Water is the ultimate moisturiser for natural black/African hair.
I spritz my hair with water every morning when I am styling to make it softer. Note, I only finger comb my hair when styling, I don't use an actual comb (except when I'm conditioning); combing is one sure way to get breakage. As I spray the hair I separate the strands and massage the scalp to make sure the water sinks in.
Empty spray bottles are easy to find and relatively inexpensive, check in your local pharmacy. Refill the water bottle regularly (at least weekly) so that the water doesn't get stale. The second bottle in the picture is misty because I add essential oils to the water to help my hair grow. I'll discuss essential oils in another article.
By evening my hair has normally dried out so I sometimes spritz again especially if I decide to twist or plait my hair. If my hair isn't that dry I just massage Neno Natural's Hair Growth Stimulator into my scalp.
Spritzing your hair with water is just the start. You also need to drink plenty of the stuff; you need to be hydrated inside and out to keep your hair healthy.
All chemical reactions in the body involve water. Whilst hair itself is dead once it leaves the body, the capillaries and other cells under your scalp are living and transportation of oxygen and other nutrients to these living membranes involves water.
Have you noticed how your lips and throat dry out when you're thirsty? That dehydration will affect cells involved in hair growth too. If you're dehydrated your body will prioritise important organs like the liver and kidneys over hair so your hair suffers.
How can you drink more water?
Lots of people find it hard to drink water; I had to get used to it myself. Without fail I drink eight 250ml glasses of warm water per day:
- 2 as soon as I wake up with fresh lemon squeezed in - lemon is good for hair and skin too;
- 2 just before lunch;
- 2 at 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon;
- 2 just before dinner - again with fresh lemon squeezed in.
Why warm water? I find it's easier to drink and I feel that it doesn't 'shock' the body in the way that cold water does.
If I drink anything else e.g. tea or coffee it has to be in addition to my eight glasses of water. I started this routine in April 2011 or there abouts and I am very used to it. If I stop taking the lemon I start getting headaches - I don't know how that works, don't ask!
You will notice three added bonuses immediately: your digestive system will move "more efficiently", you'll feel more alert and your skin will clear up.
In summary, drink lots of water and spritz your hair with water daily for healthy hair.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward