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Maureen Detail Short Dress

Moisture Matters: Unlocking The Secrets To Revitalizing Your Natural Texture

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You’re used to looking in the mirror & admiring juicy, joyful & beautiful curls. But if lately, you’ve been asking yourself, “why is my hair so dry?,” you may need to adjust some hair care habits.

At some point or another, we’ve all experienced dry hair. This is because dry hair has many causes & culprits, including some of your favorite styling tools & even the environment. Fortunately, you can revive dry curls & get back to your luscious, healthy & moisturized locks with a little patience & a few hair care adjustments.

In this blog, we're exploring what causes dry hair & how to enhance moisture levels with hydrating solutions so that you can revitalize your natural texture & bring your bouncy & beautiful curls back to life.

Understanding Dryness in Curly Hair: Causes & Factors

There can be many answers to the question “why is my curly hair so dry?,” but at its root, dry hair is caused by hair damage.

Different types of hair damage can happen for any number of reasons. To help streamline your search, take a look through some common causes & factors behind dry curls & coils:

  • Hair porosity – If you’re always asking “why is my hair dry?,” the answer may be your hair porosity—or how well your strands absorb & retain precious hydration.1 While high porosity hair quickly absorbs & loses moisture, low porosity hair resists absorbing moisture. Try the water cup test to determine your own hair porosity—drop one clean hair into a cup of water & see if it floats (low porosity) or sinks (high porosity).
  • Drying products – Your hair moisturizes itself by creating sebum—natural hair oils that are produced at the scalp. 2Unfortunately, certain products can strip hair of these natural oils, like shampoos with harsh sulfates & silicones that are not water-soluable or dry shampoos with drying alcohols & starches.3,4 To avoid this, choose shampoos & conditioners for curly hair that replace harmful substances with nourishing ingredients like Aloe Vera juice & Coconut Oil for hair.
  • Damaging treatments – A relaxer & a couple of highlights may seem like a pick-me-up for your look, but they may also damage your hair—sometimes permanently. This is because both hair dyes & relaxing treatments warp your hair’s natural keratin structure through an army of harmful chemicals, such as ammonia, sodium hydroxide & hydrogen peroxide. In the end, you’ll have weaker strands that let moisture escape more easily.
  • Environmental factors – Sometimes, Mother Nature can be your best girlfriend. But other times, she can be a hair foe. This is because harsh & dry weather conditions can create brittle hair. In particular, ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can damage your strands, leaving them faded & dry. Consider it a “burn” for your hair.5 Additionally, other factors, like harsh winds, humidity levels, air pollution & cold temperatures, can leave your hair feeling less-than-moisturized.6
  • Excessive exposure to heat – A little straightening, a bit of blow drying—what’s the harm? Unfortunately, too much heat can denature your hair’s protein structure, creating the perfect conditions for dry curls. High heat breaks the chemical bonds between hair cells that give your hair its natural texture.7 Over time, this can denigrate keratin protein, evaporate moisture & leave behind dry locks.8 To combat the damaging effects of excessive heat on curly hair, PATTERN’s Blow Dryer offers a solution that minimizes heat exposure while still achieving desired styles.

Reviving Dry Curls: Strategies for Restoring & Retaining Moisture

With the right moisture-boosting techniques & protective habits, you can revive your curls & help them retain the hydration they need.

Real talk? There’s no single solution to dry hair. Essentially, with every potential culprit, there are a few counterattacks. So, once you’ve determined the cause (or causes) of any dryness, you can take on some of the tips below to restore moisture & a healthy texture.

#1 Protect Against Environmental Damage

Don’t venture outside without first applying some defensive hair care products. Whether it’s the middle of a brisk winter or the height of a humid summer, your hair needs protection to face the elements.

Luckily, there are a few ways to stop the weather from wreaking havoc on your hair. Depending on your seasonal environment, you can consider any of these protective methods to preserve moisture, provide nourishment & maintain those lush locks:

  • Use hair sunscreen with SPF to help block UV damage.
  • Rock headwear like hats, headwraps & scarves to block drying elements like harsh winds or damaging elements like UV rays.
  • Limit swim time in chlorinated pools & salty oceans, as the water can dehydrate your hair. As an alternative, apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to wet hair to create a barrier between your hair & the water. This will be especially important when it comes to protecting your curly hair in the summer.
  • Spray a moisturizing hair mist while on the go to beat environments with low humidity. Our Hydrating Mist is sure to do the trick.

#2 Curl-Conscious Heat

While it's best to be cautious about how frequently you choose to heat style, the allure of diffuser-enhanced curls is always strong. When you don’t want to drop the heat, you can at least minimize the damage.

Before setting your hot tools on “high,” consider protecting your curls & coils with these heat damage-busting tips:

  • Use a heat protectant – Regardless of how often you heat style, this tip is a hair care must: use a nourishing heat protectant before applying any hot tools to your hair. Research shows that a spray-on polymer solution, like our Heat Protectant for curly hair, can reduce keratin damage before heat use.9
  • Keep it warm (not hot) – Heat is the destroyer of your hair’s precious keratin bonds which entrap & hold moisture. However, this damage is scaled. Hair experiences the most heat damage at temperatures above 280 degrees Fahrenheit (or 140 degrees Celsius).8 Try to keep any flat irons, hair curlers & blow dryers to temperatures below this threshold to minimize damage.

To safeguard the integrity of your hair's keratin bonds and preserve moisture, it is crucial to maintain a warm, not hot, temperature. By opting for tools such as PATTERN’s Blow Dryer that allows you to regulate heat below the damaging threshold of 280 degrees Fahrenheit (or 140 degrees Celsius), you can effectively minimize the risk of heat-related damage when styling your gorgeous locks.

  • Air dry – The best fight against heat damage? Simply not using heat. Rather than using a blow dryer, try air-drying methods like braids, microfiber towel wraps or leave-in products you can scrunch through your hair.

#3 Boost the Moisture

When it comes to learning how to repair damaged curly hair, you’ll need an arsenal of the best hydrating curly hair products at your disposal. In particular, you need products that feature rich ingredients that are formulated to infuse your strands with moisture.

Give your hair care routine a boost with these nourishing & moisture-replenishing curly hair repair products:

  • Deep conditioners – At least once per week, hit reset on your hair with a deep conditioning treatment. Both PATTERN’s Intensive Conditioner & Heavy Conditioner are made with ingredients like Shea Butter, Avocado Oil & Safflower Oil that can penetrate deeply into the hair shaft to restore moisture & hydration from within.
  • Leave-in conditioners – For all-day hydration, apply a leave-in conditioner after a wash. A natural formula, like our Palo Santo Leave-in Conditioner, will replenish your hair with the help of Olive Oil, Biotin & Honey. Even better? Your hair will smell fabulous all day long.
  • Moisturizing hair masks – Like a special treat for your curls, hair mask for curly hair provide a deep boost of moisture & nutrients. After shampooing, simply apply a rich Treatment Mask like PATTERN’s & leave it on for 5 - 10 minutes. Then, rinse it out to reveal soft, silky & heavenly-looking locks.

#4 Reduce the Washes

Hold up, before you skip the shower cap—all that washing may be hurting your hair.

While cleanliness is important, overwashing your hair can strip away its natural oils & leave behind dry curls. For this reason, it’s crucial to find a balance between maintaining a clean scalp & preserving your hair's moisture levels. If you’re experiencing frizz, damage or dullness, consider these tips for your washing (& post-washing) routine:

  • Reduce washing to no more than twice per week
  • Use cold water to rinse in the shower
  • Try co-washing (using a conditioner in place of shampoo)
  • Brush wet hair gently at the scalp to distribute hair oils
  • Avoid overly touching your hair between wash days (This helps prevent greasiness for looser curl types seeking volume.)

#5 Try the Moisture-Lock Method

If your hair resists all attempts to moisturize, then you may benefit from the moisture-lock method. This technique not only infuses your hair with hydration, but it also helps to seal in moisture.

The magic behind the method? A combination of water (hydration) & oils (sealants). Because certain oils have sealant properties, they can coat hair shafts to “lock in” water content.10

Follow these steps to master the moisture-lock method & get back to your glossy curls:

  1. Cleanse – Shampoo & condition hair with moisturizing formulas, then rinse with lukewarm water.
  2. Semi-dry – Towel dry hair with our Microfiber Towel or a cotton t-shirt until it’s damp, scrunching carefully so as to avoid damage & breakage.
  3. Hydrate – Apply our Leave-In Conditioner or alternative hydrating styling product, distributing it evenly throughout the hair. Focus on the lower half of your strands for extra moisture.
  4. Seal – Lock in moisture with a lightweight yet sealing hair oil, such as PATTERN's Jojoba Oil Blend. Focus on the ends of the hair, making sure to cover each strand.
  5. Style – If using hot tools, apply a heat protectant spray & style as usual. If not, let your hair dry as desired.

With these steps, you can unlock glossy curls that retain their moisture all day long, thanks to the power of sealant oils.

Hydrate, Moisturize & Celebrate Your Natural Hair with PATTERN

If you’re noticing dry hair in the mirror all of a sudden, don't let it get you down. Your curls can bounce back into action through the power of moisture, nourishment & care—& we’re here to support you every step of the way.

At PATTERN, we understand the personal journey of reclaiming your hair's health & embracing its natural beauty. That’s why all of our products pack in naturally strengthening nutrients, rich moisturizers & a little extra love—because we know that your hair type deserves to shine.

Explore our line of styling tools and products for curly hair today.


Sources:

  1. Higuera, Valencia."What Type of Hair Porosity Do You Have?" Healthline. August 22, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/hair-porosity
  2. "Sebaceous Glands: Function, Location & Secretion." Cleveland Clinic.  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/24538-sebaceous-glands
  3. "Is Dry Shampoo Bad For Your Hair? Dermatologists Weigh In." Today.  https://www.today.com/health/skin-beauty/should-you-use-dry-shampoo-rcna80826
  4. Cervoni, Barbie. "Certain Shampoos May Cause Hair Loss, Here's What to Know." Verywell Health. Updated 16 July, 2023. https://www.verywellhealth.com/shampoos-that-cause-hair-loss-5268050
  5. Trüeb, Ralph M. “Effect of ultraviolet radiation, smoking and nutrition on hair.” Current problems in dermatology vol. 47 (2015): 107-20. doi:10.1159/000369411
  6. "Impact of Environmental Stressors on Hair." NYSCC. 12 July, 2021. https://nyscc.org/blog/impact-of-environmental-stressors-on-hair/
  7. Feltman, Rachel. "Engineers are trying to save curly hair from heat styling damage." Washington Post. 3 August, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/08/03/engineers-are-trying-to-save-curly-hair-from-heat-styling-damage/
  8. Bories, M F et al. “Effects of heat treatment on hair structure.” International journal of cosmetic science vol. 6,5 (1984): 201-11. doi:10.1111/j.1467-2494.1984.tb00378.x
  9. Zhou, Y et al. “The effect of various cosmetic pretreatments on protecting hair from thermal damage by hot flat ironing.” Journal of cosmetic science vol. 62,2 (2011): 265-82.
  10. Jangam, Annie. "Moisturizing Oils Vs. Sealing Oils - What's The Difference?" StyleCraze. 7 July, 2023. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/moisturizing-oils-vs-sealing-oils/
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Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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