Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#WashDayExperience: How to Tell If Your Hair is Moisturized

I learned a lot about keeping hair moisturized from
It is difficult to know if your hair is truly moisturized or not when you start your healthy hair journey.
Moisturized hair have few single strand knots (ssk), is easily detangled, has shrinkage, stretches without breaking, coil/curl definition, and there is no webbing. Most importantly, your hair retains moisture for three days.

I used to think wearing braidouts and twistouts were causing my ssk, but I have had a significant decrease in ssk this past month. I was going to start primarily wearing roller set styles but I decided to give my trademark braidouts another try. I thought that the roller set styles will decrease my ssk because my hair will be stretched. However, as I said earlier, my hair has had a significant reduction in ssk although I've been wearing braidouts. I believe this is due to the fact that my hair is starting to retain moisture better. 
   It takes a while to get your hair to the point of perpetual hydration and my hair is still not to that point. However, it is good to first realize that your hair is not adequately hydrated before you can fix it. If you do not even notice that something is wrong and what is wrong, then how can you help fix the problem?  
Dehydrated Hair Vs. Hydrated Hair 
  • Is your hair frizzy? Does your hairstyles (twist outs/bantu knot outs/braid outs) lack definition? Is your hair rough and does it break easily? Is it hard to manipulate and do you experience constant ssk? 
  • Is your hair soft and flexible with definited coils and curls? Are your hair styles defined? Can you go days before having to apply a moisturizer or leave in spray? Can you retain your length? Does your hair have sheen and is the natural color deep and rich? Is your hair smooth and not rough? Do you have a low amount of shedding and ssk?   
If your hair is more of the second one, then congratulations! Your hair is adequately moisturized. If not, then you need to improve on your methods in order to increase the moisture levels and retention in your hair. 
How Learning How to Notice the Symptoms of Dehydrated Hair Helped Me
 The length of my hair is a breeze to detangle and it is easily detangled under running water (an effect of moisturized hair is being easily able to be detangled). However, my roots were the problem. It did not detangle so easily. It was also very rough. I first noticed how rough my roots were when I first started practicing roller sets. The results of my sets were always the same: length of my hair was smoother than the roots.
What was the problem? While applying my LOC products after my last wash day, I realized the problem: I do not effectively moisturize the roots.
   When applying products, it is important to apply from root to tip. I've always focused on my ends because I've always known the importance of preserving the older part of the hair, which is more prone to breakage due to wear, tear, and age. However, in paying so much attention to my ends, I've neglected my roots.
I realized I do not apply product very well to my roots because I've been worried about getting the product on my scalp. I wanted to prevent scalp build up as much as possible. Now that I've been using a scalp exfoliator (check out this post here), I do not have to worry so much about scalp build up. I can efficiently cleanse my scalp and rid it of build up and debris trapped in my hair follicles by using a scalp exfoliator.
   I never would have noticed the problem with my roots if I did not see the symptom of dehydration: webbing. My roots were hard to detangle because they were webbed! When I noticed the weebing in my roots while I was applying my LOC products, I realized that my hair was not adequately hydrated. Because I was able to recognize the symptom of dehydrated hair, I am able to fix the problem by solving the cause: my negligence of my roots.
Therefore, first realizing you have a problem and then realizing the cause  step one in helping your hair become perpetually moisturized.
How to Moisturize Your Hair  

  • Only use products with ingredients that do not dry out your hair.  (CoilyQueens said to avoid products with these alcohols: Denatured, SD alcohol 40, Witch hazel, Isopropanol, Ethanol, SD, Propanol, and Propyl) The more natural and short the ingredient list, the better.
  • Always use a moisturizing conditioner after you shampoo.  
  • Always apply shampoo only to your scalp.
  • Deep condition at least once a week. 
  • Chelate at least once a month in order to remove any build up on your hair, thus letting it accept moisturizing products easier and more readily. 
  • It can take up to 6 months for your hair to become adequately moisturized (you can tell by no webbed hair and also your hair stays moisturized for 3 days).  
  • For more information on hair moisturization, check out CoilyQueen's post here.  
Some "Controversial" Things She Had To Say 
I call these controversial because they go against what many believe, but she does make sense:  
  • "Do not waste time on the LOC method or the LCO method these methods are not necessary. You need to get your hair cuticle to lay flatter that is your goal, not piling products on top of  your hair. The Loc or LCO method gives you a false sense of moisturized hair." 
  • "Co-washing means washing your hair with conditioner. Do not use co-washing as a substitute for shampooing your hair. Conditioners do not cleanse the hair well enough. Conditioners are not made to clean the hair they are made to be applied AFTER  hair has been shampooed."   
  • (In reply to a comment about why she recommends to wash at least once a week, when so many women are told that natural hair should be only washed twice a month) "Those who say to only shampoo hair whether 4C or 3A only once or twice a month are in error. It is not the curl pattern that makes your hair not retain moisture it is the condition of your hair cuticle which keeps it from retaining moisture. Water is the best thing for your hair and it will turn your hair growth around if you stick with a weekly shampoo regimen. 4C hair is not drier than any other curl pattern. Washing your hair weekly is recommended because daily you accumulate: dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells, dried sebum on your scalp and all of these things must be removed in order to have a healthy scalp. What would happen if you only washed your skin once per month? Not good right? Hair, skin nails should all be kept clean. Most black women stay away from water because of the inconvenience of shampooing and detangling their tightly coily hair. But if you read my other articles you will be able to create a healthy daily hair care routine, that greatly reduces the amount of time it normally takes you to wash, detangle and style your hair. Read my other articles you will further understand my rationale behind keeping clean hair. Read, "Understanding your hairs porosity", "3 steps to growing longer and stronger hair" and "The nine day moisture retention method".........Remember water is a friend to your entire body, do not shy away from it because of the incorrect information given by some. If you follow the suggestions here within 2 weeks you will see a major difference in your hair and after months on this program you will see a great difference and marvel at how healthy your hair is......"
In Conclusion 
She is the first blogger who I've seen extensively address the questions that many naturals would love to know the answers to: What is moisturized hair? How can I tell if my hair is moisturized? What techniques can I do to moisturize my hair? Which products and ingredients should I look for or avoid? How long does it take until my hair becomes adequately moisturized
I highly recommend checking out her site to see her thoughts. I do not base my regime off of her and instead I created my regime based on my own knowledge of hair care and my knowledge of what works for my hair. However, I love to incorporate some parts of what others believe if I see it to make sense. Therefore, although I do not change my routine with each new information, I try to take away what I can from it. I do not follow her exact regime, which she does list on her blog, but I do take away much of her information and adapt it to my own regime. Before reading her blog, I never knew what webbed hair meant! 

Thanks for the read and see you at the next #WashDayExperience :)

*I wrote this post with my ideas on the subject and what the blogger of has said on her blog.

References & Links to Find Out More


  1. Great post with a lot of awesome information. Moisture retention is a constant struggle for me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Adventures of a Nappy Chica

    1. Thank you! This summer heat and humidity is hurting my moisture retention efforts. My goal is to have my hair in a perpetually hydrated state.

  2. Kiki (oh wise one),
    How I needed to see this post!

    This is very informative, I didn't know webbing was a sign of hair that is not hydrated! My hair is Texlaxed and my hair does that all the time - I didn't even know it was called webbing till today (guess what I am googling next) .
    I thought my hair was just matting up. THIS is so awesome and explains some mysteries to me.

    I do agree with you that you need to learn how to 'read' your hair otherwise your hair regimen is completely disconected from the situation on the ground.

    What you don't monitor you can't control right?

    Thanks for another tip on how to read hair; my locs salute you!

    @ Jacqueline I have to say that moisture retention is a newly discovered problem for me too any tips on what's working for you?

    1. You're welcome and you're so kind :) Thanks for being a reader!