How often do you use a leave-in conditioner in your hair ? This is one of the first questions I ask my clients who come to me for a hair consultation, with the complaint of persistent dry hair.
Afro Curly Hair gets dry, it’s not a secret, not a conspiracy, just a fact. The sebum in our scalp has a harder time distributing throughout our hair, which means it isn’t as protected as it should be. In addition, the longer your hair, you may experience more drying especially at the ends, as that is the oldest part of the hair.
Your Afro Curly Hair needs your help, it needs additional moisture as it isn’t able to produce this itself. This is where leave-in conditioners come in and why they’re so important for our hair. Leave-in conditioners provide your hair with enough moisture for a few days, but it doesn’t last forever. They are water-based products that will evaporate over time, or be removed from your hair with general activities such as removing a t-shirt or rubbing on your sleep bonnet.
How To Get The Best Moisture From Your Leave-In Conditioner
If you find a leave-in conditioner that your hair likes, figure out how long it lasts before you need to remoisten your hair. Once you’ve figured it out, add moisture the day before you need it. For example, if you use a leave-in conditioner that lasts two days then your hair feels dry, use it daily. If it lasts 4 days then dryness sets in, remoisten on day 3.
Essentially, doing this doesn’t give your hair the chance to get too dry, which can cause issues such as breakage or split ends, which lead to further hair damage and more for you to deal with.
Choosing a leave-in conditioner is less about the brand and more about your hair, this is why it is important to take the time to know your hair. If you have low porosity hair you need something light, but you will need to reapply more often. High porosity hair can tolerate thicker leave-in conditioners which will work two-fold, moisturise and act as a seal to stop the moisture from leaving the hair too quickly. Medium porosity can use any of the two, less of the thicker version but more of the lighter leave-in conditioners. Medium porosity hair may also find they don’t need to moisturise as often, as the hair generally holds moisture well.
Moisturise your hair when it needs it, whether that’s daily or once per week. When my hair is out in a bun or whatever style that’s not protective, I have to remoisten every 3 days, otherwise it gets really dry. When I’m wearing twists, I can go a whole week before I remoisten, sometimes longer.
From my own experiments I see the importance of protective styles for our Afro Curly Hair. When the hair is tucked away it needs less moisture because it doesn’t have to battle with the daily environmental elements. This is why 90% of the time I wear mini twists and even in twists, my hair is tucked away.
When looking for leave-in conditioners, look at the texture and flow to find what’s best for your hair and of course check out the ingredients. I would suggest sourcing natural alternatives that do not contain silicones. I’m not giving silicones a bad name, they are great ingredients but from research their use is polarising. However, what is known is that they, along with the conditioning ingredients they are usually paired with, can cause product buildup. Because Afro Curly Hair is washed less often, this build up can cause our hair to become extra dry and brittle, leading to breakage and splits. Of course you are free to use what feels right for you and what feels right for your hair.
A side note: some people use just water to moisturise their hair, water is great, but on it’s own it evaporates too quickly, your hair will be dry again in a few hours. A leave-in conditioner, though water-based, is emulsified with oils and fatty alcohols, this system is what helps give and hold moisture on the hair.
I offer hair consultations to clients who are looking for a new regimen, looking to upgrade their current regimen, or just need advice on how to get their own or their children’s hair to its optimum health. My time is very valuable so I offer only a few appointments as I want to work with clients who are truly ready to do what’s best for their hair. I mean, your hair is your crowning glory, it can make or break the most fabulous outfit and makeup, so why wouldn’t you want to do what’s best for it?
If you’d like to consult with me, you can book here.
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Until next time,
Be Great x