How Often Should I Moisturize My '4A' Natural Hair?

Proper moisturization keeps type "4A" hair healthy.

Photo: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Natural hair designated "4A" is tightly coiled and usually contains curls about the size of a pen-spring. Because of its ultra-curly nature, the scalp's natural oils have a difficult time traveling down the hair shaft all the way to the ends. This is why "4A" hair is often dry. Keeping it well-moisturized is one of the keys to keeping this hair texture in shape. However often you moisturize your hair, stick with a regular schedule.

Daily Moisturizing

You can moisturize "4A" hair every day. Water works well as a moisturizer, so if you cleanse your tresses every day, you'll get moisturizing with your daily wash. You can also wash or spritz your curls with a conditioner/water mix.

Products

The best products to use on this hair type are natural or as close to natural as you can get. You can find a variety of hair care products at your health food store. Oils like jojoba, coconut and sweet almond are well-suited to keeping your "4A" hair moisturized and supple. Either use them straight from the container or mix and match for specialized concoctions. Add a few drops of essential oils like lavender if you want to create a sweet-smelling homemade product. If you prefer commercially prepared products, look for ones that contain shea butter or natural oils listed in the first five ingredients. The closer an ingredient is to the top of the list, the greater its impact. Avoid petroleum-based products, which only coat "4A" hair and attract dirt. Petrolatum doesn't actually moisturize, but it makes hair feel greasy.

Deep Conditioning

Moisturize with regular deep-conditioning treatments. You can apply these anywhere from one to four times a month. Women who avoid heat styling won't need deep conditioners as often as women who occasionally thermal-style their hair. If you color your hair, particularly if you lift it a few shades, deep-condition at least a couple of times a month to keep your hair well-moisturized and combat the dryness that often accompanies color-treated hair.

Hold in Moisture

Holding in moisture is important. A good method to use, especially on dry ends, is the "baggie method." Simply oil your hair's ends and cover with inexpensive plastic wrap. Secure with plain rubber bands. Keep the bags in place overnight, and in the morning you'll have moisturized ends that are less likely to break.

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