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How to Prevent the ‘Dry Hair Feeling’ After Washing

Avatar • Oct 2, 2014

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If I were to ask you the top three rules for keeping natural, curly hair soft and healthy, I bet one of the answers most of you would say is: “Keep it moisturized, of course!”. Well then, isn’t it ironic that your hair can feel most dry shortly after it has been washed? For years I wondered why the day after I washed my hair it felt brittle and rough to the touch. Sure, it felt supple when it was damp after washing but by the next morning I felt I need to apply oils and creams on my hair just to make it pliable enough to style. So, why does your hair feel dry after washing and what can you do about it? Hopefully, my recommendations will be helpful and allow you to enjoy moisturized hair one, two and even three days after washing your hair.

Why Does It Feel Dry?

There are a number of reasons why your hair may feel dry shortly after washing. One reason has to do with the quality of the water we use when washing our hair. If the water you shower with is “hard water”, that is water containing mineral deposits, it can dry out your hair, make your skin feel dry and even slowly erode your clothing. There are companies that will purify your water but the price tag isn’t cheap (I received an estimate of approximately $9,000). Another reason you may experience dry hair post-wash is the cleansing products you use. Now, if you’ve visited BGLH for any length of time then you know that sulfates in cleansers are NOT your hair’s friend,  so remove those products from your stash ASAP.

So what do you do if you don’t want to spend nearly ten grand on some fancy water purification system (I chose not to), but you’ve invested in  good shampoos and STILL suffer from dry hair after washing? I recommend that you modify your post-wash moisture  routine.

Post-Wash Moisture Routine

How you choose to moisturize your hair after washing will all depend on your texture, density and even how much oil your scalp produces on a weekly basis. There is no moisture panacea, but rather a few guidelines that you may tweak depending on your hair needs,  styling preferences and the weather.

Currently I use two products in my post-wash moisture routine.  I know some of you unfamiliar with my hair texture may want to know how it compares to your own. If using the typing system (I know some dislike that system) then I’d fall in the 4a/4b range. My hair shrinks around 75% and absorbs moisture quickly. These older videos of my hair also give you an idea of my hair texture when dry and when wet.

So, what are the two products? I first apply a generous amount of Kinky Curly Knot Today, followed by Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Creme. If you have finer hair I’d recommend diluting a light moisturizer with a little aloe vera, in order to prevent your hair from feeling weighed down. Because my hair is so dense, the slightly sticky texture of the Kinky Curly not only acts as a moisturizer, but also helps to limit frizz. I find that this post wash routine not only prevents hair brittleness after washing, but it keeps my hair soft for days. For example, I washed my hair this past Saturday and didn’t reapply any product until Wednesday morning. In the winter I may have to reapply more frequently but for now the fall weather makes this post wash moisture routine just about perfect for my hair.

 

Does your hair feel dry shortly after washing it? What effective moisturizing methods do you use following a wash?

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silkynaps
silkynaps
6 years ago

When water hits my hair, I can feel the oils and products disperse immediately and my hair will begin to feel dry. I probably have hard water, which is why I refuse to give up shampoo completely. When I shampoo my hair, I usually break it up into sections using twists or clips, completely saturate it with water, then apply diluted shampoo to my scalp using a color applicator bottle. I like to dilute my shampoo, 6 parts water, 1 part shampoo. After thoroughly rinsing, I’ll completely saturate my hair with conditioner before my hair has a chance to start… Read more »

Delia
Delia
6 years ago
Reply to  silkynaps

I bought a filtering showerhead from Target for about $30 because we have hard water here in Nevada and I noticed a difference. I also stopped having such dry hair after washing when I switched to D?vaCurl No-Poo for my cleansing portion of the routine. I know some people may not like her brand but I know the showerhead has helped me hair both when it was relaxed and when I went natural this year 🙂

LaNeshe
6 years ago

If my hair feels dry shortly after washing I know I haven’t used the right combo of products post-wash. That’s my test on new products or new product combinations. If my hair needs moisture the next day it’s not working.

db
db
6 years ago

I’ve had this problem for a while, and I think it’s the hard water because I’ve tried a lot of things in the past few years and nothing works. I will probably experiment with chelating shampoos and trying different types of water.

Using shampoo that’s been diluted with water on hair after doing a hot oil treatment or deep conditioning does help a bit, though.

arianna17
arianna17
4 years ago
Reply to  db

Be careful with chelating shampoos. They will dry your hair out.

Darlyn
Darlyn
6 years ago

The only time my hair is dry is after using Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus shampoo.

I pre poo and deep condition my hair and it’s STILL dry after using the shampoo.

Mesha
Mesha
6 years ago
Reply to  Darlyn

I thought I was the ONLY person who’s hair felt dry after using SM C&H shampoo!! I thought something was wrong with me LOL I had to hurry up and use it because even in the shower it felt like my hair was extremely dry and brittle. I never brought it again.

arianna17
arianna17
4 years ago
Reply to  Darlyn

I met many woman in Target who said the same thing. I don’t know your hair type, but that product line of the Shea Moisture brand is for thick, curly coarse hair. And it is formulated to fight frizz. It is actually an anti-humectant product. Someone with porous hair can would use this shampoo and conditioner if they are in humid weather. Can someone else speak on this?

Anonymous
3 years ago
Reply to  Darlyn

This shampoo and conditioner was actually perfect for me. I have 2B/3A hair. Everything else SheaMoisture made, made my hair heavy and greasy. This was the perfect combination. Keep in mind that all of us have different porosity, hair texture, density, width and length. I have medium porosity, 2B/3A, medium density, medium width, and long waist length hair. This makes me the perfect candidate for this Shampoo and Conditioner. But everyone is different. Because my hair is so long, heavy creams tend to weigh my hair down and make it look greasy, however heavy creams and gels might be exactly… Read more »

O
O
6 years ago

If you really dislike hard water for washing your hair and body you can get shower filters some of which you can attach inline.

I’ve grown up with hard water and have lived with many different types of water during my life and the trick is to apply mosituriser immediately after your shower. In the case of hair do it while it’s damp and the case of your body do it after you have towel dried. The weather makes a difference to the type of moisturiser to apply as thicker ones are needed in winter.

hairissueslikewoah
hairissueslikewoah
6 years ago

I have this problem which is why I hate wash day! I just washed my hair last weekend, and it took from last Sun up until today for my hair to feel moisturized and soft again(after having to re-moisturize my hair 4 nights straight!). I do live in an area that has hard water, and I guess its my fault for using shampoo’s again and not diluting them, but as far as I can remember…I always had this issue even when I gave up shampoos for awhile. Its just in the past it took 3 days…shampoos added? 6 days…

Delia
Delia
6 years ago

Again, try a filtering shower head that you or your maintenance guy can attach. That way if you don’t wanna give up shampoos completely you won’t do as much damage with the rinse

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago

I have hard water. I found that using a shampoo/conditioner combo formulated for swimmers OR incorporating acidic products (e.g. aloe vera, ACV) really helped banish the hard water crunchiness…because I keep forgetting to buy a shower filter lol.

Tonia
Tonia
6 years ago

I was just experiencing this after yesterday’s wash day. I have to use certain products to combat this issue, I usually use thick and creamy products. I’ll try what the author uses the next wash day

Ev'Yan
6 years ago

I just wanted to jump on this thread & thank whomever it was that suggested diluting shampoo. my hair feels SO GROSS after washing—really dry & crunchy. my wash day was yesterday, & used diluted shampoo for the first time, plus doubled up on my moisture when braiding to stretch (usually, I just used water & shea butter to seal) & my goodness! my hair feels AMAZING today. very luscious & moisturized, & still has that clean feeling without feeling dry or stripped. I’m going to do this from now on, I think! I’d also like to mention that what tends… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago

Has anyone ever tried using Johnson’s baby shampoo

Anonymous
3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I have and it works great, at least on my 2B/3A hair type. It is suuuppppeeeerrrr gentle. It still leaves my hair with the dry feeling but not as much as regular shampoo. However, I am starting to think it’s the hard water I have that’s causing me issues.

Paige
Paige
6 years ago

I started using Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner & Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deeep Conditioner and can really tell the difference in my routine results. It makes my hair really soft and moisturized. After I’ve finished washing it out (not completely, but mostly) I use a t‑shirt to soak up the excess water and apply avocado oil and a leave in conditioner (currently Cantu) VERY liberally and let it air dry for as long as I can. After I’ve styled it and it’s dry the next day I haven’t had a problem with that dry, rough feeling. I used to… Read more »

Akilah
6 years ago

After washing, I condition & then deep condition. I am a fan of the LOC method so I use Miss Jessies leave-in- conditioner, then coconut oil, & lastly camille rose’s almond jai butter. That does my hair wonders and then I style. Following that order I have yet to have problems with dry hair. Hope I could help.

Prashant Agarwal
6 years ago

Regular massage with egg oil twice a week and leaving it on overnight will certainly help. Try a pure egg oil like EYOVA.

Tonia
Tonia
5 years ago

it took me a hot minute after I went natural to realize that washing the hair can make the hair feel dry and brittle no matter what kind of shampoo I use. I have to use heavy creamy products to get my hair back to its normal moisturized feel. I’m still playing around with products to see what is the best combo post wash. This was a helpful article

DS
DS
5 years ago

I had this problem for a bit. I thought something was wrong with me. I was drinking lots of water, moisturizing my hair, eating healthy. The hairdresser kept telling me that I am not taking care of my hair. And when I told her everything I am doing, she said that I wasn’t drinking enough water. It should have clicked that it was the water they use or their products because I don’t get the same feeling when I do it myself. I always felt so embarrassed going back there just to here how I don’t take care of myself.

vybvg
vybvg
5 years ago

These comments and thread is dumb as hell

arianna17
arianna17
4 years ago
Reply to  vybvg

Why are the comments and thread are dumb? Just curious.

arianna17
arianna17
4 years ago

I’m a year late. Okay, I want to add that black hair should not be washed no more than once. When you read on the back of a shampoo bottle and it says shampoo and repeat, that directive is not for our hair. I don’t care how moisturizing the shampoo is. We should be careful not to over wash our hair. I wash my hair one good time! Cleaning the scalp, massaging it gently. That is all that is needed.

arianna17
arianna17
4 years ago

Okay, her is something else I forgot to add. A former hairstylist told me not to spend too much time rinsing the conditioner out of my hair. Rinse most of it out, but leave just a tad bit in my hair! This will help keep my hair from drying out.

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