Monday, 31 January 2011

Do you really need to moisturise every day?

It is time to stomp on another popular bit of junk from the natural world. Is there a need to 'moisturise' daily? To be clear moisturising means

1. Spraying hair with water.
2. Using a water based moisturiser or water based leave-in.
3. Washing hair - cowash or shampoo and condition.

I see the need for water when you are manipulating free hair - it gives the hair some flexibility. However once hair is in twists or braids is daily watering really necessary?

I have always thought it was extreme to moisturise two times or more daily. I did try it and my hair did not feel any different (but then again my hair does not care for deep conditioning either so I am not exactly the 'model' head of hair).  I have read stories of women carrying small spray bottles to work and spraying several times through the day. Is all this really necessary?

I read a very insightful piece by Loo who is pretty much a once a week moisturiser. I would encourage you all to read and perhaps rethink what you do to your hair.

Vote in the poll - How often do you moisturise your hair?

29 comments:

  1. I usually moisturize my hair once a week with a heavy moisturizer and I won't touch it until I take it out for a twist out (usually 3-5 days). If I plan on keeping the twists in longer, I'll re-moisturizer using a spray every 2-3 days. When I'm wearing a twist out, I usually re-moisturize every night before bed to make re-twisting easier.

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  2. I moisturize a least once a day. Be it cowashing or using a water-based moisturizer, it is very necessary. My hair is fine and very porous. Henna seems to help with this.

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  3. Once a week is enough for me, unless I am going to change styles for some reason (which I very rarely do).

    I don't mess with my hair when it's in twists or plaits.

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  4. I don't understand the obsessive moisturizing either. My hair coil diameter is smaller than pen-spring sized (by pen-spring I mean the spring inside the pen). My strands are medium/fine thickness and really dense (# of folicles). Yet, a good leave-in conditioner and a little oil keeps it soft. What I do to it right after washing makes the most difference. I might moisturize my ends again midweek with more conditioner, but that's about it.

    Sometimes I think that after living for years in the Pink Lotion/sheen spray era of permed life, many women equate a oily head with a moisturized one. NOT the same thing.

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  5. I read that post by Loo and thought it was interesting. I think she did make a good point about if you are using a good moisturizer, you shouldn't have to moisturize so often.

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  6. My hair gets easily over moisturised, so moisturising excessively just won't happen in my case. Before I worked out it was a protein deficiency, I though my hair just kept losing moisture...

    I think having to continually apply moisturiser means you need a new one - if you used a glue and it kept coming undone every half an hour, you wouldn't use the same one, would you?

    I think some people think that if their hair feels like it does when it's wet, then it's moisturised. But for me, if it's not dry, it's moisturised.

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  7. I co wash twice a week - less if I can get away with it. My hair doesn't like too much moisture - gets flat & blah despite the fact its porous. But I do probably have a weaker curl pattern than a lot of the ladies here plus I have fine strands. (chm)

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  8. Hmmm....I don't think that's a "one size fits all" question. Someone who sleeps on cotton, lives in a dry climate, or is inside a heated building most of the day will have to moisturize more than others.

    In addition to that, someone who seals with coconut oil, for example, is going to lose moisture more easily than someone who seals with mineral oil (since there's data on the comparison).

    It seems very environment and product dependent even when you don't take porosity into account.

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  9. I'm still working out a routine but usually I only make sure to thoroughly seal in the moisture after a wash (once a week). Lately I have been spraying my hair with an avj/water/oil spritz before showering for added moisture in the middle of the week. That's it. Maybe I should be doing a little more though. My results are very touch and go :/

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  10. I moisturize once wash day (every 5-7 days). I follow the same routine whether I'm wearing a stretched style (braid-out, bantu knot out, etc) or a bun. It works well for me.

    I really don't get this "moisturize every day" thing. I could only do that if I had a TWA and shampooed/co-washed every couple of days. Otherwise it'd be too much work. Otherwise, I'd have to find another moisturizer...

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  11. i moisturize with a water based leave-in every 3 days, mind i sleep on a cotton pillow and don't wear a satin bonnet

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  12. Currently my hair sees some form of water every day, either via rinsing in the shower, spritzing, or at bare minimum using a water-based moisturizer. For me really it's less about moisture and more about pliability, if that makes sense: My hair is short and the WNG is my only style; it's very soft and loses its shape easily when dry.

    Now for longer hair that's either kept in protective styles or an out style...no, I would only truly moisturize once a week if that.

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  13. Recently I cut my hair due to excessive splits. I couldn't figure out why I kept getting them but then I remembered that split ends are caused by dry hair (well at least that's one of the causes). At first I dismissed this as being the reason why I was getting them constantly because when I moisturized my hair it felt fine. It also wasn't breaking excessively....or so I thought. I have coarse hair btw.

    Well after a year of fighting it, I decided to cut off the damage (5-6 inches) and now I'm sporting a TWA. One thing I realized that I wasn't doing was moisturize effectively, and I think that's why I had such a problem with split hairs. I'm talking split ends to the maximum. Holes in the hair shaft, knots galore, deep splits. etc. Sometimes I would try to moisturize daily but I would fall off. My hair was really dry and it was a rude awakening when I touched the hair that I cut off. My hair looked horrible and it was so brittle. I had my hair in twists the day I decided to cut my hair so I just cut off the twists. The weird thing was that the day before I called myself moisturizing my hair and the next day it feels like straw. I was in denial for the longest time.

    Since I've cut my hair I'm dedicated to taking better care of my hair, and that will require me to do things differently. I've been moisturizing and sealing my hair twice daily and honestly, my hair feels so much better and I get NO breakage at all. When it gets warmer I'll probably not need to moisturize twice a day, but I'll still do it once a day, everyday. I think my hair needs it so that's what I'm gonna do.

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  14. I moisturise at least once a day with a spray bottle of water, conditioner and a little glycerine, if I skip my daily moisturising I can definitely tell a difference in how my hair feels. However it also depends on the season, right now where I live its incredibly hot so I may even moisturise twice a day.

    http://thenaturalgirlsguidetobeauty.blogspot.com/

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  15. I moisturize twice daily. Mostly because I only wash my hair once a month and I live in a cold dry climate.

    I moisturize by either: letting steam hit my hair in the shower, quickly rubbing a dime size amount of leave-in over my hair concentrating on the ends, or misting my hair with leave-in mixed with water. I follow up with a little jojoba/castor oil mixture.

    I have found that this helps eliminate the split ends and dry brittle hair that I use to have. Also keeps my twist looking fresher longer. I moisturize in the morning and before bed. I braid my twists at night to keep them stretched with a little crimp. So I moisturize before braiding at night and after taking braids out in the morning. It's a simple and fast routine.

    I live in Chicago which is very cold and dry in the winter and has killer winds. I also put on lotion everyday and purchased a humidifier to combat dry skin. During summer I don't have to moisturize my skin and hair as vigilantly.

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  16. I moisturize most days twice a day. Why? I like how my hair feels when it is moisturized this often. If I have in twists, wearing my hair out, etc., I typically do the same thing. My hair is normal to low porosity, average density with medium strands. My curls range in size from large "S" waves to pencil sized corkscrews.

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  17. @LittleOne, you're right, sealing with a heavier oil/butter works better especially if you have thicker hair. I guess that's why my hair feels drier faster when I use coconut oil only.

    A good deep conditioning works pretty well, hair feels soft and pliable for days....! After that all I need is a quick spritz and I'm out the door. Keeping my hair in twists and cornrows helps it to retain moisture better, and even if it does get dry it won't break because it's "kept away".

    @Jc, what about maintaining moisture on the scalp? I'm sure this is an issue for some, especially in the winter. I have used jojoba oil or a jojoba/castor mix. It works well but does not last long. Any tips?

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  18. I live in a high and dry climate, so I have to moisturize at least twice a day. I am still exploring different products so that I do not have to do this, but in the meantime it is a must.

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  19. i tend to only moisturise my hair when i wash it, which is about twice a week, and sometimes every other day. On occasions when i have not washed my hair for a week, i would remoisturised maybe once during that week. I don't usually feel the need to moisturise every day or several times a day, my hair would just get very producty!
    It depends on people, my stepmum for example really needs to moisturise every day, and sometimes twice as her hair is very porous. Mine is of "normal" porosity.

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  20. I don't understand moisturizing a few times a day either. I remember when I went natural I read someone's fotki or blog post saying that they carry around a spray bottle in their purse to moisturize a few times a day. I actually tried it but it was way too much!

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  21. I spray water and aloe vera gel on my hair and seal with jojoba oil every night because I am very sensitive products. Because of this, my hair does not stay moisturized for more than two days. I only wash and condition with water, a few drops of lemon juice, and aloe vera gel. If you have any ideas on how to effectively cleanse the scalp with fragrance free and gentle products please let us know.

    By the way, all of the "hypoallergenic" and "fragrance free" shampoos and conditioners that I've tried either caused a reaction or made my hair brittle. Thanks.

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  22. I have shoulder length sisterlocks and I moisturize twice a day. By moisturize I mean spritz with a mixture of 16oz distilled water,1 tbsp vegetable glycerine, 1 tbsp castor oil, little jojoba oil, 1 tbsp olive oil and a couple of tbsp of some type of moisturizing cream like Elasta QP Olive Oil Mango Butter and/or Carol's Daughter..Some of Marguerit's Magic.I put it in a spray bottle and shake, shake, shake! I have super dry hair and scalp. This "magic mixture" after much trial and error, is the only thing I have found that softens and moisturizes my dry crunchy locks and moisturizes my dry flaky scalp all in one. It does not leave any feeling of oily-ness, nor any feeling of residue. I no longer need to do hot oil treatments or deep conditioners or acv rinses for dry flaky scalp. Works for me. By the way I have found a wonderful super-moisturizing, cheap, easy to find with natural ingredients shampoo. The product line is Shea Moisture. There are 3 different types of shampoos I think. I have the Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and conditioner. Its WONDERFUL!! You can find it at Target for $9.99. Never had a shampoo leave my hair so soft or smelling so good for so long...days.

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  23. Another once-a-weeker checking in. I used to moisturize daily when I was a newbie and just did it because everyone else did.

    Now I know my hair a bit better and found that I was doing too much.

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  24. I am afflicted by couldn't be bothered syndrome. I moisturise once a week and get on with things, natural hair was supposed to be less work than relaxed so i made it so :P
    If i'm doing twists at night and my hair is not flexible then i'll moisturise and if its still not flexible enough i'll spray in some water. I don't have time to spend an age on my hair.

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  25. Wow, its seems our decision should be based on our hair texture,thickness, and climate? Because it's not a one size fits all approach. My hair is thick, and I do have some coarse textures.. I personally moisturize once a day. But overall whenever my hair feels dry I am going to add moisture to it.

    JC, I'd love it if you could tackle dry ends in your research. This is an area that boggles me. I can trim, moisturize, and seal, they will feel good for a while, and then I start to experience dryness again. So I keep snipping them. I don't want to continue cutting my hair, so I need to figure this out. Can you help? : )

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  26. I moisturize twice a week, on wash day and about 4 days later when I'm refreshing my twists. sometimes I'll spray my scalp with water throughout the week if its a little itchy

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  27. I used to moisturize my hair 3x a day before i started conditioning 2x wkly n keeping it coiled 90%of the time, no it is needed only once a day, but anytime i feel its a little dry i moisturize it, even if it calls for 10x a day !

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  28. I'm finding that when my hair is twisted I don't need to moisturizer it AS much. But when it's out I moisturizer 1 to 2 x a day. I really think the porosity of hair is a factor. It will different from head to head based on your hairs ability to receive and hold on to moisture. Everyone will be different.

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  29. i have found that the only time my hair needs to be moisturized (read: given slip quality in the form of some kinda lubrication, doesn't have to be straight water) is when i'm manipulating it in free form. case in point. when i used to flat iron my hair on a weekly basis- from 2010 all the way to the end of 2011, i NEVER moisturized my hair. the only time my hair saw water was on wash day. for obvious reasons. i went from hair that was healthy and ear length in April to hair that was bra strap length in october of the latter year, that was full and thick and free of split ends and breakage. people criticized me for not using moisturizer, but at the same time couldn't stop marveling at how obviously healthy my hair was. they couldn't believe it! because all along we've been taught to moisturize moisture moisture, which is not true for everyone. if i'm not about to touch my hair, then my hair doesn't care how dry it is. in fact, i would be borderline insane to moisturize my hair on any kind of regular schedule because a few hours after i moisturize it it's dry again anyway. i'd quickly go through moisturizing product trying to keep up. people have to be savvy as to when they need to moisturize and they need to also understand that our hair is characteristically dry. your hair being dry is not going to cause it to break in and of itself. it will, however, break if you handle it in a rough manner. you can employ lubricant while handling to reduce breakage but unless you're handling your hair intricately it's totally necessary. i agree with you JC and i'm glad that someone actually gave thought to this. it needed to be said.

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