By Hadassah Agbaps - March 13, 2017

Q 1: Hi Hadassah. I have the Nigerian 4c hair, dry brittle hair. I really love your blog. I have been natural for 2 years but I have still don't have the hang of it. I don't know what it feels like for my hair to be moisturised and the oils that are good. Right now, my biggest issue is BREAKAGE. It is quite bad and I am so lost. I also have problems with length retention. I have literally tried a lot of things just like i have been told but I don't know what's going on. Please help me.- Desire Uba

 Hi Desire, thank you for your kind words.
 Our Nigerian weather especially during the harmattan period can really bring out the crackle and pop in our hair and with dryness comes brittleness, breakage and poor length retention.

What does moisturised hair feel like?

To get a feel of what your hair feels like moisturised, try washing and deep conditioning your hair. Blot off excess water and take note of how it feels.
Then take note of how your hair feels when it's 90% dry and when it's completely dry.
Your moisturised hair will be what your hair feels like when it's about 90% dry.
In most cases, it feels soft, elastic and definitely not brittle.

How do I moisturise my hair?

The first step to moisturising 4c hair properly is moisturise daily. We erroneously think that if we moisturised our hair the day before, we have no need to moisturise today.
I agree that some of us can get away with that but most of us can't (especially those with high porosity hair). In a similar manner, some of us can get away with not moisturising the skin often and still have hydrated skin while most of us will be walking around looking ashy.
So, MOISTURISE DAILY....that is,apply your moisturiser every day and also any time your hair feels dry.

You can also incorporate the Indian Oiling Method into your wash routine. It helps the hair retain moisture better, reduce breakage and unnecessary shedding.

What's an effective moisturiser?

An effective moisturiser should contain water as the first ingredient and then a mix of oils and humectants (these draw moisture towards the hair).

Moisturising can be as simple as spraying your hair with water and sealing with a butter or oil such as shea butter, castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil or whatever rocks your boat.
I'll advice you to start with one type of  oil (e.g. just Olive oil) instead of trying to work with a mix of oils (mixing castor oil with Shea butter for instance). This is so you know exactly what type of oil you prefer.

For beginners, you can start with oils/butters that can be gotten locally such as shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil , Palm kernel oil, castor oil or Olive oil. You can also make your own leave in conditioner.
Here is a simple recipe for an effective leave in conditioner

If you aren't the mixing type ,you can get a leave in conditioner from the beauty shops close to you. (Here are some suggestions). You should apply this every day (in the morning after you shower) and then apply an oil over it. If your hair feels oily, you've applied too much.
Then anytime your hair feels dry apply again.
You'll notice you need to moisturise more often during harmattan/winter weather there's less moisture in the environment.

What else can cause your hair to dry out?

Aside not moisturizing often, other things can cause your hair to feel dry such as

  • leaving in braids and weaves in too long (more than a month),
  • using harsh shampoos (try sulfate free shampoos that don't have sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulfate in the ingredients list. You can also limit shampoo to once a month or once in two weeks and always deep condition afterwards).
  • dyeing your hair
  • frequent heat styling

You can read this for more information on causes of dry hair and leave in conditioner suggestions

Hope this helps!

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  1. Thank you so much for acknowledging my post. This has been really helpful. Thank you. Please do keep up the good work. Will let you know how it goes.

  2. Even though I didn't ask this, it refreshes my mind on how to really care for my hair on a daily basis.
    I must say I sometime slack and fall back on bad habit.
    Thank you.

  3. i'd also like to share that steaming your hair is also a good way of moisturizing your hair. steamers bring out moisture and the moisture helps to lift the cuticles of your hair and getting in water to penetrate the hair follicle.


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