Three readers asked:
"How do you keep transitioning hair moisturized and supple instead of dry and brittle?"
"What do you do for transitioning hair that is extremely dry? Even with regular deep conditioning, co-washing and sealing in moisture with oils. What are good natural products that provide extreme moisture?"
Dry hair can be easy to fix or very involved and complicated. The most obvious reason for dry hair is that you aren't moisturizing enough, but if you feel like you moisturize enough and you are doing everything right then your dryness could be the result of bad product choices, porosity issues, an imbalance of moisture/protein and even a signal internal health issues. Because you are transitioning, you have to pay attention to and treat at least two very different hair types (maybe even more). Here are a list of questions you should ask yourself and resources on how to fix your hair woes."What is the best way to keep both hair types moisturized during transitioning?"
- Do I moisturize at least once a day? Know that curly to kinky hair and especially kinky hair is like a sponge. It craves moisture and that is what makes it different from all the other hair types. Read Hydrate Your Thirst-Quenched Ethnic Hair. You need to actively moisturize your hair daily with a good moisturizer. Most of the hair's oils are compacted at the scalp and the tighter your curl pattern, the more difficult it is for oil to reach the length and ends. This is one reason your hair could be drier than it was when you were relaxed.
- Does my hair need moisture or protein? You hair could be dry either because it's not getting enough moisture or because it's getting too much moisture and not enough protein. Read Protein Moisture Balance and Why Does Black Hair Need Protein Treatments and Reconstructors?
- Do I overuse heat? Step away from the heat. If you're serious about bring moisture back into your hair, you need to cut back on using flat irons, curling irons, hot air brushes, hot combs, blow dryers and other direct heat tools. Heat can boil the water already inside the hair shaft and cause it to rupture from the inside out, thereby increasing porosity. Also be aware of the effects of hot water on hair. Try washing in warm water followed by cold water rinses. Using cooler water will lock in moisture and sheen.
- Do I deep condition or do deep treatments weekly with nutritive products? Focus on the line of difference. Use the 15-10-10 Method and/or the Steam Towel Wrap. Choose a condition by paying attention to your porosity and protein/moisture balance.
- Do I know my hair's porosity? If you have high porosity hair, you may need to avoid oils, protein and humectants like glycerin and honey. Read Porosity. Use low pH rinses like Roux's Porosity Control or ACV to correct porosity issues on overly pourous/high porosity hair.
- Do I just need to clarify? Clarify your hair with an ACV rinse or clarifying shampoo or cleanser. Sometimes a clean slate is all you need. Remember to wash in sections for easy detangling and to prevent matting. Read Quick Tip: Dry Ends.
- Do I really pay attention to my hair? Notice how your hair reacts to certain products and take notes. What products and techniques are you using when you notice your hair is dry and brittle? What products/ techniques make your hair look and feel amazing?
- Am I eating well and am I hydrated? Be sure your diet includes a healthy dose of essential fatty acids and vitamins. External issues could be a sign of deficiencies in your diet.
- Do I need to see a doctor? If you feel your issues are severe, extreme or nothing you do can fix it, then see a dermatologist ASAP! There could be something they can prescribe or an internal issue they can diagnose and treat.
- Am I using the right products? Some products can dry your hair out. Learn to pay attention to ingredients when choosing products instead of looking at labels or just taking suggestions from other people. Just because a person's hair looks like yours, doesn't mean it is like yours. It's great to get advice from other people, but ultimately everything doesn't work for everybody. Use products that actually fix, repair and feed the hair and not products that just deliver a temporary fix. Read Best Products for Curly Hair (Part 1), Best Products for Curly Hair (Part 2).