I used to think that when it comes to how to hydrate hair, the logical solution was: 'The more moisture the better.'
So my game plan was something like:
- Overdose on conditioner.
- Use a cocktail of hydrating serums and hair masks weekly.
- Saturate hair with said products.
This approach for how to moisturize dry hair can work. But it depends on one key factor: Your hair type.
Fine hair is going to handle moisture differently to curly hair. Or bleached hair, etc.
So before you soak your hair in coconut oil...or an overnight hair treatment it's important to understand how to hydrate your hair for each hair type.
In this article we'll cover how to hydrate hair for each different hair type.
Read next: How to protect your hair while you sleep
How to hydrate fine hair (and straight/relaxed hair too)
If you identify as a 'normal/regular' hair type when buying shampoo...
...you likely have straight or straight-ish hair.
This is one of the more manageable hair types with its smooth texture.
Elements like the weather, humidity and heat styling your hair on the daily, can cause dullness and weigh down fine hair.
To hydrate your hair while making it look weightless and shiny.
It's important that we look at how to moisturize relaxed hair without weighing it down.
The last thing you want is to moisturise your hair and weigh it down.
So here's what you need:
Shampoo & Conditioner for hydrating fine hair:
For your hair type:
Opt for protein infused shampoo and conditioners.
When applying conditioner; use only half the amount recommended for fine hair.
Apply conditioner only to the very ends of your hair.
Making these two adjustments when washing fine hair will ensure your hair gets hydrated without being weighed down by your conditioner.
Wash your hair less:
Here's the thing...
Fine hair is more susceptible to getting dirty and oily, making you tempted to want to wash your hair every day or two.
And I know;
No one wants to walk around with dirty hair.
Shampooing fine hair every day is going to dry it out big time!
Every time you wash your hair you also wash out all the sebum (oil) that your hair follicles produce to protect your hair.
The sebum keeps your hair healthy.
Shampoo and conditioner tends to be VERY toxic/harmful to your hair.
If you can substitute a wash day with a cheeky dry shampoo...
Style your hair in an updo to bide more time?
This will naturally help hydrate your hair in the long term.
It's always best to hydrate your hair naturally.
Learn more: Hair Washing Hacks For Healthier Hair
Hair treatments and hair moisturizer lotion for hydrating fine hair:
This is the key to hydrating fine hair with after care products:
Avoid any products that are heavy.
Dense hair treatments and heavy oils can dull the natural shine in fine hair (or straight hair).
Use lightweight to medium weight conditioning treatments.
Rather than soaking your hair in coconut oil for 30 minutes, try a medium density protein rich hair mask and leave in for 5-10 minutes.
As a general rule:
You probably don't need to leave hydrating treatments in overnight.
Fine hair will absorb moisture more quickly than textured hair.
You don't need to use treatments as often.
Every second hair wash or every 1-2 weeks (whatever allows more time between treatments) is a good general approach for how to moisturise your hair.
Also read: The Best Hair Extensions For Fine Hair
How to hydrate curly hair (thick/kinky/textured/bleached hair too)
If your hair is in the thick, curly, wavy category...
...you have permission to be more generous when hydrating your hair.
This is because:
Textured hair has a stronger hair cuticle and naturally requires more moisture to hydrate the hair.
And as much as possible:
We need to look at how to moisturise hair naturally.
Especially for this hair type.
If you want to learn how to hydrate hair after bleaching...
This will work for you too.
So with that said...
Here's what you need:
Shampoo & conditioner for hydrating curly hair:
Here's the thing:
Curly hair is naturally more dry than straight hair.
It's important to make sure your shampoo isn't excessively drying out your hair.
Using shampoo & conditioner that is as natural as possible is going to help prevent your hair from drying out.
Most natural shampoos and conditioners contain a lot of great hydrating oils.
Which will nourish curly hair and keep it bouncy and soft.
When it comes to washing:
Curly hair doesn't need to be washed that often.
Once or twice a week is fine.
If you can hold out for longer than a week, that's even better!
Here's the deal though:
If you are using a lot of leave-in products to hydrate, moisturise, make your hair shiny, control frizz etc...
Then you also have to be be mindful of product build up.
Especially on your scalp.
Because build up of product on your scalp can cause irritation.
It can block up your hair follicles, which can impair the follicles ability to grow hair.
Be sure to always apply these leave-in products to the ends of your hair, to prevent a build up on your scalp.
A clean scalp means healthy hair.
...the last thing you want to do is start blocking your hair follicles with dirt and oils.
Hair treatments and hair moisturizer lotion for hydrating curly hair:
When applying hair treatments...
...follow these tips for hydrating curly/textured hair:
- Apply conditioning treatments higher up your hair, but not touching the scalp.
- Use dense treatments with powerful ingredients like argan oil, jamaican black castor oil and shea butter. Learn why Jamaican Black Castor Oil is incredible for hair growth here.
- Leave treatments in for minimum 15 minutes. I like to leave in treatments overnight and wash them out the next morning. But this is personal preference - it's something to experiment with and see if it works for your hair.
- You can also moisturize your hair in braids using a protective sleep hairstyle to avoid hair damage.
- Use hydrating masks as often as every time you wash your hair.
Now that you've got all the tips and tricks to keep your hair hydrated, here's the final tip for all hair types:
I wish we all had a fairy godmother to wave her wand and give us healthy hair.
...the reality isn't so.
Consistency is the key to healthy hair.
Keep your hair care routine in check and the results will come.
You might also love: 3 Key Steps To Naturally Thicker, Fuller Hair
Got any hair care questions? Ask us below!