This post is the second part of the series "Building a hair regimen: Washing, moisturizing and prepping you hair for bedtime". Don't forget to read part 1!
If you're a curly/kinky gal, chances are your hair is often dry as the desert. Unlike straight hair, our natural oils have a hard time travelling down the hair shaft, which causes the hair to remain dry, especially towards the ends. So if you're serious about taking care of your hair, an appropriate moisturizing regimen might come in handy. But don't assume that moisturizing will eliminate dryness. It's a characteristic of our hair and it's here to stay! We can only restore and maintain moisture by being consistent with your routine.
I ain't gonna lie to you, there is no set formula or great secret that works for everybody. However, there are some informations that might help you build your own perfect moisturizing regimen.
Moisture = water.
Before starting my natural hair journey, I used to avoid putting water on my hair as much as I could. For me, water was linked to shrinkage, tangles and dryness. Like many black women, I used to apply huge amounts of oils on my scalp and hair in an attempt to keep dryness at bay. So I was surprised at the time to find so many blogs recommending daily use of water and dubbing it "natural hair's best friend". But after thinking about it, I realized it actually makes perfect sense since dryness occurs when water is missing and/or isn't retained properly.
So obviously applying water (or a water-based product) regularly isn't enough since it tends to dry out, leaving our hair back to its previous dry and brittle state. That's why we need to seal/lock in the moisture to prevent the hydration from evaporating too quickly. A sealant can be either an oil, a butter/butter-based product, or both. With that in mind, let's talk about the LOC method.
What is the LOC method?
L.O.C stands for Liquid, Oil and Cream. It involves layering up your products in that order on your freshly-washed hair to maximise moisture retention. The liquid can be water or any water-based product (leave-in, light moisturizer) and the cream can be a butter, or even a moisturizing styling cream.
This highly popular method allows you to seal in the moisture with 2 "blocking agents": the oil and the cream. Some naturals use the LCO method instead, switching up the order by applying the cream before the oil. Both methods seem to work, and I encourage you to try them out to see if they can help you combat dryness. Keep in mind that the porosity and thickness of your hair can also play a part in how it responds to these moisturizing methods.
In-between washes, you will certainly need to refresh or reapply moisture to your hair on a regular basis. Daily? Twice a day? Every other day? Well, every head is unique, so once again you will have to try to find what's best for you. But no matter the frequency, always follow this simple rule: moisturize and seal. And don't forget to drink plenty of water! We sometimes forget that having a healthy diet plays a major role in the health of our body, i.e. our hair.
One last thing I want to share with you is this uselful post found on Black Girl Long Hair: The 9 most ineffective ways to moisturize your hair. Basically, a "what not to do" list.
Hope this helps!