If your hair is dry and wiry to the touch, breaking and splitting at the ends, and appearing dull in color, then your hair is likely in dire need of moisture. There are a multitude of causes of dry hair including genetics, weather, heat tools, color treatments, overstyling, and chlorinated water. Underlying health issues, medications, smoking cigarettes, and even stress can be additional causes of dehydrated hair. Luckily, all is not lost. Keep reading for the best tips on how to moisturize your hair and get it back to its crowning glory.
How to Moisturize Your Hair: Eat Fruits & Veggies
One of the most important factors here is your diet. “You have to incorporate foods into your daily lifestyle that are going to nourish your body from the inside out, like water-based fruits and vegetables," Kendall Dorsey, a hairstylist whose clients include Solange and Yara Shahidi, tells TZR. Similar to how water hydrates your skin, it does the same to plump the hair. Water-rich foods that aid in hydration include watermelon, strawberry, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and broccoli. Eating a diet full of healthy fats such as avocado, fish, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts will also add shine and moisture to the hair.
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Pre-Shampoo With An Oil Treatment
Begin your wash routine by using a pre-shampoo oil treatment. “Before shampooing, saturate your hair in oil. You can use store-bought oils like caster, jojoba, or sesame oil, or you can purchase a pre-shampoo oil treatment,” Justine Marjan, a celebrity hairstylist to the Kardashians and Olivia Culpo, tells TZR. To maximize your pre-shampoo oil treatment, wear a plastic cap around your head in the shower. The steam opens up the hair follicle and allows better absorption of moisture to the strands. Let it sit at least 30 minutes to overnight, then rinse and use a moisturizing shampoo in the shower.
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How To Moisturize Your Hair: Clarify Your Scalp
Healthy hair comes from a healthy scalp. If you’ve been wearing protective styles for weeks or have a tendency to go overboard with styling products, it’s imperative to let that scalp breathe. After the oil treatment, wash with a clarifying shampoo to remove layers of buildup, then follow up with a moisturizing shampoo. “Clarify at least every six weeks for optimal scalp health," Dorsey recommends. "I like Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Moisture LOC Shampoil, which is budget-friendly,” he continues.
How to Moisturize Your Hair: Deep Condition Regularly
Use a restorative conditioner for 20 to 30 minutes weekly or bi-weekly to bring life back to thirsty strands. Felicia Leatherwood, a natural hair expert and Issa Rae’s go-to stylist, favors rich creamy masks like Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Hair Mask and Alodia Nourish & Hydrate Deep Conditioning Mask for wavy, curly, and kinky textures. “They offer an excellent amount of moisture and make hair feel luscious,” she tells TZR. For finer textures, Marjan favors Playa Healing Hair Masque and Gisou Honey Infused Hair Mask for parched, coarse hair.
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Detangle With Care
While in the shower, saturate your hair with conditioner, divide it into four sections and gently finger detangle. “It’s like massaging the body. This action helps the conditioner penetrate through the cuticle and leaves the hair more shiny and manageable,” Dorsey explains. Follow up with a paddle brush, starting at the ends working your way to the root til it’s completely detangled. Just be sure to use the right brush that won’t cause further damage to delicate strands. The Yusef Cushion Paddle Brush from The Y is great for all textures and Felicia Leatherwood Detangle Brush works well for thick, natural, curly hair, especially.
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Use Leave-In Conditioners
Similar to makeup primers, leave-in conditioners are essentially the base of your hair care routine. After conditioning, applying a great leave-in conditioner is necessary to set up your hair for the rest of the day. For natural textures, the LOC method is a tried-and-true technique to moisturize hair. Unfamiliar? First, hydrate hair with a water-based liquid. Lock in the moisture with an oil, and then apply a cream to seal the hair cuticle.
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Invest In A Microfiber Towel
Use a microfiber towel when drying your hair. Regular cotton towels allow hair to slip through crevices of the material and snaps as you’re drying your hair. “When drying your hair, squeeze it one direction versus shaking it all around," Dorsey says. "When you shake it all around in the towel, it causes breakage. But when you squeeze the moisture down, you’re caressing it.”
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Secure The Satin & Silk
Still sleeping on a cotton pillowcase? Do yourself a favor and swap it with a satin or silk pillowcase, stat. “Cotton will absorb any moisture in your hair and cause friction. This is why you’ll see broken hair on the pillowcase,” Leatherwood shares. For additional TLC, wear a satin scarf or bonnet at night and satin-lined hats during the day, especially in the winter months to protect hair against the elements. Rock a satin-lined shower cap in the shower to maximize styles and minimize frizz.
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Massage Your Scalp
Rich oils like olive, chamomile, jojoba, coconut, and castor are super hydrating and add shine and strength to the hair. “I like to put them in a tincture and sprinkle in some lemongrass to hydrate the scalp at night time, two to three times a week,” Dorsey reveals. Massage your scalp for up to three to five minutes to wake up the dormant follicles and stimulate hair growth. Sienna Naturals Daily Elixir Oil is a perfect alternative if DIY isn’t your thing.
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Minimize Heat
Hot tools can be a recipe for disaster if used too much or incorrectly. The key is using non-damaging hot tools, since high temperatures and over usage can dry hair out or, worse, destroy curl patterns. Marjan is a fan of GHD tools, which are created to provide the least possible damage to hair while giving amazing results. Always remember to use a heat protectant prior to application to prevent further damage.
How To Moisturize Your Hair: Try Glycerin Or Aloe Vera
Glycerin, a natural humectant, works wonders on split ends, Leatherwood shares. If you’re feeling adventurous, whip up castor oil, eggs, and glycerin for a deep conditioning treatment. Aloe vera, a plant for soothing sunburned skin, is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Mix aloe vera and honey together to create a natural hydrating deep conditioner. Leave on for 15 to 30 min to bring shine up and moisture back to the hair.