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the moisturizing masterbook (courtesy of j!), pt 1

• Oct 15, 2009

This series was originally posted in February (2/5/09) but as winter approaches, I think we all need to have MOISTURE on our minds. This is me trying to get my moisture on with a pineapple wrap…


so, a few weeks ago, jenteel (our resident hair expert for some months now…) put together a bomb package on our favorite topic; moisturizing!

in a prophetic twist, i realized that i needed a new daily moisturizer soon after she completed the article. so, this article is as much for me as it is for you. here’s part 1.

As winter sets in, we at BGLH thought it would be important to focus on moisturizing techniques as we brave the sometimes unforgiving winter weather. All the hard work done throughout the year can be diminished if one does not incorporate some “winterproofing” into our hair regimens 🙂


As far as hair health, I will begin with the internal — the most important. Yes, what you put into your body reflects on the outside; especially important for most of us concerned with the beauty aspects of hair, skin, and nails.

Water: The amount of water you consume actually varies by person. I don’t stick to the “8 glasses a day” rule because we are all different. You should drink a little less than half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you exercise, you should add 16 oz to the total for every 45 minutes of strenuous activity. For every ounce of caffeinated beverage that you drink, you need to drink and additional 2 oz of water.

Fruits/ Vegetables: Try to consume fruits and veggies with a high water content; red-orange fruits and veggies, leafy greens, citrus & berries.

Vitamins/Minerals: Vitamin A, C, E, zinc, selenium, and omega‑3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are very important. For vegetarians who don’t eat fish/fish oils, try nuts/oils like macadamia, walnuts & almonds.

Useful Supplements: MSM, Spirulina, Silica & DHA.


No-poo / Co-wash: This is a technique popularized by Lorraine Massey in her book, “Curly Girl — The Handbook: A Celebration of Curls: How to cut them, care for them, love them, and set them free”. The premise for this technique is that most shampoos contain harsh, drying sulfates that are extremely damaging for curly hair (ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc.). They make curly hair frizzy and uncooperative. Using conditioner in place of shampoo will cleanse the hair just as effectively without stripping it of moisture. Gentle shampoos that contain mild cleansers (i.e. cocamidopropyl betaine or coco betaine) can be used occasionally.

Deep Conditioning Treatments: You can make these treatments yourself or purchase commercial conditioners that contain one of more of the following ingredients: honey, botanical extracts, shea butter, avocado oil, olive oil, castor oil, sunflower oil etc. INGREDIENTS TO AVOID: mineral oil & petroleum which coats the hair and prevents moisture from getting in. A good conditioner should flatten the cuticles and fill in rough spots, thereby smoothing the hair surface. It should also provide good lubrication so that hair glides over each other avoiding snags and breakage. This is where slip becomes important. Slip describes how easy it is to get the comb thru the hair strands. Leave in a deep conditioner for 30 minutes to an hour with heat, longer without.

Oils: Coconut and olive oils are known to penetrate the hair shaft easily, but make sure to mix the oils with even a little bit of water to really penetrate the cuticle. Jojoba oil is similar to our own sebum so this works well on the scalp and as a sealant.
there is SOOO much more, but we’ll do bits at a time.

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12 years ago

This post got me thinking. We all seem to have a problem with moisture, so we use various products/ingredients like shea butter to alter our ‘dry’ hair, and yet we say we wear our hair ‘natural’. People with caucasian hair who choose do go natural do not use so many products and spend so much time on their hair. And yet we do. Having had locs for 8 years, I chopped them off last year because I longed for an afro (which I now have and love!) But the maintenance is definitely something else! With locs EVERYTHING is just wash-and-go, with… Read more »

12 years ago

one of the most potent and balanced plant sources of all three omega fats (3–6‑9) is hempseed oil. Has a huge amount of omega 9s and it beats flaxseed hands down (imo)..i have found a brand by Manitoba Harvest to be first rate. Other sources of omega fats are
- pumpkin seeds
- almonds
- chia seeds
- evening primrose, borage oils 

chia and hemp seeds are also high in protein and fiber. 

such a timely post for us Midwesterners, thanks BGLH!

12 years ago

yes lina! great list!
i now use chia as my efa superfood!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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