A couple of months back, a friend complained to me that her relaxed hair suddenly felt “heavy”. She has had relaxed hair ever since she was in high school but this was the first time she was experiencing this.
This caught my attention since I remembered going through the same some years back.
I did some research to find what the cause of the “weight” was. I also found many other women going through the same and they shared lots of info as well.
And so, today’s post is going to look at how to moisturize relaxed hair without weighing it down.
What Does It Mean When Your Hair is Weighed Down?
When your relaxed hair is weighed down, it means that it feels heavy and not light as relaxed hair should feel.
This is most often caused by product build-up caused for instance by using too many heavy oils and hair butter.
Truth be told, most of us have overloaded our relaxed hair with products at some point in our lives.
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we are all guilty.
From my research, I noted that most of the product overload was from moisturizers.
And it’s easy to see why.
Oftentimes, we over-moisturize to try and reverse the damage of under-moisturization.
Well, I hope you know by now that doesn’t work.
If anything, it causes more damage.
These overloads are what causes your relaxed hair to feel heavy, in other words, become weighed down.
Signs That Your Relaxed Hair Is Weighed Down
To know if you are overdoing your hair with your moisturizers and other products, look out for these signs:
- Your hair looks and feels wet all the time
- It is extremely stretchy and mushy
- Does not hold to styling
- Extremely soft
- Does not snap back immediately when it’s stretched
Five Reasons Why Your Relaxed Hair Feels Weighed Down
There are several reasons why your hair suddenly feels heavy.
Some of the most common reasons include:
Over-moisturizing the hair
I guess the best place to start is to define what moisture overload is.
This is a condition that if left unsolved leads to a more serious hair condition known as hygral fatigue.
Far from what most people assume, moisture overload is not when your hair is wet, but when it is loaded with more moisture than it needs.
Isn’t that a good thing?
You see, when your hair has taken in so much moisture, it becomes too elastic.
It then continues to stretch and can end up breaking.
This is the opposite of what you are aiming to achieve when moisturizing your hair.
Recovering from hygral fatigue takes long.
Using heavy moisturizers
Moisturizing is the most talked-about hair term but also the most misunderstood.
Many people with relaxed hair will blindly reach out to products like butter which are affordable and beneficial.
But did you also know that they are too heavy for relaxed hair?
Yes, they are.
I know right now you are wondering what happens to your new Shea butter.
Well, I am not saying you ditch it.
However, as I mentioned earlier, moisturizers have a high tendency to weigh down relaxed hair because they are often overused.
Avoid using heavy moisturizers and opt for water-based moisturizers.
If you must use heavy moisturizers, dilute them first so that they have a thin consistency.
Applying too much product
Even though our post is primarily about learning how to moisturize relaxed hair without weighing it down, it’s important that we talk about other reasons why your hair can get heavy.
Just like over-moisturizing, we are all guilty of applying too much product to our hair.
Be it serums, oils, or our favorite gels and leave-in conditioners.
I know I have done this plenty of times.
This is one of the ways you add weight to your relaxed hair.
When they say a little goes a long way, they actually mean it.
This is especially true for heavy products.
Just a pea-sized amount is all you need.
And sometimes even that pea-sized may leave your hair feeling greasy and limp.
When you’re applying products to relaxed hair, always start with a small amount and keep increasing gradually if you think it’s necessary.
If you notice that your hair feels heavy after applying a certain amount of product, the best solution is to wash off the product.
It makes all the difference, trust me.
Using too many products at once
Are you a product junkie?
Well, that may be the biggest cause of your relaxed hair feeling weighed down.
If you are in that phase where you are trying out products to figure out what works for you, don’t use too many at once.
Not only will it cause an overload but it will also be impossible to tell what product works and what doesn’t work.
Using strong-hold products
Relaxed hair is light and thinner than natural hair because its structure has been altered and so some styling products are too heavy for it.
You will have noticed by now that when you use strong-hold products, your hair suddenly becomes heavy instead of bouncy.
It becomes weighed down.
The best gels and style-holding products for relaxed hair are those with low to medium hold.
Moisturizer That Won’t Weigh Down Relaxed Hair
I currently use Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Thickening Moisture Mist.
To be honest, I am a huge fan of Shea Moisture products.
I have been using their shampoos and conditioners for years.
I bumped into this mist moisturizer a couple of weeks ago and I love it.
It’s super light so it does not weigh down my hair.
It smells heavenly and I love the packaging is.
My hair is thriving for sure.
Choosing the right product
My biggest advice when it comes to picking products is to stick to what works.
I know it’s tempting to buy every product advertised but let me tell you, it’s expensive and you are confusing yourself and your hair even more.
Once you find what works, stick to it for at least 3 to 6 months to be able to judge whether or not to proceed with it.
Changing products is okay but hopping from one to the other every week is detrimental to your hair and bank account.
Caring for your hair shouldn’t be that tasking and expensive, you know.
The best types of moisturizers for relaxed hair are moisture-based.
They contain a high water composition to other ingredients, hence lighter and more hydrating.
What I consider to be a good moisturizer for relaxed hair that won’t weigh your hair down is a moisturizer that is lightweight.
Heavy butters may have amazing benefits but they are pretty heavy for your light relaxed hair.
If you must use heavy oils and butter, ensure to mix with lighter oils to dilute their consistency.
For instance, you can mix your shea butter with coconut oil.
Otherwise, stick to light oils like argan oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.
Personally, I prefer cold-pressed oils because they are lighter, more gentle to the hair, and have pure natural properties for making your hair healthier and stronger.
Aside from being lightweight, a good moisturizer should be free from harmful ingredients like sulfates and parabens.
I know you’ve heard about how harmful these two are.
They cause your hair to dry out leading to breakage and shedding.
Always make a point of checking the list of ingredients on the products you buy.
And if a product isn’t straightforward about the ingredients listed, or they haven’t listed any, STAY AWAY from it.
Chances are high, whatever they have in the product is harmful.
How To Moisturize Relaxed Hair Without Weighing It Down
I remember when growing up I was told constantly not to use water or any water-based oils on my relaxed hair because my hair will break.
And I believed this myth for years only to find out the opposite is actually true.
Relaxed hair needs to be hydrated to prevent drying and breakage.
But it is just not about hydrating it but moisturizing it in the right way and locking the moisture in.
This is how you do it the right way:
- Detangle your hair with a detangling brush or wide tooth comb
- Section your hair and braid the sections. They don’t have to be perfectly done. The reason for the braid is to help your sectioned hair stay in place to allow you to work on each section at a time.
- Unravel one section, apply a small amount of moisturizer, putting emphasis on your ends. These tend to be the driest part of the hair because they are the oldest.
- Next, follow up with oil to seal the moisture in. Again, put more emphasis on the ends.
- Repeat for all sections. Once done, undo the braids, detangle and tie your hair in a loose low bun. Cover your hair with a satin bonnet and you are ready for bed.
- Moisturizing at night allows your hair enough uninterrupted time to soak in all the moisture and nutrients.
You can tell immediately if your relaxed hair is properly moisturized or not.
It will glow, be silky smooth, look healthy and well taken care of.
Your hair will be radiating.
It’s kind of like a well-manicured lawn vs an unattended lawn, the difference is clear.
Watch out for these signs that you are not properly moisturizing your hair:
- Some sections of your hair will be frizzy
- You’ll have split ends because your ends are super dry
- Hair that looks “dead” or too dull and not pleasant to look at
- The hair is dry, coarse, brittle, and stiff
How Often You Should Moisturize Your Relaxed Hair
To be honest, there is no one-size-fits-all kind of answer for how often you should moisturize your relaxed hair.
This is because our hair types vary and hence some may need more moisture than others.
Taking myself, for instance, my hair is the kind that soaks up pretty fast.
It literally gulps the moisture so I have to keep adding moisture every day, sometimes twice a day, otherwise it becomes super dry and starts breaking.
My sister, on the other hand, has hair that can survive in a desert.
It takes in so little moisture but looks very healthy.
She moisturizes twice a week, any more than that, and she ends up with greasy hair.
You can easily see how weighed down her relaxed hair is if she moisturizes more than twice a week.
So, to answer the question – how often to moisturize your relaxed hair will depend on how fast or slow your hair absorbs moisture.
I hope this article sheds some light on how to moisturize relaxed hair without weighing it down.
Remember: do not over-moisturize the hair, apply too many products or use heavy and strong products.
Always keep in mind that relaxed hair is thin and light and too much extra weight can make it dull and impossible to style.
Would love to know what other ways worked for you to keep off the weight on your relaxed hair.
Be sure to share down in the comments.