Curly hair loves moisture, and there are so many ways to deliver it. Oils, leave-in conditioners, hair masks, hair tools, and even some old tried, tested, and true measures to keep your hair moisturized and healthy between washes. Here are my top 10 favorite products and techniques that I use to keep my hair moisturized.
I'm on my second jar of this product - the only leave-in conditioner that I've ever finished and replaced. It has single-handedly transformed my hair. Dryer areas in my hair aren't the problem they once were, and my hair stays moisturized for days and days. This product is affordable and boasts a short and natural ingredients list topped by burdock root, nettle leaf, and olive oil.
If you're looking for something lighter, Pillow Soft Curls is still moisturizing but it promises (and delivers!) fluffy, soft curls. Though the fragrance isn't for everyone, I personally love the fabric softener aroma.
Palmer's is my favorite drugstore option for moisturizing any part of my body, including my hair. Their newer line hops on the coconut oil bandwagon, with an ingredients list topped by shea butter and castor oil, with coconut oil and coconut fruit extract a bit further down. It, of course, smells amazing.
This is my go-to curl re-setting option during the week, to re-twist any frizzies that might have developed back into individual curls or to give my whole head of hair a little boost. Stocked at Whole Foods, which is fastidious about vetting its natural cosmetics brands, the ingredients list is drool-worthy: shea butter and coconut oil suspended in a base of calendula water and aloe vera gel.
SheaMoisture's suite of pure oils for body and hair are really exciting and affordable. And several items in their line are cult favorites of curlies of all types, including shea oil, Jamaican black castor oil, argan oil, and monoi oil.
I've discovered a second use for this styling butter! I use it on difficult strands that have been damaged by the elements to give them an extra moisture boost. This simple and moisture rich product (olive oil, mango butter, plant wax) is the best I've found to keep those dryer areas moisturized and content between washes.
Masks and Treatments
Q-Redew is a strange but amazing contraption. Part clothes steamer, part diffuser, curlies can use it as a detangler, as a curl stretcher, or to revive limp curls and add volume. I tend to reach for it in that last day or two before I wash my hair as a mid-week conditioning treatment.
The cosmetic scientists from The Beauty Brains show that coconut oil is one of the rare oils on the market that actually penetrates hair, in an overnight deep condition. I gravitate to cosmetic grade, rather than food grade, coconut oil, like SheaMoisture's 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, or if you're feeling really fancy, Kopari's Organic Coconut Melt.
Adding moisture to your hair is only one piece of the puzzle. Preventing moisture loss is just as important! I wear a satin night cap to bed every evening to avoid the friction of my cotton pillow, which can draw moisture from your hair. If a night cap isn't for you, consider a silk or satin pillowcase.
Protect the delicate crown area of your hair, which is constantly exposed to the elements, by gathering your hair in a loose, high ponytail at night. Your crown will be surrounded by a comforting cocoon of the healthier parts of your hair. Not only will it keep your curls full and bouncy from day to day - it will also help keep your crown moisturized.
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Photos by Edzar