Natural, curly hair tends to be dry and brittle, especially in the Winter months. You would think that it would be impossible to have over moisturized natural hair. Well, that is not necessarily true. Over moisturizing or over conditioning happens with veterans more often than rookies, who are still getting accustomed to having to add moisture in their newly natural hair. Moisture and protein overloads can occur and cause the same breakage we are all trying to avoid.
How can you tell that your hair is being over moisturized? If your hair is limp, oily and feels “mushy” to the touch, there is a good chance its suffering. Here are some tips on what to avoid and how maintain balance in your hair.
Too much “baggying” and co-washing
Baggying is the method of using a shower cap or plastic bag while you deep condition. Frequent cowashing or “wash & go” styles can cause hair to never be completely dry. Both of these methods can cause the hair to become porous and stop retaining moisture altogether. Find a balance by cutting back to 1-2 times per week instead of every day. Also trying out protective styles such as twists or buns will retain more moisture as well as length.
Deep conditioning for longer than suggested
Lengthy or overnight deep conditioning treatments may not be needed, especially when the label suggests a wash out after 15-20 minutes. The instructions on the bottle tell you exactly what to do to receive the product’s maximum benefit.
Eliminating protein/overuse of protein
Your hair needs protein for strength but be sure that your hair is not “protein sensitive”. This can save you from some traumatic breakage in the long run. Use protein the right way, by incorporating it in monthly treatments, versus having it in all of your staple moisturizing products.
Knowing the different between a protein-based product and a moisturizer is the first step. The moisturizer should have water as the first ingredient and have a glycerin humectant. On the other hand, a protein product may come in the form of a reconstructive treatment or a conditioner. The first ingredients should include an amino acid, soy protein, or milk protein. A good option is to mix some protein conditioner in with a regular deep conditioner for a light protein boost.
Have you ladies ever over moisturized your natural hair? How could you tell?