6 Essential Tips for Adding Moisture to Dry Natural Hair


Getty Images / Design by Michela Buttignol

Dry hair is frustrating, and it can lead to breakage. There are several reasons you might experience excessively dry hair. Black hair leans toward being dry due to its tight curl pattern that hinders natural oils from easily making their way down the hair shaft. If your hair seems drier than usual, you can work to get moisture levels back up by giving your hair some extra love. For dry (not​ damaged) hair, you can restore it by following some (or all) of the following methods. You won't fix your dry hair overnight, but with time and with patience, you'll notice your hair getting softer and easier to style.

01 of 06

Cut Back on Heat Styling

Blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons and hot combs can all cause dryness. Too much heat is damaging, so if you use any of these tools daily or almost daily, cut back to no more than once a week. Experiment with wet sets, wraps, and air-drying instead. If you can cut out all heat styling, your hair will recover much more quickly. Plus, you'll get to explore gentler options in styling that you might not have tried before.

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02 of 06

Keep Your Natural Color

While hair color agrees with many people, sometimes it can dry your hair out, especially if you're using bleaches to lighten your hair. Put that color or bleach on top of relaxers, and dry hair is sure to be the result. Either stick to rinses, which are gentler, or avoid color altogether until your hair is less dry. And when you do return to color, stick to shades that don't vary much from your natural hair color. The more you stray from your natural shade, the harsher the process is on your hair.

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03 of 06

Wear Protective Styles

When you wear your hair out and it rubs against cotton clothing, wool hats, and wool sweaters, your ends take a beating. Because dry ends often split and break, you'll experience hair loss. Wear protective styles like braids, cornrows, two-strand twists, flat twists, topknots, buns, chignons, and French rolls to keep your ends protected and less prone to dryness and breakage.

04 of 06

Protect Your Hair at Night

In addition to wearing protective styles during the day, it's important to protect your hair at night while you sleep. Satin caps and silk or satin pillowcases are much gentler on hair than cotton pillowcases or scarves. Your hair glides against silky fabrics while it clings to cotton. Plus, cotton may suck moisture out of your hair, leading to, you guessed it, dryness.

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05 of 06

Skip the Shampoo

Black hair does better if not shampooed daily. However, if you work out regularly or swim during the summer, you need to rinse perspiration, saltwater, or chlorine out. After every dip in the pool or strenuous workout, rinse your hair thoroughly with water and follow with a conditioner. Conditioner washes are good in between shampoos for keeping your scalp and hair clean without over-drying your hair. 

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06 of 06

Always Condition

It's very hard to over-condition Black hair, especially if you wear yours natural. Regular deep conditioning can restore the moisture levels you need. For excessively dry hair, deep condition once or twice per week. You don't need a hood dryer for this. Slather on a good deep conditioner, cover it with a plastic cap, and relax for a couple of hours. Wrap your head in a towel for additional heat to soften your hair. Any heat may help the conditioner penetrate your hair cuticles more effectively. Don't forget to apply a rinse-out conditioner after each shampoo and a leave-in conditioner after that.

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