Let’s talk about hydration today.
What is hydration? What does hydration look like? How often should you hydrate?
What is hydration?
Hydration is the process of causing something to absorb water. Water is an essential part of the hair growth process. So, it is very important to make sure you work water into your hair routine. Hydration in terms of hair care is the long-term process of making sure your hair follicles are saturated with water and that the water is actually penetrating the hair shafts. Hydration is what you need to prolong moisture in your hair.
What does hydration look like?
Saturating your hair with water is the best way to hydrate your hair. This is best done on wash day, but it can be done in between wash days without shampooing. I call that refreshing your hair. You can refresh your hair in a few ways(see the last section for more detail). The key to truly hydrating your hair is to seal in that hydration. This is where conditioning and deep conditioning become the star of the show. Now, I am going, to be honest. I just recently learned the importance of this. I used to never deep condition my hair, and I had been reaping the consequences of my laziness lol. I have type 4a/ 4b, protein sensitive, fine, low porosity hair. As some of you may know, my hair is very sensitive and requires a lot of attention to detail in order to properly maintain it. It's hard finding products that hydrate without weighing down my hair and making it feel brittle/ crunchy.
I used to believe the misconception that you need a deep conditioning product to deep condition your hair.
So I used to neglect the deep condition because I hadn't found the perfect "deep conditioner".
But guess what? You can turn any conditioner into a deep conditioner. All you need is the assistance of a little heat.
And this is how you do it. (If you don't have a heated conditioning cap. Warm up your conditioner in the microwave for 30 seconds and apply it to your hair)
On wash day after you have shampooed your hair,
- Put your hair into 4 sections.
- Detangle each section, 1 at a time applying your conditioner or deep conditioner of choice. If you need more slip during this step add more water, not more product. Make sure you work the conditioner through your hair stands really well
- Put on a heated conditioning cap and allow it to sit on your hair for 20 mins. Deep conditioners should sit on the hair for at most 20 mins. It is not recommended to leave a product on past the time specified on the bottle.
**You should only leave a conditioner on your hair if it explicitly states “leave-in conditioner”. Leave-in conditioners are used for styling hair.
How often should you hydrate?
Aim to hydrate your hair once a week. Weekly hydration makes moisture retention easier for the days in between. Hydration does not have to happen on wash day, but it's easiest on wash day. I say this because you are thoroughly cleaning and detangling the hair which allows the water to really penetrate the hair shafts. If don't want to have a full wash day, you can always co-wash. Co-washing is washing your hair strands with a conditioner. No shampoo is involved. In my opinion, if you're going to co-wash you might just really wash it lol. You can also refresh your hair. Refreshing is spraying your hair down with water and reactivating your old product to seal in the new hydration. Tips for co-washing and refreshing your hair can be found in the Coiled Connection Community.