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  5. How To Moisturize Your Hair: A Detailed Guide For All Hair Types

Do you apply copious amounts of conditioner on your hair? Still, it lacks that desirable smoothness and shine. True?

Hair moisturization is an often misunderstood process that is not limited to serums and hair conditioners. You need different combinations of oils as per your hair type.

Let's dig deeper and understand how to moisturize hair the right way.

Why Is It Important To Moisturize Your Hair?

Without adequate hydration, your hair will start looking dull and brittle. Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says “Apart from cosmetic reasons, proper moisturisation helps maintain the scalp and hair health.

Here is how keeping your hair moisturized will benefit you:

1. Regular deep conditioning of hair not only softens your tresses, but also reduces frizz and split ends. It smoothes the overall texture of your hair.

2. If your hair has gone through multiple bleaching treatments, moisturization will help restore your damaged locks. It will treat rough hair and heal the cuticles.

3. According to Ayurvedic science, we have energy points all over our head (called marmas) and topical hair treatments help lubricate these channels. In fact, any herbal nutrition provided to the hair is considered to be carried deep into our mind and body.

What Causes Lack Of Moisture In Hair?

The oil glands (also known as the sebaceous glands) in your scalp releases sebum [1], which keeps your hair lubricated all the way from root to tips. The waxy sebum protects your scalp and moisturizes the hair strands. However, some times, this natural function might not be enough to keep your hair amply moisturized.

Here are some factors that can under-activate sebum and lead to perpetual dryness in hair:

1. Age and Genetics:

Older people are more susceptible to a drier scalp. And for some people, dry hair could be hereditary.

2. Hair Length:

The longer your hair, the more moisturization they require.

3. Hair Type:

For example, having intense curls can prevent sebum from accessing your hair in its entirety.

4. Hair Treatment:

Over-styling your hair [2] or subjecting it to heat from straighteners and blow dryers on a daily basis can weaken its cuticles. Do not abuse your hair with high temperature as it becomes overly dry and breakable.

5. Washing Your Hair Too Much:

This is a common mistake. Many people think washing their hair daily will keep it clean, but this only rids your mane of natural oils that are essential for its well being.

6. Environment:

External weather may affect your sebaceous glands and lead to moisture loss in your hair. Try to save them from too much sun, dust, and cold winds by tying a scarf over them.

7. Using Too Many Hair Products:

Over manipulation of hair will only harm them. The chemicals present in hair products suck the moisture out of them.

How To Moisturize Different Hair Types?

The process of moisturization is different for different hair types. You can achieve this by understanding your hair’s Ayurvedic prakriti.

The ancient principles of Ayurveda state that our body is made up of three major forces or doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. All of us have one or two dominant doshas that govern us, and all issues of the body and the mind can be traced back to this imbalance.

The Kapha hair type has low porosity, which means it has a lower capacity to absorb moisture. So, being aware of your Ayurvedic prakriti is the first step in developing a hair care regimen that is specifically suited to your dosha type.

applying hair moisturizer

1. Curly Hair

As mentioned earlier, women with curly hair have to be a little more mindful of the moisture—or the lack thereof—in their hair. First of all, you might already be using shampoos and conditioners that deeply moisturize your hair, but the reason that is not working is because the sulphates and parabens in them make hair rough.

People with thick curls especially need to oil their hair with cold-pressed versions of coconut, argan, almond, olive, mustard, or sesame seed oil. Mineral and vegetable oils lock in moisture in the hair, nourish the scalp, and prevent breakage [3]. Your best bet is to use a herbal shampoo based on your Ayurvedic body type that naturally heals the brittleness of your hair.

2. Thick Hair

Thick and coarse hair is another hair type that struggles to retain natural oils. Use raw, unrefined shea butter as a hair mask. It provides a deep moisturization treatment because it has antioxidants, Vitamin A, vitamin E, and fatty acids. It seals moisture and increases softness in the hair.

Word of Caution: Shea butter is not to be used if you have an oily scalp, as it just piles on extra oil on your hair and skin.

3. Fine Hair

It is a little uncommon for thin strands of hair to lack natural moisture. On the contrary, people with fine hair often complain of having an oily scalp because it is the easiest for sebum to spread through such hair. So, with this hair type, moisture loss usually occurs by external factors like over washing or using a hair dryer daily.

Use jojoba oil [4] as it has an oily composition. Extracted from the jojoba plant, it is a common ingredient in hair cleaning products. Not only does it moisturize your hair follicles but also helps cure dandruff and split ends as it is rich in vitamin C, B, E, copper, and zinc. To use it, you can warm the oil and directly apply it to your hair or add a few drops in your shampoo or conditioner.

4. Grey Hair

If men and women over 50 are experiencing dryness in their hair, it is most probably because the oil glands automatically become less active in mature hair. Since this is the natural ageing process, we would suggest not to fuss over expensive hair care products.

Ayurveda suggests that our hair is directly connected to our gut and thus, digestion affects hair quality. Determine your dosha imbalance and focus on your diet to correct them. Eat foods that promote hair health like green leaves, ghee, beetroot, carrot, dairy products, coconut water, turmeric, and cumin.

What Are The Best Ways To Moisturize Your Hair?

1. Hair Mask

This is a deep conditioning process to moisturize your hair before you shampoo them. A good moisturizing hair mask might constitute cold pressed oils, honey, and even eggs. Apply it evenly throughout your hair and cover your head with a shower cap. Keep it for 45 minutes and then wash it. This is especially effective during cold months.

2. Hair Oil

This is a good old Indian remedy that has never been ineffective. Oiling your hair nourishes them and moisturizes your scalp. Ideally, use coconut oil in summers to cool down your head and sesame oil in winters to warm up the scalp.

This Ayurvedic practice combined with a head massage has a calming and awakening effect at the same time, as it is said to activate the crown chakra that is connected to the pineal gland in the brain.

3. Shampoo

Use a moisturizing shampoo that is sulfate-free. This will clean your head of dirt, dust, excessive oil, product layers, and sweat. It will also allow the moisture to penetrate the hair shaft easily.

4. Hair Conditioner

If you use a shampoo that leaves your hair flat and rough, using a conditioner can do damage control. Apply a good natural conditioner (preferably containing aloe vera) especially at the ends of your hair, as that is where sebum usually cannot reach.

5. Hair Moisturizer

These are products that you can leave in your hair after washing them to add moisture. Water-based hair moisturizers that contain oils and creams as other natural ingredients are the most effective. It helps smooth out curly hair by locking in moisture and you can also mix oil in it to boost its regenerative powers. This is not to be confused with other styling products like hair gels.

The Do’s And Don'ts Of Hair Moisturization

1. Dos:

  • Before using any heating equipment like a curling iron, use a heat-protecting spray on your hair.
  • Use a leave-in moisturizing spray to replenish the hair oils.
  • People with low-porosity hair (Kapha hair type) can also try steaming. It raises hair cuticles to fully absorb moisture.
  • Drink water. It naturally hydrates your body and hair.
  • Try using silk or satin pillowcases and rubber bands instead of cotton ones as that prevents moisture in the hair from getting away.
  • After a regular hair wash, just cinch the ends with argan oil.
  • As a form of long-term care, trim your hair every three months for stronger strands that don’t have split ends and can better retain moisture.
  • Using a cap while swimming to be safe from chlorine water.

2. Don’ts:

  • Washing your hair with hot water is a strict no-no as it opens up the pores, damages the hair, and causes dryness. Use cold water or at the least, lukewarm water.
  • Don’t wash your hair more than once or twice a week.
  • Don’t use skin moisturizers on your hair. Commercial skin products and creams are specific in their usage.
  • Don’t keep touching your hair constantly. The dirt from your hands makes them dry.

What Are Some Good Ayurvedic Hair Moisturizers?

coconut oil and tropical leaves

Normally, the dosha imbalance of excess Vata hair type causes hair to be coarse, dry, and brittle. It is of utmost importance that you assess your Ayurvedic hair type to develop a holistic routine that addresses the root of your hair issues.

For example, people with this constitution struggle with chronic stress which has a direct impact on their hair quality. So along with trying new topical hair treatments, they need to work on reducing their anxiety levels.

Dr. Zeel says, “Rasa Dhatu, which roughly correlates to lymph, is responsible for proper hydration and maintenance of hair and scalp health. Herbs that are known for balancing the rasa dhatu in the body are employed to hydrate the hair and scalp.”

Ayurvedic hair care is 100% safe and does not have any side effects. Here are some natural moisturizers you can make at home to get rid of that frizz:

1. Flaxseed Oil

Take water, flaxseed oil, and sunflower oil in equal parts. Add half a spoon of glycerin. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and spritz it on your hair whenever they feel dry.

2. Aloe Vera Gel

Take fresh aloe vera gel, coconut oil, and lavender oil in equal parts. The mixture proves to be a great mist for providing instant shine and moisture to dry hair.

3. Amalaki Powder

Take amalaki powder and yogurt, and whisk them together to make a paste. Let the hair mask be on your head for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off.

4. Mulethi

Mulethi is an excellent herb for mending dry hair. It has amino acids and polysaccharides, which keep your hair roots moist. Make a herbal infusion of mulethi to achieve that shine in your hair.

5. Parsley

Use parsley as a hair conditioner. It has silica, calcium, iron, and vitamin A, C, and K that deeply moisturizes dull hair, strengthens the hair shaft, and reduces breakage.

6. Lavender Oil

Another way to moisturize your hair is with lavender oil. This heavily scented oil acts like a hair serum. It has antimicrobial properties, which are said to promote hair growth [5]. It can also be used as a hair mask by mixing the essential oil with any other carrier oil.

7. Herbal Mix

Take half a cup of water and soak reetha, amla, and shikakai in it overnight. Boil the mix until it becomes half its quantity. Add a spoon of mustard oil and aloe vera gel and boil it further. Finally, add some gram flour to the thick paste and apply it as a hair mask.

8. Banana And Honey

Make a homemade hair cleanser with one ripe banana and two spoons of milk. Blend them in a mixer and then add multani mitti (Fuller’s Earth), mint leaves, and honey to the paste. The resultant mask will naturally moisturize your hair and smoothen its texture.

Some of the usual suspects to look out for in natural hair moisturizers are flaxseed, aloe vera, peppermint oil, lavender oil, coconut oil, and honey. These ingredients have moisturizing properties.

Vedix Tip: Bhringraj, amalaki, triphala and brahmi are the ayurvedic herbs associated with rejuvenation and nourishment of hair. They provide lustre and heal the receptive tissues in your scalp.

How To Apply Moisturizer In Your Hair?

The most important thing to keep in mind while using hair moisturizer is to apply it only on your hair and not on the scalp. To ensure that, start with the tips of your hair. Make sure they are conditioned and in an elongated motion, spread the conditioner from the ends to the middle of your hair strands.

Unless your scalp is uncommonly dry, the sebum naturally greases your scalp even if it can’t reach your hair.

Can I Moisturize My Hair Every Day?

Ayurvedic oils have no side effects. They replenish and nourish your hair so you can leave them for as much time as you want. In a busy routine, 20 minutes is minimum. But in the current situation of a Corona Virus home quarantine, we would suggest keeping it for a couple of days even!

Non-ayurvedic hair moisturizers should be used at a frequency of twice to thrice a week maximum. While buying any new shampoo or conditioner that will supposedly provide you with deep moisturization, please check its ingredients thoroughly. You do not want to end up with a harsh product that contains sulphates and parabens as they can worsen the quality of your hair.

Should I Moisturize My Hair In Wet Condition Or Dry?

Wet hair absorbs products like serum easily, so for best results, apply moisturizer when your hair is still wet. That is why conditioner is applied right after the cleansing action of the shampoo.

However, oils should be applied on dry hair for proper absorption of nutrients.

The Last Word

If you want your hair to permanently look lustrous and moisturized, you can’t be running after temporary quick fixes. It is an on-going effort that demands holistic lifestyle changes. A moisturized mane not only looks shinier and healthier, but also boosts self-confidence.

We, at Vedix, try to find the root cause of problems like hair dryness by calculating your dominant dosha, so that you can avail the relevant treatment.

Know Your Dosha Now