Happy Hump Day!
I was inspired to write about my sealing technique after seeing so many #Naturalhair tweets about rough, dry hair. One of the early lessons I’ve learned is to Seal, Seal, and Seal some more in order to achieve moisture and length retention.
For me, the biggest sign that my hair lacks moisture is when:
You touch your hair and it screams at you! When my hair is dry, touching it yields a crackling sound! Your hair should not make sound!
Hair Lacks Sheen: Overall appearance of hair is dull and shinless
Because afro textured hair is tightly coiled, the sebum that our scalp naturally produces, never reaches the ends of the strands, due to our hair’s kinky/coily nature. This is why sealing is important. We apply products to our hair to aid in moisture, but to retain moisture, we need to seal in the products!
The first step in sealing for me comes as I’m washed out my deep conditioner. As I rinse out the conditioner, I use cool water and rub my hands down the strands to help close the hair cuticle as I squeeze the excess water from my strands. I learned that tip in the beginning of my journey from KimmayTube. She has a series on the science of hair that breaks down the hair strand. Once you understand that, you know what you need to do, to ensure moisture is trapped (or sealed) in the strand.
Next, I use a liquid leave in conditioner, a creamy leave in conditioner, and shea butter whip as my sealant.
Spray Liquid Leave In to each section: Combination of Infusium 23, Aloe Vera Juice, Water, and a bit of castor or olive oil. I tried KimmayTube’s basic recipe and have changed it over time to suit my needs. I purchased the Infusium 23 from my local BSS for maybe $7…It’s lasted 10 months at least, as I only use it as an added ingredient. The Aloe Vera Juice was purchased from Vitamin Shoppe for $5. AVJ doesn’t last me too long because I use it for different purposes.
Apply a quarter sized amount of Creamy Leave In to each section: Giovanni Direct Weightless Moisture. This is a holy grail product for me. “certified organic botanicals. No animal by-products. Cruelty free. Restores strength, lustre and nourishment to abused hair. Moisturizes and builds body“. I purchased this online for maybe $4…It’s lasted 9 months at least.
Apply a quarter sized amount of Shea Butter Whip to each section (or as needed): I whip my own shea butter using at the very least Olive, Coconut, and Castor Oils. I find that these are the oils that add the most moisture to your hair. I’ve also added orange and mint EO for scent and Rosemary for it’s growth properties. In the future, I will post a video of how I whip my hair butter.
It’s important to note that when I add products to my hair, I apply them from the bottom of the strands (the oldest, most neglected strands) in an upward motion until I reach the top of the strands (the new growth). This will ensure my ends receive the love they need. This will also ensure moisture retention, therefore encouraging length retention. Also please be mindful of how much product you are adding to your hair. Being heavy handed with products can weigh the hair down, unnecessarily. If after you apply your products, you can squeeze product out of your section, you’ve been heavy handed. Start by applying a bit at a time (dime-sized amounts) and judge from there what you hair needs.
Since I wear mostly protective styles, I do not usually have to re-style during the week, but if I do, I re-seal by spraying my liquid leave in, which I also use as a refresher, and applying my shea butter whip to my strands using the “from the bottom up” technique I discussed earlier.
I always sleep with a silk scarf on! It protects the hair from otherwise drying out due to the hair being against the cotton pillow all night.
Do you have a special sealing technique that ensures moisturized strands?