How to Win the Hair Hydration Game

Moisture is the foundation for a bomb wash-and-go. Here’s how to lock it all the way in.

By Anissa Gabbara

Deep Condish at Least Once a Week.

A hella good deep-conditioning session — we’re talking about 30 minutes — will quench thirsty tresses and let your curls and coils be great until your next wash day. Apply enough to coat each section of hair thoroughly, and use your fave detangling comb or brush to distribute the product (or opt to finger comb). “When the hair is wet, the cuticles are open [and once] you put the conditioner on, it goes inside each of those shingles of your cuticle,” says Felicia Leatherwood, a Los Angeles-based celebrity stylist and natural hair expert. “If you have the right conditioner, it can literally change the feeling of the hair, giving it hydration, softness, and manageability.”

Peep the Ingredients.

Tbh, most deep conditioners on the market pretty much work the same. But like any hair product, you’ll need to find the right blend that gives your locks life. Look for goodies like honey, aloe, and shea butter. In addition to these, your hair might also need a boost of protein to keep it strong. “I like seeing deep conditioners with a combination of [moisturizing and strengthening] because it takes down the number of treatments you have to do,” says Ashley Robinson, a natural texture specialist in Richmond, Virginia. And on everything, who isn’t here for less steps on wash day?

Pro Tip: Ooop! You can have moisture overload. “[You do] not need a deep conditioner any more than once a week,” says Robinson. “When you’re putting in too much moisture, [it] will cause your hair to be soggy-like or kind of spongy feeling, which will weaken the hair.”

Bring on the heat.

For this part of the routine, opt for a hooded dryer or a steamer. A hooded dryer gives that dry heat energy, while a steamer produces moist heat. “The heat helps to open up your hair shaft, so it’s going to allow the deep conditioner to penetrate further [and] provide all the nutrition so much better,” says Robinson. If your go-to is the hooded dryer, make sure you wear a plastic cap to prevent your strands from drying out. When steaming, leave the plastic cap off, so your hair directly absorbs all the moisture.

Main Image: innervisionpro/Adobe Stock

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Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™