Last week we began our Low Porosity Series and began with a low porosity wash day, this week I want to finish up with moisturizing and sealing the hair. So, what are the best tips and techniques for moisturizing our low porosity hair? Let’s first begin with products that work for our hair type.
Ingredients and Products for Moisturizing Low Porosity Hair
The first and most important ingredient we are going to talk about is water. Water is the only true moisturizer, so we want to first look for a water-based or liquid leave-in. Some of my favorite water-based leave-ins are:
Scurl Curl Activator
Going-Natural No More Knots
My DIY tea rinses (fenugreek, horsetail) with a little bit of glycerin.
Speaking of glycerin, the next ingredient to look for is a film-forming humectant base. I can’t stress this enough! Humectants help draw in moisture to your hair and trap it there allowing your hair to retain moisture longer. The best humectants come from plant gels such as flaxseed gel, glycerin, honey, pectin, panthenol, nettle, marshmallow root, slippery elm, Irish sea moss, sea algae, aloe vera.
Along with humectants you want to look for lightweight, plant-based emulsifiers/emollients. These emollients are critical if you are using oils on your hair. Why? They help bind water and oils together so that they don’t separate. Remember, low porosity hair prefers lightweight oils that penetrate the hair shaft, and one of the best ways to use oils in your regimen is already mixed in your creams or leave-ins or to lightly seal. My favorite penetrating oils are almond oil, argan oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Some great emulsifiers to look for in your ingredients that also add moisture and slip are Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, and Glyceryl Stearate. Some of my current favorite cream leave-ins that contain water, plant-based humectants and emulsifiers are:
Bask and Bloom More Moisture
Michel Lavish leave in Conditioner
Giovanni Direct leave-in
As I am Naturally Leave-in Conditioner
The next ingredient is Hydrolyzed Proteins now, I mentioned them in the previous wash day video, but I want to stress the importance of how SMALL hydrolyzed proteins also act like humectants. These proteins can get under the hair cuticles to moisturize/hydrate from the inside and help slow water loss over time. The great thing about small hydrolyzed proteins is that even after you rinse them out, they stay in your hair. But you know what will give you the best moisture retention… having some small hydrolyzed proteins in your leave in conditioner. Small proteins that are beneficial for our hair (fine to medium strands) are amino acids, peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed silk. One of my favorite products is
Classy Hair Classy Keratin Mist, Apogee 2 Minute Reconstructor
Favorite Herbs using glosses are:
Henna Gloss https://youtu.be/GhKdXYgNIYI
Cassia Gloss https://youtu.be/lgHAPz6Ov-U
Techniques for Moisturizing Your hair
Ok so now that you have all these wonder ingredients that you went out in purchased, I’m going to give you 3methods for you to try depending on your level of low porosity. Now you may need to play around with these methods to get the best results, but it will be well worth it. With hair being moisturized for days on end. The first is the very familiar Liquid, Cream, Oil (LCO) method, I recommend this for people with low to medium porosity hair. I recommend using a water-based leave in or tea leave it with a bit of glycerin first, followed up with one of the cream leave ins, I’ll be using bask and bloom more moisture, and seal with a light oil.
However, if you find that to be a bit heavy on your hair, remember the cream leave-ins that I recommended above contain a plant-based humectant, plant-based emulsifier and light oil already, I recommend the Liquid Cream (L.C) method. Spraying with your water-based leave in first followed up with one of the aforementioned creams.
If you still feel like your hair might benefit from less products, then I recommend the Liquid Oil (L.O) method. You will use just your water-based leave in (contains glycerin or humectant) sealed by a light oil.
Now the real trick and secret is the use of indirect heat to help all the products fully penetrate your strands. Steam is my favorite choice as it heats up the ingredient and helps them bind to your hair shaft. You don’t need more than 5-10 minutes for your hair to absorb the moisture.