7 Ways to Moisturize Curly Hair
Are your dry, frizzy curls weighing you down? If your curly hair is damaged and dehydrated, take it as a sign that it’s time to reassess your daily care routine. There are many ways you can top up moisture levels and revive parched, split end-prone strands. And, bonus: when you work on rehydrating curly hair, you get more bounce and definition from those curves too.
So, how do you moisturize your curly hair if it’s dry? Here, we reveal why it might feel like straw in the first place, plus the tips and treatments that will leave curls softer, springier and frizz-free…
Why Does My Curly Hair Feel So Dry?
One of the main reasons curls can become dry comes down to their shape and the way your hair hydrates itself. From the follicle, sebum travels down the hair shaft, which can have a moisturizing effect on the mid-lengths and ends. When hair is straight, it’s easy for this sebum to make its way down to the very tips, but when strands are curly, it’s a little trickier for the oils to make their way through.
The tighter your curl is, the more likely sebum is going to get trapped up near the root, leaving your lengths a little drier than you might want them to be. But all this really means is that your curls need a little extra help in the hydration department – which is where the moisturizing tips below come into play.
So, How Do You Moisturize Curly Hair?
1. Focus Shampoo On the Scalp Area
If, when it comes to hair wash day, you find your lengths are dry and just your scalp is oily, focus shampoo in the root area only to bring balance back to your locks. Use a gentle yet effective formula, like the NutriCurls Micellar Shampoo, which harnesses micelles to trap impurities and quickly whisk them away. You can still get the lengths wet, but the trick is to target the scalp with that rich lather. The suds will still give lengths a delicate wash when you rinse them away.
2. Switch to a Cleansing Conditioner
Another trick for ‘hair wash day’ is to use a co-wash in place of your usual shampoo. These creamy cleansing conditioners rid hair of impurities, while imparting a dose of frizz-fighting moisture. They’re rich and foam-free, but you massage them in just as you would a lathering shampoo, then rinse away to reveal more defined curls that feel soft from root to tip. Try it with the NutriCurls Cleansing Conditioner. You don’t need to follow with another conditioner, so it’s a great pick for when you need a one-step, speedy routine. Some like to use a co-wash every time they wash their curly hair, while others prefer to alternate with traditional shampoo every other wash. Try both routes first to see what works for you.
3. Apply the Creamiest Treatments
Masks are a must for all hair types, but especially curly hair. Used once or twice per week, they work to restore all that moisture that’s been lost from daily wear and tear. For curls, you need a treatment that’s pumped with nourishing ingredients, like jojoba oil and vitamin E, which is why we’ve packed them both in the NutriCurls Deep Treatment for Waves & Curls. Apply after squeezing excess water out of freshly shampooed hair, and leave it in for five minutes to pamper parched curls. You could also apply it to dry hair as a 30-minute treatment. Simply work it through mid-lengths and ends, wrap curls in a silk scarf, leave it in while you tick something off your to-do list, then rinse it out to enjoy silky-soft strands.
4. Consider Leave-In Conditioners
Do you have high porosity curls? Locks can become porous when damaged by bleach and heat, or you could even be battling this beauty bugbear because it’s part of your DNA. It means that your individual hairs have tiny gaps throughout the cuticle, and these gaps allow essential moisture to escape. As a result, any hydrating products you apply aren’t easily absorbed or retained by your hair, so your curls can still feel dry in spite of all the masks and treatments you use. However, a leave-in conditioner can help, as it doesn’t get rinsed away, meaning it has more time to get to work on your highly porous hair. Try it yourself by treating curls to the NutriCurls Curlixir Defining Balm, which not only moisturizes lengths, but also boosts definition. It’s a win-win treatment.
5. Top Up Hydration On the Go
If your curls tend to dry out in between washes, you may need a moisture mist. It’s an on-the-go essential that can be spritzed onto parched locks daily for added softness and shine. Use one that’s specially formulated for curls, like the NutriCurls Milky Waves Nourishing Spray, and mist it directly onto sections of hair that need a pick-me-up. It’s lightweight enough to boost nourishment without dragging down your go-to curly hairstyles. Top tip: Milky Waves is also great for conditioning curls while they’re damp, so you can use it before and after drying your hair.
6. Sleep With a Silk Pillowcase
Believe it or not, your cotton pillowcase could be the culprit behind your dry, damaged curls. The fabric is rougher than you think, and is thought to cause snagging, split ends and tangles. Some report that switching to a silk pillowcase improved the condition of their curls, as the smoother surface is gentler, and doesn't absorb your natural oils or overnight masks. Top tip: if you tie your hair up regularly, you could also trade your regular elastics for soft silk scrunchies.
7. Always Protect Your Hair From Heat
Heat damage equals instant dryness. So, if your curls are already lacking moisture, curling irons, straighteners and hairdryers are likely to leave them even more dehydrated. That’s why protection is key to your styling routine. Use a mist, like EIMI Thermal Image, and spritz it from root to tip every time you apply heat. You can also layer it with EIMI Flowing Form, an anti-frizz balm that’s been specially formulated to keep locks nourished in the face of hot tools. Apply it just before the mist, from the mid-lengths to ends, for major softness and shine.