Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Discussion: What oil is best for my natural hair?

At least once a week I get questions from reader asking about oils and why their hair is so dry. When you first go natural, big chop, stop using creamy crack, etc, you have to develop an entirely new routine for your hair. Many of us were raised thinking adding grease equaled adding moisture; not quite.

OIL DOES NOT ADD MOISTURE (read this 100x)
Seriously, it doesn't. 
No, for real, it doesn't. 
Stop shaking your head, I'm telling the truth. Stop it! 

Well, what adds moisture? WATER! I know, it's blowing you mind and you are thinking, "But, what about oil? Because water makes my hair shrink?"  Here's the oil/water connection:

Water adds moisture because the water is the essence of moist-ness. Sounds weird, I know. It sounded weird as I read/typed it. OIL seals in the moisture. Adding oil to your hair AFTER you've wet it with water is the best way to retain moisture. You have to find the right oil that works for you, some may be too heavy, some may be too light. I could not recommend the perfect oil for you becuase everyone's hair is different. It's trial and error - but read this article to figure out the difference between carrier and essential oils. Back in 2011, I wrote:
" . . . dry hair needs moisture. The best moisture for hair, skin, and nails is WATER! Since hair is so porous, water tends to escape quickly over time. In order to protect strands from the evaporation, you must seal the hair shaft with a natural oil based product such as Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil....These oils have been scientifically shown to penetrate the hair shaft and help hair retain water and won’t leave your hair feeling greasy. Mineral oil and petroleum are not the best, and tend to cause more dryness overtime." - How to Keep Moisture in Natural Hair
So, your job is to try to keep as much moisture (water) in your hair (and body) as possible. Same way you put lotion or oil on your skin after bathing, so you won't have dry skin, is the same way you should treat your hair. Try to Using the LOC method, it helped me in sealing more moisture in my hair.

LOC method 
1. Liquid (leave-in conditioner)
2. Oil (whatever oil works for you) read this article on How Oils Work
3. Cream (some sort of cream hairdress or styling product). 

In addition, add more water to your diet. Drinking 8 glasses a day is ideal, more is even better. You'll see a huge difference in your hair, skin, and nails. Remember, having natural hair is about trial and error. Even when you wore a relaxer, you found products that didn't work for you. Just because it's made for natural hair, and promises a miracle, doesn't mean it will work for you.

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