Friday, 1 August 2014

Real Talk: My Moisturising Truth

I'm going to tell you a secret. Are you listening? Lean in a bit closer, I don't want anybody to hear...

How many of you actually leaned towards your screens? =)

Anyways here goes:
I don't keep my hair moisturised. GASP!! I don't know how many of you are shocked, or disgusted or intrigued but hear me out before you judge me. Yep, today's Real Talk is all about my moisturising truth. Let's get to it.

See the thing is, for the first 17 years of my life my hair was never properly moisturised. In fact it wasn't really ever properly taken care of, especially by today's 'Natural Hair Care standards'. Whenever I did any type of maintenance, to take down one weave/extensions and put another one in, it was all done dry. Whenever I combed my hair, it was done dry. And by dry I mean without using a moisturiser or any type of 'wet' styler. In fact the only hair products I ever owned was a standard shampoo, conditioner and a bottle of pink lotion. And that pink lotion only came out when I straightened my hair *shudders*. Anyway, the point is for those 17 years I never thought about dryness, and to be honest I didn't really see my hair enough to ever really evaluate it.

Then when I started my hair care journey, my hair remained 'dry' for the first two and a half years. Now this wasn't for lack of trying. I tried to moisturise my hair. I deep conditioned and steamed and used leave ins and oils and butters galore. However, the only time my hair would feel moisturised was for the first 24 hours post wash and then it would dry out like I didn't spend 12 hours marinating my strands in plant extracts, oils, and unicorn tears.

As I learnt that particular oils had better sealing properties than others, I was able to double those 24 hours post wash, but retaining moisture was nigh impossible in between washes. I tried a lot of popular leave ins and moisturisers and creams but nothing worked for more than a few hours after application, no matter what sealants I used. Eventually I discovered the Faith In Nature conditioners which were the first products to actually moisturise and soften my dry hair. And I continued to use them faithfully for about 6 months until I developed my own products that I was able to use. And I've used those exclusively for about 18 months.

So that's a condensed history of my experiences with moisturising. You might be wondering "Hey Rella, now that you know how to moisturise and you have products that do it, why isn't your hair damp and springy all day, erryday?" I'm glad you asked. There are a few sides to my answer to that.

1. I aint craving silky hair, it's not my hair type and I'm not fighting it
At the start of this hair journey I had all kinds of insecurities and inferiority complexes surrounding my hair texture. I used to wish my hair was silkier and the curl was more apparent. It took a while before I accepted that silky naps will never be my portion and then I was able to see the beauty of my spongy texture. Back when I was lusting after them silks, I thought frequent moisturising will somehow transform the sponge. But I learnt with time that a wet sponge just feels like a wet sponge lol. My spongy texture wasn't going to become silky because it was deep conditioned and moisturised. Sure, it would feel smoother but not silkier if that makes sense? So now that I'm fully all for my spongy texture, I'm not trying to change it.

2. Water = popping, tiny, non-clumping coils = tangles = NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT
I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but my hair is a congregation of non-clumping, teeny tiny, springy coils. When I wet them, the springs contract and since the coils don't clump this creates a cacophony of tangles and matting which nobody has got time to detangle. I mean NOBODY. I live my hair life avoiding tangles where I can, so I'm definitely not trying to create conditions or opportunities where tangles can occur. Not if I can help it.

3. My hair is not a living organism that requires water to live, thus I only moisturise when I need the elasticity to minimise mechanical damage.
If you were here for the last Real Talk about trimming, you have heard me say this before. Hair is dead. Hair does not get thirsty. If you don't moisturise your hair for a week if wont die of thirst. Because it is already dead. Because of this I embrace my natural dry spongy texture and only moisturise my hair when I need the elasticity that moisturising provides, to minimise mechanical damage. An example of this is when I'm finger detangling or if i'm doing a hair style that requires a lot of handling.

So yeah, now that I'm not looking for silky hair and have recognised the softness and beauty in my naturally spongy texture, the urge to constantly moisturise has completely dissipated. Wetting tightly coiled hair is absolutely no fun at all for me, I do it when my hair needs it. When it is being washed or when it is being overly handled. But even then I do it in a controlled manner, braiding and twisting after moisturising to prevent tangles...

So now my moisturising efforts depend completely on how I'm wearing my hair. In all honesty it can be as frequent as a few times a week, or a few times a month. My hair is the longest it's ever been (APL), my ends are in good condition, and I have no problem retaining length. You know why? Because hair strands are dead. They are not a garden that needs to be watered to live. It's sort of like spaghetti. Imagine dry spaghetti and hydrated spaghetti. If i'm moving dry spaghetti from one place to another, and handling it gently, it wont break. But if I want to create a spaghetti Mona Lisa, them spaghetti's will be all snaps and cracks galore if I try to manipulate them dry. Whereas hydrated spaghetti is easily shaped and manipulated.

So if you handle your hair often and you need that elasticity by all means keep your hair watered. If you dont, then dont.

I wanna hear from you. How often do you moisturise your hair? Why do you moisturise it that frequently? What are your thoughts? Let me know!

Rella x

PS. None of this applies in the summer though. In summer, the air is humid enough that erry mornin' I wake up and my hair feels like 17 elves wept on it while I was sleeping...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Naturalinlondon, I love to water my hair. I do have low porosity hair though, so most of the time nothing gets in. It's just like an umbrella..xD I don't shampoo my hair, just clay washes at least once a week. That way my hair allows water and conditioner to get in. I do use a waterbased leave in or conditioner and shea butter to seal the hair strands. We do have the same texture but my hair strands (not all of them) do clump. It takes time. I realized that with proper hydration (thus the clumping), it's able to become more silky when dry. Hair will grow whatever you do and you have proven it, but I think especially kinky/curly/coily hair still needs some kind of "nutrition", even if it's dead.^^