Skip to main content

4 Common Myths About Moisturizing Natural Hair

Avatar • Mar 3, 2014

drymyths

By Chinwe of Hair and Health

Moisturizing natural hair can feel like a “complex art” at times, and moisture-related myths certainly do not help the situation.  Here are a few of those myths that I want to debunk today:

1. Protein conditioners are a no-no

Protein conditioners can actually help damaged hair – or even just older ends of the hair – retain moisture.  Here is how: Your cuticle layer acts as a protective layer for the inner cortex of your hair strand.  When the cuticle layer is damaged – e.g., broken cuticle scales, missing cuticle scales, lifted cuticle scales, etc. – moisture retention becomes difficult.  Protein conditioners can help by temporarily patching up this layer, thus helping to “seal” in moisture in a way.

2. Moisturizing daily is a must

Moisturizing daily is not an automatic requirement that comes with being natural.  Believe it or not, there are some of us out here who can go anywhere from a few days to a week without re-moisturizing our hair.  How long you can go between moisturizing sessions depends on several factors, especially the characteristics of your hair, the style you are wearing (protective vs. loose), AND the effectiveness of your products and method.  Moisturizing daily is not a must for every natural.

3. Hair without shine = dry hair

Even though I want to say that this myth has already been debunked, there are still naturals who believe that hair that lacks shine equals dry hair.  Truth be told, shine is a function of a few factors, including what products you use and how stretched or straight your hair is.  When light reflects off of this “flat” surface, (i.e. the stretched/straight hair) it can cause the shine we see. Oils and other products can enhance this shine even more.  Now naturals who have very tight coils and kinks may have sheen – a soft luster – when their hair is moisturized, but not necessarily a shine… and that is not a bad thing.  So how can you tell if your hair is dry?  Well one attribute of moisturized hair is pliability.

4. Products that contain alcohol will dry out the hair

Eh … it depends on what the alcohol is.  I have heard some people adamantly say, “I refuse to buy a conditioner with alcohol in it,” believing that cetyl alcohol is a drying alcohol.  The truth is cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, just to name a few, are “fatty alcohols.” Fatty alcohols are not at all drying like the rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) you would put on a wound.  (Actually, many fatty alcohols are waxy.)  The inclusion of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol on an ingredients label is usually due to use as one of the following:

a) a thickener or thickening agent
b) an emulsifier
c) an emollient.  And guess what? Emollients can help to soften the hair!

Ladies, have you heard any of these myths?

Avatar

About Chinwe

Healthy hair care tips and more! http://www.healthyhairbody.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
14 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brittany. L
6 years ago

yes the hair without shine is a definite moisturizing myth for natural hair. Your hair can be super moisturized and not look shiny. When I first went natural i could not understand that.

Check out http://www.curlskinksfashion.com For a mix of Fashion and natural hair
And check out our Instagram account(curlskinksfashion) to learn about a shea moisture Giveaway

Luisa
Luisa
6 years ago

Thanks Chinwe! I have a protein-related question that I really need help with, so anyone is welcome to help 🙂 , lately I have been using henna, am on my 9th treatment. The henna has really conditioned my hair and strengthened it and I also have a health issue so thats why I started henna to revamp my hair because of my illness it was really breaking off last year, so I also dont want to completely give up on proteins, is it ok? Will my strands take it? Am afraid of doing proteins and lose more hair because of what… Read more »

Love
Love
6 years ago
Reply to  Luisa

I always try to switch up one week protein then one week moisture etc.. just to be safe

LBell
LBell
6 years ago

With many years of experimentation under my belt, I can safely co-sign this entire article.

That is all (for once). 😉

Tyler
6 years ago

I think another one that goes along with the shiny hair myth is that frizzy hair/undefined curls = dry hair.

Tyler
onelittleblackdress.com

Robin
Robin
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyler

This, a thousand times. It took me almost a year to figure this out, even though I’ve always had a very defined curl pattern — because I also had some frizz. I spent about a year overmoisturizing my hair into a weak wilted mess. At the time, I didn’t realize that my frequent breakage problem was caused by too much moisture, not dryness, because all I ever heard was “frizz + breakage = dryness.” Once I understood that my usual frizz was just random strands of hair refusing to clump into coils with lots of other strands, I stopped overwatering/overconditioning… Read more »

lea
lea
6 years ago

its true about alchool the same way thats is not true about petrulatum that we use in our head is not the same that they use in cars… stop been ignorante… excelente articule

TMC toronto meetup march 29th

getting hairducated is key! i use to think cetyl alcohol was bad too. some naturals walk around with a spritz bottle in their bag and they encourage others to do likewise. totally unnecessary I say.
themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

An
An
6 years ago

The number on myth is that curls NEED to be defined

the gypsy life
the gypsy life
6 years ago
Reply to  An

Say it again!

Pat
Pat
6 years ago

I agree that education is key as there is a difference between petroleum (used in cars) and petrolatum used in hair products. I still use a little grease on my hair when wet esp after washing. It helps to form my hair and I just can’t get that effect using oils. The oil is ok for my scalp if I decide to go that route.

trackback

[…] Read more at Blackgirllonghair […]

Mary
6 years ago

Nice article. Thanks for sharing this. Have a great day!

Chrissie
6 years ago

I wish I learned about alcohols sooner than I did. I passed up so many products because of seeing alcohol in the ingredients, surely most of them were good alcohols. Loved this article!

14
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Shopping Cart