"I have been following your blog and its full of great information. I have been natural since '98 and never have been one for long hair.
Well now I have decided I want to start growing my hair but have run into a few obstacles and I am seeking some assistants. I have type 4C hair, tight coils and very, very thick. My main issue that I face is dryness, no matter what I use my hair continues to be dry and dull, plus I live in Michigan and the cold air does nothing for my hair but make it worse. I don't use shampoo and I co-wash no more that three times a week or when I see a build up. I am using Cocount Sublime Moisturize Conditioner & Clarifying Shampoo by Curls.
Do you have any suggestions how to retain moisture in my hair?"
I understand that Michigan weather, I graduated h.s. in Illinois but anyway a good thing to do is keep your hair covered with a satin scarf until you get to work or your destination. Those below zero wind chills are horrible to the head. The kinkier, more curly your hair is the more porous it is. A good example of this is, to imagine your watering a plant with many holes in the flower pot. The more you water, the more water is lost. Your hair can only absorb so much moister at one time. It is critical to feed it when needed which may be daily.
Make sure all your products are free of sulfate, silicones, mineral oil and petroleum. For hair products keep it as natural as possible. (Silicones and their derivatives end in -cone.) These ingredients will strip oils or prevent absorption by clogging pores.
Do Not Neglect your Scalp. When cleansing focus on removing build up from the scalp. I recommend using a more gentler cleanser the Curlious Curls Cleansing Cream, it moisturizes more than the Clarifying Shampoo. Massage and stimulate your scalp while wet with your finger, wide tooth comb or a brush. Avoid towel drying and direct heat such as blow drying. (Hood Dryer are an acceptable tool.)
Deep condition your hair at least once a week with a conditioner high in protein such as Hair Mayo. Also do hot oil treatments with your favorite natural oil at least once a week. The Deep Conditioning and Hot Oil Treatment can be done at the same time.
When rinsing your head be careful not to rinse all of the conditioner out and do a cool shot at the end of every rinse. A cool shot is when you finish up your rinse with cool/cold water. This creates a shine and closes open pours to retain the natural moister of the water.
Apply a leave-in conditioner such as Cantu Shea Butter Repair Leave in Conditioner.
Invest in a daily creamy moisturizer or a hair butter such as a whipped shea butter or Carol's Daughter Hair Milk.
Protective styles are helpful such as braids, buns, finger coils and two strand twist. These styles can be refreshed with a mist of braid sheen.
A very small amount of hair polisher/glosser can be used to coat the hair.
It is very important to sleep on a satin pillow case or in a satin scarf/bonnet to retain moisture throughout the night.
You will notice a difference in how you hair feel after practicing these tips. Your hair will be shiny and softer and your curls may even loosen a little.