Natural hair is prone to dryness, tangling, and frizz—that’s just a fact of life. And when taking care of natural hair, it requires its own set of TLC to keep coils intact, hair strands shining, and moisture locked in. Some naturalistas enjoy the feel of refreshing water over their hair when they shower and feel it allows them to better style their hair, while others prefer not to wet their hair too often—only when there’s enough product buildup to warrant a good wash. Which leads us to the question…should you wet natural hair everyday and what effect does this have on the health of natural hair?
Can you wet African American hair everyday?
Yes, you can wet natural hair everyday, and it is actually advised to do so to maintain moisture. Let’s be clear though: by wetting your hair, we don’t meanwashing it. We simply mean rinsing natural hair either in the shower or spritzing water over your hair. Washing natural hair with shampoo everyday is not recommended, as this can dry the hair out significantly and cause stress to curls.
How to wet natural hair everyday
Natural hair takes the form of Type 3 and Type 4 curls—usually spiral, coils, and kinks. These curls can get dry and tangled as you go about your day and sleep at night on rough cotton pillows. In the morning, your curls may be flat and shapeless and your scalp may feel dry. If you’re doing a quick touch up, keep a spray bottle filled with water and other hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, coconut milk, or rose water. Coconut oil and coconut milk contain vitamins and fatty acids, which give the hair hydration, softness and shine, while rose water is also naturally hydrating with a pleasant, sweet-smelling aroma.
Spray the mixture liberally through your hair and scalp, massage the water in gently with your fingers, then continue to style as normal. On the other hand, you could go for a full rinse in the shower, wetting your hair completely. This allows you to comb through the hair and remove any tangles fully, before applying curl creams and other hair products.
How often should you wash natural hair?
Although you can wet natural hair everyday, washing is another story. Natural hair is well...naturally dry, because the oils from the root of the hair cannot travel easily down the hair shaft due to its kinky, coily shape. The more you scrub your natural hair clean, the more you are stripping it of its natural oils. Some may find that their scalp even begins to get more oily as the scalp overproduces the oils it is being stripped of. To mitigate this, we recommend washing natural hair about once a week.
Why does my hair tangle after I wet it?
If your hair gets tangled after wetting it and you are having difficulties running your fingers through your curls, this is a tell-tale sign that your hair is too dry. As mentioned before, natural hair is simply prone to dryness. But don’t fret! There are ways to add hydration by using the right hair products for your hair type and some simple care tips.
1. Use a moisturizing conditioner or oil
If your natural hair is prone to tangling after wetting, we recommend adding a leave-in conditioner or a hair oil like argan oil to boost moisture back into the hair strands and make them more manageable. Remember, we aren’t washing the hair, but simply adding a moisturizing product to improve hydration and detangle natural hair. For an extra dose of moisture, apply a hair mask after wetting your natural hair, then wear a shower cap for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow the hair cuticles to open up so that the products can be absorbed deep into the hair strands.
2. Figure out your hair’s porosity
If you find that your hair dries out easily, you may have high porosity hair, which means the hair strands have a difficult time retaining moisture. Knowing your hair type and what products work for you can make all the difference. For example, high porosity hair loves protein, while low porosity hair loves moisture. It is important to take a look at your shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks to ensure that they contain proteins to restore your natural hair’s softness and smoothness. You can even make a protein hair mask at home! Just gather up an egg, avocado and honey, mix it up, apply to the hair from root to tip, and leave it in for 10-20 minutes. Rinse it out and admire your shiny hair.
3. Take a look at your hairbrush
The right hair brush for your hair type can make all the difference when detangling curls, coils, and kinks. Use a hairbrush with natural boar bristles over plastic or nylon bristles, as this helps distribute the natural oils through the hair. Use a wide-tooth comb to preserve curls, rather than using a hairbrush with bristles close together. Finally, never brush natural hair dry—this can cause breakage and damage your precious coils! Instead, finger brush your hair when wet or run a wide-tooth comb through to detangle before styling.
As you can see, wetting natural hair has its benefits. Contrary to popular belief, many naturalistas avoid wetting their hair often except when washing, as they believe their will dry their hair out further; however, it can be a great way to help reset your curls after being slept on overnight, add a boost of hydration with moisturizing conditioners and oils, and even help detangle the hair. So long as you don’t wash your hair with shampoos and other soaps everyday, you will still preserve the natural oils in the scalp.
Give it a try and let us know how it goes in the comments. And if you’re looking to add instant length to your natural hair, you can always give kinky hair extensions a try. They blend seamlessly into your natural hair with perfectly preserved coils every time.