As NaturallyCurly editors, we get tons of questions about retaining moisture and making curl definition last. Recently, one of our members, phoebe_96 (Type 3c), asked me this question:
I get out the shower and do my routine. After 30 minutes my curls fall--an hour later, I have this crazy dry lion mane.

She goes on, "I went through a phase in middle school where I constantly straightened my hair. It definitely changed my curl pattern and damaged my hair. About three years ago I stopped using heat so I can repair my hair. I know it won't go back to the original curl but I just want healthy hair. Every conditioner I've used doesn't really help. I use coconut oil and this one conditioner with argan oil. I get out the shower and do my routine with my hair. After about 30 minutes in some parts of my head my curls fall. Then an hour from then I have this crazy dry lion mane. And just to throw this out there, my mother is African American and my father is Colombian. Any suggestions?" Since heat damage can be ruled out because you haven't used it in 3 years, let's tackle a few other possible reasons for your issue:

1. You have hygral fatigue.

Hygral fatigue--over-moisturizing--refers to your hair cuticle swelling as it absorbs water and dries. Textured hair cannot always handle frequent co-washing. Next time you are in the shower, gently tug on a clump of curls and let go. Do they retract (curl back up easily)? If it does not, hygral fatigue could be your issue. Be cautious, as this can cause more breakage over time. 

Re-evaluate your current regimen and look for ways to avoid saturating your hair in water as often as you might be doing. In the curly community we call this 2nd day hair--personally, I like to avoid touching my curls by wearing a headwrap, hat, bun, or even a fluffy 'fro till the next time I wash my hair.

2. You have high porosity hair.

Coconut and argan oils are universal miracle workers for most hair types, but in my personal experience, not so much with curls that are highly porous.If you are not sure what yours is, do an easy test by taking a strand of shed hair and placing it in a glass of water. Does it sink or float? If it starts sinking, you have high porosity hair.

This could be a result of environmental damage or over-manipulation in your case. Hair has gaps and holes in the cuticle, which let too much moisture in your hair, causing individual strands to raise and tangle when moisture is present in the atmosphere. This makes your hair prone to damage because any contact with water can make it weaker if you're not proactive in providing it with a barrier.

If you enjoy using oils, I recommend using it in the following 3 steps in your regimen--as a pre-poo, sealing after your wash, and as a monthly hot oil treatment. Almond, sunflower, avocado, and soybean oils  been proven to deeply penetrate and keep medium to high porosity hair moisturized.  Use a humectant. This will provide a barrier between your hair and humidity. On product labels, it will likely be called a "frizz-fighter" . Also look for  a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner.
They will help close your cuticle and prevent additional moisture from entering the hair throughout the days.

Do you have a question for our NaturallyCurly community or editors? Post it here on the ASK page.

photo: @VicStyles