Our hair needs moisture.
One of the ways that we can maintain moisture in our hair is with a moisturizer. However, as I’m sure you know from the “5 Types of Moisturizers for Locs” article, not all moisturizers are created equal. And I’ve received quite a few questions about “the right time to switch moisturizers” — so let’s break this down!
Why switch moisturizers
I find more often than not, people tend to swap out their moisturizer because of the product packaging. Whether they saw a new hair moisturizer with promises of “long-lasting moisture” on social media or they walked into the Ethnic Hair aisle at the store and the colors stood out to them. The choice to switch moisturizers was rooted in hope — “I hope this works for me”. Have you every chosen products for that reason? No worries— there is no shame here! /p>
Imagine how it would feel to select a product with confidence! Instead of choosing moisturizers that look good on the outside, you choose one because of how it will treat your hair on the inside. Fun fact— Moisture is stored in the inner part of the hair, called the cortex, not the outside. So your reason to switch moisturizers goes deeper than the surface (see what I did there!?).
When to switch moisturizers
I would encourage you to consider switching moisturizers with purpose. That purpose for switching your moisturizer can range from changes in the weather, changes in your health, or changes in the health of your locs.
Changes in your health. Know that I am sending you all the healing vibes as you’re reading this. At the same time, we live in a world where illness can happen and said illness can take a toll on your locs. Sometimes just the stress can impact your hair, or maybe your medication has had an impact. Which means the moisturizer you’ve been using is no longer effective at meeting the needs of your hair. More often than not, the switching to an herbal moisturizer is recommended to help strengthen the hair.
RELATED ARTICLE: Next Steps for Thinning Locs
Changes in the health of your locs. If you recently dyed your hair that color you’ve always wanted, it’s time to switch moisturizers. If you’ve been forgetting to cover your locs at night, it’s time to switch moisturizers. If your locs are feeling especially dry and brittle when they were once hydrated and supple, it’s time to switch moisturizers (and maybe your shampoo but we won’t get into that right now). When the state of your locs changes drastically what previously worked will need to be adjusted to better balance the moisture within your locs. In this case, a conditioning moisturizer will serve you best.
Changes in the weather. This is for you if you’re living in a climate that experiences different seasons. For example, I live in Maryland and we have dry winters and humid summers. With that type of climate, a moisturizer with glycerin (also know as a humectant) could NOT be used year round. In the summer, my locs would feel great, but in the winter they would be dry dry. Glycerin takes moisture from the environment to put it into your hair but if there is not an abundance of moisture— you guessed it— it will come out of your hair. So being mindful of your climate and which moisturizer your hair needs is important to having your locs feel like you want.
I’m sure the question of when it would be a “bad” time to switch moisturizers is going to come up. Mainly what I need you to know is that when switching to a different moisturizer your hair needs time to adjust. Typically 3-4 shampoo cycles is ideal. Notice I said shampoo cycles, not moisturizer usages. Giving the moisturizer a clean slate to do it’s job will allow you to see it’s true potential. However, constantly applying a moisturizer, especially a new moisturizer, to dirty hair will give you mixed and unpredictable results. I want to be clear when I say “dirty hair” I mean hair with pre-existing product, and that you nor locs are dirty. So the next time you’re considering switching moisturizers, do so with intention and start after you’ve just cleansed your hair.
To learn more about moisturizing locs and how to create a moisturizing regimen, I highly recommend the “Moisture Matters” workshop.
Let me know in the comments when you last switched your moisturizer and why!