Dry Hair Remedies for Type 4 Curls

Whether you believe in the hair typing system or not, a lot of naturals have used this hair typing method to identify the type of kink, curl or coil pattern of their hair and have benefited in determining what products and ingredients are best for their hair type. Type 4 hair is defined as the kinkier hair with tighter coils and kinks that may form a tight "S" or "Z" pattern. Type 4 hair has a tendency to become dry much faster than other hair types and may require additional attention when it comes to retaining moisture. This is something I quickly learned in my natural hair journey and my strands were extremely brittle and dry.

My hair was very dry and brittle after I BC'd

Type 4 Hair Needs Moisture

Water is by far the best moisture for the hair and it available for free! Despite popular belief, water does not dry the hair out but does the complete opposite. The key to retaining moisture with water is to seal the moisture into the hair. Here are a few methods you can use to help your hair stay moisturized, soft and vibrant!

          The "Baggy" Method (Bagging)         

Bagging is a term affluent amongst naturalistas for a method used to retain moisture for kinky and tightly-coiled hair types. It is a method to provide intense, overnight conditioning to your locs to ensure that your hair is and will retain moisture through the day. A lot of naturalistas use the bagging method more so in the winter months due to harsh, colder weather that may strip your natural hair of moisture.

How to Use this Method
The baggy method is simple:
  • Lightly spritz hair with water (or a mixture of 1 part veggie glycerin, 2 parts water-this works well for me)
  • Apply a dollop of your favorite leave-in or deep conditioner
  • Apply your favorite oils in moderation (essential oils, EVOO, coconut oil, Argan, etc.) and especially to your scalp area
  • Gently massage scalp and edges
  • Apply your plastic, conditioning cap
  • Wrap your hair with a satin scarf or bonnet
  • Head to bed!

               Deep Conditioning              

I cannot stress how deep conditioning has helped keep my kinky hair from looking like straw. I've found that the best deep conditioners (for me anyway) are the thicker, creamier conditioners. This will help dry hair retain moisture and will prove to have long term affects on the way your hair feels, looks and grows.

             Hot Oil Treatments          

I looove hot oil treatments and they have really been a lifesaver this winter. Hot oil treatments are used to moisturize and condition the hair and are also great for giving the hair a natural luster and sheen. Hot oil treatments are also a great way to restore brittle hair or hair that has been damaged by coloring, blow drying, heat styling and other factors by acting as a deep conditioner to your hair. They should be used no more than once a week to prevent buildup.

Tips for applying a hot oil treatment:
  • Take a hot shower and allow the steam to open the hair shaft to allow the oils to really penetrate.
  • If you are shampooing your hair, I prefer shampooing the hair before doing the hot oil treatment. Shampooing after only defeats the purpose, at least for me it does. If you are co-washing, save this step for after the hot oil treatment.
  • Using either a store bought hot oil treatment or a mixture of your own, warm the oil in the microwave until the oil is slightly warm to the touch. 
  • Apply the oils to your hair and massage thoroughly 
  •  Cover with a plastic conditioning cap and leave on hair for 45 minutes to one hour. You may sit under the dryer with a medium setting for 15-20 minutes if desired.
  • Rinse the hair and scalp thoroughly with lukewarm water.

          Pre-Shampoo Treatment          
Prepooing the hair is simply adding oils, conditioner or a combination of the two to the hair and leaving on for a short period of time before shampooing the hair. Prepooing can help provide a barrier between the hair and the harsh detergents in the shampoo. Shampoos (primarily those with sulfates) can be harsh and can strip the hair of its natural oil or sebum. I am an avid fan of prepooing and prefer to strictly use oils as opposed to conditioner. My personal prepoo mixture consists of EVOO, Grapeseed oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosehips oil and most recently, apricot oil. I sometimes play around with the prepoo oils but EVOO is always the base of my prepoo. If you've never prepoo'd before, its something you may really want to try. I was HIGHLY impressed with the way my hair looked and felt after adding this step to my regimen.

Methods of Prepooing
  • Some choose to apply a mixture of oils to the scalp and/or hair. You can either warm the oil or use at room temperature. Leave on the hair for at least 45 mins. You can also sleep with the prepoo oils and proceed with shampooing or cowashing the following day.
  • Apply your prepoo mixture and lightly mist with water. I use a mixture of water, aloe vera juice and coconut oil. Apply your plastic conditioning cap and leave on for 45 mins to one hour.
  • Another method of prepooing is to follow the method above and sitting under a hair dryer for 20 mins. Your dryer should be on a low heat setting, allowing your strands to soak up the oils. Rinse and proceed with shampooing or cowashing.

Using any of these methods, you should see a noticeable difference in your hair, its softness, sheen, manageability and most of all moisture retention! 
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