I'd probably say before I started using coconut oil, I never knew what moisturized 4b hair was really like. I'd just accepted the regular dryness for what it was. Every now and then I'd get that moisturized softness/cottonyness, but not for long. The 'normal' crunchiness would soon return. Meh.
So I've been using my homemade coconut oil for about 3 weeks (on both hair and skin), and of course .... I love it!! I'm about half way through it (about 1/4 cup left), so I'll definitely be making more in the next couple of weeks. I've been using it almost every day and it leaves my hair soft and really moisturized. Sometimes it's been the only thing I've applied to damp hair after washing, and it really does seal in the moisture. The moisturized feeling can last for days.
I went away over the past week and couldn't take any of my hair stuff with me. My hair stayed moisturized under my wig until I came back!!
Coconut oil is one of the few oils that penetrate and prevent protein loss from the hair shaft and also being an oil, it would create a diffusion barrier which prevents water from evaporating from the hair. Reasons it works so well!
So what's my moisturizing routine exactly? Well I'm using a method created by Chicoro. Let me tell you, this method really works. Before you put it off, let me just say, if you're having a problem with dry hair, JUST TRY IT! If it doesn't work for you (but I'm pretty sure it will), then so be it. But at least give it a go. I'm emphasising this because I actually came across Chicoro's method on her fotki about a year ago, and then just forgot about it ... I really wish I'd paid more attention back then, I'd probably have retained a little more length using this method. Ok, ok, I'll get to describing this miracle method!
It consists of applying 3 specific layers of products to moisturize and seal.
1) First apply a water based moisturizer. I realize people also refer to creams with the first ingredient being water as a 'water based moisturizer.' For this method, I'd suggest using something that's actually much more watery than that. No creams at this stage. I personally use a mixture of water and glycerine. I've gone back to a 50/50 mixture and it's working well so far. This adds moisture and the glycerine will draw moisture from the air, being an emollient.
2) Secondly apply an oil based moisturizer. I use my beloved coconut oil here. This seals in the moisture by creating that diffusion barrier.
3) Then a heavy or emulsified cream. I use Garnier Fructis Nutri-Repair. Heavier moisturizers sit on the hair and will seal the first 2 layers.
4) Lastly, she then suggests that you cover your hair. I've been wearing a wig when I leave the house or a scarf when I'm home. This prevents the air from stealing all the moisture.
That's it. It takes less than 5 minutes. My hair doesn't feel 'coated' or get 'build up.' I try not to be too heavy handed with the heavy cream leave-in part. You can find more information here: