Keeping a consistent routine can help smoothen out the transitioning process and will keep those curls flourishing after your transition. Consistency is key!
For starters, as I mentioned in Straight To Curly, you should be aware of your hair type and porosity level to make sure you are taking the right steps to keeping that hair moisturized.
Porosity is the level at which you hair retains water and moisture. Each hair strand has layers. The cuticle layer, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle layer is what determines hair porosity. It’s purpose is to protect the hair shaft, and allow moisture to pass in and out of it.
Low Porosity is when the hair cuticle is smooth and has no cracks, making it harder for moisture retention and water absorption. Light products that are water based are best for low porosity hair. Avoid using heavy products, this will weigh the hair down and make it greasy.
Medium (Normal) Porosity is the most healthy of the levels. It is fairly easy to keep hair moisturized and manageable. The best products for ‘normal’ porosity hair is just silicone free, moisturizing conditioners that can be used as leave in conditioners. Also using light oils like jojoba and pomegranate seed oil can help retain moisture without making the hair too greasy.
High Porosity can occur from chemical or heat damage and constant manipulation (perms, flat ironing, hair dye, etc.). This type of hair is highly porous and because of that, it loses moisture as quick as it’s absorbed. This is not something you want because your hair will always look dry, frizzy, and can easily break, preventing hair growth. I recommend using leave-in conditioners, moisturizers, and sealers to help keep the hair moisturized throughout the day. Deep conditioning weekly can help keep the moisture locked in for longer periods of time.
Knowing your hair porosity is important for looking into products that will most effectively help keep moisture.
The most commonly used method to test porosity level is the cup of water test. Take a clean strand of hair and place it in a glass of water. After a few minutes, the strand will either stay afloat or gradually sink to the bottom. High porosity hair sinks fairly quickly.
Assuming your hair is in need of a wash, here is a routine that is helpful to keep your hair moisturized.
Start off with an oil treatment. Depending on the porosity level of your hair, you should either dampen your hair, or not at all.
**The oil treatment should be pre-made about 2 days before application to make sure the oils have blended together.**
My favorite oils to mix for an oil treatment are:
- Coconut oil (moisture)
- Tea tree oil (cleansing)
- Castor oil (growth)
- Rosemary oil (treat dry scalp, growth)
Massage the oil into your scalp for about 10 minutes (with your head inverted) and cover your hair in a bag or shower cap for 25-30 minutes.
After the oil treatment, wash your hair and condition as usual.
An alternative to oil treatments, if your hair tends to get very oily, or you just don’t like putting oils in your hair, is a deep condition. To deep condition I use:
- Egg yolk
- Olive oil (or coconut)
- Tea tree oil (just a few drops)
- Your favorite conditioner (not too much, only to keep a conditioner-like consistency)
This combination smells a bit funny, but after application, wrap your hair in a cap and keep in for 30-45 minutes. Then wash and condition as usual.
For a better smell, you can add an essential oil like lavender oil.
This process (either-or) should be done weekly or bi-weekly as needed. My hair tends to get very dry so I try to do this weekly.
I know this was a very lengthy post and bless you if you’ve made it this far and I hope you found it helpful.