Regardless of how tight your curls are, your hair might hate butters and oils.

If you are a newbie upon joining the natural hair community, the first thing you probably did was spend hours figuring out what your hair type is. Once that ordeal was over, you promptly headed over to your appropriate forum and began to ask the basics to get on track with most of the questions revolving around moisture and dryness. If you are anywhere in the 4’s then you were probably given this advice:

“You need to moisturize in layers. Start with a slippery leave in to help with the tangles then a thick moisturizer and butter on top to seal it in. Then apply more moisturizer and oil to your ends daily to keep them happy.”

As a newbie, you then retreated from your computer and proceeded to do as instructed to get hair like the avatar picture of the women you were stalking admiring. After a few days or weeks, you began to get fed up and wondered if your hair was supposed to be this crunchy and hard, and if every natural left grease stains everywhere she went. If this story sounds familiar, then read on.

Not All 4s Are the Same

The reason I know this story is because it's mine. This is why I cannot stress enough that curl pattern is not important in the large scheme of things, because it mislead me and is probably misleading many more women now. Regardless of how tight your curls are, there are simply some type 4 ladies whose coils hate hair butters and oils.

This may seem weird considering that butters, especially shea butter, are in almost every product and loved by many naturals. But for some naturals, the oils and butters are never absorbed by the hair and simply lie on top of it weighing it down and making it hard and crunchy. If you are one of these naturals, here are a few tips for you to get moisturized hair minus all the side effects.

  • Ditch the butters and oils. They are simply too heavy for your hair. Instead, remember that liquid products are your friend. When purchasing leave-ins and moisturizers, ensure that water is the first ingredient and that it has a liquid consistency. Avoid products with a high oil content. Before purchasing, behind the store clerks back, rub some of the product onto the back of your hand and wait a while. If it absorbs into your hand easily and leaves it moisturized, then you have the go ahead, but if it leaves an oily residue, then move along.
  • If you must purchase a butter, then ensure that it is whipped and very light and fluffy. If it is thick and sticky and is hard to emulsify in your hands, then it will probably be hard for your hair to absorb it.
  • Moisturize only when needed. This is very important to avoid build up and prevent leaving grease stains everywhere. I know that many women have a moisturizing routine that involves moisturizing daily or even twice daily, but with hair like yours, it's key to listen to what it needs and not what others are doing. If your hair is still moisturized at the end of the day, then there's no need to smother it with products just because. Leave it alone, and when it begins to feel dry, then proceed with caution.

Make Your Own Routine

Now that I’ve told you what not to do, here is a simple regimen that might work for your hair. Also, please remember to tweak it to suit your hair and lifestyle.

  • After cleansing, ensure that your hair is dripping wet, then apply your products. Keep a spray bottle on hand if  your hair gets dry and needs to be to rewetted. Applying product to wet hair will help you to distribute the product and avoid using too much.
  • Once your liquid products have been applied, you may feel the need to apply something heavier to your ends to protect them. Ensure that you do this to wet hair.
  • If you feel the need to moisturize daily, try mixing a liquid moisturizer or leave-in with water in a spray bottle and spritzing it on your hair daily. Scrunching in a moisturizer may ruin the style and butters may make it too heavy, but light spritzing throughout the day will keep your hair moisturized without ruining the style. Just ensure that you do not make a lot of spritz at once as it could spoil if left for a while. Also, remember to lightly mist and not douse your hair to avoid ruining your style.

Lastly, remember that if you moisturize well on day one, you will avoid having to remoisturize and play the guessing game of ‘how much moisturizer is too much’ later. Plus, you won’t have to worry about ruining your style midweek to take care of a dry patch.

I hope this helped, and as always, I wish you love, peace and curly haired bliss.