastic cap, apply some form of heat to your hair when you're deep conditioning. Covering your hair will trap in heat, thereby creating a humid environment that is needed to open your cuticles. At the same time, your hair can get the moisturizing benefits that your conditioner offers.
Dougherty (DOH-wer-dee) is a beauty enthusiast and writer with a passion for natural hair and skin care. Her other interests include music and literature. When she's not blogging, she is enjoying spending quality time with her friends and family.