One thing our naturally curly heads have in common is the need to be moisturised. Curly hair has a natural tendency for dryness, much more than straight hair. This is because the natural oils your scalp produces can travel down the strand of a straight hair much easier than a curly one.
Therefore, an important aspect of any curly hair routine is injecting and retaining moisture and leave in conditioners can play a major part of this.
Traditional rinse our conditioners are used to re-hydrate hair after washing. They close the cuticles of the hair follicle and restore any moisture that may have been lost during the washing process, however they are rinsed out a few minutes after application.
Leave in Conditioners are applied to damp hair and are left in to help retain moisture. Leave-in’s tend to be lighter and are best for keeping hair soft and shiny and making styling more manageable.
If you are starting your curly hair routine and have not yet started using any leave-in, then I would suggest you do. When you are looking for a moisturising leave-in, make sure that water is the first ingredient. Water is what your hair needs for moisturising and the other ingredients will be included to lock in the moisture and prevent dryness.
Below are some of the ways you can incorporate it into your regime:
First step in your styling routine
Most natural curlies agree that it is essential to use a leave in as the first step in their styling routine, following either the L.O.C or L.C.O methods (3 step process involving liquid, oil and cream).
When applying leave in, it is best to do it in sections, and rake through the hair gently. However, it is also important to not apply too much as you can end up with product build up. Therefore trial and error is the most important aspect here to figure out what works best for you.
To re-hydrate between washes
In between washes you may likely need to refresh your curls or simply re-hydrate if they are feeling dry. One of the best ways to do this is using a leave-in conditioner. You can use some leave-ins directly on dry hair but as water is the main source of hydration for hair, wetting it down before applying will provide ultimate moisture.
Lastly, do not be tempted to cut corners and use your rinse-out conditioners as leave-ins. They are designed to be rinsed out and leaving them on for prolonged periods can cause scalp irritation and product build-up.