One of the biggest obstacles to overcome as a type 4 natural is choosing the correct moisturizer for your hair. The moisturizer you use on your curls determines the look, feel, and overall health of your hair. Our hair texture is more prone to dryness than any other natural texture due to the coily nature of our curls. That is not to say our hair is “bad” because it’s so dry. Dryness is simply an attribute of our hair that we need to be cognizant of and that’s why picking the right moisturizer for your hair is so important. As a new natural finding the right moisturizer for your hair can be time consuming and overwhelming, but we are here to help.
Here are the 5 steps to picking the best moisturizer for your hair:
1. Always try to pick a moisturizer that is water-based.
Water molecules are the best source of moisture for hair. How do you know if a moisturizer is water based? The ingredients for most products are listed on the back of the product label in order of the most dominant to the least dominant. Make sure water is high-up on the list:)
2. Look for Key Ingredients!
Look to avoid moisturizers that contain: mineral oil, parabens, petroleum and drying alcohols i.e. SD Alcohol 40, Ethanol, SD Alcohol and Porpanol. When it comes to ingredients like glycerin and other humectants those will most likely be preferred during warmer seasons and avoided during low-humidity seasons. Anything that ends with a -cone is preferred for extreme humidity in warm climates to fight frizz. Pay attention to the first 5 ingredients of any moisturizer and ask yourself if you know their purpose. If not, do a little research to make sure it’s good for your hair.
3. Decide what your hair wants.
Is it moisture? Protein? Or both? Remember your hair’s needs change over time.
If your hair strands are feeling frail and you can easily break it at any point, then it’s best to moisturize with something that has a protein focus like Infusium 23 Repair and Renew Leave-in Treatment. If your hair is feeling dry and static-y, you want to go for a moisturizer that does not place emphasis on protein like Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream.
If your hair feeling both frail and dry, you can go for products that address both issues effectively like Silk Elements MegaSilk Leave-In Hair Moisturizing Crème.
4. Consistency is important to consider for the porosity of your hair.
Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb moisture. If your hair has a low porosity, meaning it is resident to opening its shaft for moisture, welcome light moisturizers because your hair will not drink it up quickly. You do not want excess product sitting on top of your hair shaft doing nothing. If you’re a type 4 hair chick with low porosity hair, consider using liquid leave-ins because the excess water will evaporate and you won’t have to worry about excess moisture sitting on your hair. Products like Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler and Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner are great to use.
If you hair has a high porosity, it lets too much moisture in, be generous with creamy/thicker moisturizers because they do not evaporate as quickly as liquids and will even act as a sealant for the hair shaft. It is also extremely important to look for emollients, like castor oil and shea butter, in the ingredients list because they help keep moisture in the hair. Another option is to layer leave-ins, oils, creams and butters over each other in whatever combination you deem best for your hair. Consider SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque and the EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea Leave In Conditioner.
5. Trial and error!
Ultimately, it is important to try out products and see what your hair likes. What someone likes for their hair, you may hate for yours. Always pay attention to what your hair is telling you. Your hair’s opinion (which will be your opinion) is the final determinant in choosing a moisturizer.
Were these tips helpful? Do you have some suggestions? Leave a comment below. We like to hear from you.